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

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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