Tips from Model Agent “X”
Don’t blame us! He wanted to be anonymous!
“Modeling Agent X” is the pseudonym of a well-known, successful modeling agent who has placed many models in top-level modeling jobs. Because of the confidential nature of his comments, Modeling Agent X, who will we call MAX for short, does not wish to reveal his identity.
It is assumed that if MAX were to reveal his identity, then his agency would be overrun with thousands of aspiring models.
Many of Modeling Agent X’s comments are very frank, open, and honest. By the same token, his comments may startle and offend some readers.
If you are under 18 years of age or are a person who might be offended by expletives, we recommend that you do not read this bonus guide. In addition, due to the frank nature and blunt honesty of the modeling agent’s comments, certain readers who are not confident in their abilities to become a model might be easily offended.
Insider Model Agent: You Will Not Make it as a Model
“You’re ugly and you’ll never make it as a model…”
That’s right. I’ve seen your type before. You’re a high school cheerleader, or your parents thought you were pretty enough to go into the local craphole modeling contest and you won third prize as Miss Teen Heifer 2007.
Or you’re a pretty boy with the most stylish haircut and all the most stylish tattoos.
Or ten years ago someone told you were good-looking, and now you think it’s high time to get your teeth whitening and your skin tanned and your butt-shaped and your [breasts] reconfigured and…now you want to…
To go on the catwalk at Milan or Paris or L.A. or New York or Tokyo. To get glammed up with all the other beautiful, pretty, rich, and glam people and party all night.
You think you have it in you. You think you’ve got what it takes.
Well – you don’t. You’re ugly and you’ll never make it as a model. You’re a small-town loser, a big fish in a little pond. Go home.
Insider Model Agent: Agent’s Opinion of Modeling Schools
“…then you’ve got these idiotic local modeling schools…”
Have I got your attention now?
Good. Because those are the words that losers believe. Those are the words that nobodies who spend the rest of their lives working in Taco Bell believe.
You’re not. You’re a believer in a different ideal, a higher ideal. And you’ve got some fire in your soul and you want to be the best and most glamorous model the whole fricking world has ever seen.
Keep telling yourself that, and you’ll probably make it.
Ever seen those crappy modeling schools? You know the local ones that are located in strip malls and always seen to be between the Starbucks and the Chinese food restaurant. Going by names like John Robert Powers and Barbizon?
Well, JRP and Barbizon are the best of the bunch, believe me. That’s ‘cause they’re at least part of a national franchise.
Then you’ve got those idiotic local modeling schools – whatever their names are. Some local dancing teacher in Nowhere, Iowa decides she knows all about modeling, so she sets up this little modeling school next to the frozen yogurt shop.
You’ve seen them.
Well, I’m telling you they’re all garbage.
Here are the down and dirty secrets of all of those modeling schools: You will not become a model because of them.
What you will get from the modeling schools, whether the best modeling school in the world or that skanky modeling school next to the Starbucks, is a basic education in what modeling is about, fashion, skincare, haircare, that type of thing. A-Basics of Modeling, if you will. Or a Modeling 101, put it that way.
“…the worst you might expect [from modeling schools]…is to get scammed”
It’s like going to junior college to learn how to become a doctor.
Doctors do not come out of junior colleges. Yeah, doctors do learn some of the basics at a junior college, such as basic English, writing, science, biology. But not one single doctor In the entire history of the entire world has ever come out of a 2-year community college. It’s a physical impossibility. It’s not even allowed by law.
Modeling schools are the community colleges of the modeling industry.
The best you’re ever gonna get out of a modeling school is basic education. Like I said, the hair care, how to walk on a runway, blah, blah.
But the worst thing you might expect is to get scammed. That’s right.
Watch out, girls and boys. Lots of people know you’re desperate for fame and fortune, for glitter and bling…and they’re willing to take your $5,000 and teach you how to walk a straight line on a runway.
Complete and utter bull****. A scam. A fraud.
