Wednesday, December 30, 2009


With the new year upon us, we all seem to have plans and ideas of how we are going to go into the new year. Over the break, I have been able to review the site and noticed that many of you have sub standard photos on our website. With a new year upon us, it is really time to take a good look at what you are putting out into the modeling world. Are your photos fresh, inviting and updated? Or are you still using some old photo waiting to get a booking and
"planning " to shoot? Famous last words! I know because it is what everyone says.
I was at a shoot the other day in Florida for my niece who wrote a book at 17 years of age, and I could not help notice that $300.00 bought her about 300 of the most amazing shots, and if she wanted to be a model, OMG again, she has a plethora of shots to choose from.
My point is that if a 17 year old student can pull of a shoot, then a professional model represented by one of the top booking agencies in Los Angeles has no reason not to have the most amazing shots into my office for the website.
I know, I know, you do not have the funds right now to shoot, catch 22. You need money to shoot, and you are not booking...totally understand, so until you get booking, you need to get a job at night at your local coffee house or eating establishment and make some cash to shoot your photos. Ok, so now that you have the solution, what are you waiting for?
Remember, if you are not booking, it is probably 95% of the time due to the fact that you have old or weak photos. And yes, for all of you that are not booking, there are a whole bunch of people with the agency that are buying homes, getting new cars, paying their bills, all thanks to the jobs they are booking with Peak Models & Talent.
For now, remember you decide what type of new year you want to have, do you want to be working or watching everyone else get the jobs?
I will be focusing on getting the models out that show they have what the work ethic to show up, get their photos updated and respond to their castings.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Junior Models for sportswear!

If you are a teen looking to get started in modeling, remember to look your age.
There is no reason to look older, besides you will get there eventually!
So hang onto your youth and look your age! Have a blast and enjoy your teen years.
Agents do not want models to dress like they are 35 years old.
Sasha pictured here is age appropriate and works consistently in her market.
If she books a job for someone older or younger they can always decide later what works, but for a general rule, stay your age :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009


And as we add images of catalogs and jobs, keep in mind that sometimes you will shoot a job and forget about the images.
You would be surprised to know that even the plain shots are good to show what you can do.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sportswear catalog!

For sportswear sometime clients will take a model and minimize the make up to send a casual message.
Jasmine pictured here is completely natural in her image wearing casual sportswear.
For more images or booking information on Jasmine go to

Friday, December 18, 2009


For those of you wondering about kids and catalogs, there are companies that hire siblings for their catalogs!
These photos are of brother and sister!
Good job everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Yes brothers and sisters get booked together!
Clients love booking families too!
For info on booking families  check us at

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Juniors and Kids!

Peak Models & Talent has been lucky enough to book catalogs with great people, and that includes kids and juniors too.
In these shots we have Sasha and Susie, two wonderful girls that happen to be family friends as well.
It always amazes me that these kids and their parents are so easy to work with.
For more images of Sasha or Susie, check out
Thank you ladies for your great photos and bright smiles! From Disney to clothing catalogs, Peak Models & Talent has some of the nicest families in the industry.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Models, models and more models

Remember when posing to always give the client different looks and poses.
Some are full smiles, some are demure images as seen here with Kaylin.
For more images on Kaylin visit

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Catalogs anyone?

When booking models for a catalog, it is important to show a range of emotions and looks.
Having a great portfolio that shows these different looks will ensure multiple bookings for models.
Nicole is looking casual and relaxed in this shot, showing that the clothes work for anyone.
For more image on Nicole go to

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Catalog or Cowgirl?

Clients love to get  creative on the set.
For a jeans ad, a cowboy hat always adds a little fun to the images.
Nicole Rocks it in this image. She pulls off the flirty girl next door, while staying innocent, yet sexy and classy all in one image.
This is not easy to accomplish, since most images are either one or the other, it is rare to accomplish a range in one image.
For booking information on Nicole, go to

Friday, December 11, 2009

Catalog Images!

Tashia is always sure to do a great job when she is booked.
We have nothing but great reviews when Tashia is on the job.
For more images of Tashia visit us at our website

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Are you still sporting a melted book from this summer?
You know the portfolio that has the rippled, bubbled pages that make all of your photos look like they are drowning? Or if you prefer, ok like photos that are swimming in a tropical paradise?
They look like they have been shoved in the backseat of your car, while you sport around to castings, the gym, the mall, the movies and coffee houses.
So if you want to get yourself a nice gift for your holiday season, invest in yourself and get a new portfolio with clean smooth pages, and guess what, it is fall, going into winter, so chances are you will not melt, at least not for a few months.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More catalog shots!

Here we are with another catalog shot with Megan.
Megan is always a pleasure to work with, and gets rebooked for her great attitude.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


With the holidays upon us, it seems that all the great movies are playing to keep us busy and give us a bit of a break during our shopping trips.
Somehow at the office Taylor found out that I LOVE TWILIGHT, and suddenly my photo frame was mysteriously filled with a photo of Edward Cullen. 
Once NEW MOON released, Natalie conjured up a photoshop piece celebrating the movie!
We all love the movies, books, music, and anything else from the TWILIGHT saga, and yes I have already seen NEW MOON twice.
So, suffice to say that Edward Cullen hold a special place in our office, and yes we love Jacob too!
Now if we could just bank on one of you to land a role in the upcoming movies, maybe we could visit the set! LOL
Natasha Duswalt

Monday, December 7, 2009


I wanted to share my interview with Candace Kita!
Candace has worked with Peak Models & Talent for many years, and Candace hosts a radio show on LA TALK RADIO!
Candace invited me to be a guest on her show and talk about the industry, women, and safety. 
We had a great time discussing aspects of the business, along with taking calls from listeners. Thank you Candace for inviting me to be a part of your show!

Take a listen!

Catalog models!

Sharing images is always fun, so here is a few posts with models who have booked with Peak Models & Talent. 
We know how much you like to see what jobs are booking, so keep checking back for news and photos of your fellow models!
Megan looks casual and relaxed in her army gear.
GO Megan!

What is your image?

Over the weekend, I was at a seminar where I had the opportunity to meet with a woman who revamps images, as in how you present yourself.
Now of course we all want to improve, but as I stood there talking to this well put together individual, it crossed my mind that there are many models who do not really have a specific style when they walk into a casting.
I have had clients call me and say " she is really pretty, but I cannot picture her in a suit"
So, the lesson here is to dress the part when you go to castings.
Bridal? Hair up with full make up and high heels.
Swimsuit - Natural make up
Business catalog?  - wear a suit!
Mommy ad? - Khakis and a solid colored top.
Not that difficult!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Ok, you have an agent...check
LA Casting account...check
VIDEO CLIP ON LA CASTING? ...............double hmmmmmmm

Now if you are reading this and have no idea what I am taking about, then you need to get on the bandwagon immediately if not sooner.

FACT - without an OUTSTANDING commercial headshot on LA CASTING you will not get called in.

FACT - a complete resume including sports, abilities, languages, hair length, accurate sizes, and anything else you can come up with to fill in will be noticed by casting directors much more likely than those that are blank.

FACT - video links to your profile get you to the top of the submissions with casting. Yes, it is true, anything with a video link will go straight to the top of the list.

FACT - 90% of actors and models have no idea of these little tricks, and therefore do not take full advantage of their online profiles.

FACT - you can shoot a 25 second clip of yourself as an introduction to yourself and post on your profile today, gaining top priority for castings to see you.

FACT - if you want more credibility, you can video yourself and show the pages of your portfolio to give the casting people an idea of your work while showing your personality at the same time.

