Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

With the promomise of a New Year comes the renewed sense of purpose for all of us.
With our country experiencing a correction, we are all affected. The issue here is not what is happening, but how we choose to respond.
We all can focus on the news, or we can focus on what we can do individually and collectively. For myself, I have already survived cancer, so at this point nothing surprises me! :) My challenge is to always find what I can learn from any given situation and apply my abilities to rise above it.
So, with the new year at hand, you all have amazing abilities, and so does your agnecy Peak Models & Talent. Together we can rise above all of the negativity out there and find the health, happiness, and prosperity that we are all aiming to maintain and enrich.
I wish you all the best life has to offer, and remember to stay grateful for what you have!
Cheers~
Natasha Duswalt
Peak Models & Talent

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Finding a FIT MODEL

www.peakmodels.com
Now for a fit model. A fit model is a human being that "fits" the clothing for a specific clothing manufacturer. When a company produces clothing to sell across the nation or globe, a fit model is employed to assist in the fit process.
Have you ever put on a top and found that you cannot move your arms? Perhaps that company did not use a fit model to check production? As a former fit model for many years, I have seen hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise returned to companies due to fit issues. A fit issue can be as simple as the tension being too tight on a sewing machine that is producing a swimsuit resulting in lack of flex for the garment. You will notice as well that most of the higher priced items fit better.
The reason for this is because the manufacturer understands that FIT is critical to re order business and sales in general. Once a garment goes to production, it is critical that the end result fits. There is no turning back after the fact.
At Peak Models & Talent we have been providing FIT models since 1997 for leading manufacturers in the Los Angeles area. Many of our models travel all over the world to ensure proper fit, resulting in the success of some of the biggest names in apparel. At this time in our economic climate, quality is going to be the only thing that sets a company apart from another. To achieve quality and fit, a fit model is the most critical aspect of producing garments that sell.
FOr more information on how we can help to find a fit model for your company, check in with us at www.peakmodels.com

Friday, December 19, 2008

The difference between Fit models and Fitness Models

Every time a model submits to Peak Models & Talent, I ask if they are familiar with FIT MODELING? Most of the models I meet seem to confuse FIT MODELS with FITNESS MODELS. Actually the two are very different.
Fitness models are hired for fitness companies and magazines having to do with health and fitness. When you see the cover of SHAPE magazine, that is a fitness model. You might also see fitness models on exercise infomercials, gym advertisments, and nutritional products.
Now for a fit model. A fit model is a human being that "fits" the clothing for a specific clothing manufacturer. When a company produces clothing to sell across the nation or globe, a fit model is employed to assist in the fit process.
Have you ever put on a top and found that you cannot move your arms? Perhaps that company did not use a fit model to check production? As a former fit model for many years, I have seen hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise returned to companies due to fit issues. A fit issue can be as simple as the tension being too tight on a sewing machine that is producing a swimsuit resulting in lack of flex for the garment. You will notice as well that most of the higher priced items fit better.
The reason for this is because the manufacturer understands that FIT is critical to re order business and sales in general. Once a garment goes to production, it is critical that the end result fits.
At Peak Models & Talent we have been providing FIT models since 1997 for leading manufacturers in the Los Angeles area. Many of our models travel all over the world to ensure proper fit, resulting in the success of some of the biggest names in apparel. At this time in our economic climate, quality is going to be the only thing that sets a company apart from another. To achieve quality and fit, a fit model is the most critical aspect of producing garments that sell.
FOr more information on how we can help to find a fit model for your company, check in with us at www.peakmodels.com

Holiday Bookings?

Yes it's true, just when you think things should be slowing down in the modeling industry, they actually get really busy! For some reason the fashion industry especially seems to shoot last minute catalogs right up until Christmas! Yes, we have had several rush castings and bookings this week, and we have several models working on the 22nd and 23rd of December!
Now, I am all for the clients booking, the only problem is that at least 60% of the models are out of town visiting family and taking a break from the hustle and bustle of LA. The models that stay in town seem to clean up on the bookings at this time of year.
So when you are planning your holiday getaways,remember that while you may be roasting chestnuts, there is a whole business that never sleeps, and that seems to include Peak Models & Talent. We have always accomodated our clients right up until the 23rd of December. With everyone feeling the pinch of the current economic state, these last minute bookings are really great for extra gift money or travel money to visit loved ones out of town.
Whatever and however you celebrate your holidays, remember we are here and ready for you when you return. Please make sure to check in and tell us your return date!
Happy Holidays!
Natasha Duswalt
www.peakmodels.com

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Freelance Models

Freelance models seem to very popular these days! Yes that is right, an agent is writing about freelance models, and there is a reason to really consider booking on your own. Here are the facts, in this economy, people are losing their jobs, being forced out of their homes, and struggling to make ends meet. Models are not immune to the pressures of the economy as we all know. Being an agent I get to see both side of the coin so to speak. I see models that are committed to their agencies and I see models that "want" and agent, but do not want to let go of the freelance aspect of modeling. This year we have had several companies go belly up that could not keep up with the pressures of the economic state we have found ourselves participating in. Many of those clients have bounced checks, stalled on payments, etc.
At Peak Models & Talent we are setting up new terms with cleints for payment. Many of our clients pay directly with a credit card to assure payment. I do not know about you, but as an individual, I do not "accept" credit cards, since I am not a business. However, my agency Peak Models & Talent does accept credit cards, and that is an advantage we pass on to our models.
I get calls ane emails all of the time with models telling me about their horror stories regarding payment. The most interesting thing is that they ask how to get paid with a freelance client. My question is , why would you ever book freelance and risk getting paid? Is it worth the few extra dollars to you that you would pay in commission?
Oh, and one more thought? Did you ever book a job freelance,and meet agency girls doing the SAME work you are doing yet they are being paid a much higher rate due to agency representation?
Many of you think this is not fair, but you are choosing to work freelance, so you should be happy with the rates you have negotiated! After all, you wanted to book it on you own right? I agree it is not fair, but you have a choice.
With our economy , there is no better time to find a reputable agency that has been in business at least 10 years, that can work on your behalf. The commission paid to the agency far outweighs the risks you take going it alone in the freelance world.
Natasha Duswalt
www.peakmodels.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Comp cards and portfolios

Hi everyone~!
I thought I would pass on a little story about a model that works with Peak.
This model books print, and for some reason does not feel that she needs to print comp cards. Yes, she does work all of the time, and for some reason will not invest in cards for herself or Peak. So, I get a call todaay from a costume company asking for additional comp cards of girls that fit into the range of what they are seeking.( We had sent a packet the week prior) Of course we wanted to send her card in, but again, we did not have cards. Being the diligent agency that we are, we emailed her photos over. The client said that he would love to book her, but he needed to send a hard copy to the owner and "line up" the models cards to finalize the booking. We had already sent a packet a week earlier, so he had cards, he just wanted a few more to wrap the booking. Now it gets really interesting, the client was booking 4 models at 1500 + 20% per day per model, and it is a 2 day possibly 3 day booking. You do the math on that. Long story short, he did not have time to wait, so he went ahead and booked the models that were included in the packet. At first I felt really bad for that model, and she does not even know that this happened,of course I wiill tell her, but for now I had to tell all of you, since I KNOW that many of you do not have comp cards with us. Starting January 1st, we will require PEAK logo cards, along with a PEAK logo book to be sent out. There are hundreds of models that submit to PEAK every week, and we need models that can deliver. Again, I really felt bad about what happened to this model, since I know that an additional $3000.00 - $4500.00 would have been nice this holilday season. So, for those of you that say you can't afford comp cards, I would say that you cannot afford not to have them.
PEAK is lucky to have models that are on top of their game, and we strive to have more. Please do your part to get comp cards made asap. Our layout is at BUNKER and GENISIS, and PARAGON, all in LA. We will need to see the photos that you are selecting for your cards as well. If you need to shoot, check out my personal favorite www.elijahstar.com I wish I could have booked that model, but I cannot do it all for her. Hopefully we can all learn that being prepared is key in this business. www.peakmodels.com

Monday, November 10, 2008

Picture the scene...

Picture the scene...
you are a casting director or an agent. You see thousands of photos for hundreds of projects every day. Now, you see familiar faces, some you have fond thoughts of being on time, being prepared, being available. Conversly, you see the faces of those that always seem to have a problem, changing times for castings,being late,being unavailable for castings and bookings due to other interests having nothing to do with your acting or modeling career. Now, picture this..
The agent or casting director has to literally "vouch" for you to clients. Who do you think they are going to think of when the big jobs come rolling on by.
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be in everything??? Is it luck?
NO, it is being there, available, on time,not acting like a diva. Yes, it is a sad truth, but many photos get passed over in casting offices over little things that all add up to unreliable.
The solution you ask? Yes you can save face...literally...I am talking reinventing yourself. Get new photos taken immeidately, post a range of looks on LA casting and BREAKDOWNS. Think back honestly, have you been on top of your game? OR are you the type that always has an excuse why you cannot make appointments, always need things changed around for you? Yes, you know who you are, and if you are not booking, this is a major reason why. I want you to succeed, and so all I can say is to get rid of the photo that has flaky written all over it, and reshoot. Then, if you go to that trouble, you MUST commit to showing up.
For photographer suggestions email us for a list.
www.peakmodels.com

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Let's FACE it!

