So You’d Like to Have a Modeling Agent…

Allies come in handy when you’re breaking into the modeling business. While it’s great to have the support of your family, your friends and the stylist down the street who cuts your hair, what you really want is an agent, right?

Agents are in demand because they can open doors for you, but it requires some forethought and preparation in order to attract the right one who thinks you’re special. Simply calling an agent on the phone and asking for representation is a sure-fire way to get rejected. I know…I’ve had to reject many of them because they weren’t prepared. So let’s look briefly at what you’ll need to greatly improve your chances.

First of all, you should have already done your photo shoot and compiled your portfolio. This will allow you to walk into the agent meeting, armed with excellent examples of your style, your look, your individuality.

Assuming you’ve done that, it’s time to do a bit of research. Check online for a list of modeling agencies in your area. You could also visit Backstage (www.backstage.com), which offers a subscription site that enables you to access a variety of agents. Some will accept submissions, while others will not, so you’ll have to sort through them…and be on the alert for those agencies who advertise open calls for new talent. You could be just who they’re looking for!

            Once you find some agency possibilities, either online, through the Yellow

Pages or through contacts you’ve developed, it’s wise to take the time to review several of them. That means visiting their websites, finding out the kinds of talent they represent and even talking with other friends and acquaintances in the modeling industry. You want someone who can back up their big claims with solid results.

When you do secure an interview with an agency, that’s only part of the process. You still have to impress them in the meeting, so be sure to pay special attention to your grooming, select an outfit that flatters you, but doesn’t steal your thunder, and make sure that your portfolio is just the way you want it. Many aspiring models have zed cards made for them, often by the photographer who shoots them. This is a type of business card that features your best-posed photos on it – a nice reminder of just how dynamic you are!

            Remember…a bad modeling agent is no better than none at all. So don’t get overly excited if one shows interest. It’s best to follow your plan of action and see four or five before making a decision. As a former agent myself, I expected that people would shop around; it comes with the business. It has to be a mutual trust and connection. You’re interviewing them, just as much as they’re interviewing you.

Okay, it’s decision time. My advice would be to avoid signing an exclusive contract, if possible, and to stay away from contacts that exceed two years. You want as much flexibility as possible. Before signing any contract, look it over

carefully and let someone else of authority do the same.

If you don’t get an agent in the beginning, don’t fret. There are lots of modeling jobs offered online through various model connection services that may be right for you. Register with one of the sites that specializes in this kind of help, such as One Source Talent (www.onesource.com), Actors Access (www.actorsaccess.com), L.A. Casting (www.lacasting.com) or Casting Networks (www.castingnetworks.com), to name just a few.

The opportunities are out there. Your mission is to choose the route that’s most comfortable for you, and to begin actively chasing your dreams.

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