FACT - you can confirm your castings and auditions online via the worksheet using your log in information. When you confirm yourself, it shows the casting offices that you know how the biz works and you seem more professional.

FACT - when you miss an audition, it is noted via computer, and if it is something you do  a lot without explanation, well you get the picture.

FACT - you can call your agency and get your log in information anytime and start filling out your resume and loading your video clips.

Natasha Duswalt

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


As many of you know, LA Casting is one of the most utilized tools out there for agencies and casting agents in Los Angeles. It's ideal for finding models who fit specific projects and who will flourish in certain roles. Unfortunately in order to get auditions for these rolls a little bit of time and money is involved to really make your LA Casting profile pop! Let's start with photographs:

Your premiere photo is the first thing that a casting agent sees when selecting people for auditions. You must have a clear, professional and commercial looking headshot as your premiere photo. PEAK uploads your initial premiere photo when you are signed to the agency but if the photos you provided us with are outdated, blurry, or unprofessional you may want to consider getting new photos taken and uploading a new premiere photo on your own. Yes, this costs money, but what's $50 if you get booked on a $4,000 job? Having an eye catching, warm and personable photo is not only what will grab peoples' attention, it is what will get you booked.

Additional photos are completely optional however if you would like to be submitted for hand modeling, foot modeling, hair modeling etc. it is in your best interest to post additional photos to your account showcasing these features. There have been several instances where a model is very interested in doing specialized modeling but was not considered for an audition because we did not have adequate photos of their specialty. Also you must notify the agency if you are experienced or would like to be submitted for specialty jobs, otherwise you may be overlooked!

Sports photos, as well as a variety of different looks will also significantly increase your chances of getting auditions for certain jobs. Many times the casting agent will ask for athletes who are experienced in their sport and without notification in your LA Casting account, or a photo to back up your skills you may miss out on being asked to audition.

If you love modeling or acting and you are interested in pursuing it at an expert level it's important to realize that there will be investments. The time to update your information and the cost of uploading additional photos could mean the difference between booking a job and never even being considered for an audition. As with any job, there will always be sacrifices, but if you put in the hard work and you are dedicated the ends will almost always justify the means!
Natalie/ Peak Models & Talent

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Thanksgiving is a time where we all take some time to get back to the gratitude that can clear any discontent that might be lurking beneath the surface. The discontent that whispers to you in between here and there. The discontent that tells you that other people have it better, that you are wasting your time, that you should just give up like they told you to. The type of discontent that turns the colors of your life into shades of grey, and eventually framed in discontent.

I can honestly say that without gratitude, things can get mundane. Every day can seem like it is just a " got to".. I've "got to do this" and I've "got to do that".
One minor change in your language can color everything in a totally new and refreshing hue.
How about " I GET TO! "

Think about it, every day that you get up and "get to" be well is an amazing day.
After battling cancer for my very existence, I can tell you first hand that being well is the most amazing thing that we all take for granted. So for every day that we "get to" be healthy and be part of an industry that we choose to be in, not because someone forced us, but because we want to is also a " get to". We also " get to" make choices, yes we have challenges, but we still have choices.

So for this Thanksgiving, I want to remember that if it my life ever starts feeling like a " got to" situation, I have the ability to take a step back and realize that these choices are mine. I can change them, but I never want to lose sight of the fact that this day I am strong and healthy, which colors everything with a " get to" hue.
What do you "get to" do?

Thank you all for what you do, I truly appreciate all of you!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Natasha Duswalt

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Since I sent out the notice that we need to update photos, many of you have been asking for photographers. I know some of you need headshots, some fashion, some glamour, and some more commercial.
For those of you that want a more fashion, glamour goddess look, check out as he is offer an amazing deal to PEAK MODELS only.

Here is what he is offering...

this is what I will offer for your models, and your models only.

3 looks, with professional hair stylist and make-up artist, 2 photos from each look retouched and ready for print (so 6 photos retouched in total), all images from the shoot (unedited + edited) in high resolution on a CD/DVD, $250.

2 looks, with professional hair stylist and make-up artist, 2 photos from each look retouched and ready for print (so 4 photos retouched in total), all images from the shoot (unedited + edited) in high resolution on a CD/DVD, $200.

1 look, with professional hair stylist and make-up artist, 2 photos retouched and ready for print, all images from the shoot (unedited + edited) in high resolution on a CD/DVD, $150.

IF MODELS DO NOT NEED A HAIR STYLIST AND/OR MAKE-UP ARTIST and can do their own hair and make-up, I can offer this:

3 looks, 2 photos from each look retouched and ready for print (so 6 photos retouched in total), all images from the shoot (unedited + edited) in high resolution on a CD/DVD, $200.

2 looks, 2 photos from each look retouched and ready for print (so 4 photos retouched in total), all images from the shoot (unedited + edited) in high resolution on a CD/DVD, $150.

1 look, 2 photos retouched and ready for print, all images from the shoot (unedited + edited) in high resolution on a CD/DVD, $100.

Please keep in mind that I am only passing on this offer and that we as an agency only want you to have the best chance at booking, and that comes from having a great shot to get you in the door.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


 INVEST IN YOURSELF: It is part of your job description to always look and feel confident and presentable. I know when I do not have polish on my toes or my roots begin to show through my "natural" and costly blonde locks, I begin to feel a little less confident in myself. Yes it may sound petty and selfish but since we are in the Industry where looks are a huge part of what you do, do not think twice about getting that mani pedi, or spending that extra $30 on a month of tanning. Do not be hesitant to splurge on lunch at Whole Foods after a casting rather then driving through McDonalds. Everything you do or put in to your body is affecting your looks as well as your spirit. The more confidence you have the more likely it is you will book a gig to pay off those little things that encouraged and built you up to confident. Just please remember that when it comes to tanning less is more and orange is not a good color ... on anyone! :)

 My last pointer would have to be INVESTIGATE: The internet is one of the most brilliant things on this planet. It is opinionated, it is cultured, wise beyond any human's years, it is user friendly, it is directionally savvy, and it is always right (or most of the time right).  With all of these great characteristics, it amazes me that some people still choose not to take full advantage of such an amazing instrument. The minute you have finished reading a casting we have emailed you, I suggest investigating. Type in the name of the company and I assure you Google will have some sort of information to give you. I have begun including websites of the company if I have it in the casting. I do not do that for fun. Check it out! :) Before calling to ask me what I think you should wear look at the types of clothes or product. I do not mind helping and answering questions unless you have put no effort into searching for the easy to find answers yourself. 

I know that most of these of very self explanatory and basic but it never hurts to be reminded. Always remember, the more you prepare for those last second castings, the better your odds are of booking as not too many people are able to make them. By being prepared you will be increasing productivity, mark my words!
Taylor B.

Monday, November 16, 2009


If I could create the perfect "Model Robot" these are the things I would program it to do before, after and in between every casting/booking...

#1. BUY A PLANNER: Whether you are old fashioned and prefer a pen and paper, or if you have your MAC laptop always at hand and prefer to use your ICal it does not matter to me. As long as you have some sort of something to put down dates and details, I will be a happy Booker:) 

#2. MAPS: ... are so 1995 so please invest in a GPS. With Christmas coming up perhaps now is the perfect time to spread the word of your ideal gift. Start saving for a GPS so that you can be saved from the frustration of being lost in the Garment District. If you are not ready to commit to a GPS, Map-Quest is the next best thing. If all else fails, you do not have the money for GPS, and you ran out before printing out the Map-Quest directions then your last option would be to give me a call. I am fine with giving directions and prefer getting the call before you have spent an hour being lost, are a half hour late to your casting, and are cursing at every poor passerby while on the phone with me. 

