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How to Become a Model

How to Become a Model
Photo Source: Illustrations: Jesse Balgley

Want to become a model? We've crafted an in-depth guide on how to break into all types of modeling: fashion modeling, runway modeling, commercial modeling, fitness modeling—even hand modeling!

What to know:

What to have:

What to do:

Do I have what it takes to be a model?

You wanna be on top? All right, all right—this isn’t “America’s Next Top Model,” but in order to succeed in the modeling industry, you do have to have a sense of perseverance, dedication, and passion just like the novice guys and gals on reality TV. It’s not all about standing still and looking gorgeous (though there’s likely some of that, too)!

One of the first things to ask yourself as an aspiring model is why you want to get into modeling in the first place. It may seem a natural choice if you’re the kind of girl who’s been asked since middle school, “Have you thought about modeling?” But you should really only consider it seriously if you have a genuine interest in the profession.

Modeling is an industry about beauty in all shapes, shades, and sizes, and it’s about representing (and, in many cases, selling) a product. You should feel excited by the prospect of being the face of a new fashion line, makeup brand, or hot tech gadget. You should have a natural ease and confidence in front of the camera (photography and film alike), and you should, without a doubt, be proud of and own the things that make you singular.

Just like any career in the arts, it’s a competitive road, and you’ll inevitably be tempted by pangs of jealousy when you don’t get the gig. You’ll also likely compare yourself to others’ successes. Don’t give in to that nonsense! Follow your path and your individual identity, and that sort of easy, breezy poise is sure to get your further than insecurity and self-doubt.

MSA Models’ Los Angeles agency director Francis Arden goes one step further; he’s actually on the lookout for distinct personalities beyond the beauty when signing a new client. Of course, the modeling industry is based on a certain standard of beauty, but that doesn’t mean personality should be checked at the door. “If you have a quirky personality, we want to know that,” he says. “You’re not just a pretty face. We want to know who this person that we’re sitting in front of is. Yes, she’s got the right measurements, but what’s in there? What’s her purpose? What drives her?”

Maintaining a healthy perspective and self-confidence as an early career model is just the beginning. You also have to be prepared to maintain a healthy lifestyle of eating well, exercising regularly, and generally meeting the physical demands of your line of modeling. First and foremost, it’s all a matter of simply adhering to a self-care and health regimen. (More on that later.)

You should also be willing to become an early riser with patience and stamina to last through either a long day of go-sees (aka modeling auditions) or of video or photo shoots. Models do not keep regular 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours; you may be called into work at all hours of the day. A client needs a night shot for their product? Expect to be shooting at midnight. He or she needs a sunrise? Sunset? High noon? It’s exciting because no day’s work will look the same as the one before it, but living without a routine can also be a physically draining prospect. Be prepared to roll with the punches. Better yet, be prepared to roll with the punches while wearing heels!

In the end, your passion to succeed should be at the forefront. That means being realistic about the different forms success can take. Just like acting, a modeling career isn’t something that comes overnight. “Passion is definitely one of the key deciding factors because that motivates the individual to want to do what it takes to pursue it,” says Jack Maiden, director of Mavrick Models at Mavrick Artists Agency. “If they want to pursue it, they’ve gotta get out there and find out if there’s an agency that suits them. They’ve gotta go for it.”

Before you get started, though, you should know what you’re in for. “Educate yourself. Try to speak to as many people who are in the field [as] you can to get advice. There’s a lot to learn,” Arden insists. “You wouldn’t go to a volleyball tryout without having any kind of training.”

What are the different kinds of modeling?

You may be surprised by how many different options you can have as a career model. There’s, of course, the supermodels of the world walking the Paris and New York Fashion Week runways, but there are also the commercial models you’ll find in video and print ads for major retail brands—everything from Target to T.J. Maxx to Macy’s. And that’s not to mention specialty consumer products like the latest Apple gadget and more.

Though many dream of walking the spring collection for Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs, it’s the ultimate destination of very few. It’s not the easiest pill to swallow, but it should be said: You’re either born to be a fashion model or you’re not. While many aspects of the profession can be fine-tuned and trained, your actual physical features and standard of traditional beauty inevitably come into play. Traditionally (and we hate to say it!), models who are signed by major agencies and jetted to fashion weeks around the world are a size six or smaller, between 14 and 20 years old, and between 5’9” and 6’ tall. Just as Arden says above, a personality is key, too, but those are the fashion industry’s by-the-numbers expectations.