Ok everyone,
Facebook is here to stay. If you are an actor or model, keep in mind that your Facebook account might be accessed by people interested in booking you for work.
What message are you sending?
Could it possibly offend someone?
Are you plastering your opinions all over the internet about issues that you are passionate about?
What is the puspose of your Facebook?
For most people Facebook is a social networking tool. It is also a very effective business tool.
Many people get booked or cast via knowing someone that knows someone else.
I know, I know, you do not want to change who you are and edit your profile.
All I can tell you is that you will do yourself a great service if you just keep the business, business and the social, social.
There are just too many people using the Facebook site for their platform to be heard.
Just keep in mind that not everyone may agree with your position, and some of those people might be hiring the next model or actor.
Just remember,you are in business for yourself. Keep your personal life personal.

The eternal photo!

Ok, so you are out there auditioning all over town. You find yourself in waiting rooms with other models and actors at auditions. So, picture the scene.
There is someone that can acutally decide if you are the right person for the job.
You suddenly decide to stand up on your personal soap box and start chatting with others about your views. Let's just say that this is a small world. You might decide to talk about casting directors, agents, managers, photgraphers, or politics.
Whatever it is, you now have everyone's attention.
And...you have a photo posted up on LA casting, Actors Access, Breakdowns, etc.
What you do not know is that you have no idea who knows who, and what is going to get back around that you spoke about. Now for your photo. If you happen to spew your political agenda all over a public casting office, you might just well be offending someone at that office, and guess what? They can permanently mark your photo for future reference, whether it be positive or negative. I have personally had people call my office and complain about models that were talking way too much, and emailed their political views to people in casting. Of course you have a right to your opinion, but keep your persnal agenda in check when trying to get booked.

What models and talent should never do.....

Election season is upon us. Depending on when you read this, you are either days away from voting for the President of the United States or you just have. The truth is, politics are always pertinent, and not just in the fall every four years (there are other elections, you know, and plenty of things to be passionate about year-round). However, your mother and Miss Manners were right when they said it's not polite to talk about politics, particularly when you're working.
Actors are stereotypically passionate people, and they tend to be informed about politics and hold strong opinions about what is going on. I love this and personally encourage you not to be wishy-washy in your life! Have convictions and create/promote/be the change you want to see in the world (thanks Gandhi!).

Okay, now I’ll step off my soapbox.

Actors should feel free in their private lives to speak out, post signs and wear shirts promoting their beliefs. However, these expressions of opinion are not appropriate in the lobby of your commercial audition, in emails to producers, casting directors, ad agency execs, or even lowly PA's, for that matter. (No one stays a PA forever.) Talk with friends about your political beliefs over cocktails, discuss all things relevant with the signature-gatherer of a proposition, or chat with the political party promoter at an event. Just don’t talk politics with someone who currently (or might in the future) have one iota of power in the decision to hire you to work on a commercial.

Why? Simply put (and I have said it before), if you rub one person the wrong way, you have potentially ostracized yourself from them and all of their jobs, current and future, forever. Let's face it. People have a sharp memory when it comes to someone offending them. Unfortunately, grudges last a lot longer than any good feelings. It isn't fair, but it’s very true. Now, with online casting, it is easy to make grudges lifelong. In a matter of seconds, casting directors can add a note to an actor's profile that will be there forever. Every time you are submitted for a role, this note will appear about you. This means that memories of an unintentionally offensive statement can’t fade in a few months like they used to; they’ll always be right next to your photo in black and white! (Don't forget that this can work for positive thoughts about you, too.)

Actors sometimes forget that each audition is a job interview. It's not appropriate to talk to an interviewer about your stance on gay marriage when you are wearing a suit and applying for job in corporate America, and it isn't appropriate in an audition setting, either. Even when you think a casting director MUST feel the same way, don't take the chance! Maybe they are on the same page, but the other casting director within earshot may have different and equally passionate feelings about the same topic.

Don't forget the pyramid of power. The producer of a commercial you shot may have your email address. They may be shooting mass emails out to everyone in their address book to encourage voting a certain way. You do not have the luxury of hitting "Reply All" to offer a different opinion. (I would also advise against hitting "Reply All" to support their opinion.)

Just keep your mouth shut. You can't afford to offend anyone in the commercial industry if you are hoping to work in the field. If you get an email from a producer, you can be certain that there are other influential people being emailed, too. Take a look. Producers have the luxury of voicing their opinion to people below them (for lack of better word). You, as an actor, do not. You are at the bottom of the pyramid and the food chain of the commercial industry. If that makes you unhappy, consider a career in casting or production.

Being in a commercial is a great gig for a lot of you. Do yourself a favor and stay neutral (silent!) on political/moral issues when you are at an audition, on set, or sending emails to industry professionals. Don't unknowingly sabotage yourself. You may never know why you aren't hired or called in on a job, and it could have everything to do with a political statement made in passing. Think of yourself as Switzerland!

If you’re someone who just can't keep silent, at least you know now that there are potential ramifications for your decision to speak. It's your choice, but after reading this, hopefully there will be no surprises!
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Casting Networks Newsletter

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Growing, growing , growing!

Hey everyone!
Just a quick FYI, Peak Models & Talent is moving offices. We are moving just down the street into a new location. We would love to see you, so in the next month, please make a time to stop by and go over your books and photos.
It is always best to keep updated, so the more informatiion you keep on your LA casting accounts, and Actors Access, the better cahce of booking.
As always, we will do our best to get you booked.
Please also keep us posted on any address changes, hair changes, size changes etc.
Keep up the great work!
Natasha Duswalt
www.peakmodels.com

Monday, October 20, 2008

TARGET print booking!



Hi everyone,
Well, once again one of my favorite places to shop for things I need for my family has booked another one of our models for their print campaign.
We are happy to tell you that Jenna and Karen have both booked Target in the past few months, and I can say that their books are strong enough to land these bookings.
I was speaking with a photographer the other day and he told me that models complain if they do not get booked, or they think they are wasting time going to castings.
I cannot tell you how many times clients call me and say, " So and so was not right for this project, but I want to book her / him next time.
The funny thing is that some of these very models will complain if they did not get the booking, of course then I have to decide if they are going to be difficult for my client, since they are complainers, and should I recommend someone else?
I understand that you all want the bookings, but keep it in mind that every person you meet is an opportunity for something else as well.
Congratulations to Jenna and Karen for booking TARGET STORES PRINT!

Bridal Magazine Shoot !




A couple of weeks ago one of our models shot a very upscale bridal magazine for Peak Models & Talent. The model was Shelli, and she was kind enough to share her photos with all of us.
Remember, if you have a chance, always carry your camera to capture moments of your modeling career. You never know whom you might meet, and that is great for your memories, not to mention PR!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Courtney in the spotlight!


www.peakmodels.com
Every time I have to choose a model to put in the spotlight, I have such a hard time deciding who to post, since there are so many of you that deserve your time in the light. Please know that I am watching your bookings, your casting attendance, your attitude towards clients, and the entire package. This month our model in the spotlight is Courtney. Courtney is an amazing model. Upon our first meeting, I said after she left the office, " That girl is going to book". Courtneys energy was so amazing, she was personable, friendly and outgoing. She had the confidence that I look for in a model, and the beauty to go with it.
As predicted, Courtney started booking right away. I was not surprised, since she is such an amazing model and person. I believe that Courtney touches everyone she meets in a positive way. I feel very luck to have Courtney with Peak Models & Talent.
I look forward matching her up with new clients, and watching her thrive!
I have also noticed that Courtney goes to all of the castings we provide, and there is no drama or being picky.
I believe that Courtney understand the power of meeting people and that the more people you meet the better off you will succeed at whatever you are doing.
Courtney is also very diverse, she can do fashion, athletic wear, swimwear, and everyhting inbetween. Courtney's natural athletic ablility has enabled her to maintain a fit and healthy figure booking major sportswear companies. As I mentioned, I am looking for the " it" factor, and again you can see it with
Courtney P.

Congratulations Courtney, you are truly an outstanding person!

Model Spotlight Courtney!

www.peakmodels.com
Hello! My name is Courtney and I am originally from Newnan, GA! I TRULY LOVE the South and think it has really shaped who I am today. My family is VERY outdoorsy so I grew up going on several camping, rafting, fishing, sailing and backpacking trips with my entire family. (That....and also ROOTING the Auburn TIGERS to victory each football season:)!!)

I also was a model as a child and left high school in 9th grade to live in in New York in a model's apartment! I was even lucky enough to be photographed by Ellen Von Unwerth. I only stayed in NYC for a short while, as I had to finish high school with my class. After I moved back to Atlanta, I then decided to focus on acting. My biggest role was playing Rebecca DeMornay in some flashback scenes in the made for TV movie, GETTING OUT.

After high school, I went to the University of San Diego where I majored in Mass Communications (aka film and television) and minored in French! I took a semester abroad and lived in Australia where I got credit for school and was able to travel to New Zealand and Thailand! It was a great experience.

