Modeling Schools, Competitions, and Conventions©

Occasionally I receive questions from concerned models and mothers who are unsure about joining a modeling school...

A modeling school is a school and they profit when you sign up for their classes. They will tend to tell most attractive people that they have talent-ability-looks that may get them work if they were to get some professional schooling. Its true that with pro schooling you are probably more likely to get work than if you had none, although that is not to say that you cannot get work without school.

The important thing to remember is that it is very hard to get good work consistently in this industry. The only way I see is if you are an absolutely drop dead knock out-sexy-ravishing-professional-intelligent- sweet and aggressive beauty of a person. Nothing less will do it.

If you are that type of person you will be picked up quickly. You may not need a school or even a portfolio. You need no experience or contacts. You just walk in to IMG and say "I wanna be famous". They may take you on.

The other side of the coin refers to the positive side of a company like Barbizon. They will give you an opportunity to attend the IMTA (International Modeling and Talent Association) Competition which is held twice per year in LA during the winter and in New York during July-August.This is a chance for you to be seen by some industry professionals. You will of course be only one of many talented / beautiful people wanting to be discovered.

Another positive side of a talent school - or discovery event is that you will actually get valuable professional experience. This could be important for you.

But lets not forget about the negatives either.

I was recently in New York and I contacted one of the Barbizon schools in my area and offered a paying job for a female model. The job was from a local travel agency who had a small budget but needed a swimsuit model for local newspaper and magazine advertisements. The travel company was willing to pay two hundred dollars for a photo shoot with one model for two hours..

I could not have made it easier for them. I asked them to pick out two or three models they consider professional and attractive and send me one photo of each for me to decide. Or if they did not have photos I would travel to their location and meet the models in advance for a selection. I gave them every opportunity to offer one of their models a professional paying job with little or no work on their part.

The end of the story is that as we came closer to an agreement and setting a selection date they stopped calling me. The contact person I was working with became increasingly difficult to reach on the phone. She did not return my calls and finally I decided to get a model for the travel agency on my own.

The point I am trying to make here is that a school of modeling is a SCHOOL. Perhaps they really don't care if you ever get work after you leave. Of course they do need some models who become famous to boost their own image.

It is fair to say that many companies and events are looking for nothing but your money but so what. Going into a situation knowing and being aware is good for you. I feel that you need as many contacts and experiences as you can get and afford. You should enroll in every modeling / talent / entertainment event you can find and afford.

Find the time and make a schedule so that every day of your life you make one more contact. Get photographed by every photographer you can find. Jump in front of every lens you see even if you just rolled out of bed. Make sure every person you contact in the industry gets one of your comp cards. Carry them with you always and give them out freely.

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