Now that the nasty part is out of the way, let us be clear: You can still make a living as a model even if you don’t fit the physical template above. Commercial models, in particular, are meant to reflect the everyman and everywoman. Booking gigs here is more about your megawatt smile than it is the size of your jeans.

Commercial and print modeling offer opportunities for “people in different shapes, sizes, and colors,” Joe Thompson of Abrams Artists Agency explains. While fashion is very regimented for the body types that fit its designer clothing, commercial casting directors are a little looser: “On the commercial side, it’s more like, ‘We want brunette hair and great smiles,’ ” Thompson says.

Or let’s say your slender fingers and immaculate nailbeds are your calling card: Have you considered hand modeling? (That career path wasn’t just good for a punchline on “Seinfeld,” we promise!) The same can be said for foot models—if you’ve got the ankles, might as well put them to use!

Then there’s the option of fitness modeling, which is an entire other world in itself. While other sectors of the profession may call for a naturally healthy, slender figure, you’ll want to bulk up and hit the gym more regularly than the average person if you’re pursuing a career in fitness modeling. The hard work can certainly pay off and prove lucrative across commercial modeling gigs for sportswear ad campaigns, fitness videos, underwear and lingerie gigs—the list goes on.

Determining which path is best for you doesn’t have to be a decision made on your own. You can always turn to friends and family for their take, but don’t shy away from reaching out to other models for their insight and advice, as well as prospective collaborators, agents, casting directors—anyone working in the industry that may have a keen, developed eye built from hands-on experience.

To this end, Cheyenne Brink, a print agent at Bella Agency, a boutique, Los Angeles-based modeling agency, advises to study up on your own, too. Research what kind of projects you truly think you’d best fit. “You have to know the market,” she says. “Are you in the right market, submitting yourself to the right stuff? How is a company going to envision you in their ads?”

And a particularly good way to network as a novice model is surprisingly right at your fingertips: Instagram. “Instagram is such a huge factor now,” Brink says. “It’s an extension of your portfolio.” Aspiring models often use the app to meet new and emerging photographers, for one. “It might be good for them to start together. No one has to pay anything, [so it’s] beneficial to both parties. Just keep taking photos, and keep meeting people, and getting feedback.”

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What modeling terms should I know before getting started?

Are you a new model who’s confused by some of the jargon thrown around online or in the studio? Never fear! Below, acting and modeling career coach and Backstage Expert Aaron Marcus defines vocabulary terms all models should know.

Body parts:
Some models are hired not for their face, but instead for their special features, such as great legs, hair, hands, etc.

Bonus:
Models are generally paid an additional fee above their hourly or day rate if the ad is running in a “high-exposure format,” such as a poster, billboard, point of purchase, or on the internet. Models can also receive bonuses if the ad will run for a long period of time, or if the clients request exclusivity.

Book:
Another term used for a model’s portfolio.

Buy out:
Models are normally given additional money if the client wants to use the ad in perpetuity.

Cheating to the camera:
When the model slightly turns his or her head and eyesight away from an object or the other model and closer to the camera. This gives the illusion that the model is looking straight at the other person or object but also allows the camera to see more of the model’s face.

Composite sheet (comp card or zed card):
The model’s business card. Unlike an actor’s headshot and résumé, a composite sheet shows a variety of the model’s photos along with his or her stats (height, eye color, hair color, etc.).

Editorial shot:
A photograph that’s used alongside an article in a newspaper or magazine.

Fit modeling:
Models are hired to help designers test wardrobe for sizing.

Go-see:
A model’s audition. When a model is contacted to attend a go-see, he or she goes to a photographer’s studio or a casting facility and is seen.

Layout:
Typically, the art director from an ad agency will create a sample concept of an ad. This guide is shown to the photographer shooting the ad as well as to the client for approval.

Model form:
A model form is filled out by models when they attend a go-see. Basic contact info and sizes are normally requested on the form.

Model release form:
A legal document giving a photographer or advertising agency the rights to use the model’s image in an ad.

One-plus-one:
When a model is booked for a one-hour modeling job with the possibility of working an additional hour. Models must hold the additional hour in case the shoot runs longer than expected.

Photo credit:
This is optional in case the model wants to place the photographer’s name next to his or her photo on a composite sheet

Print:
The term used for any still picture that’s used in a printed format, such as newspapers, posters, magazines, etc.

