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There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Difference Between Casting Agencies & Talent/Modeling Agencies

Not all agencies are created equal. The word "agency" gets thrown around a lot and within the entertainment industry it's easy to get confused.

To avoid any mishaps and ensure that you're on the right track, I felt it would be good to do a post to break down the important differences between casting agencies and talent/modeling agencies.

Since I've written at length about talent and modeling agencies, the points listed below will be in direct reference to how casting agencies operate.

To sum up casting agencies in a nutshell: this type of business contains a database of actors, models and other types of talent and essentially acts as a matchmaker between the talent registered on the casting agency's site and those casting for various projects.

Whenever someone is looking for models or actors, they typically post their project on the casting agency's site and the talent that matches the requirements are notified and given a chance to submit themselves directly to the project. From there a casting or audition is arranged between the client casting the project and the talent submitting.

CASTING AGENCIES DON'T HAVE CONTRACTS

When you sign up for a casting agency there is no contract to sign or worries about being exclusive or non-exclusive. You can sign up with as many casting agencies as you want and don't have to worry about any conflicts. You are not "represented" by a casting agency and they aren't considered your "agent."

CASTING AGENCIES DON'T CHARGE COMMISSION

The great thing about casting agencies and booking projects through their services is that there isn't a commission you need to pay them. The casting agency makes its money in other ways so you don't have to pony up a percentage each time you book a gig.

CASTING AGENCIES LET YOU CONTROL YOUR CAREER

Many freelance models and actors use casting agencies as a method of finding local work for a variety of projects according to the preferences set in their member profiles. Updating your photos, resume of experience and other profile preferences are all in your hands. Simply login to your account and you can control everything.

CASTING AGENCIES WORK WITH TALENT/MODELING AGENCIES, TOO

This varies from casting agency to casting agency but oftentimes, traditional talent/modeling agencies work closely with local casting agencies so it isn't uncommon for a represented model/actor to have a profile on a casting site even though they have an actual agent.

This type of profile will look different on the casting agency site compared to someone who is freelance and doesn't have agency representation. For example, if a client is looking to cast a project and is looking at the profile on a casting agency site for an individual that is freelance, the contact info will be that of the model/actor. But if they are looking at a profile on a casting agency site for an individual that is agency repped, the contact info displayed on the profile will be that of the agency's (in most cases).

Because of this close working relationship between local casting agencies and talent/modeling agencies, it is common for both freelancers and repped talent to go to the same castings and auditions that may be held at the casting agency's office.

CASTING AGENCIES CHARGE AFFORDABLY FOR THEIR SERVICES

At least the legitimate ones do, haha. While the cost of being included in a local casting agency's database may differ from market to market (i.e. smaller and medium markets tend to have more affordable fees, while large markets may be a bit higher), in general you can opt to pay an annual fee or break it down into a smaller, recurring monthly fee.

This is one of the main ways casting agencies make a profit and why you don't have to fork over a percentage of your earnings in the form of a commission. As long as you keep up with your payments, your profile will remain active and viewable by potential clients.

Some casting agency sites let you set up a profile for free. Of course that tends to be limited in the services available but if you're hesitant to pay or want to test the waters first, checking out the free version is a good approach until you feel confident enough to pay for a basic membership.

CASTING AGENCIES LET YOU DO YOU

You don't have a booker at a casting agency to call or email to check in with or ask advice for in regards to what kinds of photos to have in your portfolio. They are the middleman that simply gives you a place to house your photos, video clips (for actors) and stats so you can get matched up to projects and be found by clients.

While they are on hand to answer basic customer service questions or troubleshoot tech issues, they are not in a position to guide you through your career the same way a standard talent/modeling agency does.

IS A CASTING AGENCY FOR YOU?

It is optional to enlist the services of a casting agency in regards to your modeling/acting career. I've found working with local casting agencies to be an incredibly beneficial tool and resource in finding work, connecting with clients and building my network.

I've always had profiles on local casting agency sites whether I had agency representation or not. The monthly fees are also affordable and, in my case, are tax write offs since they count as a business expense.

