We at The Cameo Agency want all models to be well informed. Hence, we encourage you to do some homework before becoming involved in this highly volatile industry. Go to the library and get books on modeling. There are many of them that will answer hundreds more questions than we are able to in this space. Beware of open modeling calls or people claiming to be scouts. Many are scams just trying to get your money. A good rule of thumb is if anyone requires money up front, close your wallet and investigate further. Remember, you cannot buy your way into this industry. Success only comes with a lot of hard work. Good luck in your pursuit, and maybe someone out there will become a CAMEO model!
Getting Started: An Interview with the Director of Cameo
Q: What does a modeling agency do?
A: A modeling agency represents their models to clients who are putting together some form of advertising. For example, it could be catalogs, magazine ads, product packaging, brochures, flyers, billboards, fashion shows, etc. Or it could be TV commercials or radio ads. There are corporate industrials which are informational presentations done in video, CD or DVD form. And there is a lot of educational work such as textbooks, interactive CDs and videos, as well as catalogs for school supplies. And of course it just might be a movie shooting in your town.
Q: Are there different types agencies?
A: There are many different types of agencies. There are agencies that handle models only. And those that only handle actors. Some have different divisions which incorporate modeling and acting, commercials and even live theatre. Some agencies represent kids only or adults only. For example, Cameo is a full-service agency.
Q: How does an agency work?
A: Model and talent agencies work much like a temporary employment agency. All work is contracted with outside vendors. Those vendors will call an agency seeking models. Photos of all models who fit the clients specs will be submitted for consideration. Then the client will hold an audition or go-see. When the client has decided who they want, the agent will be contacted, fees will be negotiated, and the model will be hired to do that job.
Q: What's the best way to pick an agent?
A: It's always good to meet with as many agents as show interest in you. And be prepared, not all agents will be interested in you. When you get an appointment, ask some of the questions on this page. Ask to see a client list. And always ask to see jobs they have done. Reputable agents most always post copies of their models' jobs on the walls of their office and/or in portfolios that you should request to see.
Q: Do I have to sign an exclusive contract? for how long?
A: That depends on the agency. Before you sign anything, be clear about whether representation is exclusive or not. Length of contract is up to the agent, but you might be able to negotiate that point.
Q: How much notice do I get for auditions and go-sees?
A: It varies. Sometimes weeks or months in advance. Mostly, though, it's only 1 or 2 days advance notice. On rare occassions it might be the same day. But that's not typical.
Q: What if I have a job? School? or a child I need to care for?
A: That's always a dilemma. Before you decide to try modeling, you must be sure you can be available on short notice. And for kids, it might mean taking them out of school. Many parents don't want to do that. But modeling is a business and waits for no one.
Q: Do I need to have professional photographs done?
A: After you sign with an agent, that agent will guide you as to their photo requirements. Photos can be expensive and you must be willing to invest in quality modeling photos. An agent cannot work without them. It's a model's calling card.
Q: After I sign, when will I get a job?
A: Just because you sign with an agent, does not guarantee you modeling jobs. It's a true roll of the
dice. Competition is very stiff. Jobs are not just handed to models. And a model may go on many auditions and go-sees, and never get a job. That's a fact of life in modeling.
Q: How do I get started in modeling and/or acting?
A: The best way is to find out what agencies are in your area. For kids, make sure the agency represents children as many do not. Then find out what the agency(s) submission process is. A "blind submission" is not a good idea as it usually ends up in the trash. Agencies generally have a specific submission process and will not consider you if you don't comply. So find out before you submit.
Q: How can I get considered by Cameo?
A: Send two photographs: one headshot and one full body. Do not send more than two photos. Home snapshots are fine as long as they are clear and close enough for a good view. Include a resume. For children and babies, include a short paragraph of vital statistics and why you feel your child would be a good model. Also you must include a self-addressed, stamped #10 envelope for the return of your photos and for Cameo's reply. Cameo will let you know if there is interest.
Submissions should be mailed to:
The Cameo Agency
681 Main St., Suite 3-39,
Waltham, MA 02451
Adults and children over 4 can submit by email. Follow the same instructions as above
Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please attach resume and photos.