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, August 31, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #188

Anonymous Wrote:

If I get signed with Ford or Elite, do I have to move to NYC? What if I can't afford to live there, but get signed with them? Also, if it doesn't work out, is Wilhelmina of PA and other "branch" agencies a scam? Or is it a safe starting point as a model? I have looked at their models and I am much skinnier and taller than a lot of them, which concerns me...aren't all fashion models generally around the same size? Finally, I am concerned about having dance experience...I saw an interview and apparently Adriana, Candice, and Lindsay were all very talented dancers before they began modeling. Thanks! 

Hi, Anonymous! Let's jump into your questions!

Ford and Elite have offices all over the country. Whichever city/state you apply to is the city/state where you will work. So if you send in your pictures or attend a casting for Ford or Elite in NYC and get signed by either, then you will have to work in that market. Oftentimes models that get signed to NYC agencies who live outside of the area will relocate/move in order to work there. Many of the fashion agencies in New York have housing options for its models so even if you had to relocate, depending on who you sign with, they'll work out living arrangements with you. Check out the following link to a blog post I wrote to learn more about model dorms and housing: Model Dorms

To answer your second question about other agency branches, well known agencies that are recognizable by name often have multiple office locations in other cities and states. In general, these other office locations are not scams. If a particular office or branch ends up under new management or gets bought out by another agency or organization, that is when you need to be cautious because they may or may not operate the new office according to the same standards or ideals as the original one. Far as I know, Wilhelmina's PA office is legit and they state on their website's FAQ section that models do not have to pay any fees to get signed. Wilhelmina is a great agency with a good rep so definitely apply to them. In fact, submit to as many local agencies as possible. There is no limit and it increases your odds of getting signed. So have at it!

Not all models are exactly the same size. While the industry standards for measurements and height are set, this does not mean all fashion models are clones of one another. Some are smaller in size/measurement and others may be slightly larger (within what is acceptable for agencies of course). Additionally, if Wilhelmina also represents other divisions of models, such as plus size or commercial/print, then of course those models are going to be different in size and shape than the traditional fashion models they have on the roster.

Having dance experience is not a requirement for becoming a model, nor does it put you out of the running if you lack this type of skill. It's more of a coincidence that some models also happen to have a background in dance. While this skill does help with being more graceful and creating natural movement for poses, don't feel like you need to sign up for dance classes or that your odds of getting signed to an agency are going to be worse. If you've got the height, look and measurements, an agency will snatch you up.

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