I recently graduated from the University of Oregon, and am heading back down to California (I'm originally from the Bay Area) at the end of summer. The question is, where exactly?
I've done freelance modeling for over five years now, been signed with a few small agencies, and I want to surround myself with ambitious artists and take some time to further explore the industry before diving into grad school.
I have some acting experience and think I have a commercial look, but would LA agencies want me or am I more likely to thrive in a different demographic? I realize that there's a ton of competition and I am not sure how I would size up (I'm barely 5'8"). What are some of the top agencies that would like "my look"? Is it worth submitting myself to agencies online in advance, or am I more likely to get signed by waiting until I'm down there and attending casting calls?
Ultimately: Would I get eaten alive in LA, or if I play my cards right, do I have a shot at making some money before retiring from modeling? (I'm not afraid of sleeping in my car or living off beans and rice)
In my opinion, I think you have a great look to do commercial stuff here. Look around at the agencies, see which ones you like, and submit to them. Simple stuff. If they don't bite, just go to open calls when you're here-- the extra effort now may not help, but it certainly won't hurt.
I honestly think LA is not the place to be. If you want to be in an agency, I would suggest somewhere close enough to LA to still be scouted for work, but far enough away to not be overlooked by the thousands upon thousands of other girls.
I have had a lot of good experience in Arizona. Its a short drive to LA, there are a handful of good agencies that will get you commercial work, and they are more lenient on height.
Check out Agency Arizona and Ford Robert Black, Arizona. There are also smaller ones like Jani Model Management.
I agree with Kickham, however, you're entering a very competitive market. Its brutal here. You're age is something that caught my attention. We have a horde of young women who live here, in the 18-22 range who are fierce competition. I think you have shown quite strongly in some of your photos in your MM portfolio what I think is a look that would work in L.A. So, give it your best shot. Good luck.
you are young...go for it... the worst that can happen is it doesn't work out its not the end of the world.. as long as you have a place to go back to that you can call home and not be homeless, full speed ahead!!!
Arent you eager to start using the degree you worked hard to get? So you probably will find out in a few days what you are up against in LA, just dont waste a lot of time. You seem not to be so informed about the modeling industry- do you home work. Know about commercial print?
You have a great look and I think you could experience some success down here in the concrete jungle... IF you make the right connections. It's a combination of both WHAT you know and WHO you know here in LaLa Land!...
If you are signed by another agency in your area, I would suggest talking to them to contact agencies they are close with in LA. Generally, it is easier to get signed with another agency if the agency you are already signed with helps you out and represents you well.
Agencies are a weird bird. I've known models out of some and they rarely get work, and some not any at all or some free or low-pay for notoriety runaway gig. Others seem to be the agency favorites so they get everything and the booker will steer someone to them even though they requested someone else. I've often suspected some payoff behind the scenes with some, or perhaps Model A is just "too flakey" to reliably book.
Sometimes I don't get the fuss over "I need to be signed with an agency," etc. Some seem to do very well just out there on their own - sans agency - with their websites, networking, doing workshops, etc. Some of the "Continental Travelers" are awesome to work with and they are not agency signed, just very shrewd business people.
Self-promotion along with some marketing aggression seems to be the key.
If you do decide to come to L.A. I have cheap rooms for rent next to 4 major fwys to get you to were you need to go in 10-15 mins. Beach's about 30 min. $500 with all utilities included and cable. Month to month so you can see how it goes in L.A. without signing a years lease.
This is me