Saturday, June 17, 2006

any smack i've talked about the guild's booking agent?

Just forget it. I was an idiot. A fact that is coming vividly to life as I cover for her this month while she lollygags around at her ancestral home in the Phillipines, eating mangoes that have been lovingly wrapped in newspaper as they grew so their skins would be thin and tender.

This stuff is hard. I'm "on" for three hours, twice a week; the Guild's phone line has been forwarded to mine, and I hang out from three to six pm Tuesdays and Thursdays waiting for clients to call in with work, and models to call in to ask for work. There are quite a few more of the latter than the former right now, so it's kind of heart-breaking. So there's the time on the phone, which is non-stop, and then a couple hours afterwards where I call people back and wrangle the details. Oh, and some of this: I don't think we're the sort of modeling agency that can help you, ma'am, no matter how many people have told you your little son is cute enough to be in pictures. I really don't think these are the kind of pictures they mean.

Also, there are artists who don't want to work with specific models, and vice-versa, and a great deal of fancy-pants dancing around the subject when it comes up. No, Mister Client, I'm afraid Jane Model's not available. She's, ah, got another commitment. Ah yes, every week you're hoping to book. Yep.

One of the weirder challenges, though, played out today. I had a last-minute call from a guy who needed a female model for some photo work. Which is very expensive with us, prohibitively so, for various reasons that are not interesting. But this guy needed to shoot reference, and he had a fairly specific idea of body type, so I tried to find someone who was not me to do it.


So yesterday afternoon I had to call him and say, well, I'm tattooed, and I know that's not what you're looking for, but I can't find anyone who's available on this short notice who is also the kind of round you're looking for, and comfortable with photo work. He agreed that that was all fine, he was sure it would work, but then he woke me at nine freakin' ay am today to ask me what color I am, and if I can talk about my body type a little more because his wife had been explaining what various height/weight combinations should look like (there's a list of us on the Web site with just that info, and not much more), and here I was totally groggy and trying to explain that in my case 5'6" and 150 may sound a little heavy, but most of my junk's in the trunk, and I'm muscular but no longer cut (RIP aikido practice), and since I just got done with my period my breasts are about yay big, and there was a little part of my mind floating above the rest of the operation saying what in the name of Sam Hill is going on here? Shouldn't I be talking about what I can do, my skills and accomplishments, not my water retention?

But the checks clear. So I finished with him, and then went and shaved some things I don't usually (not those things) shave, cursing every artist everywhere, and went off to the Sunset to work. He seemed happy enough, if not ecstatic, but then it's hard to tell with artists, and it was a pleasant session. I drank honey-ginger tea and we talked about his kids.

Weird work, though. And I'm starting to see from how many sides it's weird.