Truths vs Myths


Coco Rocha, The Making of a Cover Shot

For everybody that thinks modeling is easy…this many takes to get ONE great shot…and this is a super model! Imagine how much work it takes the newbie model to get a great shot…models, you gotta be prepared to WORK for your dream!

NYC Director Neal Hamil Talks Model Requirements

While Millie Lewis COLUMBIA is a local agency, we have the same requirements as the top agencies in New York, Paris and Milan. MLC works directly with large market agencies. At MLC, if we find talent that has potential outside of the Regional Market, we will schedule appointments for a model to be seen by the top agencies in New York. However, a model must meet specific requirements. Listen as Neal Hamil, director of Elite Models North America, describes what it takes to be a model.
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How Real Agencies Work…

We found a You Tube video that offers a great explanation of how agencies really work, covering everything from how agencies make money to what a model should expect when he/she begins working.  This is a brief yet informative video… We also suggest you read the post “Truths vs. Myths in the Modeling and Entertainment Business” posted below.

Truths vs. Myths in the Modeling & Entertainment Industry

Do I have to pay an agency/agent to represent me?

No. Agents and managers make money when you make money. Most agencies will charge 15-20% service fees to the model and managers normally take 10% of the talents over all pay. For example: When a model is booked to do a runway show that pays $100, the model will make $80 and the agency will make $20.

If I have what it takes, I shouldn’t have to pay anything at all, right?

Not true. Unfortunately, many aspiring models, actors and singers think much like young girls do when dreaming of prince charming… a guy that will come and sweep her away, buy her wonderful jewelry and clothes and fly her all over the world. The Cinderella story does not exsist in the modeling and entertainment world. Agencies are in the business to make money, as the same with all companies. Most agencies require you to pay for you own “tools.” Tools for a model are professional photos, photo enlargements, copies, etc. For actors, the tools required are headshots and resumes. These are things that agencies expect you to take care of. However, in larger markets like NY and Miami, occasionally an agency will advance monies for headshots, photo shoots, etc. The key word here is “advance”. The agency never gives anything away for free. After a job is completed, the Agency deducts what you owe them from your pay. Many record labels operate the same way. When a label finds a new artist, the label will fund production and distribution of the album and music videos; however, the artist doesn’t receive payment from record sales until the label has recovered their investment. Nothing is free. It’s a business.

Do I have to take classes for an agency to represent me?

This is a very touchy subject from an agent’s standpoint. No, not everyone needs classes, but many people do. Nine out of ten times, when an aspiring model walks in our doors, she needs some work. Normally, we put the models on the runway and in front of the camera to see how well they move. If a model is inexperienced, yes she will need some instruction. However, we’ve had models and actors walk through our doors that already have experience, they are professional and they have professional photos and resume. Classes are not mandatory, but be honest with yourself. If you were put on a set, in front of a camera and the director told you to move and create art, would you know what to do? Would it look professional? Do you know the best angles of your face? Do you know the best angels for your body type? These are all things models and actors should know. The bottom line is this: When you go on an audition through your agency, you represent that agent. If you are not professional, if you are not up to par, you potentially jeopardize your agency’s reputation amongst clients.

Is Millie Lewis of Columbia an agency or just a school?

First and foremost, MLC is an agency providing opportunities locally, regionally and nationally for models, actors, singers and dancers. MLC books jobs for print, television and film. We also offer Training in modeling, acting and personal development. We want our talent to do well. We make money when they make money, so we offer lessons and coaching to help our talent become more competitive. The greatest athletes in the world are practicing and training everyday. Academy Award winning actors have been training and coaching and fine-tuning their skills for years. You don’t “arrive” at your greatest skill level overnight, you grow into it. Through the coaching programs at MLC, we help people develop into professional, self-confident actors and models.