Chapter 4 – Breaking Into the Modelling Business
We have all heard stories about models that enter the modelling business and instantly begin excelling in the industry. Some are able to do this out of sheer fortune when an agency happens to spot them as a potential prospect and signs them up. While this may be true and all fairy-tale like, it’s not always the case.
In most cases, it takes quite a bit more work than this to truly get started in the modelling industry. Being open to the amount of money that you will earn is also something that you should consider as well. For example, models usually get between 10% and 33% if they work with an agent.
While it is possible to earn more through freelance, it’s not always likely that major gigs will be found this way. By choosing an agent, you will find that it is easier to find bookings and you will have someone who can advise you on the way your career should proceed.
Unfortunately, finding an agent to sign with is not always a possibility and many models find it necessary to branch out on to find their own bookings. Now we will look at some of the ways that you can begin working as a model without the aid of an agent.
Let’s have a look at some common ways through which you could get signed with an agency.
Every once in a while an agency will open their doors to everyone who wants to have a chance to become a model. When this happens, anyone can show up at the office and ‘try out’ to become a model. You will have to be patient when you attend an open call and make sure that you are ready at all times because there will be many women waiting for their chance to shine. The interview process will take less than a minute. When it’s your turn, you will be called in to the agents and they will look you over quickly. Within a few minutes they will have decided whether you have what it takes to become a model. If you don’t, you’re dismissed. For the open call, forget about bringing professional photographs as they won’t matter.
This is also similar to an open call. The model search is held by agencies that travel to small towns looking for prospective models. However, because they have to travel to your locale, model searches often calls for a modicum amount of processing fees, say something in the line of about $25. Even if you do get denied in the end, you would have met some industry professionals. If you are just starting out or are looking for another avenue to explore, a model search can be quite helpful. It is possible that you will be able to learn more what the industry is looking for and will be able to compare yourself to other models in your area. Plus, if you are accepted, you will have the opportunity to find an agent fairly quickly.
If you are someone who has some money to invest into your career, say between $400 and $4,000, a modelling convention may be the answer for you. The difference between a modelling convention and a modelling search is that at a convention you will have the opportunity to meet with several modelling agencies, rather than just one. This may mean that it is easier for you to kill several birds with one stone and will increase your chances of finding an agent that is right for you. This is also a fantastic opportunity to get ahead of the competition and get started in the industry quickly. Because you have access to more than one modelling agency, you will have a greater chance of being picked up by someone.
If you are looking for an economical means of putting yourself in the marketplace, then you might want to consider using a scouting company. For between $60 and $150, you can submit your profile to them online and they’ll forward your information to major agencies. This can be a great way to get your photo in front of multiple modelling agencies. However, you should keep in mind that it is not as successful as seeing them in person. It takes a lot to capture the attention of a modelling agency and they will not be able to see your confidence and style without meeting you in person. But, if your profile impresses them enough, it is likely that they will call you in for a real interview. Two well-known (other then ESCARCHA) scouting services are www.modelscouts.com and www.minxmodels.com.
Some have found it helpful to market themselves rather than rely on a service to do it for them. There is power in marketing yourself; and you must never underestimate your own marketing ability. You can make cold calls to agencies and ask them when their next open call will be. If one isn’t scheduled, ask if you can drop by their offices anyway. Just by calling several agencies, you might be surprised that one may be willing to evaluate you. Don’t be disappointed when you get the cold shoulder, however. It is likely that many of the agencies will turn you away. However, you should keep going until you find one that will allow you to drop by.
The Art of Getting Signed
When you are finally able to find an agency that is willing to sign you, there are many things that you should keep in mind. For starters, remember that when it comes to modelling, exposure is all that matters. You will want to make sure that the agency plans to have you appear in the local newspaper ad section, TV shows, magazines as well as fashion shows. This is also helpful before you get signed as well and can help lead you to the right people who will sign you to a contract.
If an agency does finally show some interest in signing you, make sure that you have an attorney go through the contract to make sure that you’re not getting a raw deal before you sign. There are plenty of scams out there and you will want to make sure that you are not being taken advantage of.
Always ask if you are to join up with any unions, and if you are allowed to take up modelling jobs on the side. You should also meet with an accountant to see about tracking all the money you earn, if you deem it necessary.
The moment you sign up, the agency will ensure that you build your portfolio, or the series of pictures you take along when going to modelling interviews; also called go-sees. They will begin scheduling you to have different types of photographs taken so that your portfolio is strong for the clients who will want to hire a model for an event or advertisement. It is likely that they will have their own photographers to have this completed, but you may be responsible for the outfits that you will be wearing, depending on the size of the firm that has signed you.
Note that you don’t need a portfolio until you get signed, so no need wasting money on that. The agency will also print composite cards for you; those are a series of pictures printed on a single sheet; a business card of sorts.
Copyright 2015 – Escarcha
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