Dos and Don’ts for Models/Actors

A little friendly industry advice for new and experienced models and/or actors. Compiled from comments from  agents in several large markets as well as here:

DO: keep your headshots/resumes/comp cards/portfolios up to date
DO: make sure your images accurately reflect how you look TODAY
DO: update your resume regularly–hard copy, digital and on Actor’s Access
DO: use a professional photographer who knows how to shoot commercial/fashion/actor’s headshots if you want to be taken seriously
DO: book in and book out if you are going to be out of town or out of commission. Jobs come in at the last minute sometimes. We don’t want to search for you.
DO: accept every audition. The more you audition, the better you get and the more you are seen.
DO: embrace your age/photo look. If you’re 20 and look 16 and are an actor, GREAT! If you are in your 30s and look it and are a model or commercial actor, GREAT! It’s the 25+ that get all the work these days.
DO: remember to turn in your vouchers. It’s how the client gets billed and you get paid.
DO: trust your agents and listen to their advice. They know the business. If you don’t trust your agent, it’s time to move on.
DO: check your email and voicemail DAILY.
DO: consult with your agent about your career and your goals.

DON’T: use headshots/comp cards from years ago because you looked better then. Nothing makes an agent or client angrier than misrepresentation. You need to look like your picture.
DON’T: drastically¬†change your appearance without consulting your agent first. If you do change it, plan on scheduling a new photo shoot.
DON’T: use a friend, your wedding photographer or a portrait photographer for your professional photos. They may be great photographers, but it’s just not the right kind of photos for this industry.
DON’T: neglect Actor’s Access/Breakdowns if you are an actor. It should be current with your experience and skills. We submit you for jobs through that service. We can’t submit you if the info isn’t there.
DON’T: pass on an audition because you “just don’t feel good,” or are “just too busy.” If this is the case, you need to have a serious talk with your agent about whether this is the right business for you or not.
DON’T: try to mask your age or your look. Embrace it. Obviously your agent saw potential and a need for your look, or you wouldn’t have one.
DON’T: call in regularly asking if there is any work for you or if there will be any work for you. We don’t have magic crystal balls to see in the future and, obviously, we would call you if there was work. It’s how we make our living.
DON’T: follow someone else’s advice or lead about your career because their agent/friend/parent told them something different. Every model and actor is different and will have different paths to follow.
DON’T: neglect your email, text messages and/or voicemails. You may get passed over because you were too lazy to return a call or respond.
DON’T: continually bug your agent about your career and your goals.