Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Great hobbies for models

Stop! Do you think your hobby or hobbies should be tailored to your modeling career? If so, you are nuts. Pick a hobby you like, not one that suits your career. Hobbies are supposed to be nice pastimes, not work. However, should one or more of the hobbies below appeal to you, give them a try. As a nice side effect, they might enhance your modeling career. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll find a career that’s even more fun than modeling.

Join a theatre group
Become an actor. Take acting lessons if you feel the need, but joining a group is at least as important, as you will learn from your fellow actors. Acting and modeling are basically the same thing, but in a different context. For actors, striking a pose or a facial expression is a natural thing to do. It is my personal experience that many models would be better models if they only knew how to reproduce a certain emotion by facial expression and body language. Likewise, technical aspects like breathing techniques and posture are important for both acting and modeling.

Besides, being in a theatre group is a great way to expand your network. You might meet other models, photographers and clients that you would normally not have met. Having theatre experience is an asset on your model resume too. Photographers are more likely to hire you, since they know you trained yourself to strike a pose or reproduce emotions.

Dancing is also great for models, and I don’t mean dancing in a strip club (although for some types of models…). Whether you like classical ballet, Jazz, Hiphop, modern dance, streetdance or even tap dance, dancing is good for a model. It is obviously a great workout. And since it’s more fun than fitness (to most people, that is), it’s easier to keep up. Like acting, dancing will enhance your posture and breathing and you will learn to visualize the effect of certain poses and movements.

Dancers, models and actors are often in the same talent competitions and sometimes even represented by the same agencies. Doing both will therefore increase your visibility to scouts and agents. So do make sure to bring your comp card to a dance contest and let the organizers know that you are also a model, so in case someone does not show up, they can stop searching for a replacement right away. They found you.

Be a make-up artist
It’s pretty obvious that being able to do your own make-up is an asset for models. If that were all, just get a base course for those events where the make-up artist does not show up. But there is more. If you are anything more than a base-level make-up artist, your skills become a big plus. Portfolio shoots will double in value as they can be used for both your portfolios. Keep working with other make-up artists and other models as well, to keep some diversity in your portfolios.

Being a make-up artist obviously helps you to expand your network in the modeling scene. You will get to meet other models, photographers, agencies and clients. You may also learn as a model from a shoot that you are attending as a make-up artist and vice versa.

Why don’t you design your own fashion?
True, fashion design is a bit more specific than the hobbies mentioned above. But why wouldn’t you? As a model, you’ve seen a lot of fashion. You probably met a lot of designers too. It is time consuming, but that is what hobbies are supposed to be, remember? If you like creating things, this is a great hobby.

Think about it, your closet being filled with all kinds of great stuff, and you will even know which ones to combine. All the advantages mentioned under make-up artists hold for fashion design too: your ability is an asset, both your portfolios will benefit from a shoot and your network expands greatly. Furthermore, you will be able to understand a designer’s needs and develop your modeling skills likewise and vice versa, making you both a better model and a better designer.

More resources:

Models who also act

How NOT to combine modeling and dancing

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