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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Life as an Ulzzang in the Entertainment Industry: Ultimate Guide for your Future in Acting/ Modelling



Hello everyone, this is Minnie, and happy Friday!~

For those of you whom are subscribers to the Inzzang Channel on Youtube, you probably already know that Saturdays are my video upload day. Unlike most of my videos, this week on the Inzzang channel, Rae, Lindi, Solei, Shiari, Hawa, and I are all doing heart to heart videos on what it's like to be African American Ulzzangs in the mostly Asian populated style/fashion, and some of the things we face in our day to day lives.  While looking at other Ulzzang vids, I noticed that no one has yet covered one topic--"What it's like being an African American Ulzzang in the Entertainment Industry!"
Since I've been in the acting and modelling world for quite awhile now, I decided to do a video on my personal experience of being an Ulzzang actress/model, share some more in depth info on how you can pursue an acting/ modelling world, as well as answer some of your frequently asked questions that constantly flood my email box!^^
In today's post, I'm going to go more into detail on which agencies to avoid, show some well known popular scams that often reel people in and break promises, as well as  list some agencies TO APPLY FOR!


There are many children, teens, and even adults whom share the dream of becoming the next big thing, but sometimes the easiest way to get your foot in the door, is most likely the worst way. In the United States alone, there are plenty of agencies to apply for, but beware of scams/ businesses whom are not affiliated with SAG/AFTRA.  

Below are some popular businesses who claim to be agencies, but in harsh reality, they are none of the sort.

 

Unfortunately, a long time ago at the mere age of eight both my parents and I were scammed by this model search. Model Productions (AKA American Model Search/ Audition America) is a modelling, acting, and talent competition that travels from mall to mall in a certain area whom promises those who wins, a year talent contract with them. In the competition there are three levels as well as catagories--acting, modelling, and talent. If chosen to go onto the second and third level after the elimination round, you are required to PAY A FEE in order to continue competing. This is the most common scam that many come across, and if you see any competitions similar to this in your local mall, AVOID IT PLEASE. From personal experience I've won this competition twice, when I was eight, and just recently when I was 16, and not much has changed for me, only money that was wasted.  

REAL AGENTS/AGENCIES, DO NOT CHARGE contract fees/fees for comp cards/ headshots (if you already have professionally done photos)! Real agents and agencies make a SMALL COMMISSION OFF OF YOU WHENEVER YOU BOOK A JOB! So if your parent walks whenever money is mentioned, don't get mad at them! That money could be used for classes/training for you to become more prepared for a legit audition/ casting call!
Below are some more sketchy businesses to avoid!

NO!!
SCAM



Please don't go here... it's actually just a school that falsely advertises themselves as an agency


Schools

Many confuse  acting/ modelling schools as agencies, and some of the most common is IPOP, JRP, and Barbizon. These schools are legit, but since they are actual education systems, they will request for you to pay a fee if they are interested in signing a contract with you. This mostly happens when you are "called back." To me, even though they are places of education, they are still misleading in a way, especially when doing the radio vo commercials/ magazine ads pumping children/ teens up saying that they could be on a television show or movie with, x celeb. They can train you to help improve your craft, but at the end of the day, will you get a job? Neither I or they can promise that. 

Even though schools can be helpful in some way, this is not the best route to go, since it's very exspensive, and a job/ audition is not promised. If you would like to receive training, I'd suggest searching for local acting/ modelling coaches, or if you're interested in voice over acting for anime, cartoons, etc. they have classes for that as well. Yes, they do cost quite a bit of money, but even if you cannot attend professionally trained classes, enroll in Theater Arts, dance, music, choir, etc. as an elective in middle school or high school, and audition for every oppurtunity possible to build up your resume! The longer the resume/ the better the skill, the better chance you'll get employed!^^

Here's my resume on my official website as an example : Minako's Resume

HEAD SHOTS/ COMP CARDS

Another Important thing is your headshot/ comp card! All agencies have different requirements for headshots/ comp cards, and they are vital to have with you on each audition you attend so that the casting director/ agent will be able to know/ remember what you look like.
Headshots can be an investment depending on how you get them done, but if you are not required to be in classes, this would be the only investment that would have to be made (if you don't have professionally done photos already). 


This is my current head shot. As you can see in the photo, my hair is worn natural. This means, when going on an audition or meeting with an agent for the first time, I have to wear my hair EXACTLY (which is natural) that it's shown in the photo, otherwise, it has to be natural. When going on an audition, casting directors already have an idea on what they want their characters to look like (ethnicity, hair type, eye color, height, age, etc.) so this also helps them to cast roles. That's why whenever going on an audition for a role, I wear my hair exactly the same, so they can see what I look like in person. Whenever making a major change to your look (i.e going from long to short hair, coloring your hair, getting tatoos, etc.) YOU HAVE TO GET YOUR PHOTOS RE-DONE!
 Casting directors don't like this at all, and most likely if you do this, you'll get turned away.

HOW TO DRESS FOR AUDITIONS



Even though I love Japanese GAL (gyaru) and Lolita fashion, I do not dress these styles when attending auditions, and mainly stick to the Korean Ulzzang look. Since Ulzzang is not very different from regular day to day fashion, it wouldn't be inappropiate for the occasion. The only thing I'd suggest not to do, is to wear geo/ circle lenses, since most likely they make your eyes appear bigger than what they are, and when auditioning, the casting directors want to see what YOU look like. Some even requesting to wear little to no makeup. 



That means don't dress like this...


Not for an audition (unless the role calls for it)



or this





No wigs/ half wigs please!




or do your makeup like this...
this look without circle lenses would be okay












Also, since most westerners are not used to the Japanese alternative styles, it would be best not to dress these looks when auditioning (unless the role calls for it). So when getting the chance to attend a casting call, leave your wigs, geo lenses, and top and bottom lashes at home.   If you would like, you can share your interest (in a professional manner) about your chosen fashion if you'd like as well as explain it to them to help them gain a better understanding. I'm trying to sound harsh, and trust me, this is something I don't want to say, but if you refuse to do this, you may get overlooked.



This is all for my Entertainment Guide, and I hope that all information will help you in the future! If you have any questions that have not been covered in this post, feel free to comment in the comment section below, and I'll be more than happy to respond to you!

Before signing off, here is one more resource for you


This is the Screen Actor's Guild Site. After appearing on film, you are to become a member of this organization since it's pretty much the actors' union.  Any legit agency is affiliated with this organization. If you feel you are ready to start auditioning, and are seeking representation from an agency, this is a resource for you to search for a local SAG/AFTRA agent near you. None of these agents listed are scams on this site, so before applying for any agency, check if the business is affiliated with SAG/AFTRA.

Tip: If you do not have a built up resume, have not taken any classes, or no professional photos that can serve as headshots (no selfies), most likely you may not be ready for this step. I suggest that you at least have some experience since spots are very competitive.


This is Sakurai Minako signing off, and as always, Stay Beautiful and Stylish!