After college, I got a job guiding backpacking trips for a company called MOONDANCE ADVENTURES! It was fabulous! It was me, and one other co-leader, and we would get a group of about 12-14 teenagers and would take them on a backpacking trip for 2 weeks at a time! We would take the kids rock climbing, rafting, backpacking, hiking...just living in the outdoors 24/. It was incredible....but alas, it is very seasonal work and I needed a full time job....so I moved back to Atlanta and got a job with the Turner networks; CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, doing ad sales. After a year there, I was offered a chance to go to LA and work for TBS and TNT on the development and production side. I studied production in college so I was excited to work in the entertainment industry, just behinde the scenes! I helped develop and produce shows such as THE CLOSER, and MY BOYS! After 3 years behinde the scenes, the acting and modeling bug bit me again....and with being in LA....I decided to give this world I loved soo much as a child, another try! I quit my job at TBS and TNT last July and have been working as an actress and a model ever since. I am soo happy I made that decision! I love acting and modeling and hopefully will continue to book as I have been thus far.

I would say my talents include being an outdoors guide and experienced backpacker. I have backpacked through Iceland, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the British Virgin Islands, Mexico, EU and last year I did the PATAGONIAS in Chile! I love being outdoors and traveling. I am also getting certified to teach pilates and become a personal trainer. I love being in shape and I love helping people discover how good they can feel too! This is also a great job to have while pursuing acting and modeling since I can make my own hours! I also love speaking French although now that I live in CA....I wish I took Spanish in college:)! Above all, I love being around my family and friends....


I was asked to star in celebrity trainer, VALERIE WATERS', work out video that is coming out this Fall. Together, we have been on Access Hollywood and EXTRA promoting her workouts that have changed the bodies of many celebrities including Jennifer Garner and Jessica Alba.

Getting serious about booking!

www.peakmodels.com
Hi everyone~!
I though I would share my thoughts with you on this econimic situation that our country has slid into. As you all know we are seeing the worst economic slump in our country's history. If you are not aware, I am so happy for you since that means you have no idea what is going on, and therefore must be blissfully happy!
For the rest of us that see the reality on a daily basis on the news media, we need to be careful not to fall victim to the negative emotions of what is happening around us.
For one, I am always amazed at how many of you are actors and actresses and turn down high paying jobs for a " audition". I can tell you this, I have been an agent for 13 years now, and I have seen the same thing year after year. People come from all over the nation to LA to chase the dream. I fully understand following your passion, but I also believe in paying your rent and having money for times of crisis.
Let's put it this way, I modeled for over 10 years before being an agent, I saved money every year for retirement, and I try to always be prepared for a rainy day.
My concern is that many of you are living day to day and not planning your future.
I know if feels like you will always be young, but time flies, and we have to plan accordingly.
What plan do you have in place to save money?
Do you have medical insurance in case you fall ill like I did with cancer?
Just a note, the cost of saving my life was over $350,000.00 in treatment. Thank goodness I have insurance, not to mention the lifetime of check ups I will need.
The final note is, take the jobs we offer, you never know, a fit modeling job could pan out to a six figure income if you do it right. I know first hand, since I did it myself and worked constantly, making a great income in my 20's.
Do you know that being a fit model is one of the highest paying positions that does not require a college degree?
Think about it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Getting to know Megan!

As you all know we are happy to feature models that are doing a great job with PEAK!
The focus of this program is to learn and grow from each other.
Here is an interview with Megan, our Spotlight model!

At what age did you start modeling?
Well if I am being honest the first time that I ever struck a pose was at the age of 5. I was front and center of my
kindergarten class picture. I throw my left leg behind my right and stuck my hip out. I remember running down the
alley reenacting the pose to my mom as she was getting home from work. The first time that I ever shot with a
professional photographer I was 17. The first time that I ever got paid to model I was 25 when I booked a job with
Hot Tuna through Peak.

What was your reason for wanting to be a model?
It just feels right. I have always thought about modeling. When I was in highschool a friend of mine went to Model
Search America and that was the first time that I ever heard of model scouting. Long story short I went to the scouting
twice. It was held in Washington, DC. and I had gotten a call from an agent the second time that I had went to try
out. They were the typical scam that you hear about; pay for pictures, class, the whole nine. After doing that for a
year, I had to stop because of all of the lies and disappointments, it was such a joke. I focused on my degree in
Graphic Design, but whenever someone needed a model for photography class I was ready and willing. I would even
put my face or body image in my own projects. I knew that if I continued to put my love for modeling out there it
would come to me. There are plenty of jobs that you come across through out life and modeling makes me feel
amazing. The reason that I started modeling so late was because I wanted to finish College before going after my
true passion of modeling. I thought that it was just a phase but after receiving a degree in Visual Communications,
the day dreaming of moving to LA did not fade. I knew in my gut that I could be successful in Los Angeles as a
model, as well as many other things. It just felt right. Modeling gives me a high like no other. I love the competition, I
love the rush of strutting down a runway and I love looking at my face looking back at me on a catalog. I feel overwhelmed
with satisfaction. Modeling has definitely built my confidence. I feel like I can achieve anything that I put
my mind too.

What would be your dream job as a model?
I would love to beable to travel the world and get paid for it. I have never left the United States. I know it’s shocking. I
have a passport so I am trying to put out positive vibes. It would also be a huge accomplishment to one day grace
the covers of Cosmopolitan, Shape, Glamour ect.

What do you think is the difference between Peak Models and other modeling agencies?
From the moment I walked into Peak I felt very welcome and knew that they were the real deal. I will never forget I
meant with Natasha, signed papers and then Tammi had already arranged 2 castings for me to go on that same day. I
remembering saying, “Are you serious?” and her response was , “Yes...this is how it works.” She even printed me out
directions, which means a lot to me because I am always getting lost. Agencies before just made me feel like I was
being judged from the moment that I walked into the door. I understand as models and actors we are judged upon
everyday but it’s nice to have an agency that makes you feel like family from the moment you enter the door.

What is your main goal in the modeling business?
My main goal in the modeling business is to book as many jobs as I can, so I can have a nice lump sum in the bank
for my future. I just want to continue to learn from other models and to continue to network as much as possible. I
am always trying to grow.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
In the next five years I would love to own a beach house in Hermosa and begin to star in films, especially romantic
comedies. I would also love to have a nice long list of commercial, television and film credits on my resume. I have
to dream big! Why not?

What is your favorite part of being a model?
Everything from hair and makeup to picking out clothes, to posing for the camera. Everything about it is fun and I
even get paid. I pray all the time and thank God for allowing me to be successful as a model because the modeling/
entertainment world is so competitive. I also enjoy having a sneak preview of all the new trends and fashions.
Modeling has allowed me to make a living doing what I love to do!













www.peakmodels.com

Friday, September 12, 2008

Model Spotlight!


Ok everyone, I mentioned that I would like to "spotlight" the models that are really showing up and doing their part. I also want to be able to tell all of you how the models in the spotlight are doing what they do. I will be sending out a list of questions for an interview with the model in the spotlight so that we can all learn from each other what works and what doesn't.
Todays model in the spotlight is Megan D. Megan has been booking on a consistent basis. Today Megan is busy shooting her BUD LIGHT NATIONAL BEER COMMERCIAL booked by our commercial division at Peak Models & Talent!
Megan has already booked a high end demin line for the October Demin market, she also did a LIBERTY MUTUAL print ad! Peak Models & Talent was happy to book her in the TROPIC OF THUNDER movie this past summer, and several fit positions with high end designer labels. Being a FIT MODEL also helps Megan keep up her income between castings and auditions.
As an agent I am always looking for that special something in a person, and I can truly say that Megan has "it". By "it", I mean that she has a willingness to succeed, a passion for what she does, and she is truly excited about all of the opportunities offered. Yes there are times that the jobs are not as high paying, but guess what, Megan goes and books them. THAT is the "it" factor. More and more clients are calling and asking for that "spuky sweet girl Megan with the great attitude. Conversly we get calls about other models that are not rebooked because the client said they need to work on their attitude. Isn't that intereseting that your attitude can have such an impact on your income? This is a huge lesson!
Do you go through life and notice people that you really like perhaps at the grocery store or STARBUCKS? People that shine at what they do, they seem upbeat and happy to be doing what they are doing? That is exactly what Megan brings to the table.
Megan D is one of the best examples of a go getter, and I am happy to have her in the model "SPOTLIGHT" for every one see. Congratulations Megan!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Models in the Spotlight!

Ok everyone, we all need to know when we are doing a good job, so I have decided to do a "spotlight" blog on the models that are getting out there and booking!
It will also be a great tool for the models in the "Spotlight" to share with friends, family, and casting directors, producers etc. What better way to get your face out there than with a positive comment published on an agency blog that sings your praises?
We will also be doing interviews with models at PEAK MODELS & TALENT to give you an inside look at the work ethic of the models that are booking. We can all learn from each other and I look forward to seeing each and everyone of you in the "Spotlight".
If you feel that you should be featured on our blog, please email me a list of your most current bookings even if we di dnot book them for you, it still counts as booking credits that you have. Since this is a new feature on the blog, please be patient and feel free if you are in the "Spotlight" to forward our blog address to everyone and anyone you feel should know that you are considered a success.
Always the best!
Natasha Duswalt
www.peakmodels.com

Monday, September 8, 2008

CHECK THIS SEMINAR OUT FOR THIS FRIDAY!!

