Friday, October 19, 2007

How To Break Into Acting And Commercial Modeling

They're on magazine covers, catalogues, newspaper ads and inserts, billboards, posters, brochures and even on packages in grocery stores. "They" are models. But these models are not famous like supermodels, but they can entice you to buy everything from food to shampoo, jeans to health insurance, and can earn between $25-$250 an hour across North America. These models can be drop dead gorgeous, or can look like your next door neighbor or your best friend?and the best part is, unlike fashion modeling, there are no height, weight or age restrictions to your typical modeling assignment. The opportunity is available to just about everyone.

old, had the ?perfect? height, weight, look, or if you had the time? Stopped pursuing modeling because you weren't getting the opportunities or the work you desired?

The first step to realizing your dream of modeling or acting is to find yourself a good agent. Your agent is going to be the link between you and the modeling or acting audition information that you need, so having a good agent can mean the life or death of your career.

How Do I Get A Good Agent?

1. Go to a local theater. After the performance, ask the actors for the names of the agents who represent them.

2. Call local photographers and find out which agents they use when hiring models.

3. Call your local SAG (Screen Actors Guild) or AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) office for the names of signatory agents in your area. These are agents who have signed contracts and have agreed to abide by union rules. SAG or AFTRA will give you the list of names for free.

4. Call the agent(s) of your choice, and schedule an appointment to meet with him/her. Make your appointment during working hours and meet the agent at his or her office. Avoid meeting with an unfamiliar agent anywhere else.

5. Call models who work with the agent before your interview, if possible. Do they like the agent? Do they get work through the agent? Does the agent treat them well? Are they paid on time?

6. Look around the office. Do you see pictures of ads the agent has booked for his or her models? Are the phones ringing? You should see a busy office.

7. Decide whether or not you feel comfortable with the agent. If you're not sure, call the local SAG or AFTRA office, which might have some information about the agency.

A few things to watch for:

? Agents make their living by earning a percentage of each job they book for a model or actor. Fees paid to Photographers for photos, comp cards etc., are normal. Any fees that you pay, should not be fees that you?re paying to the agent. Do not pay any up-front fees to an agent.

? If the agent lies to you, makes outrageous promises or asks for up-front money (to cover phone calls or mailing expenses on your behalf), keep looking. Legitimate agents do not ask for expense money.

? If you're not happy with the number of auditions or bookings you are getting, set up an appointment with your agent and discuss what you can do to generate more jobs.

Copyright 2006 Alexandra Warner All Rights Reserved

Alexandra Warner has been a successful Talent Scout for 8 years, and regularly advises hopeful models and actors on the pros and cons of the business. Look for more information on the industry at

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