Modeling Basics

Interviewing, Auditioning, and Fashion Shooting

I’ve been non-stop, bananas moving since touching down from SF a few days ago. The busiest week ever, but it’s a good thing when it’s all super fun!

A producer from The Travel Channel emailed me last week– turns out she’s a reader (!!) and there’s a crew in Tokyo this month shooting for a new special. They’re filming loads of stuff all over Japan, but they wanted to interview a few expats about their experiences here… would I come to Roppongi for an interview? Um. Yes. Yes I will. 

roppongi

They were really cool and it was a very informal deal– just the basic questions I get asked constantly. Why am I here? (Because, why not?) Will you go back to SF? (Sure.) When? (How the heck do I know?) We talked about stereotypes (both Japanese and Western), living as an outsider, and fun stuff like onsens and awesome food everywhere. Once I know when the show is coming out I’ll post a link. Fun, right?

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I want to eat this picture every day.

In other news, any actor will tell you… auditions come in fits and starts. As soon as I got to SF, the Tokyo agencies were blowing up my inbox with appointments I couldn’t make (SUCH a drag). But I was able to reschedule a few and got myself in front of some new producers and directors this week. Because it’s Japan, I can’t name names, but the spots are for food, drinks, and underwear. Tell me to break a leg!

Even if you’re not booking, go go go. NO REALLY GO. Getting in front of the right people is so important when cracking into a new market. Making connections, giving out your website info, handing the meishi: TV and commercial work relies heavily on community (I’ve recently decided that I dislike the word networking– it’s fake and no one likes doing it.) Don’t just fake it… really meet people and try to build a real foundation.

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cynthia-popper

I finished the week with a sexy rocker shoot with my shooter friend (who’s also a visual genius) Alfie Goodrich and his stunning model pal Shinyong Lee. We set up at her amazing flat in Shimbashi and scouted locations… and just played! These shots are just from my phone– but the clothes are pretty good right? Which leads me to… a few tips for creative shoots:

Tell a story: Interesting photos have a creative direction in mind– this comes across in the wardrobe and the locations. When you can “see” the story, you’ve done something special. 

Wardrobe: Texture, layers, quirk. Anything shiny, leather-y, fuzzy: Texture photographs so beautifully. I picked up some lace shorts and a few velvety pieces from a thrift shop that I’d never wear in my daily life– but I knew would reflect light and as some interest to a plain street scene. That said– we didn’t use any of that stuff because Shinyong had a super sick black negligee and fuzzy black coat for me to wear. We foiled the sexiness with my black biker boots (my old friends– I wear them every day) and BOOM. Hot without being super in your face. Plus I had to be able to walk around town. 

Keep props minimal: Too many props can make a cool shot turn into stock photography. The executive girl with the curling iron in one hand and the cell phone in the other is a bit much these days– there’s a more interesting way to tell that story. The sexy girl covered in… well, anything… it’s been done. Sexy is awesome, but subtle sexy PLUS a cool story is way better. 

cynthia-popper

So so fun, but more on this shoot later when I get frames. Right now, I need bath, tea, and bed. Whew!

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Modeling in Japan FAQs

I get a lot of email from you guys asking about how to get started in modeling and acting here. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions I get… hope this helps!

1) How do I find an agent in Japan?

For commercial print work, the process for most agencies is pretty simple. Submit photos, contact the agencies, and register. It’s best if you do a little research beforehand and check out an agency before you register to make sure they have a solid reputation and a history of good work. This is pretty easy to do with a simple website check. I wrote a piece for GaijinPot that goes into more detail here.

audition sheet Japan

2) I have a full time job, can I still get work?

Yes… but remember: modeling is a numbers game. The more times you’re submitted for jobs the more auditions you’ll get, and the more auditions you get the more jobs you’re likely to book. If you’re strapped to a 9-5 during the week, your opportunity for making auditions and go-sees goes way down. That said, there are still a lot of jobs that are direct bookings (no auditions or go-sees!) and you can shoot on the weekends. In short: register, and let your agents know that you’re availability is limited. If you’re the right face for the job, you’ll book it.

