Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Struggle is Real (Agency Talk)

Hi guys. It's the question I get most frequently so I thought I'd come on and give my tips and tricks about... how to sign with an agent! I'm incredibly lucky to have multiple international agencies but remember everyone starts out in the same boat and for me, it sadly wasn't as easy as being scouted on the street. I've been trying to sign with a new London Agency myself since arriving back from Cape Town and it hasn't quite gone to plan- just yet! So yes, it is a tricky field and persistence is key but there are certain things YOU need to do to make it happen! Let's discuss!

So yes, in 'dream world' we are all picked out by the head agent at Storm and boom... career sorted! I've never been scouted or approached by any agency so it certainly shouldn't stop you from approaching them. When applying through an agencies website (which I encourage all to do) it will ask you to attach photos. These are nothing to worry about or overthink. They do NOT need to be professional- by that I mean spending silly amounts of money on a portfolio shoot. Follow the guidelines and you can't go wrong. They must be natural (more than you think) so get the make up off and black vest top on. Now I massively freak out over polaroids- what will my arms look like? I need to breathe in more... my hair looks so thin! But I've taught myself to turn down the voices in my head and accept my own look just a little more- didn't turn out so bad after all. 

You've applied online. Step 1 done! Now the waiting game... not enjoyable for anyone. I'll set a 2 week reminder in my phone to chase (important!) and then I'll try not to think about it from then on. Easier said than done I know *she types whilst simultaneously refreshing emails* Now this is probably my most important point: DO NOT GIVE UP IF YOU DON'T HEAR BACK. It's been 2 weeks and you have not had a reply: standard! Agencies, particularly London, are busy! They receive 1000s of applications and don't always sort through them all. So you call them. Don't be afraid: you aren't coming across pushy. This shows enthusiasm, commitment, all the right things! "Hello, it's India here! I sent my application to you guys a few weeks back, just wondering if you received it?" With luck, your application gets pulled up in the office and you are in the review stage. Excellent! Sometimes this isn't the case and you might need to 'graft' a bit more on the phone- tell them you have great availability, you have other skills, sell yourself! Cringe but no one else is there to push you apart from yourself- sometimes it's a case of "never going to see you again, what have I got to lose!" 

You chase and chase again until the agency make their decision on you... that bit is out of your hands. They don't often give feedback so I totally get the feeling of disheartenment. I've received way more NO's than YES's over the years but it's really a case of... onto the next! The reality is you aren't going to be right for every agency but if I stopped after 1 or even the first 8, I wouldn't have got very far! It is difficult to not take it personally however reasons are always so specific: they just might have someone who looks too similar to you or you aren't the right height- factors out of our control! 

Like I mentioned earlier, even with the agencies I currently have and after returning from my Cape Town season, I'm still struggling. I've had a few meetings and sent off lots of applications and it's just not happening. I'm waiting it out, trusting the process and building myself up each day. I'm fighting all ways to not take it personal because I don't think you can survive this career otherwise. It's Summer time after all, work will come and go but I've packed my July with holidays and festivals. Memories are waiting to be made so work can maybe wait just now.



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