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How to Get Signed by a NYC Modeling Agency

Learn how to catch the attention of a New York City modeling agent from model scout Trudi Tapscott in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Hi. My name is Trudi Tapscott. I worked as an agent in New York for many, many years, and I think that New York agents are very specific about whose going to work in New York.

New York is really the starting point for longterm careers. Everyone's looking for longevity because they're investing a lot of time and money in you, to help you get started. No one wants to do that if someone's just going to model for a year. That's not very interesting because the money takes a little bit of time.

Getting the attention of a New York agent is not that difficult if you are exactly what they are looking for. There's the answer in a nutshell. If you have what they want, then you've got their attention and it's really easy. Sometimes, potential isn't so obvious. There's a lot of times that a New York agent might not have time to really see all the possibilities and maybe use a model.

Maybe you need to a lose a little weight. Maybe you need to gain a little weight. Maybe your skin isn't so great. Maybe your hair is wrong. When you're young, you have a little bit of baby fat in your face that makes you photograph in a certain way.

There's so many elements that go into it. Sometimes, it's just somebody has a bad day. Some agencies in New York have what is called an "open call" where anybody can walk in the door.

People are human. They could be in a hurry. They could be working on an huge booking for somebody. Your potential isn't obvious at that particular moment and they don't have time so they move on. It's like, "No thanks. We're not interested," whatever.

If you knew how many models in the industry, who are top models today, who got missed in their first time being introduced to someone, it's shocking. It does go to show that the development period doesn't always happen just because you're in New York and modeling full-time.

Sometimes, the development period happens just when you are at home and you are learning. You can watch fashion shows online. There is so much information that is available to you by looking at websites, looking at modeling agency websites. What kind of pictures do they pick for the models? What do their portfolios look like? What does MODELS.com write about models?

There are so many sources of information that is valid from valid people that actually interview legit people. That's how you can tell if someone does an interview with a website, chances are it's a legit thing if it's somebody who is really in the business.

You know that if they're actually speaking on film and it's not the written word, that it's real, that they're talking. It's their name. It's their face, and you can find out about them.

The fact of the matter is that maybe you need to do a little more homework. Maybe you need to work a little bit harder at it. Maybe you need to do some of those things. Maybe you need to actually get smart, do some research, look at those pictures and see what those models have.

It can be kind of an obsessive adventure in a way, and maybe it leads you to another kind of position in the fashion industry. I think everybody grows up and they think, "Oh, I'm perfect for modeling." You're tall. Everybody says, "Oh, you're so tall, you should be a model." If it was the only requirement that a New York agent was looking for was you being tall, then there'd be a lot more models out there. It's not the only thing they are looking for.

The industry itself is a big industry, and there are lots of people who might have tried modeling. They started out as a model, and they didn't like it. It wasn't for them, their personality. They didn't like being in a different place everyday. There are tons of things. There are lots of reasons why it doesn't work for you personally. But they ended up being a stylist assistant or they decided to go into makeup or they decided they wanted to go to FIT and study design.

In some ways, it can be an entrance into a completely different world than what you're learning. If it's a business that you are interested in, if you are interested in fashion, modeling is a great way to start.

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