Chapter 2: LA part 14 – The Model Agency

Monday 10 March 2003

Continued from the last post…

ISM Model Management company

I quickly went back to Travel Lodge (the hotel I am staying at) and found some more of my business cards to bring with me to the model agency appointment as I had none left after the morning writing conference. To also show some professionalism I also changed into my nicer cloths, as I am guessing not too many actually do that when they come in for the first appointment at this agency. I got there and filled out some forms, and 10 minutes later I sat in front of a model look very friendly girl who is originally from Armenia. I could because of her accent hear that she is from one of the East European countries. We had a good conversation and she showed me a few model pictures, and also said that it is in the middle of the pilot season (new tv series) so they have lots of tv jobs available. She also looked at my headshots and told me that I needed some new ones. I told her that I had been in contact with a famous photographer here in Los Angeles, but she told me that they have their own photographers that they use, so they know what they are getting. She told me that I need something called a Zed card, and headshot model pictures. The Zed card looked kinda like a postcard with pictures on both sides. I will probably go with one of the photographers she suggested, as is about the same price that I got from the person I have been in contact with anyway.

Susanna the model/talent agent I spoke with had lived for a little while in Denmark, and at the end she said “skal vi feste?” (shall we party?). At first I had no idea what she was saying as I had to readjust my mind to the Scandinavian language, my answer was a hesitant “ja” (yes). Seems the natural thing now is for me to ask the next time I see her, “når skal vi feste?” (when shall vi party?).

I am to call her back at 11am tomorrow as she needs to talk with her boss and the owner of the company about me, and show the headshots I had given to them, to get a clear go ahead about me.

Susanna showed me a thick folder with jobs they have, so I might actually end up in a series, either in a speaking or nonspeaking role for probably a short period of time. I said that I was skeptical about the company, but that was probably me more afraid of jumping in as I am about to do.

PJ takes a deep breath and jumps in…..

Tuesday 11 March 2003

At 11 today I called Susanna at ISM Management. I got a busy signal at first and finally after a few minutes got through. Susanna told me that she had a meeting with the manager for the men´s division, and gave me the comments that I had two very different looks from the two headshots I gave them. I also have an interesting accent. So the decision was to work with me it seems for printwork and TV.

We made an appointment for tomorrow and Susanna asked me to bring other pictures that I might have for the meeting with her and her manager at 12. I did before I left Minneapolis print out a few 6×4 reguler size pictures of myself with some different attititudes and looks. I did not bring the one leather jacket brochure that I was a model in though, which of course could have been a good thing or bad thing.

The first thing Susanna asked me on the phone was, “hvordan går det?” (how are you?) in a clearly Scandinavian tongue. I said “bra” (good), “hvordan har du det?” (how are you?) I asked her how long she had lived in Denmark, and her reply was 6 years. It surprised me as I thought she had stayed there for a month or so, and not that long. Seems we are able to communicate in a Scandinavian tongue with each other. Makes me wonder if she actually meant if I wanted to party, but it was probably the first thing that came to mind of what she knew of Danish though, which is very similar to Norwegian or Swedish. She joked on the phone that she was going to touch me tomorrow (she is taking my measurments). I knew it was a joke but replied differently then she thought I would. Well well I will have a fun time joking with her tomorrow as she “touches” me.

Wednesday 12 March 2003

I met Susanna at ISM (International Starr Models) today and she showed me her portfolio of pictures, that were pretty good. We spoke for a moment about photographers and we both came to the conclusion that I would go with Carlos Armani, one of the photographers they use. Since I do not have many pictures that I can use, I agreed to go with 6 looks (pictures) instead of 4, but that cost more. I said yes, and the photo session was set up the coming  Thursday next week.

She asked me if I had a monolog ready that I could perform, and it took me by surprise even if I know it is normal to have a monolog ready so she and whomever else could see how I act. I became embarrassed and perplexed by the question and told her that I did not know one, but I would work on it. I also told her that I also needed to work on my own barriers of performing, so learning and also performing a monologue would be a great help for me into becoming more relaxed into performing something I had memorized. She knew that I would be able to do comedy since I had been joking around with her, so she wanted me to find a dramatic piece which I at a later time could perform for her and a few others at their office.

The Monolog

Suddenly I come face to face with my own deep and old fear of standing forth doing a scene I had prepered. It is an old fear I carry with me. Created when I was young playing around in the stores my family were shopping in. I was told multiple times not to play around, so gradually I stopped, and my bursts of playfulness slowed down.

At later times when I was natural playful and reminded not to play, the shame came forth. I have through the years in school wanted to act, but afraid of standing forth of the shame I felt inside. I remember a play in elementary school where I had a one line to say. It was something like, “here is your suitcase” (“her er kofferten din”). It was a lot of fun! I enjoyed pretending! But that was the only acting I did in elementary school. I looked up at other students who stood out. I enjoyed speeches I gave in various classes, and hoped that one day my time would come for me to also stand forth and act. More time has passed then I would have guessed, but the time has now come for me to stand out and become a performer.

I know I am gradually working through the old issues inside of me, and will through experience slowly let go of the fear of standing forth to be seen as one who performs. My first piece is a monologue. It is common for actors to have a monologue memorized as during auditions the Casting Director might ask one to perform a monologue, and one better have one memorized to further ones chance of getting the role.