|Luck And Obsession
I’ve been considering the best way to get the most important model questions answered in one quick essay. In one way or another I am asked and re-asked the same basic three questions over the years. Paraphrased the questions are: how to become a model, how to get a modeling job, or how to grow from a beginning model to a successful Million Dollar Model.
There are two answers to those questions and it can be a combination of both. The first possibility is luck and I mean the kind of luck that we have absolutely no possible control over. Simply put if you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time those things may all come to you. Since there is not all that much you can do to change random luck we will look at the other way to control your future in the modeling industry and put your career on the right track. In this case I am referring to obsession.
After meeting thousands of successful business people and celebrities over the past 20 years the one single thing I have found each of those people have in common (besides luck) is obsession. What I mean is a compulsive drive, a willingness to never accept defeat, and a motivation that seems to just come from inside. It is hard to develop an obsessive nature but it can actually be learned and you can teach yourself.
The most successful people I have met do nothing but think about their obsession whatever that obsession may be. For some people it is being a movie star, for others writing a book, and still others find their obsession in music or going to the gym and getting in shape. In this case we are looking at modeling or even for you photographers and agents who may be reading this we can all apply the same principles.
Here’s how to get obsessed if you are not already. Each morning when you awake demand of yourself at least one accomplishment for the day that will be beneficial to meeting your goals. It can be a small thing or a big thing, but whatever it is never end the day unless you do something. That may mean buying a portfolio book, doing a photo-shoot, working on your website, or looking through a copy of Italian Vogue. You don’t need to be a genius to do this kind of thing, but you may need to put yourself into a new lifestyle.
Eventually over time if you achieve a few big goals or accumulate lots of little accomplishments things will begin happening. Just like in the gym. If you lift a little bit of weights each day, even if you are not that smart in a year you will be a very different person than you were when you started out.
Obsession however is taking this simple set of ideas to a higher level. Obsession is eating, sleeping, living and breathing nothing but your obsession. That’s how the guy in the gym can go from a typical body builder to world level competitive status. That’s also how the typical 16 year old girl goes from high school fashion show to the cover of Vogue.
I’m not sure whose quote this is but someone once said “Shoot for the Moon and you may hit the Stars”. That is the best way I can respond to those who now ask well what if I am obsessed and I never get on the cover of Vogue. That’s ok as though you may never get the Vogue cover you will establish new goals and reach new achievements in time. Lots of people repeat that quote but they may not actually be obsessed enough to hit the stars or the Moon.
Obsession is more than just reading a magazine once a day or watching America's Next Top Model once a week. Those are both great ideas but if you are truly obsessed you will probably be spending virtually every waking hour working on your career. There’s no right or wrong way to go about this. Some people may never watch America’s Next Top Model at all or may never have seen a copy of Vogue, but they will have done other things that were right for them at the time. You may find model ideas from shows like Project Runway even though the show is more about fashion designers than models. You may pick up tips by watching the girls on the Home Shopping Network as they model shoes, jewelry or clothes. You may find something else more suited for your modeling or acting career development.
Go from watching to doing
Here is another point that can’t be overlooked. You need to do things and not just look and watch. You need to be a participant and not just a spectator. If you are truly obsessed you will find a way. If no one wants to put you in a fashion show and you really want to try walking a runway maybe you need to create your own fashion show. Sure that is easier said than done but it is far from impossible. Just as the quote I gave you suggests maybe you will become a great runway show producer.
No matter how you get yourself in gear and get going you just need to start. Do a photo-shoot, go to a casting (even if it’s only to watch), a fashion show or whatever you can think of to put yourself into the industry. Going from thinking about your career, to reading and learning about your career and eventually to actually participating in the things that will get your career in gear will only happen if you make them happen.
Learning about and meeting the other people who are doing what you want to be doing is also very important. You can meet models at open calls, castings, auditions, pageants, competitions, and conventions. Even if you are not participating you may want to go and check out how it all works. In this way when you are ready to participate you will already know the ropes and you will avoid many pitfalls and obstacles.
How obsessive can you get? Very! If you are really into the industry you will find all kinds of ways to get yourself in the door. If you know nothing about the industry how can you possibly hope to steer yourself in the right directions? You would not know what the right directions are. In a sense there is no right direction, but the more you know and participate the more likely you will be to find the direction thats right for you and meet your goals even as you evolve new goals.
I hope you realize from reading some of my stuff that there is no one thing that can guarantee your success, but starting with what you are most passionate about tends to allow you to follow a course that is right for you.
Choosing a path that’s right for you
If you think you are going to try this all out then I hope you will let me know how your life is coming along from time to time, and mention to someone that I helped you out. In that way you will allow me to follow my passion. The path that’s right for me is helping you to find the path that’s right for you.
So how do you find the right path. Part of being obsessive about meeting your goals is to never let anyone tell you what is right or wrong. Listen to everyone’s advice, but don’t take everyone’s advice. Use only what will work best for you. Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole will never work for anyone no matter how much they may try.
What does all that mean in the real world? It’s simple enough for me to say that you need to choose the right path by choosing the right path. We each have a look, a set of skills, talents and abilities, and a set of resources. Let’s call all that your bank. Now ff you have $100.00 in the bank you just can’t withdraw $200.00 as your bank does not contain the right funds. What you can do is continue to add to the bank until you reach the goal, then make the withdrawal. Are you following me?
If you can’t sing don’t try to be on American Idol. First take singing lessons. It’s that simple. Most people’s parents tell them when they are young that they can be or do anything they want to be or do. But that doesn’t mean that if you want to fly a plane you can just get in and fly one. If you crash on the runway (no pun intended) your flying career will be over before you get off the ground. How about taking pilot lessons - well how did I ever think of that. That’s what people who are obsessed will do.
There’s nothing dirty, negative or derogatory about the words obsessive or obsession. It means that you will stop at nothing and that even includes taking lessons. If you think I mean you need to take classes to be a model that’s not really the point I am trying to bring out. What I want you to understand is that you need to do what you feel would be right to meet your goals. If lessons are right for you so be it. If crashing a party is right for you then that’s fine also. Whatever it is that you need to do - you need to do it. When you’re not doing it you should be thinking about doing it and when you’re not thinking about doing it you should be sleeping because you are too tired from doing it. That is what I mean by obsession.
Now you are starting to get it.