By agent Jo Sheils with Hunter Model Management
When I first started out as a model (over 20yrs ago now….ssshhhhhh) nobody ever explained ‘modelspeak’ to me. So when my agent would call me to send me to a casting, she would say, “you are going on a tvc casting, you’ll need to take a comp with you because it’s the first time they will be seeing you and they will need it to keep on file.”
Okay, I may be blonde but I am certainly not stupid, at that point I was merely young, uninformed and too scared to ask what she was talking about. I wanted to do well, and did not want to be seen as not knowing what was expected of me, so, I didn’t ask what those words mean’t, I just said ‘yes okay thank you’ and put the phone down after my list of instructions.
I went SO many times to see these TVC people, non-stop actually, none whom I was ever cordially introduced to, or ever laid eyes on even one of them, which was just as well as it turns out, because I was terrified they would ask me for my comp, of which I had no clue WHAT that was, so how was I ever to produce it anyway? Funnily enough, my agent never called to tell me these TVC people phoned back and they want to book you,” which I found strange, as they were always wanting to SEE me. But every now and again I would get a call about the casting I went to the other day and I had been ‘put on hold for it’, or ‘booked for the job’.
So off I would go to castings for television commercials with my portfolio, which someone would automatically grab from me the moment I stepped into the room when it was my turn to cast or audition, and begin flicking through it with a voracity that would make you dizzy, each time after I left I would find my model card had been mysteriously removed from the front of my portfolio.
One day out of the blue, it suddenly dawned on me, TVC…………. it’s short for TELEVISION COMMERCIAL – OF COURSE!!!
Now it all made sense………………………
Ron Gerard, the director of NEXT Model Management in Miami, is nothing less than a powerhouse of energy and experience in the fashion world of South Florida. Hope you enjoy his candid interview as much as I did.
Susan: Are you still doing CrossFit?
Ron: Yes. Can you believe it? I went back to it after getting hurt. It’s the only form of exercise that I can get in there and not be sidetracked because it is like being in the military. You have to be there at 7:00pm. If you are late you are penalized and I can’t think of anything but that hour. So it is one hour of intense exercise. I feel like I’ve been whipped. So I can’t be thinking, “Oh my God, did this girl miss her flight?” I can’t even be thinking about picking up my phone. So it is the one of the 24 hours in a day that I can turn ‘it’ all off, and do something for myself.
There is a catch 22 going on. With today’s technology it is great what we can do, but it is never turned off. The emails are coming in constantly. My day starts at 6:00am when my alarm goes off. I sit in bed for the first hour with the laptop and my phone just answering calls and emails. They usually finish coming in around 11 at night and start back up again around 3:00 in the morning with Paris, Milan and China opening up. Everything is international these days. That’s what’s keeping us alive down here (Miami). And when someone sends an email to us they expect us to get back to them right away. It wasn’t like the good old 80’s and 90’s where you walked out of the office at 6:00 and were done for the night. You know, now it is 24 hours. We didn’t even have cell phones in those days. Now it is out of control. The phones ring NON-stop. It’s a whole different ball game.