By Coco Rocha and Friends at Modellounge!
Founded and organised by Bernard Smith, entrepreneur and long-term boyfriend of Joan Smalls, Modellounge is a space where models pit-stop between castings, refuel and check mails in peace, no men allowed. Speakers such asSara Ziff and Coco Rocha from the Model Alliance are invited to advise on how to make it through your career alive or industry experts such as Andrew Weir, casting director on how to maximise your chances at castings andMac Folkes, catwalk coach extraordinaire on how to master the runway. MilkMade.com spent two sessions at the Modellounge and picked up key tips on how to make it…..
Know Your Contract by Coco Rocha “This is my tenth year of modeling and I’m only now becoming aware of how important it is. When I started I just hoped I wouldn’t get asked to do things that I didn’t want to do but I’d get on set and people didn’t understand where I came from and assumed that it was normal to do nudity. Today, in my contract I have no nudity, no semi nudity, no see through, no religious artifacts, no governmental, no political, no making out, is the guy I’m modeling with going to be nude, are there other girls that are going to be nude? I literally will sit down and discuss what my whole job will be before I arrive so when I get there I’m prepared and if I arrive and I see lingerie on set I can say, we have had this discussion, I am walking out now. My contract is known to the entire team before I’ve even arrived, onset, that’s how important your contract is, that is your life right there.”
Your Agency Works For You, You Don’t Work For Your Agency by Coco Rocha “You’re the model, you’re the one they asked for and I say all of this in a level way, we’re not divas, we don’t become divas, I do all of this in a professional manner, I really think about what I’m doing and I want to be a smart business woman so that’s what we’re trying to do today”
Don’t Sign Anything On Set by Doreen Small, legal consul specializing in the field of fashion and fashion law“If a photographer or the client puts a piece of paper infront of you and asks you to sign it, don’t even think about it, ask them to send it to your booker. We’ve had stories of models signing something on set for a simple photograph that she did for the photographer and the next thing she sees herself on a giant billboard, she’s in a million dollar jewelry campaign, she was paid $400 because she signed it then there’s nothing I can do.”
But I Already Saw That Casting Agent, Why Should I Go Again? by Andrew Weir, casting director “Never have that attitude. I worked with Joan Smalls for five years but her big moment only happened two years ago. If I see a model in NY then ask to see her again for Paris, always go, there’s a reason why you got asked back”
Be Healthy, No Make-Up by Andrew Weir, casting agent“Just moisturizer, no make-up for castings. Don’t chew gum, don’t smoke, don’t arrive smelling of smoke and make sure you have a comp card.”
Do Your Laundry In High Heels by Andrew Weir, casting agent “In other words practice makes perfect, a new model shouldn’t be wobbly on high heels two seasons in a row so practice every moment that you have in between seasons. When you go to castings bring a shoe in your bag that’s easy to put on and take off because the casting director doesn’t want to wait a long time for you. Lace-ups, studded, fancy, drama shoes won’t work.”
Strike A Pose by Mac Folkes, runway coach “Before you walk stand still. Now imagine that there’s a string above your head pulling you up high, a string behind both your shoulders opening up your chest and two strings that are going to pull both your hips forward when you walk. Place one foot directly in front of the other and clasp hands behind your back. Breathe. Now release you hands and walk to a beat, go!”
Zing And Zang by Mac Folkes, runway coach: “When you walk don’t shuffle, don’t march, simply come down onto your heel and roll off onto the ball of your foot as you do with any other shoe. Most of learning to walk on the runway is just combating the fear of the high heel. Practice walking to a fast-paced rhythm”
No Hamburger Hands, No Lobster Claws by Mac Folkes, runway coach “Relax your hands. Casting directors will see stress in two places, your hands and your eyes so relax them all, soft hands. At the end of the runway stop and return, count one- one thousand, two-one thousand to give the casting director a chance to see you. This is a fashion show, a presentation so when you get to the end of the runway, present.”
It’s A Fashion Show, It Needs A Performance by Mac Folkes, runway coach “It comes from your heart. Transform. If you’re in a bad mood, when you walk into the casting room your bad mood must be gone, get your face together, present, be responsible for the energy that you bring into a room.”
Model Is A Noun But It’s Also A Verb by Mac Folkes, runway coach “If you know you might be casting for certain shows then research those shows beforehand online, prepare yourself, see how the girls are walking to anticipate what kinds of walks a casting director might ask for. Pleading ignorance just means laziness and nobody wants to work with a lazy person. Confidence comes from preparation and preparation comes from repetition. You should have practiced your walks to the point that when somebody asks you to do a certain walk you know how to do it off the bat. You are a model so model, it’s a verb.”