The popular saying is: "The best defense is a good offense." The best defense against modeling scams is a good offense. Aspiring models are too often in a defensive posture while scam artists are on the offensive. It has also been said if you are always on the defensive, sooner or later you are going to lose.
For a change to occur for the model, there has to be a fundamental and deep change in mindset, or a paradigm shift. The shift is summarized in a modeling industry saying: "You do not work for the agency: the agency works for you."
Considering the financial side of it, it is a fair statement; because the agency only makes 1/4 of what the model earns. They take 20%, but the models take 80%. The model works for the clients, not the agency; the agency works for the model.
Since aspiring models seek representation at modeling agencies, and they look dependent on the agency, it may feel as if they are seeking a job at the agency, as if they were going to be employed by the agency. Models, however, are not employees; they are independent.
In the defensive posture, the entire focus, or extreme passivity, is set up to where it is the agency who is selecting the model, not the model selecting the agency. Of course it should be both, but for that to happen, or to snap out of the defensive attitude, models should look at the situation as if they are hiring an agent, not as if the agent is hiring them.
Consider the interview at the agency as if you are interviewing the agent for a job, as if you are the boss, and as if they agent is going to work for you. This is not a state of arrogance, it is instead a practical way of not letting the agency control the situation, your future, or your money.
What questions would you ask? What qualifications does the agent have? What do you want the agent to do for you? What skill, experience, and relationships does the prospective agent have which make him or her fit for the job?
An offensive posture will mean the model has a series of interview questions lined up, knowing exactly what they want, the kind of modeling jobs, the amount of modeling jobs, and the frequency of modeling jobs. The model will be prepared, know the best skill testing questions, know what are the right answers, and what are the wrong answers -- essentially knowing all the right questions to ask.
Evidence of the prevailing defensive mentality which leads model hopefuls to being scammed is the fact they are so open to the first thing that comes along. They don't shop around. If you were going to hire someone for a job, would you automatically hire the first person whom you interviewed?
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