Eric Thai, a bartender who found success as a model divulges his tips and secrets of the industry.
Thai’s debut modeling gig landed him in Giorgio Armani’s 2010 Milan Fashion Week Show. He then went on to do both national and global commercials and campaigns for Uniqlo, Macys, and Nissan. His stage name is Erik.
- Hire A Personal Trainer
It’s no secret that most modeling jobs require models to be in shape. But there are different types of shapes models can configure their bodies for. A personal trainer would be able to help clients target specific muscles to make these features standout for future photoshoots. For males you can’t expect to do runway shows if you’re “super bulky” according to Thai. Personal trainers can also advise clients about diets they should undergo to enhance their workouts.
“You can work out all you want at the gym but you may not be working out the right way or the right muscles.” Said Thai. “Personal trainers know what they are doing and can get you the right results.”
- Practice Posing
Often times directors, photographers, and agents will give models a synopsis of the type of character they have to portray on camera for the specific campaign or show. Sometimes it’s hard for models to “freestyle” according to Thai when portraying a different side of yourself. He compares modeling to acting because of the facades you have to portray.
“For people that have trouble I would say look at yourself in the mirror and look at how you move to see what’s not awkward,” said Thai.
- Prepare For Networking
The fashion industry is extremely relationship based. It’s about who one knows sometimes to be able to book jobs. It’s important to start building rapport with designers, photographers, and bloggers. If you’re remembered as a professional rather than a diva on set you’ll be able to mingle at ease (No one wants to work with a Prima Donna) Practice conversational skills and learn to adapt to different social environments.
“Sadly ego is a pretty big thing in the industry, if you’re the one that’s looking for a job you’re looking for people to book you.” said Thai. “I wouldn’t come off as too desperate but feed their ego of course.“
- Promote Yourself On Instagram
Instagram has become a model’s main outlet of self-expression for their fan base. Ellen DeGeneres even featured a model that got discovered from Instagram on her talk show. (Yes Instagram Model Made Ellen’s Chair) Yet although Instagram is a great faucet for promotion, it’s important not to be “too desperate” as most models that were discovered were organic in their posts and not “forceful.”
“Everyone is interesting in their own way. Show that on your Instagram rather than selfies with hashtags like #scoutme.” said Thai. “If I wasn’t as active on my Instagram I wouldn’t have gotten scouted for that Nissan commercial.”
Thai’s Q&A about the perspective of a male model is forthcoming.