Should You Pay to Join A Modeling Agency?

Should you pay to join a modeling agency?

Lemme get straight to the point….NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The End

via GIPHY

But seriously…No, You do not have to pay an agency to represent you.

When it comes to getting representation by an agency, you will have a percentage deducted from your check that will pay the agency for representing you. it can be anywhere from 15% – 25% depending on the agency and your contract. When it comes to spending money in regards to working with an agency, they may ask you to get your pictures done to their standards or to take acting classes. They may have a list of recommended photographers or acting coaches that would be able to help you but you don’t have to use them its completely up to you. They give you these reccomendations because your model tools may not be the right tools for them to use to market you properly.

For example, you may have a ton of photos in your portfolio in the style of an editorial or high fashion model. The agency that is interested in working with you feels that you would make the most success as a commercial model, so they suggest you get a few shots done that represent your commercial look. If you get them done, great, you should start having work in no time. If not, expect that it will be hard for the agency to “sell” you to clients.

If an “agency” asks you to pay money to have access to various jobs that are available, it’s not an agency, its a job listing service and if they are portraying themselves as an agency and not a listing service, don’t bother spending money with them. That just screams SCAM to me.

As a model, or with any profession, you don’t need to pay to get work. With the internet and social media, you can find information on various bookings and agents that can help you along in your journey, you just have to do your work and build your network to help you grow.

Read my post on how I got started in my modeling career!

Alean Elston, Pay to join a modeling agency

Black Models and “Professional” Hair

Black models hair is so unique and versatile. One of my most Frequently Asked Questions is, How should I wear my hair to a Casting?

More specifically, I get that question from Black aspiring models the most.

So how should you wear it to a casting…Its a simple answer really.

Wear it HOWEVER you want, just make sure it is out of your face.
In essence:

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If you have a huge afro…wear it (as long as its out of your face)
If you have a lace front…wear it (As long as its out of your face AND looks natural)
If you have a weave…wear it (As long as its out of your face)
If you have a relaxer…wear it (as long as its out of your face)

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…see where I’m going with this?

You can wear your hair out, up, down, and swirled around town. Just make sure it is out of your face.

BUT

Be prepared to possibly be told that they will want to style your hair differently to fit the look for the booking. If its something your aren’t comfortable with, be professional and say “thank you for your time” and politely decline.

Then move on to the next gig.

Want to know if you should wear braids to a casting?
Check out my post about braids.

Alean Elston, Model, various hair styles and focused on black models hair

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show…Did you see me on CBS?

Alean Elston CBS 3 Victorias Secret

If you are in Philadelphia Area and stayed up to watch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, I hope you stayed up a bit longer and watched the news to see me giving you my runway and smizing tips!

 

Special thanks to CBS 3 and Tori Woodill for having me! I hope to come back for the 2018 show!

 

Just in case you missed it click here to watch!

 

If you learned anything from it, be sure to comment below and let me know what you think.

And if you are looking for my tips on what you should wear on a casting click here!

FAQ: I have braids/weave, should I wear it to a casting? #modeladvice

I get asked this question all the time from young models of color who want to break into the biz. In my experience, you should not wear your braids or a weave to a casting. Personally, have never worn braids to a casting but I can tell you that when I have been considered for bookings (after being submitted via a photo casting) and we start discussing the look for the show/event/shoot and I tell them that I currently have braids or faux locs… I can almost guarantee that I won’t get booked unless I am willing to take them out and have my hair styled according to their guidelines/desired look. Have I ever taken them out for a booking, YES and I only did it if the pay/project was worth the time and energy to take them out. It sucks sometimes but that is, unfortunately, the nature of the business.

When you go to an in-person casting, more than likely the job they are booking you for is not going to be styling your hair in braids and even if they are, they need to see what the current state of your hair looks like. Most models of color are not wearing their real hair in the first place and if they are it is in an afro (kinky or curly) or it is a low cropped cut.

My Advice:

Wear your hair how you like it. Be sure it is out of your face and make sure it shows off your face in the best light. With that said, I advise against wearing braids to a casting. Braids don’t show off your hair in its current state and if you wear a weave make sure it looks realistic, don’t wear bangs, and be easy on the baby hairs. Also, Stay away from the lime green and other unnatural hair colors.

The key to hairstyles for a casting: make it look as natural as possible even if it is a weave.

Absolut Lime Launch Party : My Recap [VIDEOS] #absolutlime

Pause the music…

Atlantic City, NJ

 

Premier Night Club

 

January 23, 2017

I was there…

I was at the launch for Absolut Lime Vodka and I had sooooo much fun!

If you were following my Instagram Story you would have felt like you were there, forreal!