Request go-see:
When a model is specifically asked to attend a casting for a print job.

Sign-in sheet:
A plain paper that models use to write down their names. The sheet allows the photographer to know who’s next in line to have his or her photo taken.

Square to the camera:
The photographer will make this request when he or she wants the model’s face and body positioned straight into the lens.

Stock photography:
Generic photographs rented to companies or organizations in order for them to save money by not hiring models and photographers when creating ads. These photos can also be used for editorial purposes. Some websites include Getty Images and Shutterstock.

Tear sheet:
A copy of a commercial modeling ad. This proves the ad was published.

Test shot:
A photo that’s not being used as an ad, but instead for a photographer’s or model’s portfolio.

Transit:
The term used for posters on vehicles, such as buses, trucks, or subways.

Transparent apparel:
Clothing worn by a model that’s considered see through.

Usage:
How and where the ad will run, such as in newspapers, magazines, or on a poster or billboard, which are considered high-exposure formats.

Voucher:
The bill/invoice used by models for all commercial modeling jobs. The agent and whoever is invoiced for the job both get a copy, and the model should always hold onto the invoice itself.

What tools or training do I need as a model?

As any professional in the arts knows, it takes a lot more than good skills and looks to succeed. You need to have an arsenal of tools at your disposal to properly help you network and make the necessary connections that can help you reach your goals. That may mean a bit of front-end investment, but assets like professional headshots, websites, reels, and resumes will prove themselves worth the money, we promise!

When it comes to modeling, the most important piece of your calling-card package is ostensibly your headshot. Just like with acting, you want an image that accurately reflects you. It should also give casting directors (and prospective collaborators) an idea of how you present yourself in front of the camera.

“Modeling headshots typically feature performers wishing to be cast in fashion and beauty advertising,” says L.A. headshot photographer and Backstage Expert Marc Cartwright. “An amazing model is going to be skilled at communicating through their eyes, knowing how movement and light shapes their face.”

This particularly comes in handy in terms of advertising, which is often the end goal of modeling. “Editorial and fashion modeling is about selling a lifestyle. The goal of fashion or beauty ads tends to be about creating fantasy around a product versus having the audience relate to the person in the advertisement,” Cartwright says.

Cartwright also explains that there are some differences between headshots for models and headshots for actors. “Modeling headshots tend to be more artistic and flatter the subject. They say less about who a person is and more about how they are capable of appearing,” he says. “There is a greater emphasis on the mood, lighting, and artistic merit of the photograph. Makeup, lighting, composition, and retouching are used to creatively flatter the subject and remove the flaws. There may or may not be eye contact in the model headshot.”

That said, it’s imperative that aspiring models pairs themselves with a headshot photographer who can adequately follow through on these points. While it may seem a simple enough task to point and shoot, nailing down a photographer whose style works for you may make the difference between blending in with the crowd or really shining like the model you are. It’s a pretty vulnerable feeling stepping in front of a camera and being told to be yourself; you want to make sure you’re working with someone who you’re comfortable with, who knows what to say to make you relax, and generally speaking, someone who simply knows how to take a good picture.

“Headshot sessions are emotional and personal experiences. If you aren’t comfortable, there’s no way that you can expose your true self in front of a camera,” says image consultant and Backstage Expert Tom Burke. “I have watched many headshot sessions crash due to the same thing: the wrong mixture of personalities. For example, a Type A photographer cannot shoot a Type A [subject]. The entire time, they’ll be fighting for control, resulting in stiff-looking pictures. A very green or laidback [talent] should also never shoot with a Type A photographer. They are not strong enough to exert their individuality and/or power and are led down paths that just aren’t right for their type or brand.”

Besides natural chemistry, finding the right photographer is also about knowing what questions to ask. After doing your research online or getting a referral from someone else, get the photographer on the phone. Or, if the photographer has a website, peruse his or her FAQ page to find out how long a session with him or her lasts, how much he or she charges, and how many photos you’ll walk away with.

In addition to images from spec shoots or previous professional work, your headshot should be included on your literal calling card, known in the industry as a comp card (also called composite card, z card, zed card, or sed card). In total, your comp card will have your modeling headshot plus 3-5 other photos. It should also include your stats and measurements, your modeling agency info if applicable, and your own contact information. Just like with acting and a headshot, a model’s comp card is the best way to make a great first impression in the casting room.

