How To Become a Model #1: Getting Scouted
There are many ways us models become models. A great deal of us were lucky and got in the easiest way: we got scouted. Where was I found? Well, like most other English models, scouted outside Topshop in Oxford Circus. It’s a pretty obvious hunting ground, if you think about it – where does any teenager want to go in London?! If you think you could be a model and want to combine it with a consolatory/celebratory shopping trip, head over there in your school holidays and you can be guaranteed there’ll be scouts out and about, searching for new signings. Make sure you’re wearing little or no make up and dress really naturally – jeans and a t shirt or a simple dress and trainers. You don’t want to be hobbling around in stilettoes with a face full of slap: you’ll get blisters and it’s really not neccessary. Once I was scouted whilst wearing my brother’s fleece and my retainer!
Others are found at the Clothes Show Live, where agencies will have a stall, and scouts scouring the hall for gangly, wide-eyed boy & girl giraffes for the next cover of Vogue (I’m not being literal there, by the way – though you never know with the fashion world).
Though London is your best bet, scouts show up in the unlikeliest of places. Russian supermodel Nathalia Vodianova (just look at her wonderful face!):
was apparently selling fish at a market stall in her tiny Russian hometown. Impoverished at the time, she’s now a millionaire philanthropist with an endless array of Vogue covers under her Louis Vuitton belt.
Meanwhile, Glamazon Giselle was eating a McDonalds on a school trip
– she’s now fêted as having one of the best bodies in the world (and I doubt she often indulges in a Big Mac with extra cheese anymore…)
What Happens When You’re Scouted
It’s really important you concentrate on this bit. Cos there are a lot of weirdos out there, and there are a lot of phony agencies who pretend to be scouts. Imagine how many teens want to become a model – these companies cynically exploit those dreams to make money.
You’ll be approached by the scout, who asks you your name, age, where you live, and if your parents are with you. They’ll give you a card, maybe get you to fill in a form (name, contact number, whether you’re in school etc. You can put as little or as much info as you want). They’ll also often take a couple of snaps.
At this point, if you’re not clued up as to all of the agencies in London, it’s pretty hard to differentiate between legit and non-legit scouts. If the person asks you for money then walk away – no scout would do this. Also, and this sounds harsh, but if the person wants to sign up all the friends you’re with too, they’re probably a phony…Unless all of your friends are 6 foot, skinny and beautiful in an otherworldly sort of way.
Lots of fake scouts are really just trying to get punters into their photographic studio and then charge them a huge amount of money, but their sales pitch makes it sound like this is your chance to become a supermodel – by flattering your ego just to empty your wallet.
What you should do now:
Go home, and look up the agency that the scout was from. Are they on the AMA? The AMA is the Association of Model Agents. They abide by standards rules such as financial support, codes of conduct and working conditions. So, if the agency is on the AMA – Good! Now it’s time to talk to you parents about it and see what they think about you trying out modelling. Come here and check out ModelTypeFace for all the information you need, and feel free to ask me any questions. You need your parent’s support, as no agency would sign you without your parent/guardian’s full consent.
Not on the AMA? DITCH AND IGNORE! Sorry, but maybe this time, it wasn’t your day. There are lots of other ways you can get into modelling – check out Modeltypeface.com for them all!
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