Dear Fairy Model Mother: How Do I Call My Agency Out on Its Bullsh*t?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A few months ago I was on an epic road trip with a group of really awesome models. We had hours and hours of time to waste, so of course we talked shop. One of the girls mentioned she'd been having issues with her agency. She'd been working with them for a while without a contract. At first her agents were getting her good work, then it just stopped. In the past months, she had booked her own jobs. And get this, her agency still wanted a cut of what she was making. Excuse me?!

Let it be known that I'm a little leery of agencies and their ways. The hidden fees and expenses. The sneaky clauses in contracts. It gives me the heebie jeebies. So when this model started telling me about her whoas, I was immediately like "Girl, stand up for yourself!" If you and your representation don't have a binding agreement, then they have absolutely no business trying to take commission for something they did not book you on. I told her that it would be in her best interest to politely call her agency out on its bullsh*t.

After our conversation, Ms. Model decided to take action. Before having a talk with her agents, she did some leg work of her own. She compared how long she'd been with them, how many jobs they had gotten her, and then how many jobs she had gotten all by herself. Upon my suggestion, she then approached her agents with her concern and basically asked them "what can I do to make sure that I'm getting more work?" Here's where a model has to get a little sneaky. You just called your reps out, so be prepared for the backlash. Start looking for another agency like now! So my friend did just that. I got her in with another model agency outside of Cali so she can travel. But if the work for her is slow in LA, her agents here should have been trying to get her placed in other markets so they can still make money off her. Duh!

This whole ordeal is like a game of chess or poker even. Everything is strategic. You make a move to call your agents on their bluff. They make a move to either regain your trust or set you up for failure. Well, my friend's agency did something that was just down right sheisty. They agency signed a contract with her new reps in another market as if they were her mother agency entitling them to a percentage of her earnings without doing any legwork at all. Oh no! This smart model called them out on it and then presented her agents with a list of demands. In response the LA agency dropped her from their roster. In the breakup email, her booker said this:

"We’ve hit a wall. We just don’t get a response on you... we all love and care about you, but professionally, we just can’t get any traction and have to cut ties."

What the freak! Once again, this is crap. How is it that this model is getting all this work on her own, but her agents are having trouble finding her jobs. That agency just wasn't trying hard enough. Bullsh*t! In the spirit of getting even, newly-free agent model booked an awesome editorial on her own the very next day. Take that.

The lesson to be learned here is to believe in yourself and keep it pushing. If your so called reps aren't doing their job and are giving you the run-around, don't believe the hype. You know what you are capable of, it's just a matter of finding the right team to push you to the next level. On your wait out the door, don't slam it. Try not to burn any bridges because you never know what you might encounter in the future. But there are bigger and better things just around the corner and you know it's true. Like Jay Z said...On to the next one.


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