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behind the scenes

3) Can I model on a tourist visa?

Not professionally, no. Japan is pretty strict about this. Getting a humanities specialist visa lets you do work in the advertising field which includes  teaching, writing, and modeling—that’s what I have. More info here on visas…

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4) I’m broke. How do I get a decent portfolio together for cheap?

Two words: network and hustle. Find shooters who are willing to do trade for portfolio work with you.  Look into doing a bit of stock work. The one area I wouldn’t skimp is getting a headshot—I think paying a pro for a great headshot is worth it because it’s the very first shot clients see of you. Make sure it’s a timeless, classic, warm look. I talk about building your portfolio in greater detail here.

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Also check out the podcast I did with GPod on the dos and don’ts… we cover a lot of ground on the basics… 

Feel free to send me your questions here. I’m always happy to help.  I’m off to San Francisco to spend some time with my people… see you on the other side!

Ganbatte!

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Fairmont shot

Model Etiquette and Partner Shoots

Mother and daughter. The affluent couple. The big happy family. When posing for relationship shots, the creative process is more complicated than just a one-on-one with your photographer. You’re in character, working with another model who’s in character, so creating a relationship dynamic is key to getting this shot right. Building a character still applies, but with the added requirement for some level of intimacy with the other character. Believable acting means listening, so in modeling, you have to establish that understanding without words. Sometimes, it’s not easy to get super cozy with someone you JUST met. Here are a few tips to get you there:

couple tub shot You might have to be in a bathtub with someone you don’t know. We were both surprised.

If you’re in a “couple” shoot:

Chat with your shoot partner immediately when you get on set — now isn’t the time to be shy. Ask about your partner’s background in the business, general personal questions (where’d you go to school?), and other basics to get a sense of the person (or people) you’re working with. Don’t ask overly personal questions about his/her personal life, you might create an awkward or uncomfortable dynamic. Creating a friendly rapport right away will not only help the shoot flow more smoothly, but it’s also an nice way to network. 

What if I don’t get along with my partner?

Let’s be real for a moment. As professional as we all are, occasionally, it might happen. For whatever reason maybe you don’t like him, or maybe he doesn’t like you. Maybe he smells like onions and he’s mentioned three times that he’s recently single, and wants to know what you’re up to after the shoot. Maybe he’s hostile and laconic to your attempts to be friendly. Now you’re forced to cuddle with him on a couch and pretend you adore him for the next eight to ten hours. Whattya do?

Vintage wedding photoshoot

Such a fun shoot! When you get along with your co-workers it shows.

Keep Cool and Stay Pro: 

Don’t get weird, or aloof, or whine to the crew about it. 1) They aren’t the HR department and 2) they’ve been watching–(trust me, they know). Stay positive. Keep the conversation on the work and how awesome it is to collaborate with such a professional team. In most cases this is enough to steer focus on the work. In situations with aloof models, it’s usually a lack of experience– the aloofness dies once you get to work and start having fun. I’ve only had one case of really outrageous behavior, and it was bad enough that a producer stepped in and shut it down. I personally don’t like lying to people (i.e. saying I have a boyfriend or a date if I don’t). Someone else’s behavior shouldn’t force me to hide behind a lie. But that’s just my personal policy.

Make up a secret story about your partner to gets you through it:

I don’t like lying to people to get through a job, but I have no problem lying to myself. Yes he seems strange, but he also (lie lie lie) gives half of his modeling earnings to literacy programs serving impoverished youth; he’s going to take the money he earns today and give it to his neighbor, a woman he hardly knows, so she can make her rent this month; he models so he can keep a flexible schedule to care for his aging parents… you get the idea. I know it sounds silly, but it works. 

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Shooting with a super pro.

If you’re in a “parent-child” shoot:

You should be able to spend a few minutes playing together or chatting with the set teacher or parent. Very young children (under two years) can be especially challenging, so brace yourself with some patience and flexibility. Little children usually don’t take direction and can burst into tears easily. Don’t get mad– they’re kids! To a toddler, all of the attention is really freaky, Mom is in the other room, and now he’s sitting on a strange woman’s lap and has to call her Mommy? CALL MY AGENT WAH. Really who can blame him?

