International Modeling Market Bound
Updated: Aug 26, 2021
INTERNATIONAL MODELING MARKET BOUND
Congratulations! It is a very big deal to be selected to work in a foreign market. Especially now that only two markets in the world are open for fall fashion 2021 - Taiwan & South Korea. I am proud to be working with you, Thank You for your time.
This lecture is a living document and will be revised occasionally.
Be Prepared for Success!
Know what to expect when you arrive at your first international gig.
Model’s, When you return, Please guest speak to help the next model about to embark on a life changing adventure and please give me tips to add to this lecture.
Make a playlist about the country, city, food, customs, things to do, history, culture, music… get to know a little bit of everything.
Your down time will be slim so do not waste any of it in your apartment. Plan-Ahead for all expenses but do not forget additional vacation entertainment expenses. Research and make a calendar of things you can do throughout the week if you have downtime in a specific area of the city. (EX: A go-see cancels, and you have a few free hours… a museum in the area is free today.)
*Maps – Digital & Printed (The Big Picture & Neighborhoods)
Talk to your agent about locations of their clients. Memorize to be familiar with common locations.
Take a Small Compass and Theatre Glasses – When coming up from the subway into a piazza with 5 streets intersecting. You can either start walking to read the signs (which are often posted on the building side) or pullout your tools and find where you are, look at the streets in your tiny binoculars and save yourself 20 minutes. You are Welcome! That took me almost a month to figure out. I happened by a sporting goods store and saw binoculars. Thank you Scouts!
Keep your travel tools, along with your portfolio, comp cards, head cover, notebook, pen, cute zip clutch to collect business cards. (Always collect business cards or write Names & Address & Phone or Any info you can gather without asking the person interviewing you. Never do that unless it is a questionable situation, and you need help.)
Print a contact sheet with phone numbers and addresses.
Phones quit, service is sketchy… old school saves the day and possibly your life.
What is your career goal destination? Modeling AND what? This is the perfect time to make connections with fellow models who may be business connections in the future. The clients you are auditioning for now may be your peers in the future, same with your bookers, agents, everyone in the industry will become your peers as you continue. Use this time to develop you AND. Modeling does not last full time big money forever for very many. That AND is important to start developing now, learn how to use your platform to your advantage. Have a Goal.
FIRST- I say this in every class and yet I can still tell you horror stories from talent who did not listen.
YOUR INTERNATIONAL AGENCY IS PUTTING EVERYTHING YOU SPEND ON YOUR LEDGER. WHEN YOU GET PAID, THEY PAY YOUR LEDGER BILL. DO NOT – DO NOT – DO NOT BUY EVERYONE DINNER AND THINGS AND GUCCI AND VERSACE AND EXPECT YOUR AGENT OR DESIGNER OR FILM OR COMMERCIAL OR ANYBODY TO PAY FOR IT. IF YOU DO NOT MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO COVER YOUR EXPENSES – YOUR BILL FOLLOWS YOU TO THE NEXT AGENCY AND ON AND ON UNTIL EVERYONE IS PAID. THEN YOU ARE BROKE AND LIVING IN THE WORKROOM TO PAY OFF YOUR DEBT. OR BLACKLISTED BY EVERYONE.
THAT’S ANOTHER THING – THIS IS ULTIMATELY A SMALL WORLDWIDE BUSINESS. EVERYONE KNOWS AND BLABS EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE. A BLACKLISTING IS A VERY REAL THING. KATHY GRIFFIN
BE SMART – THIS IS A BUSINESS NOT A FANTASY.
Do not ASSUME anything. Ask Questions. Who Is Booking, When, Where, What Time, How…?