There are a score of casting agency sites out there and while there are those that contain nationwide castings as well as more location specific ones, I tend to focus on the local ones. This is mainly because the numbers game tends to be in your favor with local casting agencies compared to the ones that have nationwide castings where you're now competing for jobs along with other people around the country.

At the end of the day working with a reputable casting agency can only help your endeavors and not hurt them. Make sure the casting agency you're interested in is established, has reasonable rates and doesn't try to nag you with paying for additional services you don't need, or try to up-sell you on photoshoots and training courses.

Stay tuned for my next blog post, which will address some of the red flags to be on the lookout for when it comes to finding a solid casting agency to work with.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

How to Choose the Right Modeling Agency for Your Child

If you thought entering the modeling world was challenging, entering it as the parent of an aspiring child model is even more harrowing simply because you're dealing with the safety and welfare of a minor.

While much of the info listed below is going to be the same as the previous blog post I did about how to Choose the Right Modeling Agency for You, there are a few differences and additional things I want to point out to parents specifically, which is why I decided to do a post on this subject by itself instead of lumping it together with the other one.

And if I didn't include something on here that is on the other post, it's not because it doesn't apply--it's mostly because I didn't want this post to be longer than it already is, haha.

So let's jump into it!

MAKE SURE THE AGENCY REPRESENTS KIDS

Not all agencies are created equal so it's important to check the website to first determine whether an agency even works with kids.

For the ones that do, make your way to the part of the site that talks about how to submit your child for representation. Some agency sites have a "Submission" or "Join Us" page or may house this content on the Contact page, About Us section or mention guidelines/methods for submission on the FAQ page. Take some time to navigate the site overall and it should be relatively easy to locate this info.

Don't forget to take note of the age ranges represented. If your child is closer to the maximum age listed, still submit. It will be the agency's call whether or not that will make a difference. Never just assume your child doesn't meet the requirement and skip out.

MODELING AGENCY OR TALENT AGENCY?

The great thing about child models is that they're super marketable. Does your child want to act as well as model? Then you should be seeking the services of a Talent Agency and not a Modeling Agency.

Signing with a Talent Agency will kill two birds with one stone because these types of agencies represent both models and actors. That means one contract, one set of commission and one agency to work with instead of two.

Don't get sidetracked by the agency names, btw. Sometimes agencies don't use the word "Talent" in their names but do represent both actors and models. When doing online research for local agencies, check them all out and chances are you'll find that the ones that look like they only work with models may actually be talent agencies with other divisions.

Be thorough and leave no stone unturned when putting together a list of agencies to submit your child to.

LOOK AT THE ROSTER

Many agency websites that represent kids have photo galleries where you can view the current talent on the roster. It doesn't hurt to take a few moments to check out what ages and looks made the cut.

Do you see a lot of kids with a similar "look" as your child or not as many, if at all? These are things to take note of when you submit your child's photos and info and especially if you get invited to an interview with the agency.

Other agencies keep their child talent photos private and only allow them to be viewed by permission or request. This doesn't mean there's something fishy or that the agencies that make child models' photos public are suspicious. It's up to each agency which approach they'll choose.

LOCATION IS KEY

Similar to grown up models, parents of child models will want to consider starting local with agencies instead of jumping the gun and applying to places out-of-state or that are over 2 hours away by car.

Remember: attending castings, go-sees and auditions when being represented are not paid so should your child get signed, the day-to-day routine of getting them to and from will eventually take a toll on your wallet. Staying local keeps these expenses to a minimum.

Even if you believe in your child enough to hop on a plane and go to where the opportunities are, unless the opportunity is an actual paid booking they've received through their agency, any costs related to airfare, lodging and transportation will be your responsibility as well.

Starting off with a local agency will still get your child into the industry and as their career progresses, you can then opt to either move on to a larger agency or consider relocating to a new market if things really seem to be taking off and you feel it is in your child's best interest.

KEEP IT IN PERSPECTIVE WITH PHOTOS

One of the easiest ways to know if an agency is reputable or not is when it comes to their submissions for child models.

