Happy 2014, yo!
As a precursor to composing this post, I would like to mention that my lovely, albeit clumsy dog stepped on my laptop’s keyboard yesterday and rendered it slightly useless. As a result, I am avoiding the use of the letter “m” as mmmmmuch as possible because that key is currently not attached to said keyboard by anything more than hopes and dreams. I also mention this as an attempt to garner sympathy from anyone reading this.
Anyhoo, a few years ago, I heard about a fairly successful Canadian model who was charging newbies by the minute for advice re. the industry. I remember thinking at the time that she was being a bit of a d*nk because, hey, shouldn’t we all be out to help one another? It’s a tough, dirty business. If we don’t support one another, who is going to support us? Well, fast forward a bit to my current situation…I now know exactly how that other girl felt and I am heavily contemplating doing the same.
I get a fairly staggering amount of private messages from would-be models of all ages and types, male and female, every week. They started trickling in around 2009 or ’10 and now it’s pretty much a constant flow. Now, if these messages were based on reality, were legitimate/warranted and at the very frikkin’ least sounded grateful you wouldn’t be reading this right now. But alas…you are. So what’s the problem? It’s the piss-poor attitude and warped sense of reality that the majority of these people exhibit.
Unsolicited Message on Bookface: “I’m determined to be the next [insert famous model's name here] and nothing is going to stop me! Can you hook me up with a/your/the best agency? Also, tell me exactly what to do in order to achieve this.”
Kate: “[Insert basic formalities]. I would like to help you but I need some information first. What is your current height/size? I could then recommend a few decent agencies for you to look into in order to check out when their open call days are. Then you can find out the agent’s opinion firsthand, as I don’t know what they are specifically looking for but I do know their basic requirements. Thanks.”
Bookface: “I’m 5’2″. I know you think that’s too short but I don’t care. I’m determined to make this my career and nothing will stop me. Can’t you just get me into an agency? I don’t know what an open call is and I would rather skip all that stuff”.
Kate: “Good luck”.
Bookface: “So when can I sign with your agency?”
Bookface: “I don’t want to have to deal with all of that. Can you just get me signed with your agency? They will pay for me to travel everywhere, right?”
Bookface: “I don’t have any money at the moment and I really want to start making money modeling because I know how good the money is. I just need to get signed”.
Random e-mail from a complete stranger: “Hi Kate. Love your work; you’re so awesome. I was wondering if you could answer some questions for me…[insert list of questions twelve paragraphs long].”
Kate: [Spends thirty or more minutes answering questions succinctly and politely]
Random e-mailer: [nothing]
Kate: Uh…you’re welcome?
You may think that these are exaggerated for the purpose of entertainment but I swear on all that is holy they aren’t the least bit contrived or, sadly, rare. I don’t mind helping the odd person out who legitimately appreciates and understands the advice that I am imparting upon them. However, those lovely people are the exception and, frankly, I would rather be doing a lot of other things, like snowmobiling or drinking vodka, than answering self-righteous and entitled inquiries. Unless I’m being paid, as it were.
So in closing, if you don’t know much about the business and fancy yourself savvy enough to be the next Tyson Beckford, please also be savvy enough to educate yourself…but if you’re reading this right now then you’re off to a good start. I reckon.