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Hybrid Tips : How To Get That Advert Of Your Life Time

Think you can be the next face of a shampoo brand on TV?

If you have great hair and have no qualms about acting in front of a camera, you just might be the person that ad people are looking for!

Modeling is often equated with leggy stars like Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, who recently topped Forbes’ list of highest-paid models in the world. But the runway is actually just one aspect of the modeling business.

Modeling for ads in print and on TV, for instance, is not just for tall, skinny, good-looking young people. According to Geoffrey Santiago of Makati modeling agency Red Talent Studio, anyone can become a model.

“May maganda, may guwapo, pero hindi marunong umarte. May pangit pero magaling na character actor,” Santiago said, adding they prefer those who know how to act than those who only look good.

Acting chops

Being a company that supplies talents mostly for TV commercials (TVC), the studio has models from children to grandparents.

“Bata hanggang lolo at lola kami. Wala naman kaming pinipili as long as marunong na umarte at saka magaling,” explained Santiago, 36, a former ramp and TVC model.

Possible earnings of newcomers to the industry for print and billboard ads, Santiago said, is mostly the same: P20,000 to P30,000.

Models for TVCs earn more—P40,000 to P100,000, he said. He added that in one of their recent projects, the models actually earned P175,000 each, but the high price came with a six-month to one-year lockout clause in the contract, meaning the models cannot appear in other ads during that period.

Nikka, a writer who modeled for brochures and posters in her 20s and 30s, said she decided to try modeling again now that she is in her 40s. She admitted feeling self-conscious at first when she auditioned along with younger models, but focused on the camera and smiled her way through the audition as she was photographed from different angles.

During the video shoot, Nikka was asked to talk about herself and act out the word “Yes” showing different emotions: happy, angry, sad, confused, and excited. Having taken a long break from modeling, it took her two takes to get it right. But with the audition over, all she has to do now is to wait to be called for projects. “You just have to take courage to do these things if you really want to be a model,” she said.

Getting started

On his website, fashion photographer Vic Fabe says that you should have a professional photographer take your photos for your setcard, which will have three or more recent 5R (5″ x 7″) photos of yourself. Fabe says a setcard is a model’s passport to any modeling job.

Then you should determine what field of modeling you want to be part of—ramp, print, TV, billboards, brochures, posters— and look for agencies that are willing to sign you up as a talent.

Confidence on the catwalk

Some people who fit the requirements prefer ramp modeling to appearing in print or TVCs, Santiago said. But, he added, while ramp modeling may appear glamorous, the pay actually isn’t much. On the other hand, said Santiago, ramp modeling can help a model get his or her face out there more easily.

His advice to would-be models is to be confident.

“Kailangan maging confident ka pag pumasok ka sa ganoong work, confident ka at hindi ka nahihiya, di ka nagdadalawang isip,” he said. “Ibigay mo ang best mo at huwag kang mahiya.”

Asked how he takes care of himself considering how young he looks for his age, Santiago said even though he has already “graduated” from being a model, he still practices the discipline he learned as a model.

“Sleep early,” he said. “Iwasan mo ang yosi, bisyo, at puyat.” And be careful how you handle yourself in public, he added.

Talent and a ‘clean, clear face’

Fabe said that having a face free of acne and pimples is important if you want to become a model.

In an email to GMA News Online, Fabe said, “You will never know if you are good in one thing unless you try. But being [a] model, you should have the basic qualities, like a clean, clear face. Height and facial looks is subjective so I never really judge because our tastes are always different.”

Fabe said anyone who is confident and talented can give it a go. With a growing national economy, he said, opportunities currently abound for aspiring models.

“There is a clear market for young people to earn extra income by becoming brand ambassadors,” he said. “There are a lot of small enterprises that are not catered by big advertising agencies, so there is a big market to fill.”

Asked what qualities different outstanding models from others, Fabe said, “Top models always have a strict discipline [when it comes to] taking care of their bodies. They know very well that their body is their investment and their source of income.

“They watch what they eat and they go to the gym regularly. They choose the gym rather than watching a movie. They are also hardworking, they go to all the go-sees that will fit the criteria of the caster. They are also on time during photoshoots,” he said.

‘Low-class’ and ugly?

Fabe lamented that some people associate high fashion only with Caucasian-looking models.

“I’m very Filipino at heart and I’m not really in favor of all these Brazilian and Caucasian models that are getting all the local jobs,” he said.

“I once got a feedback from a fashion photographer and, to quote him, if the model is Caucasian/Brazilian, then it’s high fashion, but if the model is Filipino, then it’s low-class and ugly.”

Personally, he thinks the country’s best models at present are actors and actresses like Piolo Pascual, Dingdong Dantes, Enchong Dee, Derick Hubalde, Marian Rivera and Anne Curtis.

It’s all in the eyes

Asked about his advice as a fashion photographer on how aspiring models can look good in pictures, Fabe said, “Tease with your eyes; seduce, seduce, seduce. It’s always in the eyes. If your eyes cannot connect to the viewer, then your picture will not sell. Just like in any business, a picture that can sell will get the job.”

“Sometimes, I tell them to think of someone or their loved one, or a happy moment so that their eyes will have something to say. Staring at a blank picture is worse, it’s better not to have taken the picture at all,” he said.

To avoid being scammed, Fabe said aspiring models should be wary of people who aggressively invite them for photoshoots. “If the photoshoot is not done in a photo studio, then you should be careful,” he warned.

He urged people to ask around and do their research before signing up to become a model. — BM, GMA News

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