Much like many other major industries that have been affected by COVID-19, the entertainment and fashion industry has also taken a major hit. Usually, this time of year major spring/summer campaigns would be underway and fashion weeks would be getting ready to start, but instead thousands of jobs and events have been canceled amidst the need to slow the spread of the virus.
With many of us taking a financial blow and uncertainty at an all-time high, there are some opportunities that can come as a result of this worldwide slowdown that can help set you up to be in a good spot when the world opens up again. While spending more time at home, the unexpected flexibility could be your opportunity to build your skills.
Below, I go over some ways to use this slowdown to your advantage and keep your skills sharp and improve your craft. As soon as the world gets the all-clear, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running!
Now is the perfect time to really take a step back and evaluate your skills. Yeah, your runway walk may be great, but are there ways to make it even better? Set up a mirror at the end of a hallway in your house, put on some music and work on your strut. Set up your phone to record yourself so you can watch it back and make critiques. Watch runway shows online to use as inspiration and take note on what you like and dislike about the model’s walks and apply it your notes when you practice.
Same goes for your posing. Use this time to step out of your comfort zone a little and work on doing bigger, more creative posing to create more interesting images. Really work on different facial expressions so you can have more variety next time you shoot. Being able to create eye-catching images will get you noticed and lead to more jobs.
Now that so many casting calls are virtual, it’s great to practice submissions and self-tapes. Since the digital submission may be all a client gets to see of you, it’s important to make sure you are able to send in quality videos or photos. Practicing getting good content and sending it to your agents for feedback before you have to send something in for a real booking could greatly improve your chances at getting the job and make the process less stressful for you!
The best way to advance your career is to hire a coach. Whether it be for modeling or acting, having someone other than yourself to give critiques and feedback can be the best thing to do to boost your skillset. Many coaches are able to set up a safe environment to meet one-on-one, or even set up virtual sessions where you can have them give you feedback and advice to take you to the next level. Check out The Model Board for local agency represented model, pageant, and acting coaches!
Update Your Portfolio
Now is the perfect time to get in the studio and update your portfolio images. Have a chat with your agent and/or review your portfolio on your own and really evaluate what type of images you may be missing. After you narrow down what you may be lacking, research local photographers that can get you the type of images you need and set up a shoot with them to capture those images.
It’s also a great time to go through the last few months and make sure you have shared any images from bookings you’ve had with your agents so that those images can also be added to your portfolio.
Submit to New Agencies
While some agencies aren’t taking on new models due to the pandemic, many of them are using this time to evaluate their rosters. Because of this, now is a great time to submit to different markets. Be sure to do your research on agencies and make sure they’re a good fit for you before sending in a submission. Also have a discussion with your current agent to let them know you’re interested in expanding to new markets and they may have connections that they can put you in touch with.
Review Your Social Media
Many clients visit the Instagram and Facebook pages of models prior to booking them. Keep that in mind when you post and know that what you’re posting can impact what type of jobs you book. There are also many brands who pay content creators to post to their social media page, so using your social media pages and curating branded contend could be your opportunity for a little extra income.
Just because the world has slowed down, doesn’t mean you just have to sit idly by and wait it all out. Being proactive where you can will set you up to be able to hit the ground running when business starts booming again!