One year ago, I graduated from Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ (AMTC) at the Shine Tour in Chicago. I have learned an abundant amount of information about the industry, and myself. I could write a book about all that I have learned in the past 365 days however, I decide to share a few important or just plain handy information and tips.
- You don’t need to keep 10,000 outfits in your car at a time. Life can get hectic for sure, and you really don’t know when a job will present itself, however, a modeling bag and a shoe bag should be enough.
- Enter the job as if you are a model from NYC, be humble as if you’re from Kansas
- Cliff Bars and a bottle of water are lifesavers in your bag
- Watch your mouth, this community can be malicious at times and it can be easy to indulge in gossip
- Dry Runs (visiting the location prior to the call time and getting the scope on the area) are always necessary and you will not regret doing one.
- Stop investing in people who don’t want your skills, help, or wisdom.
- Use Instagram Business
- Be cautious when considering collaborations. If the end results won’t add value to your portfolio, you don’t need to do it. I LOVE doing shoots with a darker theme to it, but would I ever add photos of looking like a sad, lonely, child in an abandoned building to my book? How would my agent be able to market these photos for commercial jobs?
- Organization will help you tremendously in the long run
You may be wondering what have I accomplished since my time has ended with AMTC. It has been a crazy year, and I haven’t accomplished as much as I would have liked, however, I’ve continued to move forward in my career. In the past year, I have…
- Graduated Modeling school
- Walked the runway a couple of times
- Did a short film that won an award
- received some nice feedback from a commercial casting agent (this was a total surprise because I’m not 100% an actress at heart)
- Did several dozen photo shoots
- Signed with an amazing mother agent
I would like to personally thank all of the staff and volunteers at AMTC, Hoffman International Model and Talent Agency, Wlaa Style, Impact Models, my mother, and all of the photographers, clients, and hairstylists that I’ve worked with this past year. Without you, I would not be where I am at today.
I think the biggest lesson of all is that I’ve learned that it is not healthy to compare my journey to others. I am connected with the majority of the other performers who attended the 2017, Chicago Shine Tour, and some of my peers are working with big-name clients while others are not. I am happy and excited to see what this group of talented individuals are going to continue to do in the entertainment industry. Part of me feels like I should be booking these big jobs because my peers are. I have worked hard, but it does not feel like my career has moved at all in the past year. When I take a step back, I realized just how much I have grown and learned and that in itself has value. How can I ever grow if I only put my focus on the success of others and not myself?
Comparison can be good, but it can also be unhealthy. On a runway, you have to be focused on what is at the end of the stage. Yes, you have to be aware of what is going on around you, but when it’s your time to step on stage, your focus has to only be on end goal, or you will literally fall off the runway. I have fallen off of the runway in a literal sense one time, and a metaphorical sense, several times.
My encouragement for you is to stay focused while you walk the runway of life. Stand tall, take long strides, look fierce, make eye contact with your audience, and continue moving forward. Keep shining ❤
Photo courtesy of Nerdy Studios
HMUA: Bekki Kerlaly