Risky Business

Have you guys seen this?

I’m fascinated by models. I live in NYC, and my nutritionist is in Flatiron, which is model-central. I’ve noticed they tend to look like aliens in real life. Most of all, though, it seems like a very odd business in that there are no protections or rules in place to govern the thing. Actors have a wonderful few unions (AEA, SAG, AFTRA, etc) that take really good care of their members. It’s almost too much– each dressing room is required to have a sink, the dressing rooms must have an “equity cot” for napping, they get first priority on ALL auditions, there are hour rules for working (i.e. you have to have at least 12hrs between the end of a rehearsal/performance and the beginning of the next), coffee, tea, Ricola and snacks at every rehearsal/performance, and more.

Modeling  has none of these strictures. There are no age concerns (there are special rules for under-18s in Equity), no protections from people who employ you and have the potential to exploit you, no hours rules, no protections at all really. How is that even possible?

I think this video is probably very extreme and alarmist, but I’m sure all of it does happen in the industry. Fascinating. And terrible. I think if I was in the modeling industry (or had some stake in it) I’d probably really fight hard to change it. It’s kind of horrifying if you really stop and think about it– especially in comparison to the amazing protection of unionized actors.

Like my parents used to sing, “I’m stickin’ to the union!”


P.S. Guess who got invited to join Magis Theatre Company?! This moi!!

P.P.S. Definitely have the flu. Fever, coughing, aches, pains, etc. Double blerg.

“When a hurricane damaged my father’s house, my brother rushed over with a gas grill, three coolers of beer, and an enormous Fuck-It Bucket – a plastic pail filled with jawbreakers and bite-size candy bars. (“When shit brings you down, just say ‘fuck it,’ and eat yourself some motherfucking candy.”)”
David Sedaris


2 thoughts on “Risky Business

  1. My thesis has to do with union regulations in orchestras, and I’ve studied the unions that regulate the theatre and dance industries. I never realized modeling is so unregulated! In many ways, I feel sorry for the younger girls brought into modeling in the city–so many of them are exploited or ripped off, and they’re “over” before they ever really made it…and before they’re 18. What an odd experience…

    • It is crazy! I saw a documentary on Netflix Instant called “Picture Me,” which was basically a self-shot “year in my life” sort of thing by then-newbie superstar model Sarah Ziff. After her experiences as a young model, she’s become an activist for models’ rights. She’s worth checking out if this kind of thing interests you. It sure does me!

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