How do I find work as a model?

Particularly as an early career model, it’s going to be difficult to land high-profile work without an agent. But for those early credits that are going to bolster your experience in front of the camera and on the runway (and ultimately increase your chances of impressing an agent enough to take you to the next level), there’s no better resource than Backstage.

If you don’t have a manager or agent who’s in direct cahoots with casting directors of various modeling projects, Backstage is the No. 1 trusted source and top casting platform—for over 50 years—to kickstart your career, land your next (or first!) role, and get discovered. With Backstage, you’re always getting reliable information and scam-free gigs.

Backstage has several subscription options available, including annual and six-month subscriptions to our web content and weekly print magazine, and six-month and monthly web-only subscriptions. Visit backstage.com/accounts/subscribe to see which option best suits you.

Once you’re subscribed to Backstage, you can go to backstage.com to edit your public profile. This is the page that casting directors see when booking talent for their latest project, so make sure your headshots and résumé are up to date, and link or embed your website, social media accounts, and other fun extras as you see fit.

Next, take a look at our online casting notices at backstage.com/casting. You’ll see that each one is broken down by type of production, whether or not it’s a paid job, its location, the age range for talent sought—the list goes on. Search results can also be filtered based on what your preferred preferences are. Save those preferences for future use; there are bound to be new listings for you to consider every single day.

Say you find a project that interests you and fits your type. From there, information on submitting yourself is made available to subscribers. Or, if in-person go-sees are being held, timing for the open call or additional information on how to schedule a time with casting will also be available. The key is to be ready and waiting, because you never know when the right opportunity will come knocking.

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How do I book work as a model?

While the decisions of casting directors often feel like they’re left up to chance, there are a few things models can do at a go-see to better ensure that they book the job, or at the very least, leave an impression and get asked back in the future.

First off: Let’s walk through a go-see. Models are often asked to wear fitted jeans and a fitted tank to go-sees, and they also get photos taken on-site if it’s a test shoot. These pictures are different from the Polaroids or “digitals” that are taken when you’re repped by an agent and often done against a plain white wall with natural light and from all four sides of you.

You should also bring along your book if it’s requested from casting, which is basically a portfolio of your previous work. Early career models won’t have a lot to draw from, professionally speaking, which is where non-pro shoots come into play. (Again, any experience you can get in front of the camera is a plus; don’t forget to reach out to early career photographers on Instagram!) Books are increasingly presented as digital files on tablets, but a printed binder is also perfectly fine.

Another thing to remember is that every go-see is different. Come prepared, look your best, and be alive, awake, alert and ready to follow instructions.

In addition to a professionally presentable comp card and fitting the physical expectations of the gig at hand, a model should really dress for the part when at a commercial go-see. (Fashion, again, more often than not calls for jeans and a tank top.) Know the casting company’s type and the job they’re hiring for, and choose your outfit from there.

Unlike acting auditions where talent can impress with singing and performance skills, there’s often no dialogue at a modeling go-see. “Industry professionals decide if you’re right for the job simply by looking at you, which means it’s important to dress the part (without going overboard),” says actor and Backstage Expert Aaron Marcus. “If you’re attending a go-see for a part as a doctor, you don’t need a stethoscope around your neck, a tongue depressor in your pocket, and paper booties over your shoes. But do wear something appropriate that will allow the people who matter to envision you as a doctor, like a dress shirt and slacks.”

Marcus also advises aspiring models to take their time when filling out all the paperwork required before being seen. Wrong contact information, modeling resume, agent information, and more can be the one slip that costs you a job.

“When first arriving at a go-see, you will typically fill out some paperwork. The people running the go-see need to know your contact information, your agent’s information, your wardrobe sizes, and sometimes a listing of any ads you’ve done for competitors over the past few years to make sure there are no conflicts of interest, so take your time and make sure they have everything from you they need,” he says.

“Unlike Union auditions, there typically is not a specific appointment time. Instead, there’s a sign-in sheet to organize the order in which everyone has their photo taken. I highly recommend not signing in until you are 100 percent ready to have your photo taken. Take a look around the room to see if there’s a layout of the ad that depicts the general idea of how the ad will look (similar to a storyboard). If there is one, study it. Try to embody the person in the layout.”

And lastly, Marcus says that the right model will ask the on-site photographer the right questions—among them, “What are you looking for and why?”

