BIG BREAK INTERVIEW:
The RICK MILLER AGENCY, Inc.
BIGBreakNY: How do you get your models?
RICK MILLER: We speak at various seminars around the city, and
often times the reason people go to the seminars is to meet an agent,
so by the end of the day we can leave with an envelope full of people
who are seeking representation. One other thing that I am very proud of
is that Vonetta and I care a lot about our models, we give them the utmost
respect, we give them detailed information, they are always paid on time
and in turn they feel very confident with our business skills, so when
someone asks, “I am looking for a good commercial print agent, who
do you recommend?" they refer them to the Rick Miller Agency.
BBNY: What do you look for in your models?
RM: I like to look for something in their eyes, a connection
that is there, not just a pretty face. I look for people who can convey
warmth, approachability, friendliness, people who are comfortable. They
photograph really well, there is a like ability about them , their features
look great in photograph. I also look for people who are enthusiastic
about the business, people who show up on time and are dedicated to the
BBNY: How important is height in commercial print?
RM: Height is NOT IMPORTANT. Commercial print is all shapes and
sizes. That is the great thing about commercial print: it has no limitations.
BBNY: Where would you begin if you were interested in commercial print
RM: One way would be, is to invest in getting a great 8 x 10
headshot. Don’t skimp on that, your headshot is your calling card.
Look around for a good photographer, someone who is reputable, someone
who comes to you through a referral. Nothing too extreme, but something
captures you on your best day. Then you get a list of commercial agencies
and submit them via mail. If they are interested in you they will call.
BBNY: When photos come to you in the mail how long do you hold on to
RM: To be honest with you we don’t hold on to them for
very long. Unfortunately we just don’t have enough room to hold
on to all the pictures that we get. But there have been circumstances
where I have called people back several weeks later.
BBNY: To get a good composite card, how many photographers do you suggest
you go to?
RM: My suggestion is if you are not with an agency already there
is no need to go to a lot of photographers because there is no guarantee
that anyone will call you in and that is a lot of money that you spent
on getting those pictures done. I would never ask anyone to go to more
then one photographer if they are new in the business because that is
very costly. Granted you don’t want all your pictures to look alike.
But go to a photographer who is talented enough to make your pictures
look like they all weren’t taking on the same day. Different backgrounds,
different scenes, your hair is done in a different way in each scene.
Someone who can shake things up and make it all look different.
BBNY: Can you make a living on being a commercial print model?
RM: In the present time I don’t think it is possible. Whenever
I take someone on I always tell them that this is to be thought of as
a supplement to their income. There still is a small percentage of people
who can make a living on commercial print work, but they may be working
in different markets, like with me in New York and other people in Boston,
Connecticut, or Philadelphia. But for the most part if they need additional
income they need to do other things.
BBNY: What does it take to be a good commercial print model?
RM: To be a good commercial print model you need to be a good
actor. Because most commercial print ads require you to do some type of
relating. Whether you’re a relating to another person, you’re
a guy out with your friends in a bar watching the game cheering, or three
women sitting around drinking coffee talking and laugh. It is someone
who is not just a pretty face but someone who is conveying a message.
BBNY: Who calls you for the work?
RM: The majority of the calls that we receive are from photographers.
We also get art buyers for advertisement agencies.
BBNY: Now that you're on the other end of the commercial print business,
is there ever a time where you miss being in front of the camera?
RM: You know something I don’t miss it and it comes as
a shock to me. When I was a performer and a commercial print model I gave
everything I did 110% but I get so much joy in getting other people jobs
and I am so proud of this agency. I am very proud running an agency that
I feel is very ethical and treats people with respect and I can go home
at night knowing I am not running from anyone, and I love what I do. The
reason this jobs brings me so much joy is because I get to bring so much
joy to other people. To me it is not just about the money, to me I care
about every model that I represent and I want to get everyone work. It
makes me feel good to know that I am helping people in their career and
for them to feel good about themselves. Plus I am fortunate enough to
work with Vonetta Lynn who I consider a team player, I really could go
on for days with the amount of great things that I can say about her.
She really is a true asset to this agency.
We would like to thank Rick Miller for taking his time out to talk with
BIGBreakNY. When it comes down to it, we here at BIGBreakNY feel that
Rick Miller is a needle in a haystack. He is a caring, compassionate person
who treats people with respect and wants nothing more then to see people
succeed. For that we wish Rick and everyone at his agency nothing but
the best of luck.
Want to read more about Rick Miller? See his profile—his story,
in his own words.