But as you’ll see later on, I end up eating my words…
Advice: Cheap or Free Modeling Schools
Quick tip here. Since we’re on the topic of community colleges, these are great places to learn the basics of modeling…all without spending $5,000. Did you know that most junior colleges or community colleges have classes on fashion?
A second option is continuing education. Now, these are usually run by the community college, but you don’t really have to be enrolled in the college to take them. They’re usually quick 1 or 2 month classes, and I’ll bet you they have modeling or fashion class you can take.
All very cheap. Classes might cost anywhere from $40 to $300. Much, much cheaper than the thousands that these bogus modeling schools ask. Some community colleges even have programs for students with special financial needs, and the tuition might be deferred (free, in other words).
“…Buffalo [New York] ain’t exactly a glamorous place [to be a model]”
Now, here is a good story about a model that came from nowhere and who went on to become a fashion model on the runways of Milan and New York.
Her name is Jessica White. She grew up just as a regular girl in the very unglamorous city of Buffalo New York. When you think of Buffalo you think of snow, rusting factories, and unemployment. Buffalo ain’t exactly a glamorous place.
But what she did was amazing. She went from looking through the Buffalo New York Yellow Pages for modeling schools—to being signed by a top modeling agency in New York City less than 12 months later.
True story. She did it by going to a small modeling school. You know, the type we talked about above, the type of crummy and skanky modeling school next to Starbucks and Chinese restaurants.
Except as far as local modeling schools go, this one was pretty good. The year was 1999, and the school was nothing more than a converted house down the street near a bunch of strip malls, a pizza place, a gun shop, and a piercing and tattoo shop.
But what she did was amazing. The school was run by a woman named Susan Makai. Susan was a local Buffalo celebrity back in the 1970s. But instead of fading away, she turned her talents around to the local community with her school.
I’d have to say that Susan Makai is the exception to the rule. A lady who didn’t make it in the “big world” of editorial modeling in Milan and New York. But still, a lady who gave her Buffalo students everything she had, and sometimes that “everything” means encouragement. It means encouraging self-esteem and pride and confidence.
So I eat my words. But like I said, that’s the exception to the rule. Most local modeling schools are trouble.
Insider Model Agent: Tips to Winning Agents’ Attentions
1.) Children Models: Look Like Small Adults
Here’s the big secret about kids. Modeling agents don’t want kids that look like kids. Sure, there’s some market for that, but not as much as you think.
If you’re a parent, you’d better get comfortable with the idea of your son or daughter dressing in semi-adult fashion and your daughter wearing more makeup that you might not be comfortable with for a ten year old.
2.) Kids: 13 is Over the Hill
Get the kids started early. Early, early, early… Two reasons for this…
It takes kids a while to get into the groove of modeling. During that time, all they’re doing is getting older and older. So you’ve got to give them a running start. The second reason is your kid isn’t as young as you think. Yeah, it’s all perception.
But you’re too close to your child to really see how they look. If your son is 8, you should have gotten him started at six. If your daughter is 7, five was a better time to start. Now when I say “13 is over the hill,” I’m talking about the area of children’s modeling.
The moment a girl turns 14 years old, she’s already considered to be an adult model. That’s when she starts to look like a sexy adult—at least as far as the modeling profession is concerned.
3.) Kids are More Lucrative for Agents
On that note, the modeling industry, in general, is looking for young people. A 24 year old woman trying to become a model is considered an old lady.
Is it possible? Yeah. But the going is hard.
4.) IMTA and Other Conventions Can Propel You to Success…But
Yeah, the IMTA (International Modeling and Talent Association annual talent search) is a great platform to become discovered.
But only for the winners. There’s so much d*** competition there, it’s almost sad. You’ve got three thousand hopefuls, but only ten winners. You go figure the odds. Even Vegas gives you better odds. Go to Vegas and put your money down on roulette and you’ll have a better chance.
But for the top ten – hey, it’s a pretty sweet deal.