Let me lay it all out for you…

When I walked in, this is what I saw

 

 

Absolut Lime Models

I mean, I expected a lime green atmosphere, but I didn’t expect this! It was so fun to be around and generated the energy I expected, which was the sense of a night where anything is possible.

As I made my way through the green atmosphere, got a quick pic with the Absolut Lime Models,

then I made my way to our favorite place, the bar. 😀

Before I came to this event, I heard about the launch of lime and already had a ton of ideas about the cocktails that one could make with Absolut Lime. I even bet myself (yes, you can do that) that there would be a cosmo on the menu…and ya know what…it was there.

My First Drink – Absolut Lime & Soda

I started off with the Absolut Lime and Soda because I really wanted to get a taste to see how intense the taste of lime was in a cocktail. I’m not a big fan of doing shots while I’m out, so for me, trying vodka with soda is perfect for getting the full flavor of flavored vodka. On the first sip, I honestly couldn’t taste the lime too much. It was a subtle texture of lime flavor but it didn’t over do it. As I took my 2nd sip, I could taste it more and a bit more as I continued on with my drink. It was as if the lime flavor was building on top of what I tasted in prior sips but still didn’t overpower the simplicity of vodka, soda and lime.

My 2nd Drink – Absolut Lime-ito (right) / Absolut Lime Cosmo (left)

Next I decided to try the Absolut Lime-ito. I figured since lime is a pretty important part of a Mojito, a “Lime-ito” would have to have good attempt to measure up to the classic cocktail, and it did, BUT. (There’s always a but) I think the bartender took away from all the drink really could have been because he didn’t muddle the mint. The cocktail was great, but I was looking forward to really getting that “mint spritz” lol (you know what I’m talking about).
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The Absolut Cosmo pictured is my friend’s cocktail and I opted not to get a full version of that drink. I did, however, try a sip of hers and it was pretty much what I expected from a cosmo. I guess with the lime flavor already in with your vodka, if cosmos are your thing, you don’t have to go the extra step/ingredient to making your Cosmos.

There was another cocktail that was available to try, but I opted not to for several reasons, the main reason being I didn’t want to drink too much at one time, the other being I didn’t want a super (what i perceived to be) sugary cocktail. That cocktail was the Absolut Cherry Limeade which consists of:

  • Absolut Lime
  • Sprite
  • a splash of grenadine
  • cherry/lime garnish

But enough about the drinks, you should see the party!!!!!

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It wouldn’t be a brand launch without a photo booth right?!


 

Oh and can we talk about how this girl was going AWF on the violin…yes, a violin!!!

 

Me in front of the Marquee! 😀

 

I had a ton of fun at this launch, this was definitly one for the NJ launch books!

Thank you Absolut for the invite.

I can’t wait until the next one!

3 Dryuary Recipes from my TV segment on What’s On Tap

Somehow somebody let me back on TV! lol

If you are reading this its probably because you are looking for the information about the Dryuary products that I talked about on What’s On Tap. And if you are here by chance or because you missed that episode, don’t forget to check it out by clicking here.

Here goes!

The 3 drinks that I talked about on the show

The de-alcoholized wine – Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon

The de-alcoholized champagne – Fre Brut

The cocktail – The Southampton

Let me know if you try any of these and if you have any suggestions for more great tasting cocktails/mocktails for Dryuary!

 

Cheers!

The Gin Lab: My Recap

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend an event called The Gin Lab. Being that I don’t have much knowledge about gin compared to other spirits, I figured it would be a great event for me to attend and learn a thing or two.

This event was held at Sbraga in Philadelphia. I had never been there before, but I’ve heard great things about the venue so I was even more excited to attend this event. When I arrived, I was late, but I don’t think I missed too much from the start of the event. I seemed to arrive when the brand rep was explaining the history and process of making gin.

I learned a lot that I never knew about gin, especially about how essential Juniper is in making Gin. I think its fair to say that its as important as when making whiskey and they types and treatment of the casks that make the spirit as great as it is. I also learned that in making gin your own, there are endless combinations of Juniper and herbs and fruits, in terms of what can be added to it in order to make it something supremely unique.

To start with our hands-on portion of the educational process, we sampled 3 different types of gin by Tanqueray. Among the 3 were Tanqueray London Dry (original), Tanqueray 10, and Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin (pictured above). If you can’t see in the picture, (I listed the tasting notes in each) It was a bit hard for me to distinguish exactly what I was tasting in each so I just went with what it felt like to me or what it reminded me of. Tanqueray London Dry, I tasted woody/oak notes and various types of sour/tart fruits. In Tanqueray 10 I picked up scents of floral notes and tasted light hints of juniper, and an essence of some sweet that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. In the Nolet Silver I kept tasting a lot of floral notes and citrus. the scent smelled a biton the sweet side kinda similar to candy and at the same time was “perfumey”. (yes I know that is not a word)

After tasting the 3 I can say that I preferred the Nolet’s Silver overall mainly because it felt like it finished smoother and seemed to have a fruitier/sweetness to it instead of the spicy notes that I was picking up in the original Tanqueray. Next fav out of the 3 would be the Tanqueray 10 because of the scent that I picked up before it touched my lips. The scent was very floral and almost minty. It was very refreshing and more palatable than the other Tanqueray.

