Thursday, July 22, 2010

What if you haven't heard of the agency? Modeling Scams and moving on

A girl recently wrote me about some agency trouble saying: Hi Isobella,

First I would like to say congratulations on getting married! I'm also married and it is really a joy to have a life partner. :) Well, I have a question for you. I recently went an orientation at a talent agency and they offered me a contract. I reviewed the contract carefully and decided to sign with them. That was about 3 or 4 weeks ago. I called about a week later after not hearing from them, and the lady in charge of talent told me she would call me when everything had been processed. I still haven't heard from her after all of these weeks. Do you think I should contact her again just to see what is going on? I just don't want to her to feel like I'm bugging her because I'm sure she is pretty busy.

My reply might help you prevent scams:

mmmm. Even though right now it can be a slow time in modeling as a whole, hun, I am sorry to say this, but it might be worth it to accept that you lost 95 dollars and move on and start over. It sounds fishy to me.

If the agency is already ignoring you totally, then it sounds like trouble. You could give it a couple more weeks, and as a shorter model, you might not be get sent on as many castings or hear from your agency as often, but in this case with a contrat involved, you should ask about it. In the future I would work non-exclusive with agencies because you will want to be able to freelance with other agencies, which is called working non-exclusive with many agencies, and then you may not feel so stuck.

In NYC I worked with many agencies at the start of my pursuits to build my portfolio and it is best to ALWAYS work non-exclusive, or ask the agency for a test run of a few months if possible. Just because you sign up doesn't mean you will book anything and waiting doesn't bring in results you might seek. I would also look into commercial print agencies. If you are shorter than 5'9" it is also unlikely that an agency would even sign a shorter girl. For print modeling there is not exclusive contract typically. I know this from my experience. Print agencies typically work non-exclusive with their models. Because for the shorter ones they know they won't book as much and expect a non-exclusive relationship… For print modeling it is always a scam to be signed and pay. Beware! I would check the contract with the agency, ask how long the contract is for? And what is the process for getting out of it? A contract might sound all great and special, but if it isn't something you feel good about in your gut, then I would speak up to the agency about it.

Do know to work in print modeling and to prevent scams, that you DO have to make your own marketing materials, be prepared you DO have to manage your pursuits, but paying an agency to work with them, even to put your photos on the website is fishy, if these fees plus the 20% the agency gets comes out of your paycheck ok, well then at least you booked something, but to pay ahead of time…..smells fishy. We all make mistakes, you can overcome it. I would strive to get out of the contract, and start over anew, a fresh, without scams. You can do it if you want it and believe in yourself, there are legit agencies out there, keep trying. ~ Isobella

For more tips on modeling, agencies, making comp cards, and self promotion as a shorter model, tune in to my podcast radio show Model Talk Radio here:

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