One thing good about being part of the building management team is that I'm able to understand some of the businesses of my tenants. I've read a few grudges by some girls (and guys) to being cheated by a modelling agency that they have to buy stuffs at crazy prices and still do not get chosen to be a model. Who's at fault? Is the agency conning them?
This is how the model agency works. They collect to-be-models information by hiring a scout. The scout will go to shopping complexes, parks, cemeteries and the likes to find interesting people. Then they will lunge and attack these people and ask them to have a model audition with the modelling agency.
So that's where the person will make a choice, to either go to the agency or not. Are they being conned or not?! Anyway, the scout will get some commission when the to-be-model comes to the agency and sign up. What happens at the agency?! Basically, the agency will get the particulars and the photographs of the model, and say that training is free. Here's the catch!... to register as a model of the agency, they'd have to purchase something, and in my tenant's case, a set of make-up that can cost anywhere between RM300 - RM800. It's not really the make-up that's expensive, they'll also teach the proper way to put make-up and give training such as cat-walk and what other things models should know.
A few weeks later, they'll get a call from the agency for a casting shoot, or a shooting cast, or whatever. When they turn up for these shooting lesson using a sniper rifle, I mean, for the casting, they'd see themselves with several other models as well. Usually only one or two models will be chosen. What happens to the un-chosen models?! Well, looks like they're not Neo of Matrix, the chosen one. Seriously, they'll leave to their car disappointed, sit down in the car, sulk at their bad luck, call up a girlfriend or the mum and complain about how stupid the agency is, and that they wasted their time, bla bla, not realising that another hour is added up to their parking ticket time.
This is the time the agency gets attacked a lot! "What stupid agency! Call me up, ask me to buy make-up and then train me and I get nowhere! I wish I wasn't found in the first place by that stupid scout!" What really goes on behind the agency business?!?
Modelling agency gets money from the make-up and training and of course, the hiring of their models for any media or tv shooting or catwalk or leapfrog. A company will call the agency saying "Hello, I'm doing a new commercial for a new 4G phone that can teleport through time, we're looking for a model with the following description: bla bla, height, bla, weight, bla, bald, bla". The agency then gives a looooong list of model names and photos and the company will cut down the choices to anywhere between 3 to 15 or 100 for all I care! Then the casting begins. Models are called for casting, and the company then tells the agency which model they've decided upon.
So there. That's how the industry works. Human nature shows that once the model gets connected to the company, future modelling is done between the model and the company hush hush and the agency loses out. So, for those models who are unhappy that they're not in the Chickadees or Tora advert, they must understand that Modelling Agency is just a stepping stone (with some investment), more like a match maker. Agency does not exist to con models, unless you see some really-cannot-be-model-one type of people coming for registration with the agency.