Friday, 26 August 2011
Being at the bottom of the food chain
Every week I meet someone new who asks me what I do for a living. I openly tell them that I do TV presenting and Modeling. Their reaction is always the same to the modeling, "wow, check you out! You must have an easy life".
If this were true, this blog would be a completely different read and would probably make readers feel jealous of all the greatness going on in my working life. The truth is in the title of this blog piece, "being at the bottom of the food chain". Life in the modeling industry has changed dramatically over the last 2 or 3 years. Gone are the days of huge payments for very little work. Gone are the days of constantly travelling to exotic locations. It is a completely changing industry.
When the financial market took a massive turn for the worse 2 years ago, businesses had to cut their out goings to survive, which meant reducing their spend on advertising (where models come into play). I've spoke before about this, but it is not going away and the money is being reduced every single week it seems. We are at the bottom of the food chain, its as simple as that. If they cut our prices, we have a decision to make, to either suck up the cut in price and do the job, or decide not to do it and let someone else take the job. We are replaceable! And unfortunately people are quickly realising this and the impact of the model advertising the products is becoming less of a priority.
Businesses are less concerned on the quality of the model, and more concerned about getting someone in at a cheaper rate. How tough is it if your doing your normal job one week, the next your doing the same job but for £100+ cheaper? How would you cope with this?
If you don't believe me, I have an example that has happened to me this week. As discussed before I worked with Burtons Menswear a couple of times recently now and had a huge potential to becoming very regular work, which would be ideal. I had to go into the company for a casting, as someone new took over the position of booking the models for the company. When someone new comes in, they often want to put their stamp on things and make changes to make it all about them, which immediately puts me at a disadvantage. I completely understand this situation and to be honest would probably consider doing the exact same thing if I was in that position. But would I openly say in front of the model that I have come in and I am cutting the rates straight away??? No.
Stood there and having to be told by the client that the rates will be cut in such a blase way, was very difficult to hear. I couldn't react. I had to just shrug it off and get on with what I am doing. Do I have a say in this? Not one bit. We are replaceable remember and if I say no to it, someone else will say yes.
Do I see a way past this? The future looks very bleak I must be honest. The only way to get the best rates is to become a commodity. To become irreplaceable. To have something that no one else can offer. To become a recognised name. How do I go about this? Please send me comments and let me know!!!