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What Were You Thinking?

Written By onci on Thursday, October 28, 2010 | 10:33 AM

By: Justin Gold

So you want to be a professional model? What does that mean? A girl with good looks? No. A girl with a body? No. A person that attended one of the chain schools but dropped out? No. What about the word ‘professional’, what does that mean?  Did you think that just going into a modeling agency was the first step or was it the only step you took?  No agency can make a model out of you, only you can do that.
Have you ever made a modeling appointment but then some well wisher warned you that it might be a scam so you didn’t go.  You actually stood them up over ‘hearsay’ or less. Stay out of modeling if you ever did that to another human being that set time aside to talk with you. You are no more than a disrespectful coward at this point.
Did you ever join an agency but then you met a second agent or an ‘expert on the matter’ who said you should not trust your agent?  That is the worst part of human nature. Everyone seems to want to  advise people about modeling – you should take all their comments in stride but investigate for yourself, in person. If anyone in the modeling business says anyone else in the same business is less than wonderful, go check it out.  Agents often tell you to avoid proper training so you can afford comp cards.  You probably need comp cards plus training of some form.
Did you believe Tyra’s TV script where she warns people not to do all the things she did that got her on TV? Wake up – those are lies written in her script to hold an audience that wants to believe they will get discovered and wake up as millionaires in Paris. She plays to the naiveté of young women who want fame with no effort. Their mothers all quote Tyra to keep the expense of properly promoting or training their daughters down to zero.
When a parent really loves you they will invest in skill sets that can get you there, not make excuses quoting Tyra. Tyra went to Barbizon, got excellent training, portfolios, comp cards and an agent and guess what? It worked. Don’t be so naïve as to believe what she says on a scripted TV show .
IT IS NOT UP TO YOUR AGENT TO MAKE YOU FAMOUS. You need to take about a dozen steps in the same direction. Here they are.
1.      Get an agent.  Only agents hear about gigs before they go public.
a.      Agents know where the gigs are.
b.      Agents negotiate rates better than you can because you are directly affected.
c.       Agents keep you and your identity safe.
d.      Agents understand contracts and releases better than you so you don’t sign a ‘buy out’ without proper pay.
e.      Agents know a fashion photographer from some TFCD person with a camera.
f.        Agents provide gig vouchers to insure that you get paid.
g.      Agents teach you the basics of auditioning at no charge.
2.      Follow your agent’s direction about which kinds of photos will actually help get you hired.
3.      Avoid nude and adult work at all costs because when you have a 14 year old of your own they will know how to find what you did.
4.      Get basic training in the form of a finishing/modeling/acting course.
5.      Get a digital disc of your photos in full resolution to use to get work.
6.      Find or create a ‘go see’ list of where to find modeling gigs.
7.      Obtain branded composite cards with your agent’s address and phone number but never print your own comp cards because that gives away your face, name, address and thus YOUR IDENTITY.
8.      If you can not afford the tools you require negotiate with your agent or school to do some labor in exchange – with them.
9.      NEVER BAD MOUTH YOUR AGENT. If you ever make this mistake then no listener can ever trust you not to do the same to them – silly!
10.  Keep showing up at your agency, by appointment, for updates, new applications, new photography, go see lists, look changes, phone number or email changes and most of all RESPOND AT ONCE WHEN THEY EMAIL OR CALL or don’t be surprised if they leave you out because they are afraid you will stand up a client.
11.  Take free acting gigs just to gain experience.
12.  NEVER DROP OUT. Be reachable. (Start your email address with your first name)
I hope I have been of help to you. Those of you who are filled with self doubt about your abilities can only get over that with a training course or else your entire life will be a failure in many areas.  You need your self confidence.
Parents are ill advised when they hold out on teen agers who want to be models. For every    $100 that a parent puts into a finishing school that teaches life skills, they will save $500 in mistakes their child would have learned to avoid. 36% of girls are pregnant by age 17; a percent commit suicide, some go to jail, some get killed. These children will not accept all the life skills training they require from parents at home; they need outside help. Enroll them somewhere in a training program that guarantees higher self esteem and self confidence and they will go to better colleges (probably on a scholarship), be more certain about their future, marry better, and enjoy a better life and they may become models or actors. Luck is when the road of opportunity collides with the road of preparation.

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