Thursday, May 8, 2014

Is modeling a way into an acting career?

Although a few models have broken through into serious acting careers, modeling is not a slam-dunk gateway into acting. We are all aware of the exceptions, from Lauren Bacall and Lauren Hutton, to Cybill Shepherd and Monica Bellucci, and especially Charlize Theron, precisely because they are exceptions.

A few others, such as Tara Banks, have become “personalities.” Some, like Cindy Crawford and Kathy Ireland, were business-minded enough to have developed their own clothing lines or other designer goods. Of course, what all these models have in common is that they were top models; they were well-known before branching off into other areas. Also remember that modeling is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work to become even moderately successful.

At some point in their careers, models are faced with a life choice: either go into some non-show business area of life (starting a family, pursuing other business interests, etc.), or else get serious about training as actors (attend classes, audition, perform in plays, etc.). And like many struggling actors, they may find themselves drawn to other areas of the business where they become casting directors, writers, agents, producers, and even the head of a studio, like Sherry Lansing.

If you're a model with aspirations to be an actor, start taking acting classes while you're still modeling. This way, when the time comes for you to make the change, you will have a head start.

And remember, even if you are making a lot of money and flying all over the world working as a successful model, that doesn't mean you will not have to begin at the bottom of the acting profession. You will probably have to audition for the same jobs as everyone else who is starting out: commercials and low budget independent films. No matter how beautiful or handsome you are, in order to be taken seriously as an actor, you must know your craft.

For the models who only want to be in front of a camera, making their living, a hosting gig may be the way to go. There are hosting classes in Los Angeles and New York. While not “acting” in the regular sense, hosting still has special skills that need to be learned. And get an agent who specializes in those kinds of jobs – not all agents are tuned into the world of hosting.



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