After that exercise of the tasting I could more so see what it is about each gin that I liked. I obviously prefer the fruit notes of gin, and with our next exercise in the lab, we were able to make our own gin via a whipped cream dispenser.

yep….a whipped cream dispenser

So, with the whipped cream dispenser it was totally new to me, but apparently not to a lot of other people, that you could use it for infusing gin with whatever botanicals, fruits, herbs, etc. (mind blown). To do this we were paired with the person that sat across from us and we picked 2 ingredients that we wanted to make our gin with. I selected Jasmine and Lime and my partner selected Thai Chili and Sage (sounds interesting right?!)

So we went to the foraging table (pictured above) and selected our items and Juniper. Came back to our table to add in our distilled spirit and charged it in our whipped cream dispenser and after straining it into a wine glass… viola!

Behold, our one of a kind custom made in the the Gin Lab, GIN!

I loved the way it tastes. Before sipping it, you could smell the Jasmine and the lime. Upon tasting it you could really taste the earthy-ness of the sage and the citrus of the lime. The Thai Chili showed up as a nice spicy finish that made for a more developed taste in my opinion.

Once we finished sampling our Gin, the true test came when it was included in a gin and tonic cocktail and honestly, I think it held up great. Unfortunately, when added it with ice and tonic, the jasmine scent went away, and the earthy notes from the sage seemed to be less noticeable, but the lime and the chili stayed and made an awesome flavor profile.

And that was the event in a nutshell!

Would I consider myself a fan of gin now? No, but I definitely have gained a new appreciation and a lot of knowledge for it. I feel like I can now offer more recommendations to clients of Pour Models and friends who are looking for something new to drink or something with a bit more customization and uniqueness to it compared to the popular spirits. Im currently, in the process of learning more about these whipped cream dispensers so I can get one of my own and start doing some things with other flavor ideas I have for gin. Who knows, I might have to start the process of making my own gin one day!

Cheers!

Alcoholic Sparkling Water…Yea that’s a thing now #LiveTruly

Disclaimer: This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I have received no forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation for writing this post.

Have you ever been thinking about something and then magically it appeared? That’s what happened when I was thinking about something light and not overly sugary, like wine coolers, to sip on over the weekend. Enter my mom, asking if I ever heard of Truly…

truly-sparkling-water-6pk

…and I’m like WHUT?!

Apparently, the person that was reading my mind was the folks over at Truly. Truly is a “Spiked Sparkling Water” that claims 100 calories and 2g of carbs. Now, to some of you, you probably wouldn’t care about that, but me, I care.

truly-spiked-sparkling-water-nutrition-facts

I’ve had a few friends deal with health issues this year, and I recently started working out more and watching what I eat (sometimes, lol) including what I drink. I’m working on becoming healthier in all aspects of life, especially with my sips. So something like this sparkling water deal was perfect for my Sunday sipping because I really didn’t want to do club soda and vodka or anything that might take me from 0 – 100 real quick (Drake voice), or something that felt too heavy to drink.

Side note – Most alcoholic beverages don’t have Nutritional Facts on them…can Truly get a round of applause for that please?! We need more brands to do this!!! 

Soooo…I took a sip and it was just what I was looking for something with a light texture that I could sip on all day. It was bubbly, but not to the point where it felt like I was drinking soda. It reminded me of a settled sparkling water with a little bit of flavor. The one I had was Grapefruit & Pomelo (wth is a pomelo?) but the flavor and the taste of alcohol wasn’t overkill, it was enough to where you got the point, this ain’t some plain water.

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So would I drink this again…welp yea!

I could see this really mixing well with a few cocktails I like to make with sparkling water on top of being able to sip it and being able to still function after it. The taste was very clean and not overly bubbly and if I had to suggest the perfect thing to mix with it, it would be Belvedere. ONLY because it has that clean taste also and Putting the 2 together I imagine it would taste light and refreshing, but pack a punch (that 0 – 100 I was talking about earlier).

Have you tried any other sparkling waters with alcohol? Tell me about it in the comments or on Social Media!

 

Follow me:

@topmodelwithbottles – IG

@topmodelwbtls – Twitter

 

Drink Responsibly!