I say this because of the many hundreds of agency websites I've reviewed over the years, the ones dealing with kid models always drive home the fact that non professional digital snapshots are preferred for submission because not only does it give them an accurate representation of what your child currently looks like, kids grow up. Fast. And that means they only have a certain window of time where they'll match whatever photos are taken of them.

When you're submitting to agencies directly, stick with non professional digital snapshots unless an agency specifically requests professional images. Sometimes this happens when agencies prefer to only work with established and experienced models. However, I mainly see this with adult models and not so much with kids but that's not to say it doesn't happen. Just a small mental note to keep in mind.

Have you already taken the initiative and gotten professional images for your child to submit? Then by all means, use them. Agencies are more than happy to check them out but it also helps to have digital snapshots as well. For parents who have never gotten professional photos of their child done, stick to the digital snapshots for now and once a contract is on the table, it will be the agency's job to guide you through the process of setting up those professional test shoots.

Now when it comes to interviewing with the agency in person, that's a slightly different conversation when it comes to what kind of photos to use moving forward. Once your child is signed, they WILL need professional headshots and other images to create their portfolio. Which leads to the next important point...

DON'T PAY UPFRONT FEES & NO HARD SALES TACTICS

If a contract isn't being offered to you first, there is no reason why an agency should be asking you to pay upfront fees for services like training, portfolio creation, comp card printing, etc. Additionally, it is not appropriate for an agency to pressure you to sign a contract right then and there without allowing you to take it home to look over for a few days.

Anytime an agency makes it seem like they'll snatch the opportunity away if you don't get on board on the spot, take it as a red flag and politely decline. If they're asking for personal financial information like a credit card, definitely get up, walk away and don't look back.

SUGGESTED PHOTOGRAPHERS VS. USING YOUR OWN

Your child has just gotten signed to an agency and you couldn't be happier. Now it's time to create those marketing materials that will allow the agency to do their job: headshots, comp/zed cards, portfolio, etc.

Many agencies will offer a list of recommended photographers to work with. This is common practice because they've undoubtedly worked with a fair share of photographers and want to know they can trust the quality of the images they receive.

However, the agency should not force you to use their photographers. The ideal situation would be to get this list with the understanding that the use of their recommended photographers is optional and that you are free to select anyone you want, as long as the quality of the work is up to their standards.

If you've got a photographer you want your child to work with that isn't on the agency's list, don't be surprised if the agency wants you to provide a link to that person's portfolio. Again, they want to make sure the quality is what they want so it's only fair that you show them your choice is a good one. If they agree, then you're golden. Should they not agree and tell you to find someone else, don't get discouraged, especially if you've got other options of your own to consider.

At the end of the day, it should be your choice whether or not you go with your own photographer or select one of theirs--not a decision you feel pressured into making if you don't want to or can't afford. A legitimate agency will work with you, not against you.

DON'T IGNORE YOUR GUT

When attending open calls and interviews pay attention to the atmosphere in the agency offices. Are the phones ringing, do the bookers appear to be busy and interacting with clients and models? How are the staff treating you? Do they seem genuinely engaged with you in conversation or are they a bit snooty and act like you're in the way?

Don't ignore your gut. But that doesn't mean you should over analyze and scrutinize every little thing. Make mental notes of how you are treated, if there are any awkward moments or if you felt completely at home the entire time. Think about the conversation you had with the agency staff and how they handled any questions or concerns you raised.

Remember: the modeling agency you end up signing with will be people you'll be interacting with for the duration of your contract so you want to make sure you're picking an agency that you look forward to working with. Even if an agency is the biggest and the best, if you feel uncomfortable or get a bad feeling that something's not right, it's likely a sign that it's not a good fit.

Most importantly: how did they interact with your child? Make sure to ask your son/daughter afterwards how they felt about the experience and take their feelings into consideration when making a decision who to move forward with for representation.

LOOK AT THE CONTRACT

Getting a contract offer is the goal but don't sign on the dotted line if you don't know what you're getting yourself into. Legitimate agencies allow you to take the contract home to review and will give a deadline for when to provide them with a signed copy if you're on board.