#3. EMERGENCY KIT: always have one in your trunk. It should consist of the usual makeup products, nail polish remover and cotton balls, hair brush and spray, LOTION (especially during this windy time of year when my skin starts to get pretty scaly), a cute bikini for swim castings, a thong (in case you left the house Commando and receive a text for a last second casting), a coin purse full of quarters and a twenty dollar bill (finding a free parking spot downtown is almost as likely as winning the lottery), hand sanitizer (for after you put the quarter in the meter because the person before you had swine flu) black heals, tweezers, a hair tie, PEAK vouchers, stickers, your portfolio (be sure not to leave that in the sunny part of your car as I have seen some pretty melted photos) and your zed cards or headshots. These are staple things but feel free to add to it. 

Taylor B

Sunday, November 15, 2009


The other day I was casting for models at our office, and as we were meeting new people, we got a call for a magazine cover looking for great FEET! Well, as you can imagine, it was time for everyone to take off their shoes and show the toes! In fact, we did a full email blast to everyone to send us their best photos of their feet. Now, I know that we do not always think of the feet, but really they do get a lot of play. Sandal ads, shoe companies, nail companies, spas, they all use feet in their ads. When I cast, I often look at hands for our clients, but from now on, it will be feet too.
So, I started thinking about the models and how they present themselves at castings.
We get clients booking all of the time for clothing catalogs, and they ask for the models to bring shoes and sandals.
As a professional model you should have an arsenal of assorted heels, so to make things easier, I have a resource page on where you can check out the latest heels for sale on line. Keeping up your feet is also key. So go ahead and get that pedicure. Your feet will thank you!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Peak Models and Talent Lands Us a Photo Shoot!

Peak Models and Talent Lands Us a Photo Shoot!

At Peak Models & Talent we have a lot going on every day!
Since things happen rather quickly in this industry,  I want to make an effort to show you what is going on in the industry for all divisions.
There will be times when we post photos and stories about our models that book. There are a lot of you out there that are really wanting to book, so for those of you that are still in the game and feel that you are going to ALL of your castings, have a strong book, and show a great attitude, these posts are for you to continue to see what is possible. :) For the full story, click the link above and see who is booking in the kids division!
Natasha Duswalt

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


[                    MODELS                ] Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal

Lauren Dines, 12, waits for her mother to fill out information before an audition.

Natacha Andrews recently signed up her 4-year-old daughter, Anaya, with a modeling agency. Anaya says she wants to be "like Tyra"—that is, model-turned-media-personality Tyra Banks.

Her mother, a 36-year-old Phoenix attorney, has another motivation. "I know people who successfully saved money this way," she says. In a weak economy, with five kids' college tuitions to plan for, Ms. Andrews says, "I want to make the most out of whatever resources we have."

More parents are signing their children up with modeling agencies and talent classes, in search of fame and, even better, a little extra money in a weak economy. Agencies like Wilhelmina International Inc.'s Wilhelmina Kids and Teens and Funnyface Today Inc. in New York City and Peak Models & Talent in Los Angeles say they have seen the numbers of child applicants grow in the past few years. Charlie Winfield, head booker at Funnyface, estimates the agency's children's division has seen a 50% increase in applicants in the past three years. Modeling Camp in Tyson's Corner, Va., saw a 30% increase in attendance at its workshops last summer from the year earlier and plans to expand to New York and Florida next year.

Parents Banking on Kids to be Next Top Model


Funnyface Today's head booker Charlie Winfield tells WSJ's Anjali Athavaley how more parents are signing their children up with modeling agencies in search of fame and some extra cash. But as child psychologist Dr. Lawrence Balter argues, modeling might not be the best idea for your child.

The economy is driving the trend, says Funnyface's Mr. Winfield. The agency is getting more calls from parents who are out of work and now have the time to take their children to auditions. With kids' modeling wages typically about $100 to $125 an hour, he says, "it's another way to subsidize their income."

Also contributing to the growing number of mini-models are reality-TV shows featuring children, agencies say. Such shows have transmitted the culture of fame-seeking; some shows—"Toddlers and Tiaras" and "Little Miss Perfect"—even follow the lives of child pageant contestants. Page Parkes Corp., a talent agency in Houston, Texas, is just one of the agencies seeing more interest from parents who want their children to be on television. Separately, modeling and acting jobs have become increasingly open to many ethnicities, encouraging a broader swath of families, such as Latinos and Asians, to pursue careers in entertainment.

There's just one problem: As advertisers cut their budgets, there are fewer modeling jobs available. "The quality of jobs and how many options are out there is definitely lower this year," says Jason Jeffords, owner of Puddletown Talent, a Portland, Ore., agency representing 300 kids ages 15 and under.

That means more competition—and, for the kids, more rejection. Carol Stevenson, a public-relations consultant, signed her three kids up with Peak Models & Talent because she wanted them to start saving for college. But she has felt the effects of the job market at auditions. Since June, they have gone to about 12—fewer than she expected. "It's been painfully slow," says the 39-year-old from Stevenson Ranch, Calif. While Jacob, 9, and Annika, 8, have landed a photo shoot for a catalog, her 6-year-old daughter, Sabrina, has yet to get a job.

Breaking the news to children when they don't make the cut can be tough. Sabrina is "a little sad," Ms. Stevenson says. "We've explained to her the best way that we can that for different reasons they are looking for different looks."

Andrew Spear for The Wall Street Journal

Cynthia Serra styles the hair of her nine-year-old daughter, Arianna, before she and her sister practice modeling.

Still, parents are flocking to the business., a site that lets parents submit photos that are judged by casting agents, saw its membership double to two million in the past year. The site was launched by Internet marketing company Parent Media Group Inc. in 2006.

The Cost of Breaking In

In the best of times, modeling is a challenging business. Many parents don't anticipate the initial costs. Funnyface and Peak say parents spend between $200 to $400 for a photo session plus about $100 for composite cards—resumes of sorts that display models' height, weight and photos. (Only some parents of babies—who change so quickly that photos are soon out of date—can get away with using their own snapshots.) But photographers' charges vary wildly, so some families pay far more.

Ms. Stevenson paid about $1,000 per kid for the photo sessions, composite cards and separate photo prints. What's more, parents generally have to spring for new photos as children's looks change. "Getting into this industry is so much more expensive than I expected," says Ms. Stevenson. So far, she's spent more than her kids have earned.

Families also face costs for things like travel and grooming. Cynthia Serra, 42, of Lewis Center, Ohio, registered her two daughters, Jennelle, 7, and Arianna, 9, for the Actors, Models & Talent Competition, a convention that links participants with casting directors and agencies, in Orlando, Fla., next January. She plans on looking for seasonal work to help pay for the travel and hotel rooms for her family of five. "I will be getting a second job to pay for it all between now and January," she says.

The opportunity, she says, is worth the expenses. "I believe they'll do a wonderful job with it," she adds. "My girls are very excited."

Consumer advocates caution that parents who are new to the business may be vulnerable to schemes that seem to guarantee fame and fortune but fail to deliver. Last month, the New York State Consumer Protection Board urged parents to be careful when signing contracts with talent agencies that promise stardom.

Michael Schennum for The Wall Street Journal

Child model Anaya Andrews, 4, poses at her home in Gilbert, Ariz.