The Real Truth About How My Modeling Career Inspired My Business Idea [VIDEO]

Hey all!

It has been since about January since I have blogged but I am back and I have been working hard in that in between time. I PROMISE YOU!!!

Since I have posted the previous post I was invited to be on TV!

Thats right!!! I was recently featured on a TV show called Whats on Tap hosted by beer expert extraordinaire, Gary Monterosso and the lovely Kimmy Kocktail. In this episode I talk about how I started my business and how my life as a model was the basis for starting it. I also talk about how my business works and make one of my favorite cocktails, the Remy Marin 1738 Sidecar.

Please check it out and let me know what you think.

Don’t forget to leave a thumbs up and share with your friends on social media!

 

Until my next post!

 

Alean xoxo

Women & Whiskey: My Recap (@stbenjaminbrew & @bulleitus)

Recently, I had the opportunity to be invited to an event called “Women and Whiskey”

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The event was held at South Restaurant in Philly and it was my first time there. I had heard things about the place, and it was exactly what I expected it to be. A very classic atmosphere with high quality food and great presentation in the food, drinks, and the staff.

For the Women and Whiskey event, I attended it alone because all of my Whiskey loving friends had to work that day. 🙁 None the less, even though I don’t really like going to events alone, I thought it would be a great way for me to break out of my shy shell and speak to people and network at least with the special featured guest and others who came out to enjoy it.

The event took place from 4p to 6pm. I arrived around 5 after battling a bit of light traffic coming from NJ. When I arrived I saw a familiar face that I knew so I sat at the bar with them the whole entire time, and lo and behold, I was also sitting next to the owner/featured guest of the night, the owner and brewer of Saint Benjamin Brewing Company, Christina Burris.

One of the reasons that I attended the event was that I loved the name. It meant something to me, because throughout my experience within the beverage world I have noticed that there is a huge gap in the ratio of men to women within the industry in various positions in everything from the sales team to the production. It was very refreshing to me to see a female brewer who has an AMAZING product and making strides in the Philly beer scene! Can I tell you how much more motivated that made me to keep pushing in my business?!

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Any whooo, lets get to the drinks I got to sample! 😀

There were 3 beers that were available to sample as well as a bourbon whiskey (not by St. Benjamin). I was excited to sample everything there was to offer but I made sure not to do it on an empty stomach. I ordered the Crispy Rock Shrimp appetizer just to make sure I had something in my system. It was delicious!!! It was basically fried shrimp with tartar sauce 8.0 lol (but not really tartar sauce!!! Lol I don’t know what kind of sauce that was on it but it was tasty, I kinda want to put it on my fries and stuff.)

 

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The First beer that I tried was suggested by Christina herself called Liaison Saison, the website describes it as A lightly hopped, dry saison with notes of peppercorn and a slight lavender finish. This floral beer appeals to saison aficionados as well as casual beer drinkers. It definitely had a floral scent to it, I could smell it before I took my first sip. The color was a light golden color and the flavor was crisp. I liked it and thought it was very smooth tasting for a beer that is 8% alcohol. The lavender added something to the overall taste that I think makes it leave a nice finish that isn’t bitter or linger longer than it needs to.

The 2nd beer that I had was Little Peat from St. Benjamin. It was darker in color, somewhat reminiscent of a Guinness or other stout. Although, it didn’t have the stout scent to me, It smelled less malty than most stouts but still had a tart taste in the beginning but finished with a smoky taste, VERY similar to a peaty scotch whisky. I can see how this is going to be a hit in the fall and winter months for this brand.

There was another beer that was available to try but I didn’t try it. I wanted to save room for the Bourbon. *cue happy music*

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I was able to try the Bulleit Bourbon 10 year, of which I loooooved! It was very smooth and easy to drink. It did have a peaty (smokey) taste but it wasn’t overpowering and the after taste was very pleasant. It wasn’t bitter or sweet, it was very light finish. According to the brand – “Bulleit 10 is the brand’s selected reserve, delicious bourbon that, at 91.2 proof, is consistently smooth, russet in color, rich with oaky aromas and hints of vanilla and dried fruit with a long smoky finish.” I CERTAINLY didn’t get the 91.2 proof feeling but I guess that’s a good thing, it definitely goes down smooth.

Overall, I had a good time, got to know some great new drinks and a new way to eat shrimp, and I may have a new spot to stop in and catch some entertainment when I’m in the city.

To learn more about the brands I mentioned, be sure to check them out:

Saint Benjamin

Twitter – @stbenjaminbrew

Instagram – @stbenjaminbrew

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/stbenjaminbrew

Website – http://stbenjaminbrewing.com

Bulleit Bourbon

Instagram – @BulleitUS

And be sure to follow me on Instagram – @topmodelwithbottles 🙂