Aspiring Model / Actor Guide

In today’s world many more people, male and female, young and old and from all walks of life are becoming interested in the modeling/acting fields.  These industries can provide income on a part-time, as well as a full-time basis.  However, there are many important steps one must follow.  Where do you begin?  Who are the people to talk to?  What are the different types of modeling and how much can you make?  Being aware of the “actual workings” of the industry can prevent a complicated, costly and unhappy adventure and can assist you in finding your potential, developing your skills and leading you to an exciting, fun-filled, lucrative future.


One of the most, if not the most, important steps in beginning your career search is to talk to “the right people.”  The right people, who can give you the correct information, are model/actor agents.  These are people who are representing currently working talent.  These are the people who would ultimately be responsible for making your contacts and getting you assignments.  You need to meet with a state-licensed, well-established agent and to find out if your look, along with a lot of talent, can be marketed.  Are you the commercial model/actor type?  This is advertising that revolves around products and/or services.  Are you the fashion model type?  These are models used to advertise clothing and fashion related products.  Not all fashion models are commercial models and the opposite also applies.  What about the character acting industry?  Can you be marketed there?  You need to have an agent/manager to evaluate you and to “help you find your niche.”  Many people don’t realize that every person seen in an advertisement, catalog, brochure, television commercial, training film or any other source used to sell or market something, is a paid model/actor.  Every person, male or female, three weeks old or ninety years old, tall or short, thin or stout, attractive or unusual, can be involved in the modeling/acting industry, with the proper direction.  These are the areas that your agent should discuss with you.


Once you have determined the appropriate areas which you can pursue, the next step is to acquire your talent.  TALENT is skill!  SKILL comes from education!  Education in this industry comes in the form of workshops.  Most good agents offer their own workshops.  If not, they can certainly direct you to someone qualified to train you.  You only require training in the areas you will be working in.  For instance, a commercial or character model would not be required to be trained as a runway model.  At the same time, it is imperative that you be thoroughly skilled in all areas in which you hope to work.  As Peg Anderson-Stinger, Director of Jo Anderson Model & Talent Agency since 1954, states, “The model’s or actor’s look gets them the interview.  Their talent plus attitude gets them the job.”
Being fully skilled and prepared to compete takes you to the last step.  Photographs!  The only tool your agent/manager has to market you and your talent is your composite card (sometimes referred to as “Comp Card” for short).  These are the visual resume cards consisting of one or more photographs of you, showing different marketable looks in addition to your statistics.  Statistics consist of your characteristics such as height, size, hair color, eye color, special talents, and highlight the agency where you can be found.  These cards are printed in hard copy form and are used as your business cards.  Many assignments are received directly from your comp card, but mostly your card is what gets you the interview.  Then, rely on your talent, skill, presentation and have fun!


The modeling/acting industries are very competitive but offer many opportunities.  There are very serious individuals who study for years and hope to become very successful and famous talents.  There are very casual talents who hope for one or two assignments, here and there, just for fun, and then there are most of the talents who are looking for fun experiences, extra money and an exciting future.