"Everyone wants to think that their darling is the most talented," says Mindy Bockstein, the agency's chairperson and executive director. "They get inflated promises or ideas of grandeur. Sometimes that gets the best of them."

For instance, some outfits pressure parents to leave a deposit or to purchase head shots or acting lessons from the agency or an affiliate. The Consumer Protection Board recommends that parents ask for a list of its successful client representations and request written references about the company from clients. They should be wary of agencies that ask for money up front.

Critics of the industry say that child modeling can do more than just break the bank. Kids don't know to anticipate potential rejection, which could hurt their self-esteem in the long run.

'You May Not Be Wanted'

"Children at a really young age have no idea of what is conceptually involved in this," says Syd Brown, clinical and neuropsychologist in Bethesda, Md. "They don't know that if your body changes in the wrong way, you may not be wanted anymore."

Plus, he says, a few parents' reasons for getting their kids involved may not be entirely altruistic. "Is there some sort of narcissism involved on the part of the parents? That's probably true in some cases."

Indeed, some parents worry about what they are teaching their kids. Ms. Andrews, the mother of the 4-year-old who aspires to be a supermodel, says she is concerned about sending her daughter mixed messages. "Teaching her that how people look is not supposed to be the most important thing, and then saying, 'Oh put on your pretty clothes and smile,' it's a bit of a contradiction," Ms. Andrews says.

But others say that they see no harm. "It's something that I think is fun, and it doesn't hurt the child," says Jennifer Ormond, of Quincy, Mass, whose two youngest children model. "It's a way that they can have a little money set aside, and if it's not touched for 18 years, I think that's a good chunk of change."

Unexpected Benefits

In fact, she says the industry gave her an unanticipated benefit: She was able to get some one-on-one time with her 4-year-old daughter, Julia, in April, when the girl was selected for an ad in an L.L. Bean catalog that paid $600. Ms. Ormond left her other kids with her husband and traveled with Julia to Maine for the shoot. "That was awesome, because it was three days of me and my daughter."

Julie Dines, 42, reaped another surprising gain: When she took her two children to meet with Funnyface's Mr. Winfield, he asked if she had ever considered modeling herself. "I said, 'I think I'm way too old for this stuff,' " Ms. Dines says. But she tried anyway and became the first one in the family to get work through the agency. "Ironically, I'm the first one that gets an assignment for a print ad in Oprah magazine," she says. "We were cracking up."

Her kids' feelings are more mixed. "I'm happy for my mom because she got a job," says her 12-year-old daughter Lauren. "But there was also a little jealousy."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Disney Print!

At Peak Models & Talent we love when we get copies of the jobs we book.
And to keep you all in the loop, we wanted to
post a photo of the latest Disney print booking with Rolana.
Rolana has been booking with Peak Models & Talent for several years.
What's her secret? Photos!
For those of you that think that since you have a few photos in a book that things should start booking, let's try again.
The models that book are the models that update their photos on a regular basis, the models that refresh their web photos and LA casting accounts.
It is more critical than ever that you shoot, especially now~

Natasha Duswalt

Sunday, November 1, 2009


With the arrival of the Holiday's, I realized that everyone has to figure out how to get their shopping done along with the laundry list of other tasks we need to cover in a day.
My problem is that running a modeling agency leaves me little time to shop! I also realized that for the women I know, nothing sparks up someone's day than a new lipstick, or how about a complete kit for a dramatic new look for your eyes?
And the best part, you can shop online and have the gifts delivered to your home!
As models running from casting to casting, booking to booking, you too probably need a quick way to find cosmetics and not break the bank at the same time. I have found a great little website that sells cosmetics at deep discounts.
Some items are $1.00 !!! Yes that is right, and there are also nail polish sets for between $3.00 to $ 5.00 ! Christmas shopping here I come!
I have personally purchased these products and found that the "Get the Look" sets are really great, especially if you are a model needing a complete look. The set includes three eye shadows, eyeliner, mascara, 1 eyeshadow brush, 2 eyeshadow applicators, a eyeliner sharpener, and for an added bonus you get false eyelashes and the glue!
My other favorite is the 5 pack of lip glosses! Oh and I cannot forget the "French Manicure" set! I LOVE IT!!
I was so excited to see these products at such great prices, I decided to put a link to their website on the website. The funny thing is that I also noticed the same company listed in the Oprah Magazine over the summer as an Oprah pick of " great deals".

So, if you need some great make up for holiday gifts, or you just need to stock your personal kit for photo shoots, check it out! What better way to spend a rainy day! Just click on and go to " resources" you will find the link there!
Happy Shopping!
Natasha Duswalt

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Working in and out of the modeling industry has it's perks. Many models take side jobs to pay the bills and remain available for castings and meetings.
Here are some things that the models do on the side to keep the bills paid and remain flexible...
Trainer at the gym - many models keep fit and help others by training clients at the gym. Since most of these positions require early morning sessions, this can be a great way to keep the bulk of your day open, plus you can always move clients around if you book a big job!

Food Servers - here is a great way to keep your time open. There are so many models that work serving table by night and running castings and bookings by day. One of the perks is cash in hand at the end of your shift, and usually a deal on your food as well.

Writing - have you ever considered writing in your spare time? There are numerous companies that use people to write for their articles, blogs and other materials on line. Great for anyone that loves the computer!

Assistants - as an assistant, there are plenty of people out there that need general help getting things done. From buying gifts to getting the banking done, executives all over are strapped for time. What a win - win, you need some time to run around town, and you can get paid taking care of someone's banking, dry cleaning, grocery shopping, dog walking etc. Never underestimate the value of your time and ability to offer help to someone who needs it.

Opinions - now this is an area I am not that familiar with, but I have heard of people that get paid to go to the movies and watch new releases before anyone else. Back about 10 years ago they were getting $10.00 an hour or a flat fee to participate.

Catering - back to food service, catering is another great way to make a few bucks, mingle and keep the bills paid.

Now as you know, we love when you can make your castings, and totally understand that you need to take care of your life and bills, so these are just a few ideas for those of you that want to remain flexible but need some additional income .

Natasha Duswalt

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Ok ladies and gents, dreams do come true!
Let's meet Tina for instance. Tina and I met a couple of years back at a casting I set up in Burbank to meet new models interested in modeling and commercials.
Tina originally came to us with an acting headshot and an amazing spark and personality.
Of course seeing her great energy and her great figure, I had to whip out the tape measure.
I knew a great fit model had been born.
Tina was measured and immediately we started sending her out to fit clients.
Tina of course started booking jobs, and with her new found niche market in the FIT MODEL world,  she also started making some nice money.
As you can see Tina has been able to afford to buy a new car for CASH! That's right, no car payments! Just a sporty new ride to get her from designer to designer in style.
I know you might think, " well she is lucky" but like I always say, " Luck is when preparation and opportunity meet". If you are prepared to make money and show up, and you have the required elements, then you too can take control of your future and start booking the FIT jobs.
Our clients are always looking for EXPERIENCED FIT MODELS, so if this is your thing, feel free to contact me for a meeting.
Congratulations Tina! You deserve it, you are a wonderful FIT model, friend, and person.
I am proud to work with you , and look forward to keeping you busy FITTING!
Natasha Duswalt

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Many clients will call us and ask what are the benefits of a professional fitting model?
There are so many reasons to have a professional fit model, especially in the current climate, there is no room for mistakes when it comes to fit.

As you can probably notice when you are out shopping, there are many stores closing and lines of clothing have literally disappeared from the shelves. If you really think about the labels and lines that have endured even the toughest economic downturn, it is the leaders in their industries that have been left standing. It is the companies that have great style and fit that can outshine the competition and continue to write the re - order business needed to survive.

