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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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Answering a Reader Question #330

Anonymous Wrote:

Hi Dania!
I was just wondering how long it took you to find an agency/get started. What was your first paycheck amount? Was it more or less than you expected? And with an agency did you get a lot of work, like how many jobs did you get in one month? I'm just wondering so I can learn about someone's past experience, even though I'll be sure to expect less because you're so much more talented! Keep up the great work and good luck with your future! 

Hey, Anonymous! Thank you SO much for the compliments and kind words...it means a lot! Hey, we've all gotta start somewhere and I know that with time, experience, luck and dedication, you'll establish yourself!

Before I answer your questions, please keep in mind that when I started it was over 13 years ago...the Internet was nowhere NEAR as used by the masses as it is now, there was no ANTM or anything modeling related on TV and online submissions to modeling agencies all but didn't exist. So keep that perspective in mind. The industry's changed a lot since I started, lol. :-)

The very first time I got into the industry it was through an open call that was advertised in the mail. I attended with my parents, gave them a candid snapshot and got a callback about 5 days later. Then I signed to my first talent agency about a week later.

My first paycheck was about $450 for a print job I did. Being 15 at the time, that was a small fortune to me, lol, so I was very happy with that payout. As far as how much work I got, it was a decent amount for me only because I act as well as model so that increased the amount of work my agent was able to submit and book for me. Since it was so long ago, I really couldn't tell you exactly how many gigs I worked in the first month. But I do know that much of it was spanned out over the year so it wasn't like I had a bunch of gigs in one month...it was something more or less like 1-2 gigs every month or every other month but I was going to a bunch of castings in between.

Fast forward to my most recent years and I can also answer your same questions for the industry as I've dealt with it till now. Let's see...I left my previous agent last year in late October and got signed to my new/current agent about 2 weeks later in early November. Of course I had a considerable amount of experience and a strong portfolio, which allowed me to get representation a lot faster. Within my first month I booked a print job, which paid $700. Because my agency focuses on quality and not quantity, they don't send me out on a ton of castings (which I prefer)--only the ones that they know have good pay rates and that I stand a good chance at booking. So through my agent, it isn't like I'm booking gigs left and right (but having representation period gives a model leverage and shows clients he/she has what it takes to work in the industry). However, I pursue my freelance career very aggressively and it is with those efforts combined with my agency representation that I'm able to book fairly consistent work.

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