more modeling myths and misconceptions
"If 'they' really want me 'they' will invest in me, right?"
One of the biggest myths is that if an agent or a manager really wants you, they will pay for everything you need to get started.
Unfortunately, this particular myth has been repeated so often and for so long it has held back thousands upon thousands of people - people who waited for years for divine intervention to make them a star.
Every agent and manager in the world has advanced money to models that have not shown up or not followed through - making it impossible for the agent or managerto recoup their investment. Most agents and managers simply can not afford to pay for promotional materials for models and actors - and the ones that can afford it have learned not to throw their money away.
Some real life examples
An agent or manager advances money for promotional materials, then:
the model walks in and announces that he/she is getting married and the new wife/husband to be does not want him/her modeling.
he/she leaves to go with another agency.
he/she radically changes her appearance (blue hair and shaved eyebrows are in this week).
he/she decides to get a huge tattoo.
he/she has a knock down drag out fight with his/her girlfriend/boyfriend every time a modeling opportunity comes up.
he/she decides to join the Navy.
he/she decides "saving the whales" can't wait another minute.
he/she decides she is going to go to school on the other side of the country.
he/she decides that painting houses is a much better career choice.
he/she has reliability problems.
After one or two experiences like this, the agent or manager must either stop advancing expenses - or face the very real prospect of going out of business.
One well known personal manager used to pin unused non-refundable plane tickets to his wall (from actors and models that decided not to get on the plane at the last minute) as a constant reminder.
"One girl flew in from Seattle for an important audition and a photo shoot. She ducked out about 10 am on Saturday morning and turned up back at her hotel around midnight.... Turned out she spent the entire day at Disneyland. Then on Sunday she did the exact same thing again. That was the day I decided to stop fronting expenses."
You may be wondering who's who and who's for real, and rightly so... but industry professionals don't know who you are and they don't know if you are for real either - and they have much more to lose than you do.
It isn't unusual for a big agency to get 10,000 inquiries per year or more. If they contributed just $500 to the promotion of every person that asked for it - their total expenditures would exceed $10,000 per day (over 5 Million Dollars per year).
Only a very small handful of agencies will occasionally advance money to models and only to those models that fit very strict criteria and only to those models that have signed long term exclusive contracts.
IF you are a 5'10 teenage girl that wears a size 2 or 3 dress and IF you look like the next super model of the world and IF you sign a long term exclusive contract with the agency and IF you are ready, willing and able to live in New York City on your own - a major agency MIGHT give you a small advance.
An advance is NOT a gift, however, and the model's parents will be required to sign some sort of loan agreement and they WILL be required to pay that money back at some point - plus interest.
If you are not a 5'10 teenage girl that looks like the next supermodel of the world - and you have been waiting for a big mobile dressing room to pull up in front of your house with a smiling crew rolling out a red carpet while simultaneously waving for you to join them - you are going to be waiting a long, long time.
Let's face it, there are very few ways to go get started in any business without making some sort of investment. At the very least, a few good test shots will be needed for potential employers to see what someone photographs like before they might agree to hire them.
No competent photographer, make-up artist, stylist, etc. (the key word here being "competent") is going to create usable promotional materials for free and/or agree to be paid if and when the model gets work.
How could anyone expect a $500 a day make-up artist and a $1000 a day photographer to jump up and down at the prospect of taking pictures of unknown and unproven talent for free? (For reduced "test rates".... Maybe. Free? Not likely.)
Why would any highly skilled professional put in hour after hour of paper work, shooting time, photo editing and retouching - plus cover assistant costs, makeup artist costs, camera costs, computer costs, equipment costs, mailing costs, phone bills, etc. - then hope and pray the model will reimburse them at some vague time and place in the not too distant future?
Imagine telling your dentist that the teeth whitening procedure you want him to do should be free or that he should be perfectly willing to let you pay him back "some day" because you need the procedure in order to maximize your earning potential as a model.
Imagine walking into a new car dealership and asking for a free car because you need one to go on modeling interviews.
What sort of a reaction would you get?
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