When I tell people I work for Models International Management (MIM), I often get the response, “Ooh are you a model?” First, Thank you, you sweet, sweet human being. Second, that can’t be further from the truth of what I really do. I am the New Faces Scout, Academy Director and International and Local Placement Agent. You might be thinking, “Wow that’s a mouthful, what does that really mean?”
What it means is that I am every hopeful model or actor’s first encounter into the industry. I am the smiling face you get to meet with when you are all nervous and unsure of this crazy new adventure you are about to embark on. With my friendly and welcoming attitude, I am here to sweep you off your feet and help guide you along. Consider me your Yoda to your Han Solo.
So what happens once I’ve greeted you? We have a little sit-down meet and greet. I ask questions about you, why you want to model and what you hope to get out of modeling. From there I tell you about our agency, what we can offer you, I take some pictures of you and check out your runway walk. With my superhero memory, you are now imprinted into my brain forever. I will remember you from this moment on and I will remember the craziest details about you; most likely including the outfit you were wearing when we first met.
My job is to assess the modeling potential of New Faces (people off the street that think they have what it takes to be a model.) I have to use my powerful ability to read people to see past the first impression. This is not always the easiest thing! There have been times when I truly believe in someone and the rest of the team doesn’t agree. For me, I will stick my neck out for anyone I believe in and I have — several times — and usually those times have paid off in the long run for our agency. From this moment on, I am your number one contact until we get you on that runway or in front of that camera lens.
My hidden superpower is not something like x-ray vision or the ability to fly, it’s my organization skills. I use them while figuring out what your next step is. In the modeling industry, most people need training, as with anything in life. Part of my other job description as Academy Director involves organizing this training. Not only is MIM an agency that books models for jobs, we also have an Academy that personally trains each New Face to ensure that no matter what model you book, they are going to do their job perfectly. I organize the Academy.
MIM holds classes Monday-Thursday nights from 6-9. We also have Saturday Teen Programs and Kid Programs that take place on Sunday mornings. We also have March Break Fashion Camps and several Summer Fashion Camps throughout the year. On top of running programs 6 days a week, we also have acting workshops and prep classes for upcoming conventions, that run on the 7th day of the week that isn’t already booked.
CAN YOU SAY BUSY!?
Organizing the academy is a full-time job in itself. This is why I call myself a superhero. I make sure that every class has a teacher and the proper learning materials. Some nights we run two different programs at once. Sometimes, emergencies strike, such as all of our teachers are getting stuck late at a booking and can’t make it to the academy to teach their class. With my extensive experience in the industry, I’m able to fly at the speed of light into my theoretical phone booth. When I come out I’m in my Runway shoes, casting attire, and I am ready to step up to the plate and teach our new hopefuls.
My favourite part of being a superhero is meeting everyone and making lasting impressions. Every week I get to watch our New Faces grow and develop into polished models, ready to conquer the modeling world. I have the power to liaise with many different external and internal team members. As our New Faces progress, I work to guarantee a smooth transition for our New Faces to become New Models. Things happen quickly in our agency and I am on my toes at all times to make sure that I am ready for whatever happens next. When my bat signal goes up, I quickly jump over the booking table, with my cape flying behind me. I’m answering phones, putting out fires with a quick click of my heels and a few clicks on my Macbook to reassure parents and models of the next steps.
Not only do I handle the New Faces and the Academy, the teachers, the students, and delegating tasks to the evening assistants, I also take care of Local and International placements of models. Essentially, as a model, you are going to want to try and work in other markets, whether it be local or internationally and I am here to get you those placements.
With my fast scheduling and coordinating skills, I’m able to book my models to meet with agencies in Montreal and Toronto. Once I have a model placed in one or both of those cities, I manage all jobs and bookings that they do. If you think managing your own calendar is a difficult task, imagine managing over 50 model’s schedules in three different markets. Agents from Toronto and Montreal contact me, let me know what the option/casting/photoshoot is and I let them know if the model is available, if they are booked out, or working in a different city on that particular day. I also am the liaison between all the agencies; new work comes in from a Toronto agency, I need to make sure that all of that model’s agencies have that new work to keep all of his or her portfolios updated.
Once a model is ready to conquer a bigger market, I work on getting them international contracts. I have to reach out to my contacts overseas and show the model off to other agents around the world. Once an agency has decided to take on a model in their market, I negotiate the contract, send flight options and negotiate payments, arrange the model’s apartment etc. I get to meet with the model and their parents and go over the plans of having them work overseas for a few months. This is where I truly become your personal superhero. It’s pretty amazing that MIM models get to have their very own superhero. I will work my fingers to the bones, stay late, talk to you at 1:00 in the morning to ensure that you have a great time and are getting lots of contracts and bookings overseas. If any issues arise at all, I am your super-girl. I will deal with any issue that comes up for you, no matter if they are big or small.
You might be reading this, thinking, “Okay Megan, calm yourself down, you have a job that you work and you do it well but relax with the superhero stuff.” What most people don’t realize is that, yes, my job description is what I’ve written here, but I do so much more than just that. I have become a professional multi-tasker. When you have several New York Visas to renew and you have an open call to find new models coming up, you can’t stop everything and work on just the Visa situation. No, you have to be working on reference letters and gathering material for your models. At the same time, you need to be making posters and doing the advertisements for upcoming open calls. You are answering the phone and helping answer questions about upcoming programs in the academy. You are meeting new faces, responding to other agencies requests for your models and you are managing MIM’s co-op students, interns and assistants. This is not a job for a one-track mind.
What other skills make me a superhero you might be asking? Well, I have a crazy memory. At the drop of a pin, I can let you know how much money you owe on your program fees. With at least 75 students in the academy at any given time, that is a pretty crazy party trick. No matter what the situation, I am ready to take it on. MIM is holding an event at Holt Renfrew and the DJ can no longer be the MC. No need to panic, public speaking is my jam, and I am excited to help. A short deadline comes up, easy, it’s going to be handled while juggling all of the other tasks that are going on. A model is
flying overseas on a weekend, and their plane is delayed, I am working on getting in touch with their agent overseas and making sure that all the arrangements are made for when they land at their new time. My last superhero power is my ability to always be there. It was a joke for a while at the agency that I slept there because that’s how committed I was. I truly care about each model and their wellbeing. No matter what, I will be there. When you call, when you stop by to chat, when you need advice (about anything, my scope goes way beyond modeling,) I am here for you.