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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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Friday, November 18, 2011

The Latest on Dania Denise - November 2011: New Agency Representation!!!

I can't believe it's already the holiday season! 2011 has indeed flown by like the other years before it but for some reason, this year has gone by at lightening speed! As usual, I like to keep my readers updated on the latest "happenings" in my career.

The biggest piece of news I have is that I've got a new modeling agent!!! After 3+ years with my previous agency, I decided I wanted a fresh start. It was definitely nothing personal--I simply felt the itch to have a more aggressive agent behind me who would work with me one-on-one to really find the gigs that fit my look and stats to a tee. Like everyone else, I visited the websites for local modeling agencies in my area and submitted myself to the ones whose requirements I met. I snail mailed 3 submissions and did the rest through email and by filling out electronic forms directly on the agency websites.

After not hearing back from anyone about two months later, I happened to work with a model named Sarah who was signed to an agency in the area that I hadn't heard of yet. She'd just signed with them and had really good things to say. So I decided to check out their website. Scout Management (also known as Scout Model & Talent Agency) are fairly new to the San Francisco Bay Area and as I browsed through their website info, I was happy to see that they represented both models and actors but was saddened to see that they only represented print models 5'7" and taller. Poop. I ended up deciding to submit to them for acting representation and figured I would just continue freelancing my modeling services after parting ways with my agent (my contract was up for renewal but I hadn't sent in the paperwork since I wanted to see if I could find new representation instead of being locked into another few years with the same agency).

I applied to Scout Management by following their instructions (mail an acting headshot and resume) but I also decided to include a cover letter to introduce myself. I kept it to one page and basically expressed my interest in getting representation as an actor...BUT what I also did was mention that I had years of modeling experience but knew they only represented models 5'7" and taller. However, I mentioned that if they were interested in possibly representing me for print work, I'd definitely be on board.

Can you believe the main booker at Scout emailed me less than 2 days later? She said she wanted to meet me in person for possible representation as a print model. Although I was excited, I was also a bit confused. She made no mention of me submitting myself as an actor and they only repped tall models, even for commercial/print. Regardless, I saw it as a good sign so I replied back right away and we confirmed a date and time for me to come into the office.

The following week I was at the office for Scout Management, where I met with Lauren, one of the main bookers. I brought along another hard copy of my headshot and resume, as well as my portfolio. Lauren was really sweet and we sat down in the lobby as she looked through my book (industry slang for portfolio). We talked briefly about the print work market in the area and I told her how surprised I was that she was interested in me for commercial/print despite the fact that I was 5'5". She told me that my look was good and I clearly had plenty of experience, including tearsheets so she felt that it would be worth representing me, especially since she said they have clients who don't have specific height requirements for some of their print assignments.

After a few moments she stood up and invited me into the back office to go over paperwork. It was a delayed reaction but I realized that Scout wanted to offer me a contract right on the spot! Needless to say, I was very excited. I sat down with Lauren and was introduced to one of the other bookers. They asked about my current agent and I explained that my contract was up for renewal but that I hadn't turned any signed paperwork in yet. All I had to do was email my current agent and let her know I wouldn't be continuing with her representation so I was good to go! Lauren gave me a folder containing the contract and additional simple paperwork for me to take home and review. She did not pressure me to sign anything right there. In regards to my acting career, they actually have their representation for that at their Los Angeles office so it was decided that for now I'd be under contract with them for print work but I registered myself on a few of the Los Angeles casting websites, listing Scout as my agent. Should I be considered for any acting work in the LA area, I'd be allowed to submit and my agent's LA office would handle the negotiations, paperwork, etc. It sounded like a sweet deal to me!

I officially signed to Scout Management a little over a week ago and went to my first casting today, which was for Nike Vision Eyewear. I did really good at the casting but we'll see if my performance was good enough to get the gig! Lauren has been wonderful so far and is super aggressive at finding castings for me that not only fit my look but that are high paying as well. Unlike my previous agent, Scout has only been submitting me for work offering pay rates $1000 or higher. Now that's what I'm talking about!

While no agency can guarantee work for a model, I am nonetheless very happy to be on Scout's roster. I'm eager to see what work I am able to book through them and continuing to build my working relationship with them. Perhaps the greatest thing I've come away from this situation with is the fact that my previous experience, resume and portfolio were good enough to get me represented with an agency that doesn't normally sign models of my height. Believe me, it wasn't a cakewalk getting to this point, nor did I ever believe that I'd find an agent willing to make such a height exception (it may be "only" 2 inches but in the modeling industry that's a huge difference). It takes a lot of hard work, determination and rejection before getting accepted so keep that in mind, fellow and future models. I've been doing this for 13+ years and just now feel that I'm really reaching some of the goals I've always wanted for my career. It may take some of you less time or even more time than 13 years but trust me, if this is something you truly want, the time it requires won't even cause you to blink twice.

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