“Maybe you know they’re looking for someone who seems happy, but that single emotion doesn’t tell us anything. Asking why will inform your motivation for that emotion and help you differentiate,” he says. And just like with acting, strong choices matter. “Don’t ever try to play it safe by giving a generic look in order to avoid giving the ‘wrong’ look. That kind of approach to auditioning never works well. Even if you’re not provided with a ton of information, pick a specific look based on what you do know. That ability to decide and commit will give you a tremendous advantage while attending a go-see.”

How do I find representation?

Professional feedback, particularly in the early stages of a career, is important. So is experience. Go out and get any experience in front of a camera that you can before even approaching an agent with your headshot and DIY portfolio. If you’re an unsigned model, you should still try to work with a professional photographer for test images. Without first-hand experience, models don’t necessarily know their best angles, poses, and facial expressions. Practicing in front of the mirror is important, but having someone on the other side of the lens telling you “yes” or “no” will bring you up to speed on what works and what doesn’t. “That’s the stuff that you can’t really teach someone until they actually are doing it,” MSA Models’ Los Angeles agency director Francis Arden says.

The next step should be to research agencies and know what they look for in prospective clients. Mavrick Models of Mavrick Artists Agency, for instance, signs an array of talent—but certain specific physical characteristics are a must. Jack Maiden, director at Mavrick Agency, noted that most female models he signs are 5’8”–5’11” or just under 6’ in height. He usually looks for male models who are 6’–6’3”. He did, however, clarify that agencies within major modeling and commercial markets like Los Angeles and New York “all have different styles and tastes.”

Pro tip: One of the best ways to see what modeling agencies are in your area is through Backstage’s Call Sheet resource. All you have to do is check the modeling categories that interest you, type in your desired market, and filter for preference from there.

Once you find an agency that interests you, it’s time to show them what you’ve got. Many agencies’ websites will list online submission forms that usually require a modeling headshot and three-quarter to full-body photo. (JAG Models co-founder Gary Dakin recently told Backstage that interested parties should “send digitals of just your face without makeup and one full-body in a bathing suit, preferably, and your hair pulled back.”)

You can also find open-call information online. MSA Models’ Los Angeles office holds open calls Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday each week from 11 a.m.–11:30 a.m.; Mavrick holds L.A. open calls every Tuesday and Thursday from 2 p.m.–3 p.m.

Talent and modeling agencies like those quoted above are reputable professional sources and perfectly viable for an aspiring model. However, that’s not always the case. The modeling industry is notorious for taking advantage of young, inexperienced talent with promises of success and glamour but little to show for it. Watch out for con artists.

“Bait-and-switch is a common technique used by scam artists,” casting director and Backstage Expert Lana Veenker says. You may be promised one thing from an ad or open call, but when you show up to the proposed talent agency, “no one seems interested in your background or skills (or alternatively, they rave about how amazing you are without knowing much about you). Their true goal, you discover, is to sign you up for expensive ‘talent competitions,’ classes, or photo packages. They use the lure of fame and fortune to cloud your judgment and get you to open your pocketbook.”

It’s a dangerous and sad truth across both the modeling and acting industries that everyone should be prepared to avoid. Below, Veenker breaks down five specific ways to recognize a scam for Backstage.

  1. There’s no harm in someone teaching acting classes or selling headshots as long as that’s what he or she is advertising. If you thought you were going to an audition or a meeting to discuss representation but the conversation is all about you buying something, that’s a bait-and-switch!
  2. Some casting calls may be “no experience necessary,” but they should be exactly that: a casting call. You come in, fill out some paperwork, get your photo taken, and are perhaps recorded on video. They’ll call if they decide to hire you. No one tries to sell you anything, and there’s no fee to audition.
  3. Reputable model and talent agencies are highly selective. If you show up and they’re immediately willing to sign you regardless of your experience or suitability, question their motives—especially if they ask for money.
  4. Bona fide agencies don’t require you to take their classes or use their photographer. They may provide a list of recommended coaches or photographers in your area, but they shouldn’t pressure you to use a specific one or try to sell you something in their agency agreement.
  5. Legitimate agents make a commission off the gigs they find for you. If they engage in hard-sell techniques for classes, photos, contests, or representation, beware. That’s how they’re making their money, not by finding you work.

What diet and fitness regimen should I adhere to as a model?