5.) Successful and Famous Models Got their Start at IMTA and Other Conventions, But Don’t Tell Anybody
Many famous models and actors/actresses got their start at IMTA and other conventions.
But they won’t publicize this. Again – spoils go to the victor. And to the loser? Just huge, huge hotel, airfare, and convention fee bills.
Insider Model Agent: Modeling Conventions
6.) Conventions = Agent Freebies
And here’s the big secret. Modeling agents go to talent and modeling conventions because they get free trips, all expenses paid, to places like New York and Los Angeles. For many of them, they aren’t interested in making connections with aspiring models.
They’re interested in hanging around with their fellow agents…
Nothing you can do about that.
7.) Look for the Badges
Agents will wear special badges that identify them as such. You won’t touch an agent with a ten-foot pole during the competition. But here’s a list of places outside of the competition where they’re accessible and available:
- Hallway walking to their private rooms.
- The hotel, bars or restaurants.
- Outside of the hotel at nearby bars or restaurants (yes, this is the real secret).
And here’s a real great place to get close to a modeling agent. Most IMTA and other conventions are held at business hotels in major U.S. cities. These hotels have pharmacies nearby, such as Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Duane Reade, etc.
Haven’t you found yourself picking up a tube of toothpaste you forgot or contact lens solution when you’re out of town? Same thing for agents. Because this is an industry concerned about appearances, no doubt you’ll find an agent picking up something they forgot such as makeup or eyeliner at the nearby drug store.
8.) Look for Agents Without Badges
Sometimes you’ll be in a hotel lobby or restaurant, and the agent will be mobbed with other aspiring models. Get close to them? Forget it. You’ll never even get close. And if you did, the agent would be so harassed and frustrated, they wouldn’t be in the mood for your pitch.
So what you do – take note of who they are. And when they’re somewhere else, without their badges on, go up and introduce yourself. Even in the bathroom. Yeah, sounds pretty tacky, but you gotta have guts to make it in this industry.
9.) Try Remote Connections
Can’t get close to the real action—the modeling agent? Get close to the person close to them…
Agents may have colleagues, spouses, or even personal assistants. When you get close to their “entourage,” it’s as good as getting close to them.
10.) Always Have Headshots and Contact Info Ready
You never know when you may run into a modeling agent. And if you run into one of them and don’t have something to give them…it’s almost like you don’t exist.
11.) Drop the “Yes Sir, No Sir” Schtick
It’s tempting to be polite to an agent. And yeah, politeness is always better than rudeness. Agents don’t like rudeness more than anyone else.
But when a model comes off as passive or subservient…that’s a problem.
What subservient means is a model that doesn’t have an attitude?
A model who doesn’t feel “entitled” to be a top, famous model.
You really have to develop this cocky attitude like you’re going to take the world by storm. But balance it with enough politeness that the agent isn’t going to slug you. If in doubt, tip on the side of attitude instead of politeness.
I’d have to say that this last rule is the most important one and the one that aspiring models don’t know about.
World’s Top Modeling Agencies
A top modeling agency that began in 1967 by Wilhelmina Cooper in New York. The Wilhelmina Guide to Modeling is one of the more famous books out there about the modeling industry.
The world’s most famous models and celebrities have been represented by Wilhelmina.
Elite Model Management
Elite was started in 1972 by John Casablancas and Alain Kittler. The Elite Model Look is one of the best known scouting organizations, pulling in over a quarter million contestants from all over the globe.
Ford Models is one of the older and more respected modeling agencies in New York, founded in 1946. Ford has represented the cream of the crop: Janice Dickinson, Christie Brinkley, Couey Cox, Rachel Hunter, Stephanie Seymour, Andrew Teoh, and many more. The Ford Supermodel of the World Contest attracted more than 60000 models a year.
-Thanks a lot for reading our article – “Becoming a Model! Insider Tips from Model Agent”. Hopefully, you read and enjoy it. Have a great day!