At Peak Models & Talent we have a strong roster of professional fitting models for even hard to fit sizes, such as petites and plus sizes!
Our professional fitting models have the experience and technical information to assist any design team in creating an outstanding fit that sells.
With sizing changing so much in the marketplace, it can be confusing for designers to find where their product " fits in".
Ten years ago a size 8 now translates into a size 6. Size 6's are now closer to a 4. Let's face it we do not all look like the girls on the catwalk, so for those of us that wear regular sizes, it must fit, and that is where the fitting models is our best friend.
All of these changes has left women confused as to what size they really wear, and what labels to buy.
For the companies that keep a consistent fit, those are the companies that will also keep a consistent customer.
Styles change, fads come and go, but fit is timeless. A proper fitting garment will become a staple in a woman's wardrobe.
Just think of your favorite jeans, isn't it thanks to the FIT of the jeans, that you absolutely cannot live without them?
Imagine if you knew that you could always find a line of great clothing, with great style and fit.
Problem solved.

For the most reliable, professional, discreet fitting models in the Los Angeles and surrounding areas, Peak Models & Talent will
fit your needs, including junior fit models, contemporary fit models, missy fit models, mens fit models, kids fit models, plus size fit models, lingerie fit models, swim fit models, sportswear fit models, if you need to fit it, we are here to help.
For more information on fit sizes, rates and availability of fitting models, please contact us at Peak Models & Talent 661-294-1100
We look forward to helping your company find the perfect fit and to be one of those lines that women go to when they need something that fits!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Once you are signed with an agency, it is in your best interest to do your part and show up to your castings and bookings.  Think about this for a moment, there are thousands of models that would love to have your spot at the agency.  As an agent, I am bombarded daily with email submissions from new models that would do anything to even get a meeting at the agency. This is always a paradox for me, especially when a model that works with us drops out of a booking to take another job elsewhere.
Believe me I get it, there are going to be times where you get offered a bigger amount of money or status, and that is all fine. The only thing you need to do is to realize that everything has it's price. If for instance you confirmed for a job on a specific date, then it is UNETHICAL to take another job on that date. There is no grey area here, it is what it is. Now I know you are thinking, " but the other job is paying more" or " this is a big opportunity for me". All well understood, and I am not discounting any of that, but from my personal filter, I do not want to work with people that that do not have integrity. 
I am not asking you to do anything I would not do myself.
Back when I was modeling, ( many moons ago) I was booked for a year of shows at $300 per day. The job was in LA, NYC, and MIAMI and I had multiple dates booked for the year.
Well, then a day came along when a large company came along and hired me to do their fittings.
Part of the deal was that they wanted me for their shows as well.
Now here is the clincher, they were offering me $1000.00 per day. Of course I wanted to take it, who wouldn't?? But I also knew that I had given my word to my original client.
So, I made a decision, I did the original job for $300.00 per day. My new client was so impressed with my integrity that they asked to book me in advance for the next year, and I was offered $1200.00 per day. Once I had finished my original commitment, I was open for their company.
The  new client told me that if I was that loyal then they wanted me on their team.
I ended up working for them all over the world, for 7 years straight. 
And on another note, the original client is a client with Peak Models & Talent to this day.
I was able to buy a house with the money I was able to save with that job. 
And I can assure you that if I had not " done the right thing" , I would not have had such a favorable outcome.
The long story is that both clients are still working with me today, and I can assure you that if I had burned anyone back then, I would not be working with them today, and neither would the models at Peak Models & Talent.
For those models out there that are only thinking of the " day rate" you are sadly mistaken, since there is no "rate" for reputation or integrity.
Natasha Duswalt

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Better models, better talent. I hear this quite a bit on my end of the business from clients, photographers, stylists, bookers, casting directors, and even models and talent.
The word " better" always adds a little extra to that person doesn't it?

Going shopping, there are "better dresses" and you "better" buy the better one if you want the quality you deserve!
So how does this apply to models and talent?
That question is answered in my own prior career as a model in the Los Angeles, New York, Miami and global market. For those of you who knew me back before Peak Models & Talent, you knew that my days were stacked. I was booked often from 7:00 am to late in the evening.
I would do fashion shows and speak with the models during the breaks, and I was always amazed that these beautiful people were not booked solid.
What was going on? These girls were far more beautiful, they were nice, and seemed like the wanted to work? So what was the difference?
I literally would have a group of models around me asking me how I booked so many jobs.
At the time I did not have the answer, but now I do.
I had learned how to be a " better" model.
Ok, now let's not get crazy, being a better model by my definition is not the prettiest, tallest or thinest, it is all together something else entirely.

Here is a list of qualities that I believe create a " better" model.
Attitude - you must want to work and the clients must see that the minute you walk in the door.
Availability - you must be available, do not get a day job and wonder why you are not going out on bookings and castings. You are not a superhero, even Batman used to stop being Clark Kent when he went out!
Private - never run around telling your clients your time issues, where you have to be or why, just work it out, and be available, even if it means moving mountains, just do it and do it quietly.
Above and beyond - I was the girl that helped clean up and hand the garments after everyone left the show. This gave me time to talk to client, find out when they were showing again ad be able to make myself available.
Accountability - when your agent calls you for a casting, do not stall in responding, be the first one to confirm EVERY time. Remember, you wait, and someone might take your spot, adn believe me THEY DO!
So, as you can see, being a "better" model does not take that much effort, it is just being THE person that others think to themselves," hmmmm, that was really cool that she helped out after the show, we should book her again" ....
and they always did.
Natasha Duswalt

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Ok, so we have all heard the old cliche' " Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?"
Oh yes, I have heard many a woman of wisdom pass this down to the younger girls pining for their boyfriends to ask the big question. Of course, as you may or may not know, this theory applies to the modeling industry in a big way.

So here is the scene...beautiful model, clients are lowering rates around town due to the 
"economy". Ok, we all get it, things are tighter and we all need to work, but seriously, we also need to know our worth.  Some models have been spreading themselves very thin and trying some of the newer smaller agencies to see if they can get a little more going. Then there are the models that go online in hope of catching some "freelance" gigs. 

What does any of this have to do with you? EVERYTHING! 
The modeling industry takes a giant hit when A list models are our selling themselves short to clients and little inexperienced agencies.  One such incident recently happened with one of our models, she was up for a pretty nice catalog and the client was paying a low rate. This particular client wanted this model, and knowing that she was a top booking girl, we asked for a higher rate than offered, chances are they would have booked her for double the rate, except she had lowered her standards and signed up with a little agency in the valley that agreed to the low rate, thus leaving us no room to argue on her behalf.
The sad thing is that the model herself is so willing to see herself short, that it hurts everyone.
And do not even get me started on the models that do work for free to get experience.
Do test shoots, that is where you get experience, working for free is just going to make people think that you are cheap, and you will never command the type of rate you deserve.
Make the mental shift and start trusting that your agency is trying to get you better rates, do not answer clients when they ask money questions, refer them to your agency, or risk getting paid less than the other people on the job.
Think about it, if you are willing to work for free or low pay, why should they even offer a better rate? They will save those rates for the " better" models, and if you really think about it, what is " better" actually maybe " better" means the models that know " better" and trust the agent to get the  proper rates.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


With the arrival of fall, leaves changing, sweaters coming out of the closet, and the colors of fall all around, I realized that some of my summer colors just seemed a bit out of place during the change of the season.
I dug around in my closet and found some sweaters to take away the chill, but as I went to get ready, my make up seemed to reflect some of the warmer weather colors. My problem is that running a modeling agency leaves me little time to shop!
As models running from casting to casting, booking to booking, you too probably need a quick way to find cosmetics and not break the bank at the same time. I have found a great little website that sells cosmetics at deep discounts.
Some items are $1.00 !!! Yes that is right, and there are also nail polish sets for between $3.00 to $ 5.00 ! Christmas shopping here I come!
I have personally purchased these products and found that the "Get the Look" sets are really great, especially if you are a model needing a complete look. The set includes three eye shadows, eyeliner, mascara, 1 eyeshadow brush, 2 eyeshadow applicators, a eyeliner sharpener, and for an added bonus you get false eyelashes and the glue!
My other favorite is the 5 pack of lip glosses! Oh and I cannot forget the "French Manicure" set! I LOVE IT!!
I was so excited to see these products at such great prices, I decided to put a link to their website on the website. The funny thing is that I also noticed the same company listed in the Oprah Magazine over the summer as an Oprah pick of " great deals".