In all of the “mother-child” shoots I’ve done, I’ve worked with some serious child actors, super-hyper kids (and a few nervous Stage Moms!) but never had a serious behavior problem. Production people design these shoots to be shorter to comply with parental requests, local laws, and children’s attention spans.

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How to Avoid a Cat Fight

Again: reality check. We’re all professionals but… occasionally you might be forced to work with people who are nervous or diva-ish and they might take it out on whomever is in front of them. It’s okay. It happens. And it might not just be your fellow models or actors. Once I had a makeup artist rip false eyelashes off of my eyes with such force (no warning) I lost about half of my natural ones! Instead of flipping out, try this:

Find out what’s really going on:

When someone’s a little nasty for no reason, find it in yourself to be extra kind. Something’s cooking and it has nothing to do with you. About an hour after losing my lashes, during a break, I gently asked this MUA what was up in her world, and she almost burst into tears. Turns out she was going through a horrible divorce and was flat broke as a result. She was having more than just a typical rough day. Up until then, this artist had a spotless reputation in the business, but her short temper was coming on to set with her– and she knew it. We talked more after the shoot and she was SO incredibly sweet. She’s still one of my favorites!

Don’t ever take it personally:

Drama is never about you. Ever. Anytime someone on set is being difficult to you for no reason, there’s a story that you don’t know about. Knowing this might not grow back eyelashes, but it does help you get through the shoot and avoid escalating the situation.

Model etiquette boils down to this: bringing positive energy on set is always the right move. You have more fun, your co-workers remember how cool you are to work with, and the final shots you ALL contributed to always look better. And in the end, that’s what it’s all about. 

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MORE MODELING BASICS:

Headshots 101                        Casting Resources              Video Hosting Basics

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Chat with a Pro: Oorala Yamada (a.k.a, my agent in SF!)

Advice: Live your life – in other words, don’t revolve your life around acting/modeling. Have and pursue other passions. Spend time with people who love you and have your best interest at heart. People who have well-rounded, rich lives are much more interesting as artists and have a lot more to offer.

Oorala Yamada is the dream agent. She’s patient, direct, no nonsense, and light-hearted. She’s the agent that always has your back, even when you screw up, even when you don’t know what you’re doing. For five years Oorala and I worked together (at my SF agency, Look Talent), before she decided to return to production in Los Angeles. She took time out of her insane schedule to give us all some solid, no frills, talent agent advice. Get a tea, sit down, and get schooled. Oorala booked me in my first SAG movie. I had a speaking role and a partner scene with Eric McCormick (Will from Will and Grace.) me and Eric

CP:You moved to LA from SF, where you lived and worked for years as a booker for Look. Why the change?

OY: Being a talent agent takes a lot out of you if you really care, which I did. I was already burnt out and it felt like a good time to switch gears and get back into production work, which is something I had done prior to working at Look. Plus I missed having my personal space!

Oorala booked me several nationals… this was a holiday spot that ran during NFL playoffs.

CP: You’re were an amazing agent… sigh. Anyway you’re doing production now… so talk to me about some of your projects, or a project you’re working on now. How is working in LA different than SF? Anything you prefer over SF? Anything you miss from SF?

OY: Currently I’m working on a luxury brand commercial/print shoot. There’s a lot that’s different about working in LA and SF. In SF, there is a sense of community while in LA, you’re on your own. SF casting directors and assistants are much nicer and giving of their time than the ones in LA and are more willing to take chances with newbies. I prefer the support everyone gives to each other in SF than the personal agenda a lot of people have down here in LA. I miss working at Look Talent and the actors I used to represent, the beautiful city, and all my friends.

CP: You’ve seen a ton of talent over the years. What makes an actor or model successful? What are the common traits?