If your goal is to sign with more than one agency, don't sign an exclusive contract and vice-versa. Find out how long the contract is going to last. Not sure if you want to commit long-term to an agency? Then you'll likely be more comfortable signing a 1-2 year contract and not a 3-5 year one.

Understand how to get out of the contract if you want to terminate the working relationship early for whatever reason. Knowing where the "Exit Clause" is in the paperwork and what steps you need to follow to exercise that right will be important to identify before signing.

How much commission is the agency charging? 10-15%? 20-25%? These are things you need to know.

ASK QUESTIONS

Don't be afraid to ask questions and get clarification on anything you don't understand. It is the agency's job to educate and inform you about their contracts and methods of operation.

Make a list of questions ahead of time so you don't forget anything during the open call or interview you really want to ask. It's also a good idea to do your homework and check whether or not the agency's website has an FAQ page. Oftentimes that alone will answer most questions you probably already had in mind.

Find out how many models they have in your division and roughly how often they send models out on castings and go-sees. Ask what the agency's process is for setting up test shoots for building your portfolio and creating headshots and comp cards. Learn about any slow seasons during the year you should expect or if there are any ages or "looks" for child models that tend to be more popular than others.

These are all run-of-the-mill questions agencies are accustomed to addressing so there should be no reason why they should give you a hard time, get defensive or otherwise not provide you with answers. The way an agency interacts with you in the beginning is a great way to get an idea of what moving forward with them would look like once you accept the contract offer.

Friday, November 24, 2017

How to Choose the Right Modeling Agency for You

For those hoping to lead a successful modeling career, getting agency representation is the first step into the industry.

It makes sense because agencies are the experts, they have the connections, established working relationships with clients large and small, as well as the know-how to market models and negotiate the best pay rates for gigs.

I have written many blog posts related to the topic of modeling agencies but figured it would be helpful to do an updated post of sorts that provides a basic breakdown of just how to choose an agency that would be a good fit for you.

Of course I can't speak for everyone so consider the information below as a more generalized version of tips and things to keep in mind during your agency search.

LOCATION IS KEY

A general rule of thumb is to submit to agencies that are no farther than a 2 hour's drive from where you live. Being further makes agencies hesitant because they need models to be available on short notice.

Despite how confident a model may feel that she/he can accommodate a last minute casting, the truth is it's often difficult to drop everything and make arrangements to drive far or spend money on a flight to try and make a casting. Agencies know this and would rather not take the risk of trusting a model's word alone. Being close to the agency's location and client base is vital.

The concept of relocating to be closer to agencies is a risky and expensive one that should be made very carefully. Runway/fashion model hopefuls may have housing options offered to them once they are signed to an agency but this is not guaranteed and not all agencies provide housing. So don't assume that will automatically happen for you should you choose to pick up and move.

Commercial/print models don't receive housing from agencies like runway/fashion models do so aspiring print models should definitely be realistic when it comes to which agencies they plan to submit to in terms of location.

When looking at potential agencies to submit to, think long and hard about where you are currently located in relation to the market you want to work in. If you live within commuting distance then you're good to go. Live outside of the 2 hour driving window? Then you'll want to start evaluating how realistic it will be for you to try and make a last minute casting or booking, as well as how you would convince an agency to believe that the distance won't affect their ability to work with you.

MATCH AGENCIES TO YOUR MODELING GOALS

Some aspiring models want to do it full-time and be the next supermodel. Others want to try something new and see if they'll like it. There are also those who simply want to do it for fun part-time as a hobby.

Make sure you know what you want to do with a modeling career and match that to the types of agencies you're considering.

If you want to go all in with modeling then clearly you'll want to seek agencies in large markets. Already located in that market? Then the next step is to review the submission guidelines of the agencies you're interested in and prepare accordingly.

Do you live in a small town that isn't known for modeling? Then you'll want to see about signing with a local agency to gain experience, build a resume and portfolio and then possibly plan to submit to agencies in a larger market that may require you to relocate. Or you may get lucky and find a mother agency locally whose job will be to place you with larger agencies in other markets nationally and/or internationally.