So, if you need some great make up for holiday gifts, or you just need to stock your personal kit for photo shoots, check it out! What better way to spend a rainy day! Just click on and go to " resources" you will find the link there!
Happy Shopping!
Natasha Duswalt

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Ok, so you are out and about running castings and auditions.
Your day is stacked, you can barely fit in a latte, and now you realize that you confirmed for an audition in Santa Monica and the 405 is jammed!!!
So you think to yourself, hmmmm maybe I just wont go, I have so many other things to do!
Now remember, you confirmed with your agent didn't you? Well, did you know that your agent confirmed with the casting director and the client? Yes indeed, and your name is on a list with a little box next to it to report if you showed up or not!

Of course things happen, but in this business your reputation is on the line. Blow off and audition, and it is noted.
Do it more than three times, and notice how much less you get out? Hmmmm something to think about isn't it.
And here is the real kicker, you can go to another agency, and start over, but guess what? Your face and name are attached to the habits you practice. So do the right thing, show up, or call up and communicate if there is a problem.
Do not just blow it off, you only hurt yourself in the big picture.

Oh and one more thing, do not become that pain in the rear that constantly needs a time change, make it work, the easier you are to send out the more you will go out.
Natasha Duswalt

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fashions Drives us all!

As a model you are constantly driving to and from castings and auditions, to bookings and back.
Are you being careful? Think about it, you are probably on the road more than the average bear, so you really need to be careful about what you are doing behind the wheel.
For starters here are a few things that should not be happening while driving...

Make up application - many of you do touch ups before castings, and this is fine, while your car is PARKED! :)

Texting - seriously this is probably worse than talking on the phone, since you have to look down to text or read a text, so leave that for when you are in the parked position as well.

Parking - ok this is a little bit of a grey area, especially for women, we have a young lady we know that was held up at gunpoint while sitting in her car on the side of the road. Law enforcement does not recommend that you sit in your car. Be careful.

One last thing, remember that your car is not your portable office, it is your car, and it is to get from place to place, I know in LA we are al in our cars a lot, but basic safety can really prevent a lot of problems for you and the other drivers.

Happy castings!
Natasha Duswalt

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fashion Week at Peak!

With fall brings fashion! October is a busy month for the fashion industry, and for the models at Peak.
We have so many girls booked this month that we are in desperate need of new people.
It has really come down to the fact that we need more models in specific sizes. If you are a female model that wears a size 4-6 and you are at least 5' 8 to 5'11, email your shots to
We are also seeking men size 32 jeans and a 40 regular ranging from 5'11 to six foot.
Our models can be seen working hard for top denim designers during the denim market. The print season is in full swing for the Spring collections, as our weather cools down, the studios heat up with models shooting for the spring collections.
Keep checking back to see photos and test shots from our models...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Costumes anyone?

It's that time again! Halloween is just around the corner, and that means the catalog companies have been shooting models with our agency.
If you are with Peak Models & Talent, feel like you would be great, or have shot costumes in the past, email me your photo and I will keep it on file for the next round of catalogs.
Remember too, that the shoots for particular seasons take place months prior to the release of the catalog.
What that means is that when you see a catalog, those images were probably shot 6-8 months prior. It takes time for editing, printing, mailing.
So, make sure to keep us posted on whatever images you feel would help to book you in a particular area!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


HI everyone,
From time to time we get offers for the models and talent, and I thought this might be of interest to some of you.
I am just passing this on, and have no affiliation with this company, but I have heard good things from people that have attended. So, here it is, if you want to find out what it takes to get going on television commercials, here is a FREE class offer...

Free Commercial Class
at Hey, I Saw Your Commercial! Institute


Artistic Director and Booking Coach Mike Pointer is offering another round of FREE COMMERCIAL CLASSES this month. The upcoming dates are:

Saturday, September 19th, 6pm

Sunday, September 20th, 11am

Wednesday, September 23rd, 6pm

Saturday, September 26th, 6pm

Sunday, September 27th, 11am

Tuesday, September 29th, 7pm

Wednesday, September 30th, 7pm



* How to master the On-Camera 30 to 45 second “personality pitch”

* Receive an evaluation of your skill set

* What Casting Directors are looking for in your performance

* How to eliminate nerves

* How to identify and attract a Top 50 Commercial Agent

* Get the latest updates on scam agents and phony casting websites

* Door prizes including Free photo shoots, Agent Guides, Showcase

discounts, photo reproduction discount vouchers and much more!

Excellent information on how to make thousands of dollars in residual income doing television commercials. Coach Mike teaches outstanding cutting edge strategies that has helped hundreds of actors quit their day jobs, and build a successful career in TV commercials. Coach Mike’s powerful on-camera techniques and strategies have also helped hundreds of actors book television and film roles and has set a new standard and approach that other commercial workshop coaches are feverishly trying to imitate. These classes are highly recommended by top agencies such as Commercial Talent, Commercials Unlimited, The Pantheon Agency and Casting Directors that also teach classes! Bring a headshot and resume. Arrive 15 minutes early for awesome door prizes.! RSVP at 323-939-4612 or sign up online at:

Address: Hey, I Saw Your Commercial! Studios

1017 South La Brea Ave. #B (1 Blk. South of Olympic Blvd.)

LA, CA 90019

323-939-4612 Studio Line

Audition , Rejection, Repeat!

Leaving the casting office after your third audition in one week, you think to yourself how cool it would be to book all three jobs. You know you nailed them all and can’t wait for that callback. A couple days go by and no word from your agent. You think to yourself, “Well maybe they just haven’t had time to view the audition tapes.” A week later, and still no call...from anybody. What went wrong? You know you did great but nothing, not even a callback!!! Come on at least one out of three would have been nice.

There are many reasons that you might not get a part that you audition for, and you may be surprised that they don’t have to do with your acting ability.

It may just be that you have the wrong look for the part. Producers hire casting directors to find the best possible talent for the role. Most of the time directors and producers have a certain image in their mind of what they want. If you don’t fit EXACTLY, you’re out. It’s not because you didn’t do a great job or something is wrong with your looks, it’s just that you may not be exactly 5’6”, with long brown hair, green eyes, olive skin, and have an athletic build.

Now this is hard to think about and every time you do it makes your body numb. You are clearly the best choice for the role, but it goes to the person with more experience or the guy that was in the director's last film. Maybe even the guy that has known the casting director since they made home videos as childhood friends. Most of the time people pick talent based on their ability but there are a lot of people that slip in there because of “Who they know.”

