Many people who are new to the industry are confused by mixed messages when doing research to find a reputable agency. These frequently asked questions to address well-known myths regarding the industry, answer popular questions, as well as to inform you of what you can expect as a professional model or actor working in the industry!
How do I know if an Agency is Reputable?
What does it take to be a successful Model or Actor?
Why is Personality so Important?
Do I need Training and/or experience?
Is it a Requirement to take the Course at Mode Elle to belong to the Agency?
Can anyone take courses at Mode Elle?
How do Agencies make money?
How much money can a model or actor make?
If an Agency is interested in representing me, will they pay for all of my expenses?
Is there a yearly registration fee to belong to Mode Elle?
How do I start my portfolio and do I need professional pictures?
Should I get my child into Modelling or Acting?
1. How do I know if an Agency is Reputable?
Be a smart consumer! Do your research and find out which clients the agency has worked with, their success stories and the reviews from those who are part of the agency. There are no guarantees in this business, so be weary of those who are guaranteeing overnight stardom and fame.
An honest agent or scout will do their job which is to assist you in getting started, provide guidance, direction and ultimately once you are ready, will market and promote you to their industry contacts.
2. What does it take to be a successful Model or Actor?
It takes passion, perseverance and commitment. You need to know your craft and be professional. If you are an actor, you need to know how to act. If you are a model, you need to be comfortable in front of the camera as well as on the runway.
Many people will ask if there is a height or size requirement. To be candid it depends on the market a person is interested in pursuing. If they want to be a high fashion Model, there are height and measurement requirements.
For the commercial market, which includes T.V. commercials and print advertising. Every shape, look, style, age is in demand because commercial advertising is designed to be representative of the demographic it is targeting which is more often than not real people and the everyday shopper/consumer.
3. Why is Personality so Important?
Being professional, kind and optimistic are really important! Every aspect of the business is collaborative, with many people working together for a common goal. The clients, casting directors, stylists etc. have to like working with you. It is also important that we emphasize that personality and professionalism are just as important for the parents of children in the industry. Stage parents are not embraced in this business.
There are a lot of beautiful people in this world. In order to find success you need to be a package deal; beautiful inside and out, projecting a great personality and positive energy!
4. Do I need Training and/or experience?
As in any career, sport or artistic endeavour, the first step is training. Learning is a lifelong commitment. As with any industry there are also always opportunities to stay fresh and keep relevant. People who are passionate about a business will thrive to be the best by learning at each opportunity granted.
A course is very beneficial for building a strong foundation for skills needed as well as the self-confidence, poise, character, and professionalism needed to be competitive. Training is experience! Especially when learning from professionals who are working in the industry.
Mode Elle’s Academy offers training programs with professionals, click here to book an appointment
5. Is it a Requirement to take the Course at Mode Elle to belong to the Agency?
For Models: Do you have national/international experience with an up-to-date fashion portfolio, having worked with top fashion photographers?
For Actors: Do you have an up to date Talent Headshot and a competitive talent resume?
If the answer is yes to these questions, you do not have to take a course with Mode Elle to belong to the agency. Please click here to set up a free representation consultation.
Please note as well: Participating in a course at Mode Elle does not guarantee representation with Mode Elle’s agency.
If you are brand new to the industry and are just getting started then you should educate yourself about the industry, pursue training and enroll in classes or workshops to give you experience and prepare you to be competitive so you can successfully obtain work in the industry
6. Can anyone take courses at Mode Elle?
Anyone can take courses at Mode Elle for building self-confidence, for fun, or for the experience! Children especially flourish in Mode Elle’s arts development course. The course assists in building a child’s self-esteem through learning modeling and acting skills.
No matter your reason for joining a course, the confidence and self-esteem you will acquire through the completion of the course will encourage you to pursue and conquer your future goals and any career objective. You will learn valuable skills that will stay with you throughout your lifetime!
7. How do Agencies make money?
Agencies do not make money until the model or actor makes money! All agencies operate on a commission basis, which means they charge the model or talent a commission. In North America, it is standard in the modelling industry for an agent to charge 20% commission and in the acting industry, 15% for TV and 20% for Commercial Print work.
Agencies also earn commissions from Guest Agencies that they place their models/talent with nationally and internationally. The agency that got you started is known as your “Mother Agency” (for modelling) or “Personal Manager” (for acting). The Mother Agent or Personal Manager is your “home base” and acts as manager of the model or talent nationally and internationally by grooming, preparing, promoting, negotiating, securing, and obtaining contracts and placements for models and talent in markets all over the world. Guest agencies wishing to sign a model or actor pay the Mother Agent/Personal Manager commissions (in this case, Mode Elle) 5% to 10% out of the commission they take from the model/talent depending on the rate negotiated, how sought after the model/talent is, and the potential of the model/talent.
8. How much money can a model or actor make?
Rates vary according to the type of work, market, city, experience, skill and demand for the model/actor. A model or actor’s income can range from a zero dollar income to a seven-digit salary.
For example, Children’s Catalogue work pays approximately $75/hr and advertising work closer to $100/hr! The client may want an exclusive therefore there is opportunity to receive usage and/or buyout increasing the rate significantly.
For teens/adults, a model in Canada can earn as much as $200-$300/hr. Again, additional amounts can be earned dependent on the contract. If it is a commercial it will most likely be a session rate, with usage and buy out options. For union work in film and television everything is based on a scale and also has the added bonus of residuals. For Canada the scale can be viewed on ACTRA’s website.
Internationally, a model can earn anywhere from $2,500 USD/day to $25,000 USD/day. Campaigns can be very lucrative and can have potentially large buy out fees.
There is no one formula for rates as many terms come into play. Your agent will negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you are being compensated according to industry standards for the use of your image.
9. If an Agency is interested in representing me, will they pay for all of my expenses?
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about the industry! An agency is not a bank and should not be expected to advance or loan money to a new model or actor starting out in the industry. Agencies do not pay start-up costs for aspiring models and actors to get started.
Training, portfolios, headshots, online promotional tools are all the responsibility of the model or talent. Your agency will spend time guiding, developing and promoting you throughout the various stages of your career. You must show your agency that you are serious about a career in modelling/acting and invest in yourself by obtaining the required promotional tools that your agent will need to promote you. The clients will expect you to have the tools as a professional model or actor.
Once you are sought after on an international level and are ready to work for top clients, some international agencies may advance flight/airline tickets &/or accommodations. They may offer 2 or 3 month contracts to models to travel to their country to work although this depends on many factors.
YOU, as a professional model or actor, are the product being marketed and sold to clients therefore these promotional tools are necessary and you are responsible to pay for!
10. Is there a yearly registration fee to belong to Mode Elle?
Mode Elle has an annual promotional fee that covers the cost of the online promotional tools used to promote talent. Some agencies require their models and talent to register on their own for these tools and cover the cost. Mode Elle has grouped each of the tools to arrange a discount for models and talent.
11. How do I start my portfolio and do I need professional pictures?
Professional pictures are really important for acquiring work in the industry. Check out our Development portion to learn more about starting a portfolio
12. Should I get my child into Modelling or Acting?
The number one reason you should put your child into modelling or acting is for them. The children that are most successful in the industry are the children who are having fun and possess a passion for pursuing the industry. Enrolling your child in a course is a great way to introduce them. Parents who think they have the most beautiful, talented child and wish to “get rich” off of their child should NOT put their child into modelling or acting.
Simply said, it is not a healthy environment when too much pressure is being placed on the child. Understand that agents and clients do not want to work with stage parents – only supportive parents! Industry professionals are experienced and can tell when a child is involved because they want to be and not because their parents want them to be!