Modeling not new, many of us in our Second Life, would have tried a hand at modelling. Also, is it not a new topic that is discussed in blogs, magazines or newspapers. We have delved on it at some point or the other, either to teach ourselves or to teach others. From the avatar point of view, this career particularly sounds luxurious and glamorous to bag designer items and walk in public with fame. What we forget is the effort and time put in by the many models striving to reach the top.
Here are three avid successful models that I had the opportunity to interview with. The basic questions I asked them were:
1. How has your modelling career been in Second Life?
2. Is a Second Life modelling career similar to real life career?
3. Where should one start at?
4. What should a model expect during their career?
5. What according to you are the pros and cons of pursuing such career?
Using there advice will guide new models in their future accomplishments on the catwalk.
|Photography Credits: Averil|
Averil: I have been a model in Second Life since 2012 and I am certified though MVWMA, MBMA and former UEMA. I am so honoured to have represented my country USA in the 2014 MVW pageant and I now have 30 sisters. I am an avid blogger and try to blog as much as I can.
My career has been very good and I have accomplished a lot of things with it. It is a lot of hard work and takes a lot of dedication. You have to be proactive about keeping your name out there and have to be willing to spend lindens on the newest trends and be a role model to sell the clothes the designers would like to sell. My suggestion is to start at by attending an academy whether is be Scala with Seashell Dench who is amazing or MVWMA with all of the teachers there.
A model should expect hearing no a lot. You hear no a lot more than you hear yes and it costs a lot of money to be a model in SL, you spend more than you ever make. You need to have a thick skin and be able to take criticism good and bad.
The pros are that you meet a lot of really great people and make some really good friends as well as getting a killer wardrobe. You work with some of the best people in the business and more projects open up to you. The cons are that said inventory can be a nightmare and needs constant cleaning out to make room for other things. My inventory has been at 200k twice! Another thing is, there can be a lot of dramas, if you let it, try to avoid the drama and keep your nose clean. You are under public scrutiny always and you have to be able to take that as well as keep your nose clean and most of all, remember to have fun with it all.
|Photography Credits: Anik Etos (Erik Bayn)|
Hethwen (Heth) Collinwood: I have been in SL now for 4 1/2 years. I have been a professional model for in SL for 4 years and have also done many pageants and contest. Currently -- I have just earned Top 5 in the Mr Virtual World pageant 2015, after earning the title of Mr Virtual World USA 2015. I am also with the BLVD modelling agency which is the most prestigious of all SL modelling agencies and by invitation only. I have represented the USA before when I earned the title of Mr. Avatar World USA 2012-2013 and went on to compete and earn a position there as a Top 5 Finalist in the Mr. Avatar World 2012-13 also. I am the Owner/ Designer for my own store in SL - Heth Haute Couture, catering to individuals with a more discerning taste in fashion. In 2014 I was thrilled to have received more nominations than any other individual or group in the 2014-2015 AVI choice Awards (9 nominations in total). I have just secured a teaching position with The Miss Virtual World Modelling Academy (MVWMA) which has been a dream of mine for many years in SL.
From the first time that I was pulled onto the stage because they need male models (and I had no clue as to what I was doing but thankfully got it all right. I was hooked; I learned as much as I could and I have been blessed to have done everything I set as a goal for myself. I now model exclusively for the BLVD Agency, and charity work only.
I have worked in RL and SL as a model and modelling teacher. Both require many hours of time and commitment to master the craft. It is not merely putting on an outfit you receive from a Designer, but you must also style the outfit, pose the outfit, make sure that you are prim perfect, etc. It is similar in many ways, and it brings the old adage to mind -- Anything worth doing is worth doing well. I would encourage anyone thinking about getting into modelling not to do this unless you want it with all of your heart. It requires a tremendous focus and most all of your time is devoted to long hours of work on developing your styling skills, appearances and performances. Most other people who come out to see our shows or who follow our blogs or even follow our modelling careers on social media see the end results, not realizing that what they see in the moment has actually take hours, days and sometimes weeks to cultivate.
I always urge everyone to begin with a strong learning set by choosing a modelling agency and enrolling into classes. There are many schools in SL that teach modelling, some good - some not so good. Make sure to ask many questions before you choose you pay to attend any school. Meet the instructors and ask them for their credentials and what you can expect to learn. After selling my own agency in January 2015, I will say that there is only 1 school in all of SL that I endorse and felt maintained the professional ethics that I insist on... and 2 days before this interview I was asked to teach with them. The Miss Virtual World Modelling Academy is truly the very best school on the grid with the only solid reputation and proven history of not placing an importance lindens over the education of the student. There have been many changes at MVW, MVWMA, and BOSL in the last few months, steering it all into a fresh new future. MVW and BOSL have always been the foundation of modelling in Second Life and we are taking great strides to ensure that we maintain that foundation while continually moving forward and leading the fashion industry in Second Life.
I think it is very similar to what any work requires of us in RL or SL; you educate yourself first to hone your skills and learn your craft and then you apply those things. You will take only what you put into your career as a model. There are more good times than bad and others will be jealous and create drama for you (as it goes in SL) but I teach my students to stay focused and that what other people’s opinions of you -- it is simply none of your business. Never feed into gossip, hate, or lies. Ignore all of that. Let others own their own drama. Remain focused, learn as much as you can, do your very best and work hard and you will quickly rise to the top if you maintain solid ethics. Once you are established as a model you might then begin to focus on social media by blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This helps to promote yourself and have a wider audience. Once you feel confident that you have learned modelling well enough, done a few runways, print work and sharpened your social media skills you would then begin to consider entering contests and pageants. This is the part that many do but only few become known by. Pageants like Mr and Miss Virtual World always enable those making into the Top 5 to become the most sought after models on the grid.