This is actually a really good story: “Imagine you are sitting on a patio at a vineyard restaurant in Milan, Italy having a family style dinner with Russel Crowe, his entourage, the owner of the Hollywood, several models, and myself. One model said, “Dinner is on me, well everything is on my agent.” Our bill had to be well over $1,000 American. I said “No she is not everyone. Do not let this beautiful girl pay for your dinner.” I told her to call her booker and ask if she has to pay her charges back before she leaves. She went to the bathroom to call, came back, and thanked me. (Yes, you can contact your booker at all hours.) She said she already spent over $11,000 and it was being taken out of her paycheck. She was floored that she could not charge everything she wanted, and daddy-agent-bucks was not just going to pay for it.”
You are your inventory. Is your product better than your competitions?
You are your own accountant, bookkeeper, booking agent, and provider.
You are your own sales team, marketing, promotions, and human resources.
Your actions alone can determine your level of success or failure.
Your decisions now determine your future and can follow you forever. Especially bad decisions.
You are in control -at all times. You determine if you take a job or casting.
Be smart in social situations. Take a Self Defense Class – Mace is checked with liquids when flying.
You must be strong willed, self-motivating, business minded, and exceptional at your craft to succeed.
Hometown Models, your “yes ma’am” mannerisms can give you an advantage over privileged attitudes.
What does that advice have to do with money? Hahahahaha EVERYTHINGS has to do with money.
You Are A Business – Learn Business and Everything Becomes Business – Education is Success
MONEY TRAVEL TIPS
Spread your money out in different locations once you arrive. If your money belt is stolen from your room and everything was in it is a big drama. Most likely your other bags and tech will be ransacked and stolen too, so hide it throughout the room. Just do not forget to take it with you when you leave! Not to sound like gloom and doom, but if you are too afraid to face that these things happen, it will more than likely happen to you.
Do not ever dig through all your money in front of someone. Get out small bills in touristry areas. Front pockets are harder to pick than back and jackets.
Ask the agency if they have a safe and keep the majority of your money and paperwork there. You must always have your passport and possibly work visa on you at all times. Do not wait to pick up your paycheck and stuff in the safe, at the last minute before your leaving the country. Go by at least a day or two before you plan to leave or when your last check is ready, because something always happens. Expect the Best & Plan for the Worst.
Keep your passport and money in a money belt around your waist. You get ripped off as soon as you feel safe and confident no one is going to jack your bag. I have witnessed several pick pockets and purse thefts. Scary, they were all normal looking people and a guy in a high-end suit had a shopping bag full of wallets. Wow – NY subway in Fashion District. A homeless guy begging, got into a Tesla by Times Square.
Take a Self Defense Class!!!! Being a Victim is Preventable.
Print a chart that has photos of money and the value. It is so confusing and relying on the taxi driver to take what is appropriate is not always appropriate! & Good Luck
Start learning conversational ______.
Download a translator app and take a tiny English _____ dictionary for when your Wi-Fi is down.
In the least, know how to say:
“Hello, I am ____, it is a pleasure to meet you. Yes, I love your country. Thank you for your patience.”
“Excuse me, I apologize for my bad _____, Where is the toilet? Thank You.”
Send Thank You Cards in both languages.
A real card means more & makes you memorable
Do Not Sign Anything without having your mother agent or lawyer sign it. AGAIN, I have horror stories from models who did not listen.
I have to tell this story. A model said to me: “But my agent in Miami, (that my mother agent signed me with), said Diane wanted me to sign it, so I signed it without calling. Now I have to give them 15% of everything I make for the next five years. Now my Miami agent is done for the season, and I am going to New York, Milan, London, Tokyo… and every agency takes approximately 25%-35%. I am in the prime of my career and paying out an extra 15% for absolutely no reason than I did not listen and did not make a phone call. I am sorry Miss Audrey. But I am sorry because I must not have stressed it hard enough. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING WITHOUT YOUR MOTHER AGENT OR LAWYER LOOKING IT OVER. YOUR MAMA IS GOING TO THINK IT IS ALL AWESOME!
