much do you really know about the industry?
Are you being marketed to your fullest potential? Are you being marketed
correctly? What photos are needed for your portfolio? What photos should
be put on your composite card?
How do you alter make-up for video or print? What’s the difference
between editorial and fashion? What do catalog clients look for? What do
commercial clients look for? What’s the difference?
How do you save the client money on prepress? What is prepress? Would
you work in Milan? Would you work in Los Angeles? Would you work in
Kuala Lumpur? What’s Kuala Lumpur?
The Rock Agency holds monthly workshops that answer ALL of these
questions and more.
We at the Rock Agency are proud to announce that we have discovered the
COOLEST product ever invented. It is called sunscreen. It comes in all
kinds of varieties and guess what! If you use it every day and every few
hours it will allow you to maintain the same skin tone color that you
were born with. Yes, the same skin tone color that is shown in your
photos. You know the photos...the ones that we send out to clients who
want to hire you.
Yes, those clients are interested in hiring the people in the photos.
The clients assume that when they choose a person to hire, that person
will look like the photo.
I know it seems insignificant, but it is actually a very
big deal. Why is it a big deal? Because:
1.) SKIN CANCER!
2.) Tan skin looks muddy on camera...natural skin glows and is more
3.) Tan lines ruin shots, if the shot involves a piece of clothing that
shows your tan line, you can not be hired.
4.) SKIN CANCER!
5.) 99% of the bookings that are taking place right now and through the
summer are for advertisements that will be seen in the winter, so if you
are tan, you are not even in the running to get the booking. Tans
completely 'date' the picture. clients are always striving for
6.) SKIN CANCER! Oh and premature aging!
Assessing Your Risk
By Tony Hodges
Creative Director, IMTA
just starting out and not yet a star. You are hoping casting directors
will hire you, producers will want to work with you, and agents and
managers will want to represent you. You worked hard to prepare, picked
out the clothes to wear, have just the right hair, and feel ready to
take on the world. You get callbacks and follow-up interviews. Now you
are waiting to see if they want to hire you. What’s going on? What are
those casting directors doing that is taking so long? Well, if they are
smart, they are doing their homework. People who interview looking for
new faces have this really cool job that allows them to see hundreds of
aspiring models, actors, singers and dancers from so many different
cities and with incredibly varied looks, skills and abilities. And when
you think about it, a large part of their job is about risk
assessment—assessing the pros (and cons) of casting an actor in a film,
or using a particular model in a campaign. They must constantly answer
the question, "Who's going to end up causing me more headaches?" You
might argue that’s a really cynical approach to their job, but look at
it from their point of view. Producers hire casting directors not only
to help them find the best-matched actor for each role but also to help
them predict the level of risk involved in each casting decision. Just
like actors, Casting Directors and Agents build a reputation by having
done a great job on the last gig (and all the ones before that). The
more often they are "right" in their risk assessment and
recommendations, the more weight their opinion will carry. Managers and
Agents sign models and talent that they will put up for fashion shows,
print work, movies, pilots and commercials. Their reputation is on the
line that the people they have just signed to a contract (but don’t know
very well) will show up, be on time, be prepared and able to do the
work, be an asset rather than a negative, be able to actually do that
special skill listed on their resume, make people comment what a
pleasure it was to work with them rather than roll their eyes and try to
think of something neutral to say, be professional in a business where
time really is money. The concept of having your “risk assessed” can be
difficult for many models, actors, singers and dancers to grasp. After
all, you’re drop dead gorgeous/handsome, have a runway walk/talent that
knocks their socks off, have always been able to deliver, have
references from your teacher/pastor/dentist saying what a good person
you are, and are ready to show the world who you are and what you can
do. So what’s the problem? Next question: How do you come off in public?
Yes, you may still be below the tabloid radar and paparazzi might not
(yet) shout your name when you dash for your car, but you probably have
a MySpace or Facebook account, right? What do people see there? Are
there compromising photos of you, semi-conscious after doing body shots?
Photos showing you drinking when you are underage? Do all of your blog
entries begin, "I was so wasted..."? Are you going to make the casting
director/manager/agent worry that you won't make it to set on time if
you had to "get your party on" the night before? And how do you talk
about and describe friends, family, your job, experiences? Does your
page exude personality, fun, positive vibes…or negativity, four-letter
words, “I hate my life and everyone in it.” If you think producers,
agents, managers and casting directors aren't on Facebook, think again.
This is part of their “homework” that I mentioned. In networking with
dozens of casting directors and producers, tons of actors, and many
agents and managers with whom I’ve worked, the majority say they have
visited Facebook or done an internet search to get to know the people
with whom they will be working. And even if your profile is set to
"private," there are Internet Archive services and cached pages that
leave a trail of your online footprints. One producer I know told me
about an actor she was considering casting but, after going home and
doing a web search on him, she became certain she didn't want to work
with him. Turns out he had blogged a pretty negative experience that he
had during a production once before…and even if he is 100% in the right
in everything he blogged, it was enough to scare off this producer. What
if she were to be his next victim? She wasn't going to risk her
reputation on this actor's "right to blog" about personality conflicts.
In another instance, I did an internet search for a young actor who
attended IMTA, won talent awards, received numerous callbacks, and
signed with a well-known LA agency. I had the idea of writing a press
release about his work on a short film, a film in which he had been cast
by a Casting Director who had seen him at IMTA. Imagine my reaction when
his MySpace page contained remarks belittling his IMTA experience,
pictures of him drinking (he is 16), expletive-filled postings, and
comments about how he had done some small acting jobs but he was so
bored with the whole experience. Readers were also admonished to “get a
life” if they were reading his profile. Hmmm…what was that question?
"Who's going to end up causing me more headaches?" Don’t get me wrong.
Sites such as
cool, fun places to chat with friends, post pictures, blog about life,
family, school, job, anything and everything. You can express yourself,
show your spirit, your approach to living, be open about who you are.
Millions of people go to MySpace for the movies, music, books, games and
IM. It’s truly a place for friends…and also where people can do their
homework on models and talent they may want to hire or sign for
representation. Keep in mind that it is no longer simply enough to be
talented and/or good-looking. Producers, agents, managers, casting
directors—all are looking for talent or models that have the potential
to become a “total package” and who can be successful in the business.
And it is a business—a business in which you are asking that producer,
manager, agent or casting director to invest in you, to promote the
package that is you, to help you get jobs, to take a risk to their
reputation that as a model, actor, singer or dancer you have what it
takes, that you will work hard, that you will be responsible,
respectful, diligent. It is a risk they take because the rewards for
them and you can be great when you become a working professional. But it
is nevertheless a risk. And you must assume that part of the risk
assessment that's going on these days (in any potential employment
situation) includes a good Googling. So, what’s on your MySpace/Facebook?