So You Think You Want to Model?
Jessica Denomme, Associate Editor
It's shocking that FOX hasn't come out with a reality series called So You Think You Want to Model? Yes, there have been 75 seasons (exaggerating, obviously!) of America's Next Top Model and three seasons of Canada's Next Top Model, but the truth is that many of these "wannabes" have had previous modelling experience. So where does one begin when attempting to become a fashion model? Let's face it, as of now it doesn't look as though another season of CNTM will be produced, nor is that necessarily the best place to start. If you truly are interested in becoming a model, there are some very easy steps to take in order to "audition" the position and see if it's right for you. Here are some tips!
Do you still think you want to be a model? Well then maybe it is the thing for you! I can't wait to see where your journey takes you.
- Sign Up For a Workshop at a Local Agency
The modelling industry is an extremely competitive atmosphere that requires an individual to have a strong understanding of the way the business works. Sure, being represented by an agency in Tottenham, Ontario may not be as glamourous as being represented by one in the big city, but these agencies can provide you with the knowledge and training that you will need. Modelresource has a great list of notable agencies countrywide that may be able to assist you.
PLEASE NOTE: Not all modelling schools are equal. There are many modelling scams out there and it is essential that you keep an eye out for signs you are being taken advantage of. Please see Agency Red Flags for more information.
The workshops and programs that are provided at legitimate agencies will allow you to learn the basics: how to take care of your hair and skin, how to walk a runway, how to pose during a photo shoot, how to build your book etc. If these agencies believe that you have potential, you may also have the opportunity to perform in local fashion shows or in print ads. Many small market agents will also reach out to larger agencies to assist their models in finding representation in larger markets.
- Stay Healthy; Stay Happy!
Auditioning the industry starts with auditioning yourself, and knowing you can meet its requirements. The most notable models in the world are successful not only for their looks, but for their positive attitudes. It's very important for someone interested in modelling to ensure that before they become immersed, they are stable both mentally and physically. The modelling industry is based entirely on visuals and it is important that you have a strong appreciation for who you are, prior to signing with an agency. While your agent may ask you to make minor tweaks to your appearance, if you're healthy and happy these changes will most likely be minimal and not unexpected.
That being said, stay open to positive changes that may be required. A friend of mine signed with a top Canadian agency last month and they immediately set her up with a dermatologist to take care of her problem skin. While she is STUNNING and the epitome of a perfect runway model, her skin has been an issue since we were teenagers. It's fine - everyone has his or her issues! Make sure that you're strong enough to take constructive criticism though; this industry is not for the faint of heart!
- Get Comfortable in Front of the Camera
If you have stage fright, things just got significantly more difficult for you in your quest to become a Model. Don't worry though; there are plenty of ways for you to overcome this obstacle. Modelling requires you to be in the spotlight and the best way to get used to this attention is practice. If you followed step #1 and signed up for a local modelling program or workshop, you may have the opportunity to do this via the curriculum. If you haven't signed up for a course, have a friend take pictures of you in a variety of poses, outfits and attitudes. Many colleges also have photography courses and the students may be willing to shoot your picture for free!
Another great way to get comfortable with the art of modelling is to tear images that you find interesting from magazines and tape them to your mirror. Practice mimicking these expressions and angles and see what works best for you.
- Volunteer in the Fashion Industry
There are a lot of people that put their heart, sweat and tears into the production of a fashion show.There are the designers, production crew, PR agencies and most likely a troop of interns backstage dressing the models. If you think that you may be interested in becoming a model, it is a great idea to volunteer at fashion week or at a local fashion show to understand what goes on behind the scenes of the production. Having worked both on and off the runway, I can tell you that these situations are very hectic! It is helpful to understand what both the production and performance teams are experiencing and it will allow you to reassess whether you think that you are suited to such a high-paced, high-stress environment.
- Find a Mentor or Email Modelresource.ca
I don't know if you've heard, but there is this AMAZING website called Modelresource.ca that provides information to its readers about the world of fashion modelling. OK - so obviously you've heard of us (have you been living under a rock?) but what you may not know is that we have a staff of contributing writers and editors that are more than happy to answer your questions or provide you with guidance. If you have any questions at all about anything related to this industry, please feel free to contact me directly (jessica at modelresource dot ca) and if I can't answer your questions then I will put you in contact with someone who can. We want to help!
Yours in Fashion,