Above: Beautiful Guess Models Alexandria Morgan And Megan Williams Modeling For The Guess Accessories Fall 2015 Fashion Campaign.
As a young actress, you will be exposed to many different kinds of projects. You will experience shoots that are super exciting and amazing to be a part of, and you will also experience frustrating gigs that will challenge your patience. Not all of these will be worth your time; not all of these will be a waste of your time. It’s important to learn what is valuable work experience and what is someone blatantly taking advantage of your time and your talent.
First off: The Creeps. There will be many people (mainly men) that will try to get you to take your clothes off for films. Now, if HBO is asking you to do a nude scene and you’re comfortable with the material, your body, and you want to do it, then by all means go for it. However, don’t be disillusioned to think Mr. Joe Schmoe is going to “get you places” if you do a topless scene for his Indie short. Indie short does not equal HBO series. The distinction here is not only the exposure (pun intended) but also the professionalism. If someone is making you uncomfortable or asking you to do something you’re just not comfortable doing, guess what? You’re in charge of your body and you don’t have to do it. You may lose the job, but you will save yourself a lot of heartache. Furthermore, if you are comfortable getting naked for an Indie short, then go ahead! There’s nothing shameful about nudity for the sake of art, regardless of who tries to tell you otherwise. It’s just a matter of what you feel up for and if you’re okay with what you’re doing and the way you’re being treated. Never do anything you don’t passionately want to do.
For example, I had a filmed audition that I just felt weird about. The casting director (slash co-star, slash director, slash producer, etc—red flag number one) asked me all these really personal questions that had nothing to do with my acting abilities or what I could bring to the project. He also sat uncomfortably close to me on the “casting couch” and was just being odd: he told me how pretty I was, and commented on the size of my breasts. He then asked me, “Is there any reason I should keep the camera rolling? Anything else you can… do?” I immediately inferred what was going on and humorously deflected saying, “I can juggle!” and got myself out of there as soon as possible. Regardless of what his intentions actually were, I didn’t feel comfortable and there is probably a very good reason why. This brings me to my next bit of advice: follow your instincts.
A woman’s intuition is strong. If you feel like something isn’t right- with any social situation, professional or otherwise- chances are there’s a reason. You’re not just “being paranoid” or “reading too much into it;” you feel uncomfortable because your upbringing has taught you social norms and this situation is breaking those norms. It’s important to trust your instincts, and not be afraid to speak up. This is an area I really struggle with. Often times, I will sense a situation is amiss, or could potentially be dangerous to me as a woman, but I continue out of obligation or fear of being rude. Learn from my mistakes. People will make you uncomfortable without realizing it and if you bring it to their attention perhaps they will be more conscientious of their behavior in the future. Maybe not, but at least you spoke your mind and looked out for your own safety.
This one time, I was meeting a potential client in a private residence, and as I got into the elevator I realized that I was alone with two strange men in a secluded building. I felt fear sink its talons into my racing heart as I continued down the narrow hallway to what could have been my demise. My fears were nullified and I ended up having a very prolific meeting with said client and everything turned out fine, but that doesn’t invalidate the fear I felt in the elevator. While the clients did not intend me harm, they were just being oblivious to the fact that I could have felt uncomfortable with the situation. You will encounter this a lot: people that aren’t ill intending or malicious, but they just don’t realize the world that women live in.
Other clients you may encounter might be the inconsiderate kinds that disrespect your time. There’s a saying in the business that being an actress is the job of “hurry up and wait.” You are expected to be on time or early for your call time promptly at 5am, but then you may wait around until 11:30am before you even get on camera. This is normal. However, it’s important to know your worth. If you’re just starting out and have nothing on your resume, know that people will treat you like this because they can. You need them more than they need you. You need the experience and the credential on your resume, and they just need a body. Ultimately, you will graduate beyond this treatment, but it may be a while before you are at this point.
Very early in my career I was filming for a music video and I was the only actress on set. Everything was dandy until the actual musician arrived. He was a big hot shot and I was a lowly nobody so they put me in holding for another six hours while they filmed all of his scenes. Six hours later, they woke me from my catnap and said, “you’re wrapped!” I couldn’t believe that they kept me waiting for so long for literally nothing. However, with no one else to stand beside me, and having been paid a flat day rate, I really didn’t feel like I had any grounds to contest my time being wasted. Another instance, I was an extra on a student film and I was kept for four hours longer than originally expected. The other extras and I banded together to ask for overtime for the extra time we were kept beyond eight hours (there’s a whole system for overtime payment). If it hadn’t been for the others in my group saying, “yes, we deserve more money,” I might have not bothered asking, and I wouldn’t have gotten the extra payment. But, because I asked, I received more money and left feeling a sense of worth and that my time and talent was respected.
These are just a few examples of situations you may encounter as a new actress. It is important to know that these happen mainly to unrepresented actresses, which most newbies are, but that this is not common to those with agents getting them the work. The projects I’ve mentioned were all castings I found via Actor’s Access, LA Casting, or (yes, admittedly) Craigslist, but I did not have representation backing me. Once you have an agent, you will get much more reputable clients that (hopefully) will treat you with more respect than the lower-end projects. However, as they say, one must “pay their dues.” There will be creeps to weed through and long hours for little pay, but there will also be art and the magic of showbiz. Follow your instincts, stick to your guns, and learn from those around you until you’re the one writing to new actresses and you can look back and laugh.
My name is Amanda and I write for ZARZAR MODELING AGENCY which is best known around the world as ZARZAR MODELS. I am not represented by ZARZAR MODELS but the agency wanted me to share my experiences about acting and modeling without agency representation. In particular, ZARZAR MODELS makes sure that its models are treated with the highest respect including making sure that its fashion models and actresses do not have to wait beyond a certain amount of time during modeling and acting auditions. In addition, ZARZAR MODELS is extremely selective in the clients that it works with in order to make sure that its models and actresses do not have to face many of the dangerous situations faced by actresses and models that are not represented by an agency. Furthermore, ZARZAR MODELS does not allow nudity of any kind (including implied nudity, etc.) for its fashion models and actresses making it a truly unique and one of a kind modeling agency.
Above: Beautiful Italian Fashion Model Vittoria Ceretti Modeling For The Giorgio Armani Advertising Campaign And Beautiful Giorgio Armani Ads.
ZARZAR MODELS is one of the top modeling agencies for women in the United States representing models in print fashion editorials, high fashion runway, film, television commercials, and promotions. The agency represents top models in all of the major fashion cities and counties including Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Orange County Southern California, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Miami, New York, London, Paris, Milan, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo and recruits and represents models throughout the world through its global fashion and modeling network.