When I first met Annette, I was curious about her. She was someone who I could tell had a depth of soul about her. Someone who was incredibly passionate about her craft of modelling but there was a striking difference between her and other people who I’ve met in my time as a model. She cared about the people who she interacted with. She doesn’t just look at her clients as a way of getting her next paycheck but takes an active interest in developing peoples talents and wanting to get to know the people who she works alongside.
So, when she announced that she is creating some workshops & seminars here in Ireland. I couldn’t help but give her some spotlight here on Should You Care? And she kindly agreed to answer a few questions about why Ireland, and her approaches to modelling. Hopefully, you all can take something from the interview and join her at her workshops & seminars on the 28th & 29th of April. Don’t forget to check out her exclusive introduction offer for this event down below!
Why expand past your private clients? You had a long established career helping the creme de la creme of hollywood. Why move to a public domain?
I wanted to help more people. I see a lot of scams in LA, especially in the local malls with so-called scouts approaching every naive family they see with empty promises. That outraged my sense of justice. I don’t want to see people get scammed. I wanted people to have an option to go to someone who would give honest advice and direction about the industry.
What is it about this industry that gets you up in the morning?
I love to see people follow their dreams and if I can be a part of that process then that makes me happy. I like working with people who are gracious.
What can people expect from a first meeting with you? Walk us through the process. Is there anything we need to bring bar a good attitude and an open heart?
I love consultations! It’s very exciting for me to meet someone and go through the steps with them. I look at their photos (snapshots) during the first few minutes with them in person or via Skype. I see if they photograph well and give advice on how to get a great snapshot – I don’t believe it’s necessary to invest in professional photos until AFTER they are signed with an agency. Every agency is different and they each have their own vibe and preference for how their models portfolios should look. I then ask a series of questions about what they are interested in – both in the industry and in life – this gives me the big picture of the client. Sometimes the modeling they want is not the what I recommend. Sometimes girls come to me wanting to be fashion models but they are not the right height or bone structure, etc. so I talk to them about all the other options – and there are lots of options! – that they didn’t even know existed. I talk about model rates, casting directors, photographers, resumes, agencies, etc. I then give several examples of my personal experiences focusing on how potential models can set themselves apart from the rest – in LA most casting directors get 3000 submissions or more for each role! It’s crazy. Then they call in maybe 30-100 to audition and then it’s gets narrowed down. I want my clients to have the edge, the insider info to help set them apart and there is a lot that goes into that. We finish up the 90 minutes with a checklist of what they need to do next. My clients have the option to hire me afterwards to help with their prep but honestly I do try to give them all they need to get it going during the consultation. I am also starting monthly group classes for my clients next month. I’m really excited to now offer group classes!
Could you give an overview as to what these meetings are going to contain?
I’m really excited about the TMC Hollywood workshops in Dublin! I am bringing all of my Hollywood experiences with me to share! Lots of advice and insider info on how we do it in Hollywood, what we look for, what makes a successful model, how to set yourself apart from the thousands of other models and actors that look just like you or better, etc. Sharon Hennessy is my partner in Ireland and she has a world of information about the pageant world and the modeling business in Ireland. She’s amazing and will also be a speaker at the workshop. We also have at least 3 additional luminaries who will also be on the speakers panel representing the best in their fields. The models will also walk away with runway, wardrobe and makeup instruction, in addition to photos and a lot of valuable insider information!!
In your extensive career, you have had the privilege of meeting a lot of different people from every walks of life. What would you say is the most common misconception people have about the industry?
For some reason a lot of people think it’s easy. They think people have “it” and then are discovered. They don’t see the years of training and struggling before they get the right agent and get the right part or booking that finally gives them some exposure. People think it’s great that I started a consulting business and it expanded seemingly quickly but they don’t see the 25+ years of experiences that made it possible for me to do what I do. The years of working with good and bad agents so I could fully appreciate what it takes to be a good agent… the years of going to countless castings that weren’t even for my category so I could appreciate how valuable everyone’s time is and to not do that to my models or clients… the years of managing a top beauty distributor so I could understand business and marketing.. etc. Some model colleagues thought “why didn’t I do that? I’m a Model too” All of those experiences came to together, not just the modeling experiences but also the acting, marketing, and behind the scenes work, etc, to be able to create something that was solely based on my experiences.
I have aspiring models come to me and think they can just start working making money. They don’t understand that in order to have longevity you have to understand the business side and have your training and marketing materials in order. It is a BUSINESS.
Obviously, there are many places in this world to set up a modeling business, but what is the appeal of making your mark here in Ireland?
I LOVE Ireland. It speaks to me and I feel at home in Ireland. My grandmother was born and raised there. She always told stories of how beautiful Ireland is and also about our family struggles and overcoming challenges and the resilience, passion and the beautiful hearts of the Irish – she was born (first of 13) prior to the 1916 rising and remembered every experience and challenge. She moved to the USA in her 20’s and every Sunday played her Irish music and called her homeland “my Ireland ”. When my family and I finally went we all felt it. It was quite an experience to feel home so deeply. Last summer we spent 5 weeks there. I enrolled my kids in summer camp in Dingle and we spent time in Connemara and Dublin also – I actually worked 4pm to midnight most nights (due to the LA time change) running the Agency from Ireland worked very well and I also consulted Irish models. It was then that I met Sharon at a lunch with Louise and we set into motion what has now become the TMC Hollywood workshops! I hope my family and I can spend more time in Ireland this year and many years to come. My husband also just produced Black 47 about the Irish famine which is premiering in Dublin this March.
Like in all industries there are old wives tales or pieces of advice that have endured. What has been the most useful of these advices you’ve received and what’s been the ones the industry could definitely let go of.
The foundation I work from is the same in my personal and professional life – it’s the belief that we all should help each other. I never looked at my competition as competition. I looked at people who are more accomplished than me and I am excited to learn from them. I see people who are struggling and I sincerely want to help them. When I was a new model and actor I would see successful people I could learn from and as I grew in the industry I would help people around me. It’s funny because people would say “why are you helping someone who is your competition?” I believe there is a lot of work out there and if someone “looks like me” they are still not me. We are all unique and have different strengths. It comes down to intention. If you’re intention is to sincerely help others and not for what you can get out of it then it feels good and those actions seem to magically bring success in many areas of life.
If you had a signature calling card – a singular thing that you would be known for in the industry. What would you like it to be? What would you like the modeling world to say your contribution?
I would like people that say that I made a difference and helped others.
Annette can be found