OY: The first thing to address is defining what “success” means because it means different things to everyone. My personal definition of a successful actor or model is one that continues to evolve. Any production’s success is dependent upon everyone being able to do their job competently and efficiently, including the actors. Most people’s definition of success is a person who books a lot of roles but the truth is most of the time it’s about luck so there’s not really a common trait. I guess if I had to pick one thing, it would be that the successful ones are those that are confident in who they are.

CP: What are the most annoying questions you were asked as a booker from clients? From talent?

OY: From clients – no questions really bothered me. The only troublesome thing is when the clients become difficult when I ask for clarification or to change the contract/release to reflect the terms of agreement. This isn’t limited to just clients but casting directors as well. From talent? Any question where I find I’m repeating myself. I’m very patient but have zero tolerance for people who don’t listen. If you’re not going to listen, don’t ask me.

CP: So the takeaway: Listen to your agent. What are some things aspiring talent should consider when submitting to agents?

OY: Ideally one should do some research as to if the agency is a good fit for them. Present yourself in a professional manner because when an agency represents you, you are an extension of them so if you send a cover letter and resume full of misspellings, we are not going to be impressed. Submit photos of yourself that look like you TODAY. There’s nothing worse than meeting someone who doesn’t look like anything like their photo. Photos should also be tasteful. You can’t imagine some of the submissions we’ve received.

CP: Oh MAN I’ve never thought about that. YIKES. Speaking of which… do you have any favorite success stories you can share? Any crazy stories with a famous actor?

OY: Paul Lacovara was non-union and new to the business when I met him. I got him into SAG and hired him whenever I could and now he works as an actor and stunt doubles for people like Tom Hiddleston, Ryan Reynolds and Eric Bana. The best part though is that he still texts me when he’s going to be on TV or in a movie and I make sure to watch and tell him what I think. Sadly they always end up killing him. I have an amazing kinship with him and am so proud of him. When I drove Christopher Plummer (Mr. Von Trapp of Sound of Music!), on the last day he gave me a bottle of Dom Perignon and serenaded me which was pretty sweet. I also spent one Thanksgiving at George Clooney’s house.

CP: I LOVE HIM. Christopher Plummer, not George Clooney. But that’s cool too. 😉 So… Any warnings or red flags you can give to aspiring starlets?

OY: Ask yourself why you’re doing this – is it because you want to be famous or is it because you can’t imagine doing anything else? If it’s the latter, then there’s a chance that you might make it, but anything less than that – it’s going to be a long, tough road unless you are very, very lucky.

Oorala’s Closing Advice:

Live your life – in other words, don’t revolve your life around acting/modeling. Have and pursue other passions. Spend time with people who love you and have your best interest at heart. People who have well-rounded, rich lives are much more interesting as artists and have a lot more to offer.

Practice listening. It amazes me how little people listen when you are giving them valuable advice that people are normally not very forthcoming about. Anytime you have someone who is generous with information, LISTEN TO THEM.  You could save yourself a lot of time and heartache down the road.

Oorala. I’m so incredibly lucky to have worked with her. She’s responsible for booking the biggest films and TV spots of my career. Our relationship was professional, uplifting, occasionally frantic, and always a joy. I’m a better performer and person because of it.

Break a leg people! Ganbatte!

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The Pros and Cons of Stock Photography Modeling

When I first started, I did a bit of stock photography for a number of reasons.

 

  1. I needed experience posing and understanding how I looked under different kinds of light
  2. I wanted to network and…
  3. I had no pictures!  For me, it was a great move- I was selective about who I worked with and ended up making some fantastic creative friends in the process.

stock photography

What’s stock photography?

Companies that require lifestyle images but might not have the budget (or need) to produce an original shoot for a given project, so they go to stock image banks like Getty, Corbis, and Shutterstock to purchase limited usage of images, or to buy images outright.

Pros of Stock Modeling

Experience

For a new model the number one benefit of doing stock is getting frames. Learning what works and what doesn’t: light, angles, emotions… it’s a great time to play, make mistakes, and find your process. (You’ll see in the top left photo I’m wearing jewelry AND have a hair tie around my wrist! Rookie…

Consistent work

There’s a constant demand for fresh, relevant images, so from a work perspective, booking stock work is relatively easy. Search stock photographers through local casting networks or stock banks and submit your portfolio.

