The advice and opinions expressed below are provided as a public service from: Consumer Business Organizations – State Attorney Generals Offices – State Labor Commissioners – Retired and active reputable talent agents along with the staff of QuickBook Nationwide.
There are over 1000 modeling schools / agencies and “website only agencies” operating in North America. Only a handful are fully legitimate talent booking agencies like QuickBook. Many get people a few jobs, but sell expensive classes, photos, worthless conventions and overpriced composite cards that you should not have to pay for. Agencies that charge thousands for things that you do not need make a bad name for the industry.
There is nothing wrong with paying for something of value like Zed Cards (composites) or proper maintenance and representation of your profile within a professional agency. Just understand the “value” of something before you pay. Classes, workshops, portfolios and conventions cost thousands and do nothing for you.
You should never be REQUIRED to pay for classes or workshops.
No legitimate agency would require you pay for such things or expect you to PAY to attend a convention.
If the agency honestly feels that you need any training, they should pay for it up front for you.
Most agencies employ “High Pressure Salespeople” to sell you classes and photos, for thousands of dollars.
When you feel that the “down payment” on classes or a photo shoot is more important to the “salesperson / interviewer” than your career, or you are asked to sign a contract with no time to look it over… LEAVE!
A quality respectable agency knows that you will return when you are ready and has no reason to pressure you.
It is amazing that the “last class opening this year” is somehow available to you – if you just “sign up today”. ARE YOU LUCKY OR WHAT?!
Just think if you pay these people money you will be “as famous as the people on their walls” – that they likely do NOT represent in the first place. Click the light on in your brain and find your way out of such money traps.
Models and actors are selected by clients that hire talent. How can an “agent” promise you something that they do not have to offer? Except for major agencies representing Supermodels that have “open contracts to book”, do not believe promises of “big pay and big jobs” as NO agency can guarantee jobs – only clients select models.
This is a business of luck and timing, enhanced greatly by professional marketing & advertising through a quality well established agency like QuickBook.
Your demeanor and good looks assist the process greatly as well!
If you think an agency is going to market you for FREE, think again! At many agencies you are lucky to be placed in a file drawer after “graduation” or “photo shoot” – instead of the trash can. Overnight delivery (such as FedEx) of your printed Color Zed Cards (composite cards), National Marketing of you to major clients through direct media, plus quality web representation (in addition to the talent agency overhead / expenses) costs a great deal each day.
Advertising and marketing is not cheap and takes expertise that few “talent agents” have. You should expect to pay some (not all) expenses to market your look. After all, both you and your agency want you to succeed – neither of you can guarantee success.
Agencies that sell unmonitored web space on unknown websites, classes, photos, workshops, and conventions want as many sales as possible. The commissioned salespeople in high pressure offices are more concerned with their income and job security than your future. At many agencies, the salespeople have a quota to sell each week or they get fired!
Anyone can make it in this business with a good marketable look and personality. It does not take a predetermined height, age, or specific “look”. An experienced booking agent can usually tell by one good snapshot if you have what it takes. The rest is up to you at auditions. (That is where a great personality comes in to play.) If you think that you are a “gift” to the industry, you will need to climb off your horse. If you are sure that you cannot make it, you probably will not.
Determination and positive attitude combined with a well-respected and experienced agency like QuickBook is the right direction for aspiring models.
Most so-called modeling agencies on the internet are not real agencies. They have NO monitoring and allow anyone to post unedited pictures and personal info. This is not only very unsafe, but it will also not give you exposure to hiring companies – just strangers and unsavory people. It is wasted money. With QuickBook you have REAL booking agents working for you 24/7 and you get a professionally maintained and monitored safe profile.
Clients rely on reputable agencies like QuickBook with real live booking agents and 24/7 assistance in cities nationwide that have helped them book talent on jobs for decades.
The addition of a website to a reputable agency like QuickBook is a great tool for clients to review you. QuickBook pays for and distributes color Zed Cards to clients worldwide. Most importantly, QuickBook has decades of quality service to the industry and is relied upon by clients for finding models and actors of all ages in cities everywhere.
Paying to attend a convention and be “discovered” is a joke. A quality agency will have your face exposed to every major hiring client and leading booking agent at top agencies – every day throughout the year – they will not seek you out at a “modeling convention”.
If you expect to be “discovered” in one or two days at a costly convention with bogus “scouts” you should prepare for failure.
There is nothing wrong with paying for something of value. Just understand the “value” before you pay. Classes, workshops, portfolios and conventions, do not “take” you to clients, therefore they have no “value” in finding you work.