How to Write a Book and Self-Publish It in 30 Days… or Less!

If you own a business, or if you’re self-employed, or if you’re a salesperson for a company, OR IF YOU'RE A MODEL OR AN ACTOR, writing a very simple, small book could be your best sales tool.

But, most people get overwhelmed at the thought of writing a book. If you come to my seminar this Friday, you will not only understand how easy it is to write a book, but you’ll also walk out of my seminar knowing exactly what you’re going to write – with a title, and all the chapters outlined.

The popular seminar is called, "How to Write a Book and Self-Publish It in 30 Days… or Less!" and it promises to enlighten you about all the reasons you should write a book to help generate sales and why self-publishing it is easy and inexpensive.

Think of this — how much do you spend a year in promotional items with your business name printed on it — pens, mugs, hats, golf balls, etc? Did you ever think about handing out a book instead? Yes, a book — a real book.

Imagine giving everyone you meet your book filled with information about what you do, and call-to-actions that get them to buy your products, while, at the same time, teaching them the ins and outs of your business so they’ll continue to be your clients for a long time, instead of handing them a measly little business card that they’ll probably toss away. They will, however, have a hard time tossing away a book.

At my seminar, How to Write a Book and Self-Publish It in 30 Days… or Less, I will show you, step-by-step how I wrote 4 books in 3 months – 2 are printed and 2 are E-Books. I regularly sell my books at my seminars, and on my website. I also give them out at raffles around my hometown. Think about this – I look "generous" because I’m giving away my books for free at non-profit events so they can make a few bucks for their charity, and at the same time, I'm getting free publicity. Plus, the person that received my books will probably someday become a customer of mine because they enjoyed the books. It happens all the time.

See how this works? The possibilities are endless.

Imagine also, having an E-Book on your website that you give out for free if a potential client enters their name and e-mail address in your Opt-In Box. You now have someone interested in your business that “opted-in” to your website and now you have a greater chance of turning them into one of your customers.

The reasons for writing a small “tips” business book, like I did, don’t stop there. You also immediately become known as an expert in your field, and people will want to do business with you because “you must know what you’re doing if you were able to write a book about it.”

And because you might put your picture and/or name on the cover of the book, you are immediately perceived as a celebrity. People love to associate themselves with celebrities, and therefore that means more business for your company.

Here’s a concept — you could even sell the books – imagine that. I can show you where I got my books printed for 92 cents each. Think of it — if I sell my book for as low as $5 each, I still make $4 a book, AND I’m promoting my business at the same time. I, however, sell my books for $13 each — a profit of $12 per book.

This is a no-brainer folks — everybody’s writing books these days. Even my good friend Slash, formerly of Guns N’ Roses, wrote a book. But most people are taking a year or two to do it. I will show you how to do it really fast, so you can get it out there and start generating more business right away.

Seriously consider coming to my seminar, this Friday, September 12, 2008 from 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM at the Valencia Country Club in Valencia, CA. I will open your eyes to a whole new way of doing business, and at the same time I’ll be cutting down your cold calls — everybody’s dream. I never make cold calls, and I attribute that to having a book I can give out when I network.

If you would like to attend my seminar this Friday, please go to my website today, www.CraigDuswalt.com, and click on Reserve your Seat. For only $47 you will walk out of my seminar knowing exactly what you’re going to write about, and a new appreciation on how easy it will be to write it.

And here’s a little secret — I will even be sharing how and where you can get someone to write the book for you, very inexpensively, and you still get ALL THE CREDIT. This secret alone is worth the entire price of admission. Hope to see you this Friday.

Sincerely,
Craig Duswalt
America’s RockStar Business Coach
www.CraigDuswalt.com

How to Write a Book and Self-Publish It in
30 Days... or Less!
Friday, September 12, 2008
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Valencia Country Club - Valencia Ballroom
27330 North Tourney Road • Valencia, CA 91355
To register please go to www.CraigDuswalt.com

Passports anyone?

Ah, vacation...we all need them and love them. And those wonderful destinations that are filled with glistening sands, tranquil beaches, pretty drinks with tropical fruits attatched, and of course the ever wonderful hotel room with room service.
Now, to get to these places is another story. As a model there are numerous opportunities to go to wonderful locations if you are prepared.
That means that if you are "ready to go" at the drop of a hat, you could be booked on a very beautiful trip at the last second, IF of course you have a valid passport ready to go with you.
There is no better tool to have then a valid passport. Clients try to book people all of the time, only to find out that their passport is expired, or worse, they do not have one at all.
So, then what? You got it, they call to "replace" that person with someone who is ready to go.
Who would you rather be? The one being cancelled for not being ready or the one booking because you had all yoru duck in a row?
Go get your possport, and if you have one, make sure it is updated. You never know who will be calling!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Agents!

Ok, so I have gone over some of the posts that I put out there, and it has finally occured to me that I have become an agent. When I was modeling, I was always miffed as to why agents were so quick on the phone, and these days, I am sure you are feeling the same way with the quick answers to questions via email.
I thought I would always have the time to go over every detail of the modeling industry, but now realize that I am not a manager. I am an agent, the person who finds clients and models and by some miracle puts them together. And when I say miracle, I am not kidding, you should see how busy you guys are! We call you to go on castings, and you are running all over town doing a zillion things, and none of them have to do with going to meet the client!
Sooooo...then we need to make sure we have enough models to cover the jobs, and then we get more models, so that is why we are always in a hurry, we are trying to get everyone working, and in the process we are not able to chit chat, or get into conversations.
The bottom line is that we do appreciate you and hope you understand that we are only doing our best, which means booking and castings all day long! Keep showing up to castings and you will be on the top of the list every time!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Planning on getting sick?

So, we call the models to go out for a casting. The job pays $1000.00 per day and works three days, maybe four. The response is always colored with a range of responses. We hear everything from everyone, "I'm booked, can I go another time?" " My car is not working today",
" I have too many castings today", "I have cramps", "I didn't get the casting, my cell phone was not charged", and my new favorite, "I think that I am going to be getting sick either today or tomorrow".
Now that is amazing to me that a person would actually plan that they will be sick, instead of maybe finding a way to enhance their immune system to avoid getting sick. Believe me, I know all to well about being sick. I spent a year battling for my life with cancer. So, pardon me if I am a little less than understanding of a person that is " planning on being sick". Are you kidding?
Does anyone else find this to be self defeating?
After going through chemo and having my life turned upside down and having no choice but to go down for days at a time every other week for 7 months, I know what "not feeling well" is like. I can assure you that there is no worse torture than chemo.
The only thing besides the medical treatment that saved my life was my will to live and overcome this disease. If you are already deciding to get sick, then you will. If you decide to be well, then you will find a way to do the things that keep you well.
What are you doing to be well? What do you do on a daily basis to stay healthy? What are you doing that might not be the best for you?
Remember, you only have one body, treat it well, it has to last, hopefully for a long time!
And remember, planning on being sick will not serve you very well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Saying Good-bye...

Peak Models & Talent is sorry to say that Rana Fisher, one of our wonderful models, sadly passed away this past weekend.
Rana Fisher has been with Peak Models & Talent for many years, and has always been a hard working, positive, bright light to everyone.
Rana was always upbeat and cheerful, and truly loved life. Rana left this life too soon, and she will be missed dearly.
We offer our sympathies to her family and loved ones, and feel that, we too, have suffered a great loss of a friend.


Rana Fisher 1979-2008


Friday, August 8, 2008

Bookings and more bookings!

Here we are in full swing this sunmer, and as much as everyone has been out of town, I am happy to report that those of you that stuck around are booking!
We have had a really busy month with several models booking bridal catalogs at great rates, one of our newer guys just booked the BRINKS SECURITY job, we had a nice lingerie catalog book, we sent several models to MIAMI for the annual swim show, and we have had over 25 models book print jobs in just a couple of days. We also booked the SIEMANS print job with one of our newer ladies which booked with a nice day rate and a hefty buy out. We have also been booking models for a pilot that if picked up could really help all the models that worked on the show. They have hired 4 - 6 girls per day!!! We have several models going out of town to VEGAS this month, we booked a major print campaign with another one of our guys working in Arizona. The client paid a great day rate and even threw in $500.00 worth of wardrobe for the model to keep! We have also of course been placing models with ongoing fit model positions as usual. The bottom line is that if you are missing out, it could be that you are not showing up for castings. Make sure to go to your castings, and email us new photos so we can send them out for you! We have been booking high end clients that only want reliable models that have strong books. Come in and get your portfolio if you are still running around with an old book or worse a binder!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Should we call you???

Ok, I have to say this because it seems to be a topic that comes up and I will address this once and for all. When you are sent to a casting, please do not call and ask what your chances of booking are in that job, we do not have a crystal ball. Also,please do not call and complain if you were not right either. If you walk into a casting and feel that you are too small, big, tall, short, wide, thin, tan, pale, square, round, pear shaped, etc. DO NOT CALL LOOKING TO BLAME YOUR AGENCY!!!!!
We cannot control what the clients decide, and yes it is frusterating, but we are on your side!!!!
How about this? The next time you do not book a job that I send you on, how about I call you and complain to you and say" Why didn't you book that job?" Why did I bother sending you if you cannot book? Of course I would never do that to any of you out of respect, and as your agency, we expect the same respect in return.
We are not intentionally looking to send you out to drive all over LA for nothing.
It is our intention that you book the jobs. So, the next time you get irritated that you did not book, just think about this, we want the best for you and your complaints only remind us that you might not be easy to deal with, which of course keeps us from feeling like we can count on you to book the next job.