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Get yours

Often with stock shoots, you can also negotiate getting a new headshot or another look for your own use.  Having a beautiful professional headshot taken while you gain valuable experience is a great trade, and because the shoot isn’t client-driven, there’s not a lot of pressure… so it’s pretty fun too.

Cons of Stock Modeling 

Your agent won’t like it. At all.

Agents aren’t crazy about stock because you’re essentially giving your image away, and it’s their job to protect and sell it.

You have NO control. (I mean zero…)

When you let your image be sold to an image bank—it can be used for any kind of article or brochure. I’ve been lucky (as far as I know anyway) but you can end up having your face plastered on something you don’t want to represent, like this recent-viral article on the downside of stock modeling. Sigh…

The money. 

Plainly: stock doesn’t pay. There’s no day rate, no renewed usage, no buyout. You’re usually paid an hourly or flat rate and sign away all rights forever.

It’s a career choice and a judgment call if you decide to do stock. I did it, but I worked with Tanya Constantine; she’s a seasoned stock photographer and I trust her completely. Our work together got me my first North American package deal and my cover- in the same year!

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If you’re not represented and need photos, stock photography modeling might be a great way to get in front of the camera and see what you can do. Make sure you select a stock photographer the same way you’d select any shooter- pick someone whose work you admire and vision you trust.

Happy shooting!

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Acting Basics: 5 Tips for the Dry Season

Often during the holidays, things slow down for actors and models. Holiday campaigns were shot months ago and everyone is wrapping up the past year and prepping schedules for the next one. So what do savvy actors and models do with their free time?

They keep hustling. Don’t relax just yet. If you have a few weeks of downtime, here are some things your business needs to keep rolling for the New Year.

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  • Networking: Social media isn’t just about putting yourself out there, it’s about joining the conversation. Don’t just post- take the time to see what your fellow models and actors are up to, and comment! We’re always looking for feedback. Be positive and engage in the community you’re a part of. 
  • Workshop: You’re always learning in this business. Improv, photography, audition prep, stage work, scene study: there are so many classes you can check out to grow your toolbox and continue to grow as a creative. Check out your local casting agencies to see what’s going on in your area. Then sign up and go for it! 

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  • Makeovers: How’s your portfolio looking? Does your blog need a clean up? What about your look—is it time for an update? If you’re doing a lot of print modeling, making a drastic change to your look can be tough, but perhaps a revved up hair color or some skin maintenance is just the trick to get things rolling.

purple crazy

Purple wig + spray paint… why not?

  • Creative Time: Now is the perfect time to get a little weird. Team up with photographers to experiment with new visual stories. Do a 24 hour film festival. Get together with your video friends and do something interesting for YouTube. Taking some creative play time is essential for staying active in this business… otherwise, it can just become another job. Collaborating on passion projects helps you find new ways of working in your professional life. 
  • Say Thank You: The days of the cheesy e-cards are long gone. Cool sites like paperless post make sending elegant thank you cards easy and tree-friendly. Saying thanks to your agents, the MUAs and production folks you’ve worked with during the year is a nice touch and reminds people of how fun your are to work with. It’s just a nice thing to do, and not many do it.

Remember to balance that hustle with a little time to do nothing. Read a new book. Try something totally new, just for fun. And spend time with the people who mean the most to you. This business runs in fits and starts, so when you’re crazy busy again, you’ll be glad you took a little time to prep and have some fun.

Break a leg!

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Modeling in Japan

Modeling in Japan is now on iTunes!

So fun. Chatting with Anthony about the ins and outs, dos and don’ts of the Japanese modeling industry was a blast. So far the response has been really positive and the email you guys send is so inspiring! Most of what we cover applies to both Western and Japanese modeling, so wherever you are, keep shooting and get ready for a serious adventure. No two shoots are ever the same, and being a part of a collective creative vision is really exciting. This link takes you to my Modeling in Japan series (below the download) if you’re interested in more, in depth information. Please listen and enjoy!

