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A Comprehensive Look at the Business of Being a Model.

by Roger Talley

REPRINTED BY PERMISSION

Part 1 of 7: Introduction

When most people think of “models,” they think of magazines like Vogue or W and the apparently glamorous world of fashion modeling. That’s not surprising, since fashion models get the most press and look like “models.” Theirs are also the names most of us know – Cindy Crawford, Tyra Banks, Giselle Bundchen, and more. That’s why most books on modeling deal primarily with fashion modeling.

But a considerable majority of modeling work in the United States is done by commercial models, not fashion models. A very few books have been written from a model’s perspective about the commercial end of the business, and none to address what an agent would want his model to know. Part of the purpose of this book is to fix that, and all the other modeling areas that typically get only cursory treatment by other books.

We will examine two very different ways to pursue a career in modeling: “mainstream” (traditional routes to fashion, advertising, promotional and fit modeling) and “Internet modeling.” The Internet has created vast new opportunities for models and those who want to work with them to find each other, new ways for models and associated professionals to do business, and even a different modeling culture that has at times, clashed with the “mainstream.”

This book explains how to get a positive start in the business. But we also go into detail about what happens behind the scenes – the processes that make the industry work. You will gain an in-depth knowledge of the business that few aspiring models are ever exposed to. This understanding will help you find your place in the industry and survive once you get there. We also delve into special topics on positive and negative aspects of the industry. These may not be of interest to everyone, but they can prevent a new model from getting into problems.

This book will not explain techniques of make-up, nutrition, fitness, or the craft of modeling itself.

To learn about make-up, you should find an experienced make-up artist familiar with styles in the area where you want to model. For nutrition, consult with your physician or a nutritionist, not with modeling books.

Fitness is a special case. Most models need toned bodies, and many will feel the need for an exercise or fitness regime. A common approach is to hire a personal trainer, or simply join an exercise class in a local gym. That could prove to be a mistake. Trainers and classes often try to mold a person’s body to something like what “average people” wished they looked like. That can include bulking up muscle mass in places a model really doesn’t need to be bulking up. Fitness advice and training should be taken only from someone who understands and accepts the demands of this unusual business.

Finally, there is the craft of modeling itself. The skills a model may need vary widely depending on the kind of modeling. Some of this is taught in specialized classes and seminars; a lot more is best learned through experience with good photographers, or on the job. Many modeling “how to” books written by ex-models seem limited to what the author actually specialized in. The reader has to bear in mind that such books are only useful when they are dealing directly with that particular type and style of modeling – if you can learn how to model from books at all. Personal instruction and experience are much better teachers.

At the end of this book there is a list of suggested additional reading. Those so motivated can find books on the list that deal with all of these other topics.

The “brick-and-mortar” of the modeling industry is Mainstream modeling. We will discuss it first.


In the next post, Mainstream Modeling vs. Commercial vs. Editorial.

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The show must go on!

by James Duren and Miguel Hidalgo (Model: Bella Briscoe, Photographer: Michael Higgins)

We are born to be on stage and it's never too late to get started.

Think back to when you were younger – everything seemed possible. Talent shows. Competitions. Contests. You believed you could be anything you wanted.

If you're like me, at some point your parents encouraged you to try a new sport or a skill. Maybe it was football, acting or music. We've all been there.

We trudged our way through early morning practices and late-night rehearsals to make our parents proud. We sang at the talent shows, did our dances at the assemblies and competed in our games.

Talent Shows & Competitions: You're The Star

Now, it's time for you to do what you love to make yourself proud. No parents. No teachers. Just you and a community of genuine people at Model Madness who live by one philosophy: Everyone is a celebrity at Model Madness.

Wake up your dreams; they've been sleeping for too long. You decide what level of greatness you can achieve. You are the one who can resurrect the creative person inside of you.

Right now, there are competitions and contests bursting behind the curtains waiting for you to make an appearance. Participate at any level of engagement. As you connect yourself with performance opportunities like community theaters or talent shows, you'll realize the value of being who you know you were born to be.

The Model Madness Community: Your New Best Friends

While you're transforming those old dreams into new realities, fellow talented Model Madness artists will encourage you with advice. They want the same dreams. They know what it's like to look at the mundane work world around them and wonder, “Is there something more than this?”

There is, and you can achieve it through practicing your talent, polishing your skills and persistence. Your goal may be to perform in the local theater or simply to pick up your guitar and head to a local open mic to sing a few songs. Either way, the Model Madness community will help you get there.

Finding Your Talent: It's Never Too Late

When you find yourself on stage or in front of a small crowd with friends and loved ones with the golden glow of the stage lights draping you in warmth, you'll realize it's never too late to get started.

It reminds me of something Walt Disney said a long time ago. His creative empire began with a dream of turning flat, empty swampland into something transcendent. He knew what it took to create a talented community.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

Are you ready? The Model Madness community is waiting for you to start. Take the risk. Start the journey. Become the creative talent you've always wanted to be.

 

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