Money Problems?

Ok, so in this economy it seems that with gas prices on the rise, models are being more careful about castings. This is NOT the time to be turning your nose up at jobs that might be booking at a lower rate. For those of you who find yourself with not enough money at the end of the month, you are exactly the person who should be getting out there and booking whatever you can! Some of you do not have any other sources of income, and for you to turn down jobs is surprising especially if you are not able to pay your rent. The reason I point this out is because people always wonder why they are always in the same financial place year after year. The answer is in you. The way you do business. The only way to change your finances is to change the way do business. When you turn down potential opportunitues, you turn down everything that comes with those new opportunities, including meeting new people and making new contacts. You decide your financial state, no one else.
It is time to start stepping up and booking your way out of debt. What have you done differently this year as opposed to last year that has dramatically improved your finances? Let me know!

Monday, July 21, 2008

New Interview with Plus Model Radio!

If you want to know more about Peak Models & Talent, listen to Natasha Duswalt being interviewed with Plus Model Radio.
Copy and paste into your browser and go to show #9

www.blogtalkradio.com/plusmodelradio

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Models moving on...

Are you in the modeling business and tired of going on castings to no avail?
If you really do not book but keep trying or keep " working for expreience", that is probably a sign that this is not for you. Being an agent I see models every day working and making a living a modeling. Then there are the models that seem to do everyhting right , but do not book.
The moral is, you need to know if this is really for you, and only you can answer that question.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Two models

As an agent, I am constantly meeting models, working with models, and seeing models make choices about their careers. I am writing about a situation that happened recently with two models that I have worked with, one I still work with, the other not. The first model we will call Mary, and Mary was a committed model that showed up for all of her castings, never complainging, just doing her part. Mary was working at a steel company when she came to me, and after a short time started booking jobs, fitting jobs. Mary did not turn her nose up at fit modeling since she was happy to make the $85.00 - $100.00 per hour to try on clothes. The second model we will call Sally. Sally was a beautiful girl that was able to book jobs by walking in the door. I would call Sally and ask her for comp cards, and she would tell me that she was "shooting" and of course that was a stall tactic. Clients would call and request Sally, and she would either not show up or try to change the casting times. After a while clients started to get tired of her diva ways. There were times when clients would ask if the could just get a photo of her they would book, but sadly she was " shooting" new photos, that never materialized, and we never got any cards. If I had a dollar for every time a model tells me she is "shooting" new photos for a new card, I would have a lot of dollars! So as the story goes, Mary continued to book, and she is now a full time fitting model with major designers and labels. She bought a house a few years back, and is now launching a side business with the money she made modeling.
Sally on the other hand has called me to tell me she wants to get back into modeling, but cannot go to castings during the day because she is working full time at a clothing store. I guess they are still in fashion just making vastly different wages. Which model are you?

People Change!

Models often get the funny idea that if they have seen a client or worked for them in the past that there is no need to go back to see the client again. Some models have even worked for the client and cannot understand why they need to be seen again to be cast all over? It does seem strange, but here is the real deal. Clients are companies. Companies hire people. People change and move onto other jobs, and that means new people are deciding what models to use. There might still be someone at the company that knows you, but be fully awawre that they might be trying to keep you as the model, and thus must have you come back to the casting. There might be some new hot shot that wants to prove that they can do a better job, and wants all new models. Your job is to prove that you are still the model they need, by showing up to the casting. Do not be so sure that they remember you or should automatically just rebook you based on their employee's recommendation. Remember clients are people too, and just as quick as you can change your mind about someone or something, the same goes with clients. One more thing, you change too! You are not aware of it, but you might have gained or lost an inch or two, your hair might be different, they style or cut or color, it all adds up, and that is why they want to see you!

Portfolio Review

As an agent for the past 12 years, I have noticed that so many models have wonderful portfolios filled with great photos and tear sheets. These are the professional models that really stand out at castings. Then there are the models that have sloppy photos that look like some friend shot them in their driveway. These are the models that end up doing low rate jobs and working off the Craigs list. At Peak Models & Talent we are proud of the models that are keeping up their books. It is always great when cleints call with positive comments on our models. If you are walking around with photos that are over 6 months old and a heat damaged book, it is time to get new shots and get a new protfolio. Please call for your portfolio.
We look forward to seeing the best of all of you!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Peak Models, Fit Models...

IF you are a model with Peak Models, chances are you are either a fit model, or have some experience in the fit model arena. If you are not a fit model and are currently with Peak Models, please come on by to get your measurments taken,after all, you might be missing out on some key bookings. As most of you know I used to be a model back in the 90's, and fit modeling was a huge part of my income. For those of you who think that fitting is just not that great, think again, I made over $100,000.00 per year trying on clothes. Yes, that is a fact, a good fit model makes bank!
As a fit model, you must be proportionate, and have the proper agency experienced in fit. As a prior fit model, I can assure you that if you want an agency that knows fit, you are in the right place, Peak Models & Talent is the #1 fit modeling agency in the LA area. We work with top labels and designers, and we are always looking for great models to "fit" into our roster.
For the best fit in town go to www.fitmodels.net a division of Peak Models & Talent.
www.peakmodels.com

Monday, June 30, 2008

Comp cards...

All right, the issue of comp cards keeps coming up for models. For some reason many of you think that cards are not necessary since the internet has taken over. Guess what?
No the case! Clients need cards shen you go to a casting, and no they do not remember you.
Sorry, there are just too many people, and no they are not going to remember you no matter how great you may think you look, 0r how good the casting went.
If you cannot afford to get comp cards made, then that should be a sign to you that you should get another job perhaps at night to support yourself while trying to get this modeling thing going.
You cannot play the modeling game without your gear. Sorry, it just does not work any other way.
For the models that are working and still wont get cards done, I am especially sorry for you since you know that you are booking and how can we get to the next level without tools?
I feel like I have to beg and plead with you to help yourselves. I have 3 little kids, so I cannot be your mommy too. Please for your own good get your cards done, or be done with this business. Let me know where you stand on this, so I can find someone that wants your spot.
Thanks!
Natasha

Monday, June 23, 2008

New photos?

I have been looking at all of your photos daily as I submit you for projects.
I have noticed that most of you have not bothered to update your resume on LA casting or update your photo.
Think of it this way, the casting directors and clients are looking at your submissions as well.
Don't you think that a new photo would be refreshing for everyone?
Maybe even get you called in to some bigger castings?
If you are not getting called into jobs paying over $1000.00 per day, then you are one of the models that needs to rethink your photos.
We book a lot of commercial print, and if you are not getting called, there is something missing.
I cannot do it for you, this is your part.
I want you to book, and I can only do so much, you need to get photos done and email me your 5 best shots to choose from for your profile.
Thanks so much!
Stay cool out there!

Sunny Days!

We all know we need to protect our skin from the sun's harmful rays. Of course, it's impossible to avoid the sun — who wants to hide indoors when it feels so great to get outside and be active? And the sun's not all bad, anyway: Sunlight helps our bodies create vitamin D. So follow these tips when you're outdoors to help manage sun exposure:
Wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, even if it's cloudy or you don't plan on spending a lot of time outdoors. If you sweat a lot or go swimming, reapply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours (even if the bottle says the sunscreen is waterproof).
Choose a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Look for the words "broad spectrum protection" or UVA protection in addition to the SPF of 15 or greater. Select a sunscreen that says "nonacnegenic" or "noncomedogenic" on the label to help keep pores clear.
The sun's rays are strongest between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, so make sure you reapply sunscreen frequently and take breaks indoors if you can. If your shadow is longer than you are tall, then it's a safer time to be in the sun (you should still wear sunscreen, though).
Apply more sunscreen (with higher SPF) when you're around reflective surfaces like water, snow, or ice.
We all know that the sun can damage skin, but did you know it can contribute to eye problems, too? Protect your face and eyes with a hat and sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.
Some medications, such as prescription acne medications or birth control pills, can increase your sensitivity to the sun, so if you're taking medication, increase your sun protection.
If you want the glow of a tan, try faking it with self-tanners or salon tanning treatments. Avoid tanning beds, though, because although manufacturers claim that tanning beds are free of UVB rays, they still use harmful UVA rays.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bookings!

Hey everyone!
How is everyone doing out there? Are you booking?
I know we are, and I would love to see some more of your names when I sign the checks!
Please keep us posted if you have a full time job that takes your time, or if you are out of town for a spell.
Remember, the more we know about you the better we can serve you and your career.
We are better together, and....

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford

All the best!
Natasha
www.peakmodels.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I get to stay!