Modeling in Japan

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Child Model

Modeling Basics: Working with Child Models

Kids. In the print world, at some point, you might be on a shoot where you have to work with child models and actors. Some might be pros—little grown-ups who know their marks and how to work a camera, but oftentimes, you’re working with children who have little to no experience. For them, and the whole gig can be pretty scary and tiresome. Poor little rascals.

My fake children for a print shoot the little one My “children” for a print shoot. (posted with parents’ ok!)

Working with teens for Playstation

Here are a few thoughts and ideas on working with children. 1) Get to know them ASAP. As soon as you’re able, establish a repoire with the children. There might be a set teacher helping them with homework, but if their all playing games between shoots, try and hang out and have a little fun with them. Developing a fast-friend working relationship helps immensely when it’s time for action.

In-store promotion early in my career. I play the “Wholesome Mom” quite a bit.

2) Spend a little time with the guardian/parent. Stage moms and stage dads will usually chat you up immediately, but if it’s a first time shoot, they might be a little nervous themselves. Be friendly, ask questions, and take a genuine interest in working with their kid(s). It makes any “freak-outs” by the kids much easier to manage when the parent knows you a bit and feels comfortable stepping in and calming things down.

Me and my “kids” for IKEA Japan

3) They’re co-workers, not props! I personally think the key to working with any actor or model on a shoot is respect. By showing respect– that means not directing them, not ignoring them between takes, and being warm and approachable notonly makes the shoot go much smoother, but also demonstrates to them, the parents, and the crew that you’re a consummate professional. Respect on set is SO appreciated by everyone and gets you asked back for future work. Most importantly, it makes the shoot fun!

Get Camera Ready

Get Camera Ready

When you’re starting out in modeling and acting (or even when you’ve been doing a while), you’ll do a few low-budget shoots. Maybe it’s a for-fun test shoot, maybe you’re an extra on a big budget film… or maybe it’s a big role in a local indie film. These shoots there’s going to be limited production resources (time, money… or both!), so you might be asked to come to set “camera ready.” So what does that mean exactly?

Keep it Simple

In simple terms, you have to come with your hair and makeup done, to the point if the director called you on set straight away, they could shoot you and you’d look great, or a MUA can step in and have you ready in under ten minutes. Camera ready requires more makeup than your everyday look, with a few minor changes. Here are a few tips to get your ready for your close up.

Camera Ready Kit

1) Ben Nye Neutral Set Setting Powder, 2) Smashbox Photo Finish 3) Cover FX Blotting Power 4) Amazing Concealer 5) L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara 6) Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

No UV… Yeah I Said It.

Makeup artists will tell you… UV is a no no for photo shoots. Don’t freak—but moisturizer with UV protection doesn’t work under heavy lights and flashes. Sunscreen is designed to reflect light and can give you “ghost face.”

Don’t Do Dewy

On camera, shine is the enemy. No highlighter, bronzer, luminizer. Nothing frosty or glittery. Fresh foundation—powder is best, and cover up anything dark or red that might show up on camera.

For the Guys:  Go Matte

Gentlemen—buy some photo shoot powder or at least, a matte balm to knock out any shininess on your face. Swipe in on your forehead, nose, and chin. If you’re bald or have a shaved head, put it on your head to knock out any top glare.

Set Your Palette to Neutral

Keep your eyes fresh and natural. Lay down a base and contour color, some soft eyeliner (no cat-eye!) and light mascara. No drama tube mascara, and of course… no fake lashes.

Camera Hair

Clean and polished. No back-coming, no updos, and very little product. Production might want to make changes on set and if your over-sprayed with Texas-high glam tresses… it’s going to be tough. A brushable hairspray is key– L’Oreal Elnet is on almost every set I’ve ever been on- kind of the industry hairspray.