Your agent emails you the breakdowns for the lead role in a music video. It says, “You may have to do a little dancing, but just go with the flow and feel the music, NO professional experience required.” You arrive to the casting office and SURPRISE! There is a chorographer with a group of people that look like they just got off the show America’s Best Dance Crew. Sometimes you can be caught off-guard by an audition. You fit the character description perfectly but don’t know you may have to do something a little unexpected. Most of the time you and your agent have all the audition details but sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it. You can only prepare for an audition with the information that has been presented a head of time. If they surprise you, be a good sport and do your best. Never have a tantrum.

Next time you’re in the situation where you know you nailed the audition and gave it 110% but didn’t get that callback, remember that some things are not in your control. Try to learn from every audition, take the best out of it, and use it for your next role. No matter how well you do (or don’t do), don’t blame yourself. Know you have the skill, it may just be that you’re not exactly what someone has in mind. Go out and get that next role, chances are you’re what that next producer or director is looking for… and if not… repeat until you get to the right one. You will eventually.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Once is Rarely Enough

You’ve worked hard to get your portfolio ready, you’ve done research on the best casting agents, you’ve mailed out zed cards, and you’ve answered every ad with a submittal. Now you wait to hear from everyone all at once, right? Wrong. I consider the first round of photos and submissions and mailings to be something like a dress rehearsal. It gets you practice and helps you find out what you might need to do different next time. It might even, possibly, get you filed in someone’s huge file cabinet. You’re probably sure you’ve sent the best photos ever and that you’ve written the mother of all cover letters. I hate to be delivery boy of The Reality News but so has everyone else. Casting agents, producers and directors probably account for 87.5% of the mail deliveries in LA and every letter has pictures and resumes as good or even better than yours. Ok, slight exaggeration – maybe not 87.5%, but close.

I’m not trying to discourage you from getting your information out. I’m hoping you’ll read this and realize that once is rarely enough. Don’t pout, don’t get angry and whatever you do, DON’T GIVE UP. Simply keep in mind that the more you send out, the better chance you have of being noticed. It’s a never-ending process but it’s all a part of your work so make it a habit, and try to budget for it. Nobody (except relatives and friends) ever said acting/modeling is easy. Working your craft is the fun part but like any job, the details will get you every time. Be good with details and you’ll get ahead much faster.

Maybe somebody hooks you up with a great connection so you send pics and go in for an interview. You’re already planning where to put your star on Hollywood Blvd. because you know you aced it. Then, nothing. They don’t call or write or even send an email. So you wait and wait. Now is not the time to give up, it’s the time to start the process over again and make new calls, send new pics, and possibly an email to let them know you enjoyed meeting them and will be sending updated info for their files. Then do it. If possible, drop by the modeling office or casting agent and remind them who you are (and how irresistible you are in person!). In marketing a product it is known that the consumer needs to see a new product three or four times before actually committing to buy it. Get your info out three or four times or more. Space out the timing so you seem both fresh and familiar. It’s a fine line but you can do it.

Each time you send new info you’ll find ways to make it better. Your picture on a postcard or clear envelope saves them the time of opening a letter. Plenty go straight to the trash when the secretary or agent is busy. Even though you liked your old photos, new ones will be current and you’ll look (and be) more experienced.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Ok. You’ve actually worked and you know that you’ll never, ever, ever forget each and every experience. Unlikely. Although every well-won job may seem totally unforgettable, the majority of us have a human brain and it will most definitely get filled up with new adventures. As this happens, your “unforgettable memories” will be pushed farther back in the file cabinet of your mind. You need help. We all need help.

Get yourself a daily planner, diary or journal and USE IT. Write down appointments, audition times and addresses, and most of all – use it to leave notes to yourself about a job completed. Not only will you need the info to add to your ever-expanding resume, but – hey! – you plan to be famous so why not keep notes for your autobiography?

I know from experience that writing things down on old envelopes, napkins, the back of your hand or the inside of a candy wrapper just doesn’t cut it. Do you have any idea how long it takes to go through your car and find the piece of trash that really isn’t trash because it has the soap opera casting agent’s phone number on it? You know, the one you’ve hoped would call you for six months! I know that sicky-icky feeling and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, or even the guy up against me for that part in a commercial.

BE ORGANIZED. I don’t care if every report card since kindergarten mentioned, “Needs help organizing his work.” You may never have done it before, but you NEED to do it now. Have current appointments easily at hand and always keep every phone number given. Make notes about a job and the name of the PA and director and even extras or models. Then when you get to a job and people look familiar, you can go through your notes and kick-start the memory. Can you imagine walking up to the PA and asking how his kid’s birthday party turned out? Yes, thoughtful - and maybe even worth a bump to your part.

I’m just saying that there are many uses for a journal and every one of them is a good one. If nothing else, it will be great reading when you’re 90 years-old and want to impress your grandchildren, or maybe you get the lifetime achievement award and want to remember why you’re getting it! A journal/daily planner is a tool of acting just as a carpenter needs a hammer. Maybe you think you can do without it, but you’ll be a lot more professional when you have (and use) the correct tools of your trade. Please – get a journal, daily planner, or diary – and USE IT!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Confident or Cocky?

Whether going out on a modeling audition or for an acting role, there’s one thing both auditions have in common if you want to succeed… confidence. Casting agents want to see you radiate self-confidence and shine from the inside out. I’m not talking about being the best-looking person in the room. I’m talking about attitude! Agents can walk down the street every day and see beautiful people, especially in LA. Even if the role you want requires you to be “Average Joe” or “Everyday Ethel,” success is more likely to happen when you have belief in yourself.

When casting a role, agents are looking for someone who isn’t afraid to stand out. Walk through that door with a smile on your face and a sure stride. Many times it’s just a matter of the interviewer taking your photo and recording as you say your name. No big deal, right? Wrong! They have to sort through hundreds of pictures and videos later so make yours memorable. Say your name with energy behind your voice. Smile and mean it. Let your inner confidence shine as you stare directly into the camera. You’ve got one shot so make it count.

If the audition involves a lot more than a picture and you flub it up, make the most of the situation. Don’t whine or beg or apologize for twenty minutes. Get up and do it again right if they’ll let you and if not, take it with humor and learn for next time. No one wants to hear how much you miss your girlfriend and can’t memorize lines or how your boyfriend cheated the night before. They want to see someone who is ready to work.

Here’s where a warning becomes helpful. Confidence and cockiness are two very different attitudes that are easily confused. Be sure to know the difference and choose the right one. Confidence is a positive quality. By definition it means, “great faith in oneself or one╩╝s abilities-a lifelong confidence that enabled her to achieve great things despite powerful obstacles-Synonyms: aplomb, assurance, self-assurance, self-confidence, self-esteem.”

By contrast, an attitude some people mistake for confidence is cockiness. Again we go to the dictionary and find that cockiness is defined as: “heedless of the consequences : AUDACIOUS-a brash adventurer-b: done in haste without regard for consequences : RASH -brash acts-.”

No casting agent wants someone who is heedless of consequences or is too self-absorbed to work as a team. Think about the difference between the two when mentally preparing for an audition. If it were you hiring, what qualities would you hope to see? Self-esteem is a highly sought after personality trait. Egotism (cockiness) is not only unattractive but it usually puts an actor/model on the Don’t Call Again list.

