Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Burn Bridges or Get Agency Representation

In an uncharacteristic move, I took it upon myself to reach out to someone I thought would make a great model for a series we were creating. The goal was to publish, widely market the images and even potentially submit to other publications providing the model made the proverbial cut. Well she very very nicely said she was just too busy on "paid assignments" and not interested. Okay so which is it? Are you too busy or are you just not interested? Well she didn't just burn the bridge, she burned it and buried the ashes in the desert somewhere unknown. Here's why her reply isn't as honest as it appears.

The reply she gave is plenty simple and nice enough. Some might even say it was professional. I think it may have gone better but what did she possibly do or say wrong? What else does this guy want you might ask? She has to make money for her modeling services right? Sure she does. She made the horrible assumption many models make. First she assumed I wouldn't pay. A true professional would ask about the specifics. Where is it? When is it? What is the compensation? What is the theme? I had given an ample amount of information to make an informed decision or to inquire further. But she didn't take it. She blew me off right away and gave that dumb lazy answer of "paid assignments" and "not interested." No worries I thought. That's how it goes. I'm retired so what do I care right?

But as always I genuinely thanked her for taking the time to reply and told her I may consider for something in the future when I need a fashion editorial model that I can publish with all the makeup and hair styling provided for along with designer clothing and accessories. Additionally, that it may lead to a cover that may have made her eligible for a temp web page, free magazine copies and downloads with an extensive social media campaign featuring her as a result. Oh but wait she replied again. She might be available or able to rearrange her schedule for that. Seriously???!!!! I couldn't stop laughing. What happened to "not interested?" What happened to "I'm just so busy making stacks of money? (no-one believes that by the way). No thanks I'm thinking. You burned that bridge to the earth and where there was once water underneath it is now a bottomless canyon. There is no mending that fence.

All is well that ends well. This isn't about me because fortunately I'm not that sensitive. This is about exercising a reasonable amount of etiquette when dealing with potential opportunities. Many people, including myself, often jump to conclusions and make assumptions based on past experiences or hubris. Most often it's just pure pride and ego that has us making bad decisions. It took me awhile to take out the emotion when dealing with certain business dealings and just focus on what is in my long term best interests professionally.

This isn't about the aforementioned model either; at least not entirely. People have the freedom and right to make their own decisions about what they will and will not do. Just like I will not ever offer her any new opportunities ever again. Nor will I ever recommend her for anything no matter who asks. That's my right as it is hers to never come back.

This isn't personal. I'm an humble guy. I'm not feeling myself enough to believe there aren't multiple alternatives to what I do. Yet, I also know my worth, my vision, my skill and technical prowess to execute an idea. I wish her and everyone else the absolute best even with that jacked up sh*t attitude. It's really not her fault. The industry made her believe that having slightly above-average looks was all it takes. She was told she was cute one too many times before it stuck and now she believes the sky is the limit. "Oooh, I beautiful. I can be a model she thought." Yet, she never had the direction she needed. She's simply one example of a much larger issue. Why are there so many non-professionals involved in this industry? What she needs is agency representation.

I know you can't believe it. I said it. This is one of many reasons why agencies exist in the first place I thought. Yeah, there I typed it. I know I know. He actually thinks agencies are a good idea? Well don't get carried away just yet. I think they are great for people who simply don't have the acumen to handle their own affairs among other reasons. This is definitely one of those cases as are many. It is precisely why most of these delusions of making it big go absolutely nowhere. The talent is there. The mindset, the professional attitude and business acumen are NOT.