MTSC Agent's Panel

May 2006

Modelresource recently attended the Model & Talent Search Canada event in Toronto, where we jotted down some of the questions from the Agent's Panel.

The answers provided are Modelresource's own, and not necessarily the same as those provided by the agents in attendance.

These are provided as a guideline only to help readers gain a better understanding of the modelling industry.

If I don't get signed at this event, should I try again?

Hopefully you have used every opportunity to learn as much as you can the first time. Use the feedback you received to determine whether you have a realistic shot, and what development you would require in order to be seen differently the next time. For example, if you're told your height is the biggest issue preventing you from being a model, it probably isn't worth going back if you haven't grown.

If however, you're skin has cleared up, you've grown an inch or two and can commit more fully to what the industry demands, it may be worth a second trip.

What can I expect from an agent?

If you sign with an agency you should expect them to guide your development and promote you for work. In particular, an agency should:

  • Help you understand the image they envision for you. This may mean a new hair style. It may mean you need your teeth straightened or whitened.

  • Direct you to photographers that will understand and enhance that image.

  • Either promote you for work in their own market, or attempt to place you with other agencies (in the same market and/or other markets suited to your look) that directly deal with bookings.

    Some agencies will work with you to set career paths. This may involve developing step-by-step plans to monitor your development, and balancing priorities like education and other personal commitments with your modelling life.

    DO NOT expect the agencies to pay for all your photo shoots and materials.

    How many agents can I have?

    Theoretically you can have dozens of agencies around the world, but you can only have one "mother agency," which is the one that handles the majority of your career decisions.

    That mother agency is then responsible for finding other opportunities with other agencies.

    Should I be concerned if I signed a modelling agency contract that sells photos?

    If you are paying the agency for photos as part of the terms of the contract you should be VERY CONCERNED.

    Does my child have to come to the callbacks?

    If you are attempting to get your child into modelling and the agents have asked for a meeting you DEFINITELY have to bring your child.

    Personality and confidence are the biggest factors in booking child models and no agent is going to take a chance unless they feel confident the child can present themselves suitably.

    If I get a callback from an agency in my own town, can I skip that callback and go see them later at their office?

    You should definitely TRY to make it to that callback. These agents have set aside their weekends to be there, and if you brush them off during the event they won't be thrilled to see you during their busy work week.

    Does coming to this event make me more prepared?

    Absolutely. The thing that impresses me most about Model and Talent Search Canada is the access it gives to a variety of agents. If you came prepared to learn this is a great forum to hear from the people that can steer you in the right direction.

    It's so important for beginners to hear from everyone before they choose their path. Most people don't understand there are huge differences in the way agencies operate and promote their models.

    New models get to see the commercial, fashion and high-end editorial agencies at MTSC, while getting exposure to international markets and opportunities. It's a great learning environment.

    How accurate is America's Next Top Model?

    Not very.

    Is there a language barrier?

    If you can read this, you're probably fine.

    Most of the modelling industry conducts its business in English. If you know a second language (or third, or fourth) you're that much more marketable, but if you know English every fashion market in the world is open to you.

    Model Search Tips (2005)