It is important to NOT expect too much at first. Modelling in SL is very competitive. If you have the ability to style well and dedication to work hard while setting goals and remaining very focused on achieving your goals then it might be for you. But, expect to work long hours alone sacrificing nights out dancing with your friends or social gatherings. It is a lot of hard work... but it will pay off handsomely if you are willing to work for it.
Pros - When deciding why you want to become a model in SL and setting your goals, I quickly asked myself "What brings you joy"? My joy comes from teaching. I modelled first and then taught... teaching was always my ultimate goal. Teaching brings me my greatest joy in SL. There are a million schools that teach (or take) your lindens and then abandon you to learn more on your own then they teach. I think that it is most important to love what you do so you do it better than anyone else, and my passion for teaching is reflected to my students in the quality of their education and my total devotion to developing them to be their best. When I decided to become a model there was nothing available to me that I felt was a complete education that offered every aspect of modelling and taught it with clear and concise direction, so, over the next 2 years I developed my own syllabus and eventually opened up my own school teaching those things that I knew would develop others as models providing them the most complete education ever offered in SL. There is only 1 place you will ever find that now and that is within my classes at the Miss Virtual World Modelling Academy.
Cons - The drama, lies, deceit and what I call "The Game behind the Game". Simply put, avoid it all. Do not ever play into it under any circumstance. Block, Ban, Mute and get rid of the trouble makers in your SL who will only hold you back and you will quickly shine. There are so many unethical people in the world of SL modelling who are there only to take from you. Those trying to sincerely help you along your path will reveal themselves quickly. Just never listen to or take part in the gossip of others. Judge people on who they show you that they really are. And when they show you -- believe them. You have ONE (1) chance at modelling in SL because your reputation will/ does follow you, mess it up and you rarely get a second chance. In the "Game behind the Game" haters will try their best to take away from you what you have earned. Never feed their hate by even playing with them. Rise above and remember why you came to SL - to have FUN and escape the drama that fills RL. Stay focused, set your goals and you will be amazing.
In closing I would like to let the readers know that I am not a snob, I am very approachable and a very friendly person. If you ever have a question or need help understanding something about modelling please feel free to contact me. I always take the time to help others. You can look me up in search or contact me to enrol in modelling classes at the Miss Virtual World Modelling Academy (MVWMA) in Second Life. I wish you all the very best.
|Photography Credits: Maria Eugenia Rodriguez|
Maria Eugenia Rodriguez: I am a normal person or want to think I am. I started my modelling career in 2007 but I didn´t like it I felt that what they did back then was not modelling so I left it and I returned to modelling in 2010. I went to the best academy we had in those days and I learned from the best teachers of that time, of course I was very new but eager to reach the top. I was lucky enough to have Frolic Mills as my mentor and he gave me the opportunity to learn from him, especially from his criticism, which made me to be very demanding with myself and not allow myself nothing but perfection as this career deserve. As a person I am the same in SL than in RL I believe that our avatars are just a representation of who we are for real, so just as if you laugh in SL is not the avatar who laughs but the person behind it well I think also that if you are humble, responsible, reliable in RL you will be the same way in SL no difference so I am what you see, there is no mystery and what I love most in SL is to teach the new generations of models and my greatest reward is seeing them grow and shine in the fashion world.
I have been very active since day one. I knew I wanted to help others so I studied, was trained and prepared myself for it, I knew I had to work in different areas like walking many runways, participating in I don´t remember how many shows any more (lost count long ago participating in castings, competitions, winning some titles I considered very important for my career as Miss AZUL, print work in order to learn but also to have a good resume to offer. I think modelling career is pretty much the same in both lives but only in the fashion sense, for the rest there are many differences the environment, virtuality has limitations that ask us to be prepared in areas that real models don´t need to. Real models arrive at the back stage and they have a complete crew of people waiting to work on them, from hair stylist until someone who is going to put their shoes on. In SL we have to do everything ourselves and then we need to create a complete story a whole body language based on poses made by others, so it is not too similar to me.
I think that like everything else in any life we need to prepare ourselves for the profession we would like to work in so the first step has to be education, learn all about it and practice, practice, practice and then practice some more. Modelling is a never-ending learning process, it is not such thing like "I know all in modelling" we need to be humble enough to understand that we not just learn something every day but also from every one and be open to changes, updating ourselves all the time and never forget where we come from, always remembering we all were new once. A model should expect fame and glory but before that expect a lot of rejection, hundreds of "no" before you get your first "yes" and a lot loosing before you get your first winning, using the failures as gas to make it to the top, never looking the responsible of our failures outside because either you win or you lose there is always only one responsible yourself.
It is not different to any other career that make you be in the public eye, modelling it is one of the most rewarding careers you can choose in SL, beauty, creativity, talent, fame but not private life here, when you choose to be famous you must be ready for fans and haters, for complements and critics, for amazing people and nasty people but I believe life is like that in every way, it is for you to choose which part you want to embrace the good things or the bad ones.
*Note: The interviewees are listed in alphabetical order.
Summing up if one is interested in a modelling agency, refer to this site. https://agencyreport.wordpress.com, on the right sidebar a list of modelling agencies are listed, although it may seem an old list. It is definitely the one to start at. I would also advise dear fellow readers to take out guest interviewee’s guidance as is said in this article.
To contact them here is some additional information:
Second Life https://my.secondlife.com/averil/#about_tab
Hetwen (Heth) Collinwood:
Second Life https://my.secondlife.com/hethwen/#about_tab