DON'T IGNORE YOUR GUT

When attending open calls and interviews pay attention to the atmosphere in the agency offices. Are the phones ringing, do the bookers appear to be busy and interacting with clients and models? How are the staff treating you? Do they seem genuinely engaged with you in conversation or are they a bit snooty and act like you're in the way?

Don't ignore your gut. But that doesn't mean you should over analyze and scrutinize every little thing. Make mental notes of how you are treated, if there are any awkward moments or if you felt completely at home the entire time. Think about the conversation you had with the agency staff and how they handled any questions or concerns you raised.

Remember: the modeling agency you end up signing with will be people you'll be interacting with for the duration of your contract so you want to make sure you're picking an agency that you look forward to working with. Even if an agency is the biggest and the best, if you feel uncomfortable or get a bad feeling that something's not right, it's likely a sign that it's not a good fit.

DON'T PAY UPFRONT FEES & NO HARD SALES TACTICS

If a contract isn't being offered to you first, there is no reason why an agency should be asking you to pay upfront fees for services like training, portfolio creation, comp card printing, etc. Additionally, it is not appropriate for an agency to pressure you to sign a contract right then and there without allowing you to take it home to look over for a few days.

Anytime an agency makes it seem like they'll snatch the opportunity away if you don't get on board on the spot, take it as a red flag and politely decline. If they're asking for personal financial information like a credit card, definitely get up, walk away and don't look back.

WHAT KIND OF WORK DO THEY BOOK?

Do you dream of walking runway shows in other countries? Do you want to appear in clothing catalogs and billboards? Do you see yourself modeling accessories for online websites or are you more interested in doing tradeshow/promotional modeling and hosting and/or acting? Then you'll want to thoroughly browse through agency websites to see what types of clients the agency has worked with.

Typically in the About section of the website, there will be a description of the types of projects booked, along with names of clients and/or a list of recent gigs the agency has gotten. Tracking down this information, along with learning more about the history/story of the agency, will allow you to see whether or not your goals are in line with that particular agency.

LOOK AT THE CONTRACT

Getting a contract offer is the goal but don't sign on the dotted line if you don't know what you're getting yourself into. Legitimate agencies allow you to take the contract home to review and will give a deadline for when to provide them with a signed copy if you're on board.

If your goal is to sign with more than one agency, don't sign an exclusive contract and vice-versa. Find out how long the contract is going to last. Not sure if you want to commit long-term to an agency? Then you'll likely be more comfortable signing a 1-2 year contract and not a 3-5 year one.

Understand how to get out of the contract if you want to terminate the working relationship early for whatever reason. Knowing where the "Exit Clause" is in the paperwork and what steps you need to follow to exercise that right will be important to identify before signing.

How much commission is the agency charging? 10-15%? 20-25%? These are things you need to know.

SUGGESTED PHOTOGRAPHERS VS. USING YOUR OWN

You've just gotten signed to an agency and you couldn't be happier. Now it's time to create those marketing materials that will allow the agency to do their job: headshots, comp/zed cards, portfolio, etc.

Many agencies will offer a list of recommended photographers to work with. This is common practice because they've undoubtedly worked with a fair share of photographers and want to know they can trust the quality of the images they receive.

However, the agency should not force you to use any of their photographers. The ideal situation would be to get this list with the understanding that the use of their recommended photographers is optional and that you are free to select anyone you want, as long as the quality of the work is up to their standards.

If you've got a photographer you want to work with that isn't on the agency's list, don't be surprised if the agency wants you to provide a link to that person's portfolio. Again, they want to make sure the quality is what they want so it's only fair that you show them your choice is a good one. If they agree, then you're golden. Should they not agree and tell you to find someone else, don't get discouraged, especially if you've got other options of your own to consider.

At the end of the day, it should be your choice whether or not you go with your own photographer or select one of theirs--not a decision you feel pressured into making if you don't want to or can't afford. A legitimate agency will work with you, not against you.

ASK QUESTIONS

Don't be afraid to ask questions and get clarification on anything you don't understand. It is the agency's job to educate and inform you about their contracts and methods of operation.