The modeling industry comes with a very established set of physical and visual expectations for those who make a living within it. Individuality matters, of course, but we here at Backstage figure a model should be a model of health. Hitting the gym and eating mindfully should aspirationally be a part of everyone’s daily routine. But for models, it’s all but mandatory.

The same mindset should be applied to your time at the gym. It’s not as fun as making faces in the mirror, but hitting the gym and staying in shape is essential for any working model today. Want some quick tips? Mark Fisher of Mark Fisher Fitness recommends resistance training, mindful amounts of exertion, and plenty of rest. Are you in the mood for working out from home? See what Backstage Expert Erika Shannon has to say here and what PreGame Fit co-creator Dempsey Marks has to offer here.

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“Regardless of your goal, nutrition plays a large part in fitness,” writes Fisher. “What we eat determines how we look, feel, and perform. By focusing on a wide variety of non-processed foods, you’ll be off to a great start.”

And the benefits to a healthy lifestyle have positive repercussions beyond the waistline. Consider this: If you’re making your living in front of the camera modeling clothing, products, and more, you’re going to want to have healthy-looking skin. Eating your fruits and veggies and hitting all the required pit stops climbing up that food pyramid will incite soft, breakout-free skin better than any cream or scrub on the market. It’s the basic health steps of forgoing McDonald’s and fried, greasy, fatty indulgences for the healthier, leaner substitute. Highly processed foods have no business in your stomach, no matter how delicious!

How do I make a living as a model?

If you’ve made it this far, then at least you know you’re committing to giving this modeling thing a shot, and we’re proud of you for it! All we advise is that from the start, you do yourself a favor and have realistic expectations of what life as a model is like.

When thinking about making “a living” as a model, we’re primarily talking here about how to make financial ends meet. You likely won’t be making a livable wage as an model straight out of the gate. That’s where the appropriately coined “survival job” comes in. Serving tables, doing temp work, walking dogs, tutoring, nannying––it’s unlikely these are your passions in life, but work with flexible schedules and non-set hours is ideal for pursuing your real passion and getting on the go-see line.

“Unless you can find that dream full-time job with salary and benefits that allows you the chance to pursue acting, you have to be smart, resourceful, and flexible to create a steady income flow until you book that first national commercial or that first guest-starring role,”says acting coach and Backstage Expert Matt Newton.

When searching for the right survival job for you, you’ve got to consider wages and hours, sure, but also what you’d be a natural at. “What other skills do you have? Is there a job (or two or three) you can do that makes you happy (or at least that you can tolerate) while you are pursuing your dream?” Newton poses. “To achieve this might mean some creative thinking.”

Even if you do have a steady survival job and are getting in front of casting directors, you may still find yourself pinching pennies. But there are steps you can take to avoid that entirely. It’s often just a matter of having an organized system of getting paid, spending what you need, and tucking some away for later––not always the easiest prospect in an expensive city, mind you!

The first step to financial success is knowing how much money you need to make ends meet. To find your “make-or-break” number, add your bare-bones cost of living for one month (housing, food, public transit), then add another 10 percent to that number “because life is always more expensive than you anticipate,” personal finance author and Backstage Expert Stefanie O’Connellsays.

Add to that sum a monthly allotment of larger financial goals, which includes expenses like student loans or a down payment on a house. That total is the “benchmark for the viability of your life.” Take your benchmark and subtract it from your last month’s total income, and that will be the approximate financial wiggle room you have for excess spending—so treat yourself! “It’s about having this one benchmark, knowing that you have to commit to making at least that amount of money every single month, and then having the flexibility to do what you want with the rest,” O’Connell says.

Setting your financial goals straight, however, may come with some compromise and reevaluation of your priorities. If you’re no longer happy sleeping on friends’ couches while you audition full-time and sublet your apartment for extra cash, maybe you should work a full month’s rent into your budget. Do you really need to be spending $40 per week on your morning Starbucks, or is investing in a coffeemaker worthwhile? Always reassess the tradeoffs of priorities and what you feel you need to be successful. “Those priorities and means will change over time, and you have to be continually checking in with yourself and saying, ‘Am I still spending in alignment with what I value?’ ” O’Connell says. “We have these evolutions as people, and we have to allow ourselves that flexibility and continue to account for that flexibility in our spending plan.”

Straightening out your finances and finding a survival job that best fits your needs are essential steps in making a living doing this modeling thing. And for when you do fall on hard times, there are recently formed organizations like the Model Alliance, which you can read up further on below.

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