How Do I Become a Model?
Here is advice from Lisa Wegner and Joanna
Inverso. Lisa moderates the Modelz Q&A section of Canadian
Actor Online, which offers helpful advice on modelling at www.canadianactor.com,
runs a production company and works as a model and actress. Joanna is
one of Toronto's veteran models and operates a consulting company for
I want to be a model. How do
I know if I have a chance?
To be a professional model you need a beautiful
face, good teeth, healthy hair, nice smile, and great legs. As important
as looks are sizes - a model has to fit the sample sizes perfectly. Standard
measurements for a female model are 5'9" and taller with 34" chest, 24"
waist and 34" hips. Even with the perfect stats, there are no guarantees
of work. There is literally no work for petite models in Toronto. Shorter
girls (5'7" or 5'8") work in Asia and there is a good petite market in
some American cities (difficult because of the work visa). Body measurements
for petite modelling are extremely small. Be wary if an agent tells you
there is petite work in Canada.
What are typical male model
You're looking at being at least 6' with a 40" chest (but probably not
much bigger than a 42", or clothes won't hang right), not over a 32" waist,
inseam probably about 34". Suit size would be either a Regular or Tall
coupled with your chest size. (If you had a 40" chest, your suit size
would be either 40R or 40T). Shoe size should be between 9 and 12.
I am not a traditional looking
model type - can I do catalog work?
There are opportunities in commercial print (not fashion) that doesn't
have height requirements, but catalog work is difficult to get. The clothes
have to fit perfectly (see requirement measurements above). Flipping through
a catalog, you wouldn't know that the person smiling out at you has perfect
measurements, a top agent, a portfolio full of work and years of experience.
Catalogs also tend to book the same models season after season, so there
are not a lot of openings for new faces.
Where do I start?
Modelling agencies have "open
calls": a time each week where a new model can go and see an agent. From
this meeting you might be asked to join with this agent. I would recommend
seeing several agencies before committing to anyone. If a particular agent
isn't interested in representing you they will give you feedback and advice
(if asked). Advice from the top agents should usually be listened to.
A good agent has nothing to gain by not giving truthful feedback.
What is a good plan
to follow when looking for an agent?
There are really only so many good modelling agents in any city. Go and
see them all and go with whoever is the most interested and you have the
most rapport with. If no one is interested in taking you on at that moment,
find out why. Is it something you can change? Then decide if it's worth
it to you and change it. If it's something you can't (or won't) change
(your height, your nose) then talk to another agent. If none of the top
agents are interested, you might want to put some thought into why.
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