Hi everyone!
Just a quick note to let you know that I am still cancer free. Back in October 2006 I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma a form of cancer in the lymphatic system. Needless to say this was a total shock, and it took about a years worth of surgeries and chemo to rid myself of the cancer. I also did many alternative therapies to maximize my chances of survival.
After the first 2 months, I was miraculously deemed cancer free, even my doctors at UCLA had no explanation, but I believe that the mind body and spirit need to heal together, so I worked on all three at the same time.
Every six months I get a PET CT scan to make sure all is clear. I am happy to report that ,
I get to stay. I am always grateful for each day since I now feel like I have been given a second chance at life. I am also grateful for the people that have helped me along my path.
My husband and kids have been an amazing source of support to me. I just wish I could convey to everyone that when things get tough, remember that if you are healthy anything is possible.
There is no darker time than being in a chemo rooom, try that for 7 months and things get incredibly clear. I wish you all the clarity in the world, without the ilness that sometimes comes with that type of clarity.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What bookings are best?

Do you ever want to work for a certain company or client but just never get booked?
Do you wish your agent would send you out for a speicific client knowing you are right for the job?
Tell us about it!
Let us know what jobs you would like to book, and if you want us to contact anyone on your behalf, e mail me the clients name and number and I will call to try and get you in.
We are here to make money together, so if you have a contact or lead, and you need someone to open the doors for you, let me know.
Many models hear about bookings or castings that other models from other agencies are going on, and wondering why we are not casting the same job. Remember clients only call a certain number of agencies, so if you let us know what is going on, we can call and get you in as well.
There will be times when we have specific clients that only book with us, and there will be times where you hear of bookings that we should be apart of too. So, speak up, and let us know!
We are happy to call any clients you know are booking!
Thanks again, toegther we are better!

Email glitch!

If you got an e mail or text message a bunch of time reminding you about the BLOG, I am so sorry. I sent it our over LA CASTING and it started duplicating itself. I have no idea how that happened, and I am sorry for the repeats!
Thanks for checking out PEAK MODELS & TALENT!

Where is the competition?

With the high price of gas these days, a lot of models are opting out of castings. Models are tying to get a few appointments in a day to make it worth while to drive to meetings. Knowing this, it would make sense that other agencies are also having models duck out of castings and meetings.
What does this mean?
LESS COMPETITION!
Yes, that is right, you have a better chance of booking since there are less people going to be showing up for castings. Don't stop your career because of the gas crunch. Use this opportunity to snap up those bookings that others are not showing up for.
Remember too, if you are a fit model, one good booking, can keep you from having to get a full time job. Print is only a day or two, but Fitting is the best deal in town if you want steady income.
Stay the course, and you will book.

Keep it to yourself....

Ok here is a big lesson. When working with a client, we are constantly trying to get you the best rates. If you would please leave the negotiations to your agency, you will do a lot better.
Have you ever wondered why you need an agency? Imagine a client having to meet hundreds of models to choose the best ones, then imagine having to deal with all of those models and all of their induvidual concerns, time constrictions, etc.
It is just not worth it to the client. They would rather pay an agency to prescreen the models.
So, my best advice is to keep your personal life to yourself. You do not need to tell the clients anything about your business or life. If they want to book you, do not start telling them when you are not available, just refer them to the agency. There is nothing worse that a model that starts telling how unavilable sheor he is to a client.. it is a big red flag.
The client will automatically just look for another model that is available. Oh, and by the way, the same goes for your agency. When I see that models constantly are not availalbe for castings, I move on to the next model that is. I know it seems unfair, but I do not have all day to chase you down, so if in the back of my mind I have the memory that a model is always difficult to get ahold of, you can bet when a client calls for a direct booking, I will not be calling the models that are hard to book. Again, it is a numbers game, and we are against deadlines all of the time, so if you want us to think of you first, then think of going to our castings first.

School and Modeling!

School is very important as we all know. Without an education there is little you can do in the modern world. In fact, I strongly recommend you start working on your back up plan after your modeling career is over righ now.
There are far too many models in their 40's that do not know what to do after the camera strops rolling, and this is a scary reality to face. The industry is not going to gently let you down, you will one day just notice that you are not getting booked, and that is when you know the gig is up.
As far as models that do go to school now, I commend you. If however your school is taking up the hours casting and bookings take place, then you are wasting your time modeling.
Here is the deal, classes are all hours. You can take night classes, late afternoon classes etc.
I cannot and will not be able to represent models that are not available during business hours...Monday through Friday 9- 6 pm.
If you are modeling just to make some extra money, that is fine, just remember that I cannot keep track of your time, I barely keep track of my own life~!
So, to get the most out of your agency, do not schedule classes during the hours of the modeling business. And remember, this is a business, maybe it is just a phase for you, but it is a business for us. We only make money when our models work, so if you are not available, we are forced to get someone else that is. Keep this in mind when setting up your classes.
The models that book are the models that are available!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Communication!

Hi everyone!
Things have been really busy at the office these days. We have been casting and booking like crazy. The sad thing is that some of you should be booking, and it is because you are not communicating with us that you are not booking. For example, I had a $2000.00 day SPRINT casting that was only requesting 4 people. Two of the models showed up and the other two did not. Long story short is that of the two models they chose, one is not available to do the job ont he date it is shooting, and the two other women that did not show up or call would have booked the job, but flaked out.
Try to remember that not every casting is a cattle call. In this instance of casting directors, they have already preselected you with their client, so if we call you for a big print casting DO NOT MISS IT! You are just shooting yourself in the foot. Not to mention giving your agency a very bad impression of your character.
I know that most of you are really good about keeping us posted, but many of you think that if you do not hear from us that we are not submitting you, and you are completely wrong.
We are submitting you every minute of every day!
There is not a day that goes by that I do not personally look at your photo, and there is not a day that goes by that I do not see when you decline castings, or go to castings.
Keep this in mind when you wonder why some people book all of the time. I am looking for people that I know can work, it makes all of our jobs much easier!
Thanks!
Have a great week!
Natasha

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bookings!

Hello everyone~
I know with the news out there telling of rising gas prices and economic strife everywhere, you are all wondering what is going on in the industry.
So, I thought I would keep you posted on some of the bookings and castings going on these days at PEAK MODEL & TALENT!
We just booked the 4 SEASONS HOTEL print, which had a great bonus on top of the day rate, the model was give $1000.00 in spa services for free!!
Next, we booked a 4 day EXCLUSIVE RESORT in Mexico for one of our mature men. Remember, keep it classy and you might be going off to the sun and sand spots to be photographed!
We are currently casting a catalog for kids and adults that will be featured on the web, catalogs, billboards, and trade publications. Congratulations to all of the people that have been preselected to audition for this client. You know who you are!
One of our newest gals that shot with www.elijahstar.com walked in and booked a NIKON commercial!
One of our kids booked an AT&T national spot, and continues to go out weekly.
We had two models book the HUMIERA print.
We had a movie booking for Megan with TROPIC THUNDER!
We also booked a sports fashion show that worked 6 models for 2 days at $150.00 per hour!!! Nice booking indeed!
We have a quick eyewear catalog booked with two of our guys.
And we have several models already booked for the MIAMI swim show in July.
Our very own Anna S. booked a magazine cover, we booked 2 models on a lingerie catalog, including one plus size lady!
We also have been shooting a steady stream of shots for a product catalog that uses models daily.
TImea just returned from her travels with us and a bridal company, and they loved her.
Our plus size ladies have been booking print and fit, and the list goes on.....
As you can see we are constantly booking, and if it is slow for you, please drop by and bring your portfolio for review. If you are not booking there is a reason, and we need to have you showing up for everything. Remember, making some money is better than no money!
As we grow, the jobs are great, and so are the talent booking. I would love to see more of you booking with us, I know you have it, but maybe you are not really giving it your all.
As you can see a lot happens in a week

What are you up to these days?

Ok everyone, I want to hear from you. You can post your reply on this site, so let's get chatting about what you are all up to these days.

First of all, what is your main focus in the entertainment business?

What types of jobs are you booking?



I would love to hear your feedback, as it is always in all of our best interest to keep the communication open.

Remember, we are always trying to help along the careers of the people represented by Peak.

Let us know what you think, and we will consider any suggestions as well.

Thanks!

Natasha

Getting paid!

Ok guys and gals, it is time to talk vouchers!
Do you know why we are such sticklers about the voucher being filled in completely and turned in to our office asap? It is to get paid...
Once you book a job, the only proof that you have that you worked is a signed voucher from the client which is verification that you were there. When you do not turn in a voucher, it is very difficult to track. We have hundreds of jobs and so your part is getting your paperwork in. Think of it like a bank deposit. If you turn in your voucher, it is like making a deposit into your account. If you do not turn in a voucher, it is like a withdrawl. It could take months to get paid, and no one wants that. One more thing, call us if you do not have a voucher before you leave the site of a booking!!!
If you do not have vouchers or stickers for your cards, please call the office at 661-294-1100 and ask that someone send some to you immediately.
Again, we are counting on you to total your vouchers correctly, and get them back to us asap.
You are welcome to fax them as well. Make sure to re-write the voucher # somewhere in big letters if you are faxing, since the fax does not catch all of the #'s in the top right corner.
Looking forward to your vouchers!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Big Mistake!