When in Doubt, Ask

Your production coordinator will tell you what the overall look is. Listen, ask questions– it shows you care enough to arrive professional and prepared! And remember bring a touch up kit on set to get you through the day. Being prepared and looking the part lets you focus on the work, and builds your confidence so you can nail it!

 

Now get out there and break a leg! 

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Chat with a Pro: Model/Media Mogul Thomas Dodson

Thomas and I met on a low budget apparel shoot years ago, and have been digital friends ever since. Keeping up with his career has been super fun, and anyone who subscribes to his Facebook knows how hysterical and magical he can be. He’s a renaissance man: male model, social media producer, Dad, and all around gentleman. We’re time zones apart, but I managed to pin him down for a quick interview for the aspiring male models looking to get started in the business.

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So what’s your story—how’d you get into modeling? How long have you been doing it?

Believe it or not, I got dragged to a fashion show at a nightclub a few years ago by some friends. I was standing there, feeling awkward, when a young lady approached me and asked if I’d ever done any modeling before. I was pretty sure she was either trying to rip me off or she was wasted (or both). But she convinced me to take her card and give her a call. I made the call a few days later, went into the agency, was hired and the rest, as they say, is history!

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What do you think are the differences (if any) between male and female modeling?

The differences are endless. I would not want to be a woman in this industry. Speaking for myself, I feel like I’m still on the upswing. My marketability is improving (did I just say I’m getting better looking??).

Yeah you did… but it’s cool because it’s totally true.

Bravo.

This works.

But for women, especially women in fashion modeling, they’re fighting the clock. That’s not to say there is not a place for women over the age of 30 in modeling, because there is. There is a lot of commercial and lifestyle work for women over 30. But the fashion side of things definitely has a timeline.

No question. I did a little fashion back in the day. It’s a totally different animal.
And, unfortunately, women just aren’t always nice to each other. I know, it’s shocking to hear, but it happens. I’ve never once had anything but a good time working with other men on shoots. There’s never been a cross word between any of us/them. But that’s not always the case with women.

I’m not going to say anything other than you’re right. And it’s not just the female models… female crew can go there as well. Anyway… what are your favorite and least favorite parts about the industry?

My favorite part about the industry is the fun stuff I get to do. Let’s face it, part of is make believe. We’re acting. Dressing up, going different places, getting behind-the-scenes access, it’s all a lot of fun. I’ve met some really fun, great people through all of this. There is always someone to crack a joke with.

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I think my least favorite are all of the auditions. You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince, or something like that. They’re sometimes a pain, but I guess that is the price we pay.

As a dude, how do you prep for a go-see? There’s no prep with me. I am what I am, and that’s what the client gets. I read the time/place/wardrobe columns, and that’s about it.

Any tips for guys who want to get into the business (I sound like we’re in the mafia…).

If you want to be a model, then be a model. Start shooting. Find friends who are photographers, stylists, models, hairstylists, makeup artists, etc., and start playing. Have fun with it. Get weird with it. Once you have a solid set of headshots, you can either start submitting to agencies or start pursuing gigs on your own.

Ever have any awkward/bizarre requests on a shoot from another model, a shooter, or a client? Yeah, I’ve shot with a few photographers who have started to cross some lines with me. I don’t have many, but I do have a few! It’s all good. I am completely comfortable saying no.

Clear boundaries are so key.You were playing with photography for a while… are you still doing it? You took some pretty sexy shots (I still want to shoot with you BTW…).

Thank you! I just started screwing around with my iPhone a couple of years ago and figured out that I can make some pretty rad art with it… if I do say so myself. It’s a fun, creative outlet for me. I enjoy being on that side of the ‘camera.’

You’re a social media master. What advice can you give models about creating a social media presence or personal brand?

I’m hardly a master, but thank you. Social media is about one thing ongoing/engaging content. It’s really that simple. You have to be consistent with your postings, blogging, photos, etc., to really see a return on that time investment. If you want to use your social media accounts to try to get new jobs, you have to look at them as living, breathing animals. You must feed them daily!

You are such a sweetheart, thank you.

If you want to learn more about Thomas’ magic… here’s how to get him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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