Being yourself is always important; just try to be the best you possible. Show casting agents you have a unique inner light that will be enhanced by the camera and that you are responsible enough to take your audition seriously. Be ON TIME. Be Confident. Be hired!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hurry Up and Wait

Once you’re on set of a movie or TV show, you suddenly become aware of all the time you spend – waiting. You wait between scenes, you wait for lunch, you wait for lunch to be over, you wait for scenes to be re-shot, and you wait for your turn to go on. Waiting is probably the biggest surprise and most frustrating part of acting. In fact, although some days are full of “your scenes,” most days are not and you may find that only 15-20% of your day was actually spent working.  So what do you do while waiting?


I’m a strong believer in positive thinking so I’d like you to use your power of positivity to turn waiting into opportunity. Think of it as getting paid not only to work but also to catch up. How often can you get paid to catch up on email or finish a paper if you’re a student, or write that Pulitzer Prize winning screenplay?  Seriously, whether you have a way to go online or not, you have your most powerful computer in your own mind and can still write, read, create and study. Creativity is the key.


Ideally, you can bring your laptop or Blackberry and even use the extra time to submit for jobs. If you have a laptop but can’t get online, you can write emails and then send them from home that night, or make lists, or finish homework. Positive affirmations are really important to program your thinking to success. What better time than while on set to read, write, or memorize your positive thinking techniques? Create your next jobs mentally while physically working on your current job!  How cool is that?  Do you have a monologue prepared for a sudden audition that calls for one? Bring it with you and memorize it while waiting. You have the extra-added bonus of other actors (also waiting) who would be happy to listen and give you feedback. Waiting actors have a real sense of camaraderie and are usually willing to help each other. (After all, they want something to do, too). And speaking of that, make friends. You will be amazed how much you can learn from fellow actors and their experiences, including auditions you may not know about. Making friends in this business is a real plus.


Another benefit of being on set is that many times you’re able to watch the action as the filming takes place. You are theoretically being paid to study your craft. Watch the actors and how they prepare for scenes. Notice how easily they walk to their marks or how carefully they listen to the director. Pay attention to how they handle themselves between scenes or what techniques they use to express various emotions. Many times you’re sequestered in another area, but when you get the chance to be in on the filming, PAY ATTENTION! Real life is the best acting class you can take.


If you ever tell me you’re bored or frustrated with all the waiting, I’ll know you haven’t even begun to tap into your true creativity. As long as your mind is active, you should never use the B word – bored.

Stay Positive!!

There’s lots of “How to’s” when starting out in the acting/modeling field.

I plan to share many ideas and experiences to help you get going, but I also want to share how to keep going once you’ve started.


So you have “the look” down and you’ve started eliminating high school plays from your resume because you actually have some real experience! You’ve managed to be on set and realize that no matter how long it takes, this is the career you love. There’s a jump in your heart every time you get a call for auditions, and you plan your grocery shopping around what you’ll be eating from Craft Services. As great as it all seems, there is a major quirk in the works. As happy as you are, your relatives, girlfriend, boyfriend, 4th grade teacher, or all of the above are equally as unhappy. They keep telling you that you’re a dreamer and your girl/boy friend is threatening to break up unless you get a “real” job. Your parents tell you they won’t send money if you continue such a pointless path. Your 4th grade teacher says she didn’t teach you everything she knows about the Pilgrims so you could throw it all away as a stand-in for Jack Black.


What do you do to stay the course when everyone you always respected seems to be causing waves?  First of all, check deep inside your heart and soul. Are you doing this because you truly want it with all your heart? Because if you are, don’t give up your dream. If you just want some glamour and think it’s an easy way to meet “the beautiful people,” then go home and think of some other way. It’s not easy and you have to want it more than anything else. For those who can relate to that feeling, stay positive. Don’t let anyone get you down. Walk into every audition with confidence and energy. If you have one line, make it the best line in the show or movie. Use affirmations to replace your own negative thoughts and doubts.  Maybe people are saying discouraging words but you can replace those with positive words of your own. Every successful person had someone who didn’t believe in him/her – but they didn’t give up.


“I am prosperous and successful.”

“I am a success in work and life.”

“I am being led right now to my perfect good.”


Make up the affirmations that fit you and then use them without ceasing. There’s a lot of time on set and you can both write or say them to yourself. When no one else helps lift you, lift yourself.  YOU CAN DO IT!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Casting directors...

A Casting Director (CD) is a person that is hired by the producers of a show, commercial, or print ad etc. to find talent for a project. Casting Directors are the people who agents will send photos and resumes to, and the actor (you) will audition for. It’s the Casting Director’s job to find the best possible talent out of thousands of actors and models submitted for each role. A CD wants you to do well so they look good as well. Usually, a good CD will walk you through the audition process so you do your best job.

If there's a Casting Director that you'd like to meet with it's a good idea to mail them your headshot and resume. It’s also a good idea to send postcards to the CD’s with your recent projects. I usually do this every couple months. It’s good to get your face out there on a regular basis, eventually the casting director will bring you in to audition for a part that’s right for you. 


It’s possible to submit your photo and resume directly to a Casting Director if you know of a role being cast, however they usually only consider submissions by an agent or actors they already know. The best way to get to know a casting director is by auditioning for another role with that CD or you can set up an "interview" which is a tuff process with all the talent out there and everyone wanting to meet with them.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Auditions What to expect?

Auditions: What to Expect


The wait is over, you’ve finally been called in for your first audition, now what?


You arrive in the casting office and realize there are about 15 complete strangers that are auditioning for the same exact role as you. Some are sitting rehearsing lines to themselves in the corner, others may be bragging about all the jobs they are booking to the guy next to them. Find your way to the sign-in sheet and make sure you have all your paperwork, polaroid’s, and headshots ready to go before it’s your turn. Ask any last minute questions and check to see when the callback and shoot dates are. In the meantime find a seat in the lobby and wait for your turn. Rehearse your script one last time and don’t pay attention to the guy talking about all the jobs he’s getting, usually it’s just for show.


When you’re called in for the audition the people in the room will consist of yourself, the casting director, and even more complete strangers staring at you with a blank look on their face. Some of the other people in the room may be the producer, a camera operator, a representative from the advertiser, or the casting director’s buddy. No matter who’s in the room, treat everyone with respect. That guy munching on a sandwich in the corner, with old torn jeans, and sending text messages, could be the producer.

By the time it's your turn to audition, the casting director has probably seen hundreds of other people, which means he/she and anyone else in the room is likely to be tired, bored, and maybe a little irritable. Try to make the casting director’s job easy and not talking until it’s your time to talk is one of the best ways to do this. Don’t tell the people in the room some story about your friend Timmy’s new band and how they blew their first show.

Someone may ask for your headshot and resume if you haven't already handed one in. At some auditions, someone may take your picture with a digital camera, so the casting director can review all the people who auditioned that day. This may be before you walk in or at the beginning of the audition. Be sure to smile, dress the part, and look your best.

Next someone will tell you where to stand which is usually a mark on the floor made of tape. The casting director will then ask you to slate which means saying your name clearly with a smile.  He/she may also ask you to include other information such as your agency, age, or related experience for the part. The casting director will then say “OK GO,” “Start,” or “ACTION.” This is your cue to start the audition you’ve been preparing so hard for.

After your audition is complete, thank everyone who helped you out, the casting director, the man eating a sandwich in the back, and the receptionist who helped you check in. Also, before you leave the audition, you may have to sign out on the same sign-in sheet if you are part of a union. After you sign out, leave quickly and make sure you have your keys, phone, portfolio, and anything else you don’t want left behind. Now just sit back and wait for that call back.

 Chris Fabregas Actor  / Model