Ok, I guess it is just a Friday! I just want you to know that if you are a model with Peak Models & Talent and we send you to a casting, do not complain about the rate AFTER you went on the casting. It turns out that some models want higher rates, and guess what, so do we!
So what is the solution? STOP DOING JOBS ON YOUR OWN CHARGING LOW RATES!!!
Yes, that is the problem, there are models out there doing jobs off of the internet and wondering why modeling rates dip...well, if they did not have accesss to low rate models, the clients would have to call the agencies, and yes the rates would go up!
And in case you are wondering, the more you make the more we make, so if we can get a better rate, you can be assured that we are fighting for the better rates on your behalf.
We all need to realize that we are in this together and if you think that we are not trying to get the best rates for you, you are mistaken.
ONe more thought, how does your book look? How many tears do you have? When was the last time you shot? How many campaigns do you have? Start answering those questions before you start complaining about rates, maybe you have not done your part to get the great rates!
Keep on shooting and we will shoot for the better rates for you when we see what you can do too!

More photos!

For young women 16-24- make sure to get a beauty shot, a shot that is a close up of your face. Light make up and natural outdoor lighting. Also, take a shot in an evening dress, a jeans shot, a work out wear shot, and a swim suit shot. Keep it clean and classy no jewelry.

For young men 16 -24 - take a shot in a trend that is age appropriate, if you play a sport, show it, if you climb rocks or mountain bike, show it, also tak a suit shot, a work out shot, a board short shot, and a corporate looking business casual shot, think urban hip, think Abercrombie & Fitch
For contemporary women - 24-35 - take a busniess shot, a young mom shot, a tennis or work out shot, a hotel spa shot, a classic swimsuit shot, ( keep it classy) no pin up looks, remeber you are selling products and services.

For contemporary men - 24-35 urban hip, GAP look, Bananna Republic, a suit shot, a casual work da shot, a daddy shot, a tech shot ( think Starbucks) and your laptop, a swim shot, and a gym shot.

For classic women - 35- and up think of healthy life lifestyle, beach settings, vacation shots, cruise shots, tennis, cooking, hotel spas, hotel luncheon shots, luxury car shot, think upscale and approachable.

For classic men - 35 and up think the same as the classic women, add a little sporty golf stuff, tennis, glass of wine and a lovely lady shot, again think of products selling to the public think upscale. If you have a more blue collar look , do a shot with a flannel shirt and jeans. Keep it real!

The Photos you need!

Ok, now that I have ranted on about the photo situation, it would only be fair that I tell you what type of photos you need. So, here are some age appropriate suggestions that you might want to take under advisement.
For the kids- keep it young and natural. No make up, looking like a kid, real , smiles, just be you.

For the teens - same as the kids, just try to get a few shots of the trends you fit into, such as if you are a long haired guy, try taking a shot with a skateboard or surf board. For the girls, try a cheer outfit, or some sport that you are good at. For the boys, a photo of you in your sport uniform is great too.

Current Bookings!

Wow, it have been a busy spring season!
I have been noticing that many of you do not have updated photos on your LA CASTING accounts, and ACTORS ACCESS! Do you think that casting directors want to stare at the same photos year in and year out? When you do not update your photos, it is percieved that you are not serious by your agency and casting directors. Do you wear the same clothes year in and year out? No, you get updated things to keep a new look going. The same goes for the photos you have representing you!
I have also seen clients that ask for more photos and I have them to send booking the talent...for instance we just booked a 3 day print job that shoots at an exclusive resort in MEXICO.
Our model Alan Bragg was quick to send me the photos they requested, and boom....booked!

You should answer the phone at our office some time after we call for photos or comp cards.
Would you like to know the #1 excuse that models use when they have no updated photos?
Here it is..."I am shooting and getting new photos in about a week or two, so that is when I will get a new card or photos to you"
So, for those of you that are planning this story, save it, I am so over that one you have no idea.
I want to see new photos of people that have not shot in the past 6 months by the end of this month. Also, if you are "with Peak" and have not made a comp card or e mailed us photos, you will be dropped by the end of the month if I do not see any photos.
Sorry, but there are way too many people that want to do this, and if you are not serious, and you know who you are, then please move on and stop wasting your time doing something you are not even interested in.

Current Bookings!

Monday, May 12, 2008

E Tools for Success!

Hi Everyone!
Spring has sprung, and so have some amazing tools I am using from my husband Craigs Marketing Strategies for success. With some of the cutting edge information he has passed onto me, I a preparing a marketing strategy that will improve your visibility as a model.
I am looking for 5-10 models to start out with to do a shoot and video shoot that will be used to promote the model and agency at the same time.
This project will take place with a team of people with one common goal, marketing.
Please e amail me if you are interested in taking your career to the next level, and I will let you know when we are shooting. This is not a paid booking, as it will be designed to promote you nationally. The shoot will take about a day, and I will feed you too!
Thanks so much!

Los Angeles Modeling Angecy

For many models an agent is the golden ticket to clients. Peak Models has always had a strong relationship with cleints. Our market extends from SanDiego to Santa Barbara, with our main focus in Los Angeles. We have always had a strong presence in the LA market, and if you ask models at castings, you will find that more that 80% of or bookings are in LA.
Keep up the good work Peak Models!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Ok, now that may seem strange to some of you that I am saying Happy Mother's Day, but the truth is that many of you do have children, and you should be proud. Models are people too, and having kids does not mean that the gig is up. In fact, now you can do the "young mom and dad" stuff that pays REALLY WELL!!!

As far as bookings go, things have been really busy this spring. Check back this week to see who has been book this month, and what types of things we have been booking.

I do not list everything since there is a lot of competition, but I will list the jobs that are completed and over so that you can see what happens at the agency!

In the mean time, have a great weekend, and I will post this week with some exciting news for anyone who is interested in taking their career to the next level.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Finding your best market!

Watching models and actors turn down jobs is amazing to me. I have seen more women tell me that they do not want to go on the "young mom" looking castings because they are still caught up in the sexy girl idea in their heads. Let's face it, time will come along and deal us some new cards.
And do not think that just because you do not have kids, that you are immune from the "young mom" jobs. There are more than enough sexy hot types, and chances are , someone has a head start on that area, but there are not as many " classic types" or "young moms" or "girl next door" types in the LA area. That is why these types work the most. As far as swimwear goes, again the "bimbo" look does not work, it is clean fresh, healthy and fit. Not over the top Playboy looks. There is a place for that market, but do not get confused, know where you fit in and maximize that market.

As far as the men, keep your options open as well. You can benefit from different looks as well.
Do not get caught in the trap of one look. Try to keep it mainstream, urban hip, busniess, work out, golfer guy, young dad, and casual living guy. Think hotel brochures, cruise ships, gyms, cell phones, camera companies, insurance companies. These are the clients looking for new faces.
Remember the more versatile you are, and the more photos that show your versatility, the better off you will be.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Too many cooks in the kitchen!

Ok everyone, we all know that you are out there doing your best, but having a ton of agents and managers is confusing for everyone.
At Peak Models & Talent we have noticed that we have a great group of talent, and therefore we have welcomed Christine Williams to handle our theatrical and commercial department.
If you are seeking theatrical representation, please know that we are only taking people across the board. This means that if we take you theatrically, you must be with us commerically as well.

It is just too confusing to manage the appointments with talent that is represented by multiple agents for all different aspects of their career.
To be considered for theatrical, it is important to have a resume and a demo reel up on LA casting. This is like the "front if the line" pass with casting directors. Your submission is seen first if you have an updated resume and a demo clip of your work.
For those of you seeking someone to put your reel together, I can recommend Shannon Penrod.
She is at 661-299-4636. She does amazing work, and all you have to do is give her your tapes and she will splice together a demo... Call her for pricing if you are interested.

Also contact Christine for theatrical and commercial at christine@peakmodels.com
Looking forward to seeing you all prosper this year!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Are you giving away your bookings?

Have you ever been to a casting where there were a lot of models and you hear girls talking about castings they are going on? Do you ever try to find out how you can go on those castings too?
OR, are you the model talking about your castings so that everyone knows what you are up to?
Either way, you have now opened the door to all of those girls to compete with you on the very castings you are chatting about.
More jobs are lost by chatty models than anything I have ever witnessed in this business.
Thre more you talk, the more you give away. Just remember, there is always someone taking notes on what is said in the waiting rooms. Keep your business to yourself, and you just might have more business.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Are you too good to do a booking?

In this climate with the economy on a downward trend, an election year, and clients stating that they are cutting back to save money, this is no time to think that you have a day rate minimum.
It has always amazed me when I hear that models will "not work for that rate".
Are you kidding? What are you doing? Turning money down due to ego? This has got to be one of the worst things a model can do to. Do you know how many models I have seen that cannot pay their rent, or call me desperate for a job after turning down castings where they did not like the rate? It is almost unbearable to watch as models sabotage themselves right into not paying thier bills.
Here is a basic rule of thumb, if you are not working on a day, and you get an offer to do a job, DO IT! You never know it might just pay your cellphone bill! Better yet, how about that $100.00 pair of shoes you just bought? Did you REALLY have the extra money to spend?
Here is another concept, did you know that modeling is a short lived industry? So, make the most of it, and work it! No one thinks any more of you if you only do high paying gigs, it is actually quite the contrary.

