Translating “Agency Speak” in Modeling

Oftentimes the things agencies tell models doesn’t always make sense, especially if the model is a newbie to the industry. However, there are common phrases, which I like to call “agency speak,” that pop up fairly often. I’ve listed them below, along with what their meaning translates to. I’ll update this info over time as I come across more phrases but feel free to comment on this blog post with any “agency speak” that isn’t already on here that you want to know the translation to.

(I don’t claim to know exactly what all agencies mean but my translations below are based on my own years of experience, as well as what other represented models have told me):

Agency Speak: “Thank you for coming in.”
What It Means: “We’re not interested.”

Agency Speak: “We’ll get back to you in a few days.”
What It Means: “There is some interest but I’ve got to consult with other people before telling you whether or not you’ll be getting a modeling contract. We’ll get back to you when we get back to you.”

***When an agency gives you a loose time frame like “a few days,” don’t take this literally. Agencies get busy and they get distracted. This type of response could mean hearing from them in a day or so or a week or more. NEVER ask an agency to clarify exactly when they’ll get back to you. It’s in poor taste.***

Agency Speak: “We already have someone with your look.”
What It Means: “We already have a model that has similar stats and measurements as you.”

***This doesn’t mean you have an identical twin. If a model is the same height as you and has the same or similar measurements and also has the same hair color and eye color as you, agencies consider your “look” to be the same. Some agencies will have a small handful of models with similar “looks” if they happen to be in demand and to make sure they always have somebody to send to castings but in general, it doesn’t make sense to continue signing on models that already match the statistics of other models on the roster.***

Agency Speak: “You’ll need to tone up your [insert body part here].”
What It Means: “Lose your love handles, lose the mini gut, etc.”

Agency Speak: “You’ll need to slim down.”
What It Means: “You need to lose weight before we can sign you because at your current size, you won’t fit into the sample sizes.”

by Modeling 101 – A Model’s Diary

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