Friday, October 21, 2011

Can you make enough money as a model to survive?

My modeling memoir Almost 5'4". Available on the Nook and Kindle and on the Nook and Kindle apps for your phone too!

A girl asked me recently: Can you make enough money as a model to make this a career and survive?

My honest reply might give you a perspective into the unstable pursuit of modeling can be:

Put it this can make some damn good money but most models are broke. You can make very good money when you book campaigns and commercials and print work can pay very well $500- thousands a day but that doesn't mean that for most models that work comes weekly and all the time. It is unstable often and a very competitive and challenging pursuit to do and to soley survive doing it is very, very tough. Be prepared for the unstable and waiting to be paid moments.

Keep in mind it takes 60 days to get paid from the agency from your modeling jobs. The client usually has a certain amount of time to pay the agency...a month..two months...whatever it is and then you get paid when the check finally comes. So the paychecks are a weekly or two week thing.

Also keep in mind most models are not supermodels or fashion models modeling for 50,000 or more campaigns, most working models out there are commercial print models and they work with print modeling agencies and talent agencies who work non-exclusive with them and the models work with more than one agency and the agencies work with many models. Which means there is constant competition and less hands-on attention from the agencies. If you fit the casting description, if the client thinks you have what they are looking for...then you book the job, if!
It is possible to make good money modeling, but in my opinion and professional experience it is very hard to survive and have a career without a backup plan or other goals that can co-side your modeling pursuits.
The phone might not ring all the time, daily or weekly either. Which is why being a good self-marketer is helpful as a striving model. I think it is so important to be building your own professional network of editors, marketing professionals and aspiring brands and designers who you could perhaps end up getting work from.
I've survived through doubt, through going through unstable moments that come with pursuing modeling, and it hasn't always been a completely smooth road.
But the more prepared you are, the more realistic, the harder you work at it--and not giving up is how to gain the rewards of tearsheets, booking print campaigns and better pay.
P.s: This is not mean to be a negative post, but I do want to share the realities. :)
I recently told another model who has been struggling to survive and pursue her dream of modeling:
It's tough to work the nightshift and then be fresh in the morning, and it's hard to manage it all when you are trying to survive in one of the most expensive cities in the world and do your dream. I'd focus on your other interests too and not forget all your skills, your other hobbies and passions that might be able to bring you in some income part time but still be something that is of interest. It's not easy to balance it all. Also I am not sure how you feel about babysitting but it might be something flexible for you?
Other posts to inspire you:

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