Your portfolio is tacky and your skin sucks.

60's shoot last week in London
60’s shoot last week in London

I woke up this morning- EARLY this morning at 4am because my shit fuck head of a neighbor was up doing drugs and playing the drums.  I called the police. Which is funny because the police were here two days ago to arrest Mark for threating a girl who lives in the building next to us.  My new goal is to get him either evicted or put in jail. I love my apartment enough to stay but he’s ruining my life.

As you know from me complaining about it all the time- I’ve had an ongoing battle with acne since I was 15.  I took Accutane a few years ago, which cleared up everything.  Without makeup there’s a little bit of scaring but it’s so minimal that I’ve never been rejected a job because of it.  This morning I went in the bathroom to examine my skin and it looked better than it has all year.  It makes me very happy when my skin is clear, and despite being woken up by Mountain Dew Mark, I was feeling really good about myself.

I had an audition for an insurance commercial and I ran into a girl I know.  I mentioned that my current print agency isn’t working out (I’ve been on maybe 20 twenty castings since they signed me 8 months ago and I’ve booked 6 jobs, oh and they owe me $2000 from a job I did in December where they cut all my hair off). I told her I had a meeting at a new agency and she said, “ehh, they’re okay.”  I knew they were an “ehh” agency but I know a girl there who gave me a booker’s contact info and he wanted to meet me so it was easy.  At this point any agency would be better than my current one.  I didn’t feel like being rejected by Elite or Ford again so I figured this new smaller agency would be happy to sign me.

I get to the office and it’s in a large building on Wilshire.  I open the door and see that it’s a little ghetto.  Two older blonde women are sitting at a table across from each other and don’t notice me. A few seconds later a guy walks right by me and sits at the table and immediately starts talking about how some drunk girl hit his car.  This story goes on for about ten minutes.

He finally looks at me and says, “Hi, do you need something?”

“Yeah, I had an appointment with you at noon, Melissa.” It’s about 12:15

“Ok fill this paperwork out.”

One of the blonde women walks over and hands me a clipboard with basic info bullshit, sizes, age, blah blah.

“Wow, you’re cute!” She said and smiled. They already love me.

The booker comes over and sits in a chair next me. “So, tell me about yourself.”

I talk about working in NYC and how I was constantly busy, and how I just got back from London where I signed with an agency.  I mention I’ve worked for Target, L’Oreal, Nikon, Vice, In Style, etc. all the big jobs I’ve had, the designers I’ve worked for in NY, and tell him about the national commercial I’m in that’s currently running. I’d be impressed with me. That’s a pretty great resume for a model that’s only been working 3 years.

Someone walks in and we move to the table with him and the two women.  Some strange Indian guy comes out of a room and says something to one of the women and walks back. It was weird.  I notice the wardrobe the two ladies are wearing- not very good for a modeling agency.  That sounds snooty but every other agency I’ve been in has been full of well-dressed people who are on top of their shit in the fashion world.  The office didn’t look professional. I’ll just say that.  To be honest I was ready to leave right when I got there because I didn’t feel comfortable.

He looks through my portfolio and says, “Well, the first thing I notice about you is your skin, you have some scarring?”

I’m surprised he brought this up because a few hours earlier I noticed that my skin looked great.

“You need to take care of your skin, what are you doing?” He asks sassily.

“Well I took Accutane a few years ago, use Retin-A every night and I’ve been getting chemical peels but no one has ever mentioned it as a problem in the past year.”

“Okay, well I notice it, and if a casting director sees a girl who looks like you, then sees you, he’s going to choose the girl with the better skin.” He talks to me like I don’t know how the modeling business works.

At this point I’m a little annoyed and I don’t like how he’s talking to me.  He looks through my portfolio again.

“Your book needs a TON of work.”

I give him a confused look.

“You don’t think so?”

“Well, actually, no, I’ve gotten nothing but compliments on it in NY and last month in London.  I think it’s very strong.”

He goes through each photo saying “yes” or “no” to them.  He stops at my L’Oreal photos, which I think are strongest in the book, and says, “Eww, these are tacky.”

“Those are from L’Oreal, that was the biggest job I’ve ever done and those are on the L’Oreal website and in salons.”

“Well I don’t like them at all. How long ago did you cut your hair? These photos don’t look like you.”