Make a list of questions ahead of time so you don't forget anything during the open call or interview you really want to ask. It's also a good idea to do your homework and check whether or not the agency's website has an FAQ page. Oftentimes that alone will answer most questions you probably already had in mind.

Find out how many models they have in your division and roughly how often they send models out on castings and go-sees. Ask what the agency's process is for setting up test shoots for building your portfolio and creating headshots and comp cards. Find out if they have a list of photographers they recommend or if you're free to choose our own.

These are all run-of-the-mill questions agencies are accustomed to addressing so there should be no reason why they should give you a hard time, get defensive or otherwise not provide you with answers. The way an agency interacts with you in the beginning is a great way to get an idea of what moving forward with them would look like once you accept the contract offer.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

What Are Male Models Supposed to Look Like?

The modeling world is filled with women. That's never been a secret and sadly, that often means male models fall by the wayside.

There are successful male models in all categories across the industry but the fact that the modeling business revolves around women can make it challenging for newbies to figure out how to pursue their goals of male modeling.

It is important to know that because there are different types of modeling categories out there, that means there are also different types of male models. They aren't all supposed to look alike and what ends up being in demand does change every year.

Let's break down the common attributes that come with male modeling in various popular categories, shall we?

THE MALE FASHION/RUNWAY/EDITORIAL MODEL

These are the typical types of models most of us tend to think of when it comes to men in modeling. What is important to know and understand if you're an aspiring male model is that agencies have all different looks and types on their rosters. It also depends on what market you want to work in. The male models in Los Angeles may not necessarily look the same as the ones working in New York and internationally.

Fashion designers are all so different and eclectic across the board, so it only makes sense that certain designers would want their male models to look a particular way, compared to another designer. That means even if you have a look that wouldn't be of use to a client doesn't mean you wouldn't be the perfect fit for the next one.

Male models in the world of fashion, runway and editorial tend to be tall and leanly built. Not bodybuilder types, either. Some may have the six-pack, washboard abs, while others have an athletic toned body, while still others don't have much of a "physique" at all and are on the slimmer side in terms of body type.





They may have a beard or meticulously groomed facial hair or they may have the clean shaven face of a teenager. Their hair might be short and neatly cut, while other male models are known for their long and wild locks. Some might even be bald or have braids.




Tattoos are generally frowned upon in the modeling industry but male models in the fashion/runway/editorial world are often the exceptions to the rule, as long as their tattoos don't become the sole focus instead of the male model himself.

Remember that the exceptions to the rule are just that--exceptions and not the norm--so there was something about that particular male model that agencies and clients saw that puts them in the exceptional category. I'm not a mind reader so I couldn't tell you exactly why the industry would choose a certain individual as that exception to the rule and it is usually on a case-by-case basis.



THE MALE COMMERCIAL/PRINT/LIFESTYLE MODEL

These are the male models who reflect clients' demographics across the board and encompasses all ages and walks of life.

He can be athletically built, maybe even a bit of a beefcake (not bodybuilder status, however) or he can simply be a regular Joe who may not have washboard abs but maintains his physique in a way that means not sporting a gut.



Male print models can have facial hair or not. His hair may be completely dark, have wisps of gray or be totally salt and pepper.


Height is flexible although as long as the female models he shoots with don't completely tower over him, there isn't a stringent height or weight requirement. Being height/weight proportionate is key, though.

THE MALE TEEN/COLLEGE MODEL

Teen male models are supposed to look their age. The "man child" look likely wouldn't apply here, haha. College aged male models are likewise also supposed to look like they could easily be a student at the college level.






Body types for male models in these categories can vary and they obviously don't have to be beefed up bodybuilders. Hair style can range widely as well. Facial hair isn't always seen on teen male models although that doesn't mean they don't exist or aren't wanted. Same for college aged male models. As long as you still look your age, facial hair won't be a huge issue.

THE MALE FITNESS/BODYBUILDER MODEL

Male models that want to break into this category have to walk the walk and talk the talk when it comes to their physique. While the categories of male models described above don't have stringent requirements for body type, fitness and bodybuilder categories do...and in a big way.

