A week after our beauty shoot with Makeup Artist Sonia Leal-Serafim, Jewellery Designer Elsa Corsi and NEXT Models’ “new face” Elliat, TEST/model magazine sat down with booker Chelsea Leadbetter at the NEXT office in the Gastown area of Vancouver. Chelsea shares some background on Elliat and also valuable information for any aspiring models who are looking for representation.
Chelsea, tell us a little bit about your job as a booker here at NEXT.
I’ve been working here at NEXT about a year, I started off in an internship position in June 2011 and I was hired full time in November.
Oh, the intern part is interesting, we recently brought on an intern at T/m ( Jared, you rock!) so how did your internship work for you?
I interned 2 days a week, Thursday and Friday, for 5 months and I attended school Monday – Wednesday where I was studying Fashion Merchandising. Shawna, our current intern is doing the exact same thing right now.
Oh, that’s great! Were you a model before? (readers, Chelsea has a great jawline!)
I did, at an agency in Victoria, my hometown.
How old are you now?
Are you interested in pursuing modelling?
No, I love being “behind the scenes” as a booker here at NEXT.
How many models does the NEXT office in Vancouver handle?
Right now it is about 40 in Vancouver but we also have offices in Toronto and Montreal and so there are a LOT more!
What is the split between girls and guys in Vancouver?
We represent about 8 male models in Vancouver.
What does a “booker” do?
I do so many things, i would say that I’m pretty much the middleman between model and client and photographer. I make sure that everyone has every detail for every job, and go over everything to make sure that everyone has their pictures in the end, gets paid and everyone is happy, and does a good job…
(phone rings, Shawna answers, I think it was a model submission…)
…it’s pretty much…
I’ll just pause it… sorry, where was I?
My “day to day”, organizing everything and there’s a lot to do with models, teaching them how to act at photo shoots or posing or teaching them how to walk down the runway.
Oh, that’s good, so do you train them here?
Yes, I go over a lot of things with the models to make sure that they’re comfortable with it, and creating that kind of relationship with them is really important to me, so that they can trust me and feel comfortable.
So, you’re coaching, managing and booking the models, anything else in your “day to day” that you’re talking about?
Many, many emails.
(laughing) I’m sure!! Like, how many in a day?
Oh my gosh, so many that I have to constantly empty my inbox and save them to a hard drive, I have so many emails (laughing).
(we talk here a little bit about “street scouting” but T/m has decided to save that for a future issue, so stay tuned…)
Is there a height requirement for your models?
Generally it is 5′ 7″ for girls, but there are exceptions.
5′ 7″ is the minimum?
Yes, but like in Elliat’s case she’s actually a bit shorter, she’s 5′ 6 1/2″, but because she’s so gorgeous, it was a no brainer, we needed to bring her on.
Yes, exactly, let’s talk a little about Elliat. How long has Elliat been with NEXT?
I believe since early 2012, it’s only been 5 months now, but she had a previous career when she was younger and then took a little hiatus.
Right, as a teen, didn’t she?
Yes, she was placed in Japan at some point and did some modeling there.
How old was she then? Do you know?
I think that she was probably like 15 or something, pretty young. Now she is at school and starting again.
Right, but how old is she now?
She is 19, and is attending Art School. She was looking for representation and she contacted NEXT.
She approached you? You didn’t scout her?
She sent us an email, when she had been with her previous agency she had met with NEXT in New York and they had been interested in her so when she decided to work again she thought “maybe I should try NEXT?” , and we’re very happy she did!
Are you grooming Elliat for any particular market?
She already knows how the business works so just building her book, creatives etc. so that she can get placed in international markets.
It seems like a natural to build up her “beauty” book. T/m first met Elliat at the /go-see for the Jacqueline Conoir show and she stood out. Then, a few days later we were doing a shoot with the very talented makeup artist Sonia Leal-Serafim and she said “oh, I know who you need to shoot with, we just shot with these four girls and one girl jumped out, she has the most amazing face for beauty, her name is ELLIAT”. (laughing) We said, “Sonia, have a look at this video!” and then we called you! I’m glad that we didn’t email, we would be buried on your hard drive
She’s amazing! She generally does do more beauty shots, but she can do anything, I mean she’s just so gorgeous.
Well, T/m, (and I am sure our readers) agree with you, but how about a little info for our aspiring models. What do you look for when you are scouting?
For girls, in the 16 to 19 year old range, not super young and if they are in the 18 range they can travel right away which is good. And of course, tall, good face, bone structure, good frame overall.
And good personality which is most important overall, I find.
Awesome, so besides being discovered on the street, how do hopefuls who are interested in representation contact you? Do they send in pictures or…
We have an open casting call at our office on Tuesday afternoons from 2 pm until 5 pm, you don’t need to book an appointment.
That is great Chelsea, thank you so much for the interview and maybe one of our readers will be your next big discovery.
If any of our readers have questions for Chelsea about modeling or working in an agency, post them in the comments section at the bottom of this issue and we’ll make sure that she sees them. Good Luck!
model / elliat for next models
photography / victor john penner
producer / marlisse penner
hair / sonia leal-serafim for they representation
makeup / sonia leal-serafim using jane iredale makeup / for they representation
jewellery / all by elsa corsi
retouching / pongsakorn (pong) yananissorn
video / victor john penner
video editing / david james for thekreative
music / “i’m like a fool” licensed by apm music
special thanks to the following for their support and/or loan of products and service…