UMM HELLO ISN’T THAT THE POINT OF BEING A MODEL??!? My job is to transform into whatever the designer or director wants and I have a look that does that. OF COURSE every photo isn’t going to be a 100% noticeable photo of my face because most models look very different when photographed.

I’m so annoyed. I wanted to leave. He asks me to stand up.  I’m wearing a tight short skirt and a cute shirt.  He asks how big my hips are.

“35 inches.”

“Hmm.” He moans. HMM WHAT? Did you not know that 35 is the most common size for models hips? Kate Moss has 35 inch hips, Agynes Deyn has 35 inch hips. Every fucking model I know how has either 34, 35, or 36 inch hips. Don’t “Hmm” me.

“Well you have a commercial agent already?”

“Yeah, and I like them, I booked a commercial with them and they send me out on lots of auditions.”

“We like to keep our girls all under one umbrella- commercial, print, theatrical, just so we don’t have to compete with your other agency and get schedules mixed up.”

Sure, that makes your life easier, but I’m not willing to risk losing a great commercial agent to try out your agency when you don’t even like my portfolio and think I look too dissimilar to my photos.

“We’ll sign you for print, but you have to give up your commercial agent and sign with us commercially too.”

“I’m sorry, I just can’t.” He hands me his business card and says if I change my mind to let him know.

No. I won’t be doing that. And honestly, I don’t like you. This isn’t New York, you don’t have to pretend like you work at the top of the chain at Elite. You are in a shitty rented office building with those square foam ceiling tiles from 1987 and a piece of white paper that has your agency’s name typed out and laminated on your front door. If my portfolio is tacky then your “faux” hawk is even tackier.

Good day, sir.

19 thoughts on “Your portfolio is tacky and your skin sucks.”

  1. Sheesh, I know nothing about agencies and whatnot, but whoever those guys were sound like some really shady operation. It’s like that manager guy was using some weird corporate version of “the game” on you (No I’ve never read that misogynist crap, I just hear about it all the time.) It’s like he was working under the theory that if he acted like someone with enough power to get away with being an asshole you would believe it.

  2. Holy fuck! You’re way stronger than I would’ve been! I would’ve told him to take his attitude and his crappy comments and to go fuck himself!! It sucks that you and other models have to put up with so much criticism, good and bad. Your job is not as easy and glamorous as everyone thinks, and your writings about it should be therapeutical, and definitely something young girls wanting to get into the industry should read. If nothing else, to prepare them for the reality of a models life.
    Stay strong and positive……. Good things happen to those who wait!

  3. I’m very happy you’re starting to blog of your own accord regularly and I really enjoy reading your posts, you tell it like it is and as a fellow model I can relate. Please carry on writing and ignore all the hate!

  4. Wow!!! That is some absolutely crap, glad you moved on from that! I love reading all your posts. I too have been battling acne for years and deal with scars too. Its hard with modeling but it doesn’t seem to hinder me too much until you get some scum bags like that! You’re gorgeous!

  5. Too many nice comments in here, I prefer Vice where people say to cut your wrists and do jumping jacks and stuff.

  6. Your self esteem is right where it should be. It wasn’t you, it was them – and you knew that. That’s fantastic.

    I said good day!

  7. As a guy, I don’t mind my acne scars. It makes me feel like a mentor where I can tell little kids that stare to finish their vegetables lest they want to end up looking like me. In seriousness, I’m impressed of how well you comported yourself. Btw, I enjoy your ease speech of writing.

  8. Did you know that the face reflects the state of the gut, like a car’s indicator panel? The quickest way to clean up the face, to have great, glowing skin, is to cut out the boob juice. All forms of it. Do it for a week as an experiment and see what you notice. That’s just a piece of the puzzle, but it’s not hard to have great skin and even heal scars.

  9. and isn’t there a thing called photo shop, where they can, like, alter things like skin tone and airbrush over scars and zits? I dunno, maybe other people haven’t heard about it yet.

    You must have developed such a thick skin (no pun intended about skin, but wording stays as is :))


  10. Love your reply Melissa..BTW….I am your dad’s cousin Evette, I live in DC and saw one of your commercials last year…love your work lady!

  11. So are you aloud to have occasional acne or scars in the modeling world? I want to model but my skin went to shit a few years ago.

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