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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Answering a Reader Question #332

Anonymous Wrote:


Hi dania, do you know what website agencies go to for finding castings for their models and actors. Also I have another question. I want to make time for my acting and modeling but I'm under pressure to move out of the place I'm living within 6months to a year. How do I balance following my dreams with moving out it also doesn't help that I'm a new actress and model (so far I've done two test shoots and I've submitted to agencies over 6wks ago without a positive response well actually two agencies said they like me but are too full for my category so that still leaves me struggling for representation and money). I thought about taking acting classes at a community college but most of the classes are offered during the day. I don't have a day job yet but when I find one I'm pretty sure it'll be during the day, I'm still looking for a job but I have to remember that I have to move out soon. I've thought about doing the typical 9-5 just to earn income and if I can find acting workshops in the evening preferably on weekends. Or maybe my day job can be in the evenings but when I'm not submitting myself to castings during the day I still want to make money since I'm under pressure to move out. I don't know what to do I need to find away to do both. please help :) 

Hi, Anonymous! The majority of agencies have direct contacts to the clients themselves and whenever castings come up, the clients typically come to the agency. Aside from that method, agencies will also check out local casting websites and also have business relationships with those companies so they're given notifications whenever a new project is coming up that's in need of models and/or actors. I wouldn't know what specific casting sites/resources all agencies use because that is something unique to each agency but location has a lot to do with it. For example, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and know that one of the casting sites, SF Casting, is a popular one that many agencies utilize. So if you're trying to find that type of info, it'll basically be determined by where you live.

Do you already have a place to move to or are you in need of the funds to make that move? If it is money that's the issue and you don't have enough to move or to find a new place to move into, my best recommendation would be to get a 9-5 and get some steady income first. While I know you're eager to get your modeling/acting career off the ground, financial security should be your priority. If you're not financially independent or in a good living situation, it will affect your results, not to mention your frame of mind. You want to prevent any type of struggle if at all possible.

Based on the info you've given me so far, I would suggest you find a day job and focus on getting the funds needed to make the move and settle into a new place. Once you do that and have a steady source of income established, then your next step should be to look into acting classes on the weekends/evenings. It would be best to do acting workshops, which are often held in the evenings to accommodate people's day jobs. Workshops are ideal compared to taking them through a community college because there is more flexibility in the types of acting classes you can take, as well as the schedule/duration. Some workshops are one time events, while others may be spread across a few weeks.

Trust me, I know you want to start the modeling/acting professionally right now but it takes time to develop a career that makes a significant amount of income. Since you've been told by a few agencies that your "category" is full at this time, you likely won't be getting representation anytime soon until that changes so use this downtime to focus on your living situation until a future agency opportunity to come along. Getting a 9-5 to help you get by in the meantime will relieve a LOT of stress on your end and at least give you the chance to make moves in your acting/modeling career behind the scenes. Once you find an agency to represent you, then you can look into changing your job situation to something that is more favorable for a full time entertainment career (like an evening job). The entertainment industry isn't going anywhere and the you'll get better results in reaching your goals with the proper financial backing.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Dania, I'm the same person who wrote the comment regarding money woes and needing to move out. Well I'm trying to get creative with my situation with modeling by making it a weekend thing or something done in the evenings after work. I'm a new model on MM and I submit to casting calls basically all the time and I personally contact photographers and none of them want to work with me is it because I usually request TF shoots. I've even considered going to local schools and contacting their photography department so their students can use me to practice on. Even though I'm taking a break from being completely active in the industry due to my situation I still want to do something at least once a month like a shoot or something related to modeling. I've even considered going down to a promotional modeling agency and becoming a promotional model so I could network and build a list of people that know me. I'm so determined but I don't know what I'm doing wrong. It's very discouraging because even though I can't do modeling or acting with full force I don't want this time to go to waste. I was hoping to use this time to build my portfolio and get more experience in front of the camera. Please help because modeling give me solace and happiness it gets me through the work week I just love modeling it's so fun and it doesn't feel like I'm working yes it's hard but I mean I enjoy it so I love when I have the chance to do it. I don't know what I'm doing wrong what do you suggest would be the best way to spend my time so I can still be proactive in the industry even it is behind the scenes for now. Is there another website you can suggest besides MM so I can network. I just want to be successful :)

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! I'll reply to your latest questions directly on here so that it's easy for you to refer back to.

It's not that you're doing anything wrong so put that out of your mind. To find success in modeling/acting, it's all about pursuing and creating opportunities, as well as being at the right place(s) at the right time(s). You mentioned other alternatives that will definitely get you results. Based on what you've said, below are the steps I would advise you look into as a new approach to keeping yourself "fresh" on your modeling/acting skills:

- Definitely contact photography schools, including those that are exclusively dedicated to photography, as well as traditional colleges/universities with a strong photography degree program. This info can be easily found online. Find the contact info (phone is the most direct/fastest method most times compared to sending an email) of the photography department and/or any of the instructors in charge there. Let them know you're available to be a photo model for their students' projects. I work with photography students and they're always in need of people to practice on. Many are super talented, even though they're still in school, and if you get lucky, you can get some great photos to build your portfolio with for free.

- Register with a local promotional modeling agency (this is free to do so avoid any sites that try to charge you to join their database). Make sure you set your availability as being on weekends. Promo models get paid very well and if you can manage to get those gigs on a fairly steady basis, it's a great way to save up funds.

- As far as the MM photogs, are you reading their profiles before you contact them? Instead of blindly requesting to work with MM photogs, it helps to first read their info on their profile page if they've filled it out. Usually they'll state whether they're open to working with models on TF projects or if they're only taking on paid work. Additionally, their MM profile will list what type of work they're accepting. If you come across a photog on MM and his/her profile says "Paid Assignments Only", chances are they're not going to be interested in doing a test shoot with you. So review each profile you come across before sending them a message. The MM castings are always a 50/50 shot. Either you have the look/stats a client wants or you don't. Continue to submit and eventually the right opportunity will find you on there. I submit to MM on a regular basis and sometimes go for weeks without getting hired but there are always new castings posted virtually everyday so there's always the chance for you to get lucky.

So for now work on those three alternatives and remember that results don't happen overnight. As long as you're diligent in your efforts and stay on top of things, the ball will start rolling but it may take a few weeks or over a month to really start getting things off the ground. But that's normal so just go with the flow.