Hi Bridget! I am a 15 girl living in Australia, and about a year ago I was scouted by IMG modelling agency. They thought I was older than I was at the time and asked me to come back in a year. Now the time has come for me to sign with them if I wish to. I realise this is an incredible opportunity, however, I am anxious as to how to start. What if it turns out to be a huge fail? What if it ruins my self-confidence?
I would love your advice as to what I should do!
First things first – congratulations! Getting scouted is a big deal, and IMG is one of the largest agencies in the world.
It is completely normal to be anxious before making a big move like this. Especially a move into the world of modeling, which is extremely unknown, and can be quite daunting. However I want you to flip the way you are thinking about this… What if it turns out to be a huge win? What if it gives you a huge amount of self-confidence? That is how it turned out for me. When IMG scouted me at 14, I was terrified. I couldn’t talk, and I felt like I had fooled everyone. It took a couple of years to shake this feeling, but eventually modeling taught me how to look people in the eye, and that I deserve to be where I am today, no matter what the trolls say.
You obviously have something special, otherwise they wouldn’t have found you, and waited for you to get a little older before signing you. And they will wait for you to get comfortable in the industry too. You are still very young, and you have school to finish. So model part time, get used to the industry and enjoy the rest of your childhood. I worked as a model part time in year 11 and half of year 12, and then I spent the second half of year 12 studying, so it is very possible. Remember that you are in control of this journey – get yourself used to it and decide if you want to take part in this job. Nobody makes these calls in your life except you.
Keep yourself interested in other things outside of modeling also. Modeling is a fantastic career; however never lose sight of what it is. It is a very exciting and well-paid job, but it is not what you do, but how you do it. This job has a shelf life, and you will endure a lot of rejection. It is a lot easier to endure the rejection when you have a full life outside of modeling; with interests in people outside of the industry, and other hobbies to occupy your mind and time. Never lose sight of what life without modeling will look like for you – because one day it will happen! Plus it keeps you interesting. My regular (and favorite) clients couldn’t give a f**k about my achievements in the modeling world (they are proud of me though!) – they are much more interested in whether after day four of shooting in tough weather conditions I am interested in hanging out; chilling and talking about anything. These are the people you want in your life; I essentially get paid to hang out with my friends – and I have made some of my favorite friendships this way.
So keep it real. You don’t have to give up your freedom, interests and personality to do this job – so there is no need to be stressed about it! Look at it for what it is; an amazing opportunity to make some money, travel the world, and meet some rad humans. Nobody makes the calls in your life except you, and you are never too young to realize this.
A few final points!
1. Read all your contracts, always
2. Save your money, invest in real estate
3. Take a parent or agent to set with you until you are 18
4. Learn healthy work out and eating habits now (you will thank me later!)
5. Read “the subtle art of not giving a fuck”
I hope this helps!