A mother agent gets up to 25% and a secondary or regional agent can get up to 35% but they should only get paid for the gigs they book you to. Not forever and for other people’s bookings. That is taking advantage and eventually made that agency go out of business. No one wants to do business with someone that shady. But it happens so often. You can have an agent for every specification you are marketing in a city. Fashion, Commercial, Editorial, Promotional, sometimes several promotional agencies at a time is acceptable within the industry. Not in the fashion and talent industry. Know the rules where you are and abide by the social structure if you want to succeed. You can only be a rebel if you have something to bring like Prince, Pink, Beyonce, or Miranda Lambert.
Your agent basically works as a booker in a glamorous temp agency that provides specific skills. It is the relationship between the client and the agent that makes it all work. The agent must provide a level of talent the client expects. Your agents are definitely worth the money because they do all of the job chores listed as yours above. And they go after nonpaying clients legally and provide a level of protection while traveling abroad. Your agents and booking agents are your mama and your daddy! Relationships are important. It’s Who You Know!
WORK VISA / TRANSPORTATION
Your agent can help you with this also.
Be sure you have your passport and all legal documents completed before you ever decide to go!
If you are thinking about modeling – Get your passport right now.
HOW ARE YOU GETTING THERE AND WHO IS PAYING?
Remember, Your Agent will expect that expense back after you get a paycheck.
HOW ARE YOU GETTING AROUND AFTER YOU GET THERE?
Your agent is providing a driver? Ask if they are paying for it or if it will be added to your bill?
Learn how to use a bus, train, taxi, or whatever the public transportation is where you are going.
Learn how to read a public transportation map. They are already confusing in your native language.
Find out what your International Cell Chares are going to be. Will you have Wi-Fi and compatible service? What if you do not have a cell phone or it dies or gets stolen.
Put as much information as you can on the front and back of a sheet of paper to keep on you at all times. Keep one in every bag.
Do not take more than you can carry. NO LIE!
Backpack Carry On with All Your Modeling Tools. Smaller Day Backpack inside with portfolio…
Plan on your luggage to be lost. Carry on enough that you do not miss a meeting.
Start with the necessities. Skin care, Grooming, Makeup, Hair… Necessities (Compact as possible)
Wardrobe for Go Sees and Call Backs is always the Same, so they remember you.
Runway Heels, Fashionable Athletic Shoes for literally running between Go Sees!
Shirt or Robe for Makeup Chair before a casting.
Do Not Ever take your shirt off over your head after hair & makeup, even with a head cover. It is disrespectful for one to the artists and two if you mess it up, they will want to kill you. They are your best friends on a shoot – or not.
Young booking agents often moonlight as hosts for Clubs. They are good looking, fun and feel safe because you know them. They will pick you up in a fancy car, take you to the best restaurants, show you off all over town, take you to the best club (their club), and give you all the drinks you want. How much you eat, and drink is up to you. They will give you more than you can handle. You are great business sober but make headlines as a train wreck… people pay high dollar tickets to be where the VIPs are. You will definitely be a VIP. Booking agents that promote models to drink are usually fired before the season ends or do not return the next season.
Make Good Decisions – Alcohol and Sugar Bloat are Real! And it really shows up on the camera and takes up to 3 days to flush out of your system. So go have a great time, order whole foods and drink water with lime. Remember you are up and gorgeous, energetic and without makeup in the morning. It’s your business.
YOU’RE YOUR MAMA NOW
Make Good Choices.
You will need to be prepared and aware at all times.
Do not trust people just because they are good looking and sweet talking. They are seasoned professionals, know when something is too good to be true. It is hard and scary, but you can do it. Build your support team, be smart, be business minded, know your skills, know your value, know who you are, do not get talked into things you do not want to do, and take self-defense classes.
Professionally and personally.
When all else fails, Kick ‘em in the ding-ding and run, Remember to Yell "Fire" in the native language, and practice using your mace before mis-using it on yourself! I am excited for you and wish I was going too! Love & Best Wishes.
Call your agent!