Bodybuilding is all about massive bulk and muscles so it makes sense that male models setting their sights in this direction have to make a dedicated effort to working out, eating right and understanding how to maintain their desired results.




Oftentimes, fitness modeling is used interchangeably with bodybuilding but for this particular post I'm going to talk about fitness modeling as it relates to sports/athletic modeling. While it does require male models to be very fit and in shape, the massive bulk of muscles doesn't have to be quite as large. Being toned, having a nice set of abs to show off and nicely defined arms and legs are ideal.




_________________________

The modeling world itself is always changing so don't feel the need to compare yourself to other male models or try to change things about yourself if it isn't necessary. It's about finding where you fit in.

Friday, July 28, 2017

ATTENTION: Ladies 5'6" & Shorter in California!!!

Now that I've got your attention, lol, I wanted to let you know of an opportunity that hopefully will be of interest to those of you on the shorter side who happen to live in California.

Chances are you already know this news if you follow me on social media but for those of you that don't or who only check out my blog for modeling related purposes, I'm pleased to announce that I am the new State Director for the first ever Miss California Petite Pageant!

So if you've ever thought about doing pageants, have done them in the past, always thought you were "too old" or were looking to try something new and see what it's all about, I strongly encourage you to apply because as State Director, I run the show (and you'd be in good hands)!

Essentially, it is my own pageant that I will be producing and putting together so contestants would be interacting with me directly throughout the whole process. To avoid writing a long blog post and getting lost in my words, below is a breakdown of what this all means and how you can be a part of the festivities!

WHAT: Miss California Petite Pageant 2018

WHO: I'm looking for ladies that are 5'6" or shorter in bare feet. You will be wearing heels in the pageant but your true height has to be 5'6" max. There is no size restriction so by "Petite," I'm strictly talking about height. I want women of all shapes and sizes!

There are 4 divisions: TEEN (13-17), MISS (18-26), MS. (24-40) & MRS. (30+).

MS. contestants must be unmarried but may have children. MRS. contestants must be married and may be with or without children. Married contestants under the age of 30 will automatically compete in the MRS. division.

AREAS OF COMPETITION: 1) Swimwear, 2) Evening Gown, 3) Private Interview with the Judges, 4) On-Stage Question (for the finalists). There is NO Talent Portion!

MRS. contestants will not compete in Swimwear and will instead compete in Fun Fashion, where they get to model an outfit of their choice on-stage that reflects their personality and sense of style.

WHEN: The Miss California Petite pageant will take place on April 13 - 15, 2018 (Friday thru Sunday).

WHERE: The host hotel is the Hyatt House in Emeryville, California. Check-in and interviews will take place at the host hotel. The On-Stage Finale Show will take place at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center in Oakland, California.

HOW TO APPLY: You must fill out the registration form to be considered:

https://www.misscaliforniapetite.com/register

My team and I will review all applicants and send an official acceptance email to those that have been selected. After being accepted as a contestant, the registration fee will need to be paid by the set deadline and all contestants will receive email instructions with the next steps, what to expect, a checklist, etc.

WHAT YOU WIN: The details of the prize package are listed on the registration page but in addition to all that, the 4 winners from each division will be trained by me personally to prepare for the National Competition, USA Petite, which takes place in Florida. I will also travel with my titleholders and accommodations will be paid.

If you win at USA Petite, you get a free cruise (you read that right!), with the TEEN and MISS winners going on to compete at the International Competition, Universal Petite, which actually takes place on the cruise ship! The MS. and MRS. winners do not have to compete and get to enjoy the cruise and support their sister queens.

Miss California Petite 2018 is a huge undertaking for me and a passion project I'm devoted to because it is creating experiences and opportunities specifically designed for shorter women (and we all know how tough it can be to get the foot in the door for us "shorties").

Even if you've never thought about pageants and just want to model, remember that winning a pageant opens up a score of networking opportunities, the chance to do a slew of photoshoots, making public appearances and those all open doors to people whose radar you wouldn't be on otherwise.

So take a chance and check it out. Pageants aren't for everyone but being a part of such an experience (and with me taking the lead), I can promise you it will be an unforgettable journey!