Monday, March 3, 2008

SIZE MATTERS!

Ok, here is the low down on the whole size problem with clothing. As a fit model for many years before Peak Models & Talent, I worked for many of the major clothing labels that our models are working at today.
This big issue these days is the sizing. We call models for fit interviews, and you all seem to think that you are a size 2 or a 4. Now, not to insult anyone, but not everyone is a 2 or a 4. I have personally taken your measurements, and I know who fits what size. Unless you have dropped or gained weight, you have to realize that companies call their sizes whatever they want.

My favorite scenario was when the wife or girlfriend of the owner and her friends would come in and try on the clothes. The next thing you knew, the size 6 was suddenly a 4! And no one changed the garment!!! How is that fair? Because "she" said so. Let's face it, when it comes to clothing, we want to buy the smaller size. We feel thinner. The clothing manufacturers know this too. I personally watched as the size labels were changed so that an 8 was suddenly a 6 to sell more pants. And it worked!!! The styles that size smaller reordered like crazy.

So for all of you that do not want to go to a fit interview because you think that you are too"small", you are missing the boat. The sizes are measured by measurements, not sizes. Sizes vary depending on the tactics of the company. Measurements do not. If you get a call and we tell you that they want a size 7 and you think you are a 4 or a 6, chances are you are also a junior 7.

And another thing to keep in mind is that the junior size are odd 1,3,5,7,9. The contemporary sizes are 2,4,6,8,10 Junior is the younger market, comtemporary is the career girl that is fashion aware, and missy is more of the woman whose body has settled, and is a little fuller.

The bottom line is that all clothing companies decide their sizes, so no two size will ever fit the same. I am sure you see this in the stores when you try clothes on. So, please make sure not to give us a hard time when we are trying to get you a job. We are doing our best with an industry that is very inconsistent in its sizing.

We want to hear from the models!

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I will be hosting a seminar for the modeling industy in the very near future. One of the first things I want to do is hear from all of you. What subjects do you feel you need the most help with in your career? Is there one thing that you feel that you need to learn about that would change your level of success? Please tell me your thoughts. I am preparing to have guest speakers and would like to know what you feel is the most important aspects of the business.

Again, if you are interested in attending, please e mail me at natasha@peakmodels.com
I will make sure to get an invitiation to you as soon as we set a date and location.
Can't wait to hear from all of you!!!

Thanks for being available when we call you for castings, it makes our job so much easier!

What size are you anyways???

Do you actually know your size? Have you ever been measured?
I really cannot stress this enough. If you are planning on meeting with a modeling agency, you need to get your measurements taken. Bust, waist, and hips.
Also, do not run around calling yourself a size 2 if you have one garment in that size. You will acutally be hurting yourself, since the samples are usually not that size anyways.
There are so many women that want to appear to be a smaller size than they are, but do not realize that they need to get over it, and tell the range of sizes they wear.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

If you are on LA Casting!

Hi everyone!
Time to update your photos! I have been heavily submitting everyone and I am also keeping tabs on who is not getting picked off their photos. Please check your photo on line and make sure to get something updated with a smile, very current, no balck and white photos, and most importantly, I need it done asap. I also need your birthdates filled out since we are casting for products that require that you be 25. If you are not listing your birthday you will not be submitted. I need to see the new photos asap .Thanks for doing your part, remember, the first thing a casting director sees is yoru photo. They get sick of old photos.Thanks!]
Natasha Duswalt
PresidentPeak Models & Talent

Friday, February 22, 2008

LA CASTING PHOTOS AND RESUME

Allright everyone!
It is spring, and we all know that spring is a time for new beginnings. Some of you have the same old headshot on LA casting that has been there for a really LONG time, it istime for a change. By long, I mean anything over 6 months must be updated. Photos are the most important tool especially now with everything being electronic. Yes we still send cards, but we submit online all day long. So your photos must be OUTSTANDING. Your photo needs to grab the attention of the casting directors. Think color , energy and a beaming smile for the best results.
Oh one more thing, if you have either great abs, great hands, great feet, great hair, have a shot of whatever feature photographed. That way we can submit you for "parts" and that might be another area you could book. We are especially interested in Great hands. Have that shot uploaded on your account so it is easily accessed by casting offices.


We have already contacted many of you personally, and still we have not seen any updated photos. So, I though I would blog about it and let you know that the casting directors are tired of the same old photos. You change all of the time. Some of you have new haristyles and hair colors, and still the same old photos. We get comments back on our submissions, and many times we see a note that says,
" any updated photos?"

This is your call to action. Please shoot new headshots. Check out http://www.elijahstar.com/
he does amazing headshots with natural light. Another great place is http://www.greatheadshots.com/ For more glamorous shots try www.arthurstjohn.com
There are several photographers to choose from, so go and get that done with a great photographer. If you need additional photographers, check the website for listings. If feel you have a great photographer, please forward me their website and contact info. We always like to refer people that know people.

We need comp cards all of the time. If you are not sure if you sent yours in, call the office, and better safe than sorry. Send them in today. It takes time out of castings and bookings if we have to keep bugging you to send your cards in.

Oh, one more thing,,,update your resume.
Did you know that some casting directors will not look at a submission without a resume?
Yes it is true. A pretty face is not enough. You need to tell them about yourself. Just do it!
It only takes a minute, and it can open more doors. Looking forward to your new photos when I am submitting!

The Portfolios are coming!

Just a quick note to let you all know that the portfolios have been ordered and they will be in the office in a few weeks. If you need a portfolio, please call or email Arthur@peakmodels.com
to let him know that you want a portfolio to be put aside for you.

If you are going to castings with an old beaten up book, please make sure to come in and get your new book. It is a reflection of your professionalism when you are walking in with a strong protfolio with your agency on the front. Models that go to castings with little plastic report covers or plain books do not look like they have any experience. So, at the risk of not looking like the unexperienced model, please reserve your book today.

On another note, have you shot recently? How about in the past 6 months? Do you have your new photos printed and in your book? Have you updated your comp card?
You all want to get more bookings, so please realize that we e mail your photos to clients. If you feel that you are not getting enough castings or bookings, then it is time to shoot.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Taking care of yourself

Last year many of you may or may not know this, but I was diagnosed with cancer. Hodgkins Lymphoma. This is cancer of the lymphatic system. I had no idea this was coming, and it now seems that it was caused by my enviornment. The reason I am telling you this is twofold.

First of all, after 4 surgeries, and 7 months of chemo, I beat it and I am totally well now. I also want to convey to all of you that you never know what is around the corner. This was the last thing I ever expected. Cancer is not in my family, I eat organic foods, I work out all the time, and overall I take really good care.

Well, as I realize now, cancer does not care. It creeps into lives that do not expect it at all. During my treatments, I had to take a shot that cost $5000.00 per dose every week. Yes, you read that correctly, five thousand dollars for one shot. This shot was designed to keep me well inbetween treatments.

Now the scary part. I found out that not all cancer patients get the shot. Why? It all depends on their insurance coverage. Now if you are out there without medical insurance, please take a moment to do yourself a favor and do not neglect your favorite person...you.

If you are a model that does not have insurance, you cannot afford to go without it. I know what you are thinking...how can I get medical insurance when I can hardly pay my rent?
Well, what if you get injured or sick? Who is going to pay your medical bills? Your parents?
Is that fair to do to them? What if you cannot work? Then what? If you get ill and are hospitalized without insurance, you wont be able to ever pay your bills after the bill you rack up for your recovery.
I do not want to stress you out, but these are grown up decesions that can impact your entire life. Thank goodness I had insurance. If not, I might not be here today.

Now if you are wondering how you would get a policy, you can buy an individual policy for yourself. You do not have to work for a big company or be in a group. The bottom line is, start looking into protecting yourself. No one is going to take care of you and the sooner you learn that the better off you will be.

I know that some of you are nervous to ask if I am OK and you are wondering how it works with cancer. Does it come back? Does it hurt? I can tell you this. I am so fine, and I feel better than ever. My particular case is treatable and cureable. There is a 98% chance that I will NEVER see it again. So, I want you to know that I am totally 1000% fine, and the only thing is I test every 6 months to make sure it is gone. And, no it does not hurt. I did not even know I had it.
Chemo is another story though, that is the worst ever.
So, thanks for checking in and keeping posted with me. I really cannot stress how important it is that you get some type of medical insurance to keep yourself safe.

Thanks,
Natasha
www.peakmodels.com

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Modeling Seminar- Coming Soon!!!

Hi Everyone!
I wanted to let you all know that I am planning a one day model seminar this spring.
Being an agent I see so many models that would benefit from the information I have acquired over the years booking jobs.
This information packed seminar will include the mistakes models make in the indsutry, how to get booked, what clients are looking for, the newest tools needed to succeed, and much much more.
We are planning to have guest speakers addressing make-up, photography, internet marketing, and much, much more.
Due to limited space and seating, we are trying to get an idea of how many people are interested in attending this event. We have not secured a date yet, however it will take place in the spring, somewhere in LA. So, in an effort to get a preliminary headcount, we are asking that if you are interested that you e mail natasha@peakmodels.com to express your interest.
Please visit our website at www.peakmodels.com