Focus speaks with the Director of Victoria’s Modelling Agency, Vicki Carnes about what it takes to make it in the modelling world.
>Tell us about Victoria’s Modelling Agency.
Victoria’s came about because of the need for a licensed registered modelling agency that carries comprehensive insurance. These days many businesses, for example shopping centres, can not allow anyone to work on the premises without an ABN and insurance. I called it Victoria’s because it’s a play on my name, but also I wanted a name which would exude quality and good old fashioned service. It is also a great industry to be involved in. I still get excited when I can provide models for work and have clients ring me with gratitude for easygoing professional talent who are a pleasure to work with.
I always enjoy doing charity work as well. Next month I will be working with Lions Club of Tacking Point to raise money to purchase a dialysis chair for the Port Macquarie Base Hospital. I will be hosting a fun and fashion parade.
> Why did you feel Port Macquarie was an ideal place to launch?
Basically, because there was no licensed registered modelling agency between Newcastle and the Mid North Coast. We now have screen links bringing film and TV to the area and contacts to a number of good ad agencies and three TV stations.
And not to mention, I love Port Macquarie!
It is my home and the place I raised my children. I think it is moving ahead and growing, becoming more cosmopolitan.
> What opportunities do you offer your clients?
I love the industry and offer professionalism.There are three levels of clients:
1) agencies 2) TV stations 3) privately run businesses e.g. Paul McCarthy agency, Telstra, Port Macquarie Hastings Council, Sunseeker, Berlei, Port Central, Port Macquarie Bowling Club, The Westport Club, Panthers, Sails Resort, Soul, Seabird, Fonterra, Longreach, Urban Media and OgilvyOne. Victoria’s also offers face painting and spruiking, I run model and deportment courses for self improvement and training, styling and make-up, coordinating wardrobe for commercials and also my model courses.
I also run Victoria’s costume hire and have often supplied costumes for ads.
We have also been assisting the Glasshouse with promotion of Madame Butterfly, by setting up a display at Settlement City.
> What about you? What is your model industry background?
I started modelling at thirteen and I then moved to Brisbane and continued fashion modelling and promotion work. While in Brisbane, I was a graduate of a model course and found that they ran to a set formula and were very regimented.
So now I have my own model agency, where the courses are run to be more focused on the individual. Then I moved to Wollongong, Melbourne and Tasmania.
While in Brisbane, my first large modelling assignment was a promotion for Fanta, and I was Queensland’s ‘Fancy Nancy’. I had to wear a large wig and an outrageously bright outfit. It was fun!
While in Melbourne I worked for Issy Dye and promoted everything from makeup to shoes and perfume to cars. He had a late night TV show, and I worked as a hostess on many occasions for him.
When I lived in Wollongong, I learnt TV makeup from Win 4 and did a lot of commercials. TV ads aren’t always glamorous. My hands were in a sandwich commercial! I spent a whole day cutting up sandwiches!
On another occasion I did an ad for hot water. It was a shower scene in winter, and the ad took so long we ran out of hot water and I was showering in cold water! Luckily, the camera didn’t pick up the fact I was shivering from the cold. Sometimes, you tend to do fashion parades or photo shoots with summer clothes in winter and winter clothes in summer.
My daughter Dannielle has also modelled in Sydney and Tasmania and now assists with the model agency. She was a dancer with Parrys for years and now helps me with the choreography of fashion parades.
Dannielle is also a qualified beauty therapist and assists with the skincare section of my model and deportment courses.
> What do you think about the current modelling world?
I’d like to see better behaviour from some of the big name models, and I don’t approve of the skin and bones look.
I love that they’re using big girls or plus sized models now, as long as they’re toned and healthy looking in a realistic way. Young girls should be young girls and not made up to look like adults. Young girls need to be taught skincare, deportment and speech.
Quite a few of the models who have done my courses on many occasions have been finalists in model competitions, which is something I am very proud of! I still believe in elegance and correct deportment, and we teach this at the agency.
> How do you promote being healthy and being beautiful together?
Beautiful skin is inherited and created. Models and people in general need to eat a balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables with antioxidants for beautiful skin and shiny hair, as these two aspects are very important in the industry!
Potential and existing models need to cleanse, moisturise and use block-out every day and limit their hours in the sun. Laying out in the sun to get a tan is not so healthy anymore. Exfoliation is very important, as it creates a luminosity.
Dental hygiene is very important – nothing wins people over like a great smile. Look after your whole body, including your feet and heels.
And most importantly, beauty also comes from within – your true confidence and happiness shows when you are happy with yourself.
> What do you view as ‘beautiful’? What are some classic characteristics?
A great smile, good complexion, skin that glows and healthy, shiny hair. Straight nose, well shaped cheek bones. A body that is toned, whether you are a size 10, 16 or 20. Clients dictate the models they want – some ask for long hair, some want blondes, some want brunettes. A couple of years ago an agency asked me for a dad who was chubby and bald … unfortunately, I didn’t have anyone on my books who looked like that!
> How would one go about becoming a model at Victoria’s Modelling Agency?
It takes just one phone call, then I can set up an interview to explain how the agency works. I am happy to look at people’s photos or can arrange a portfolio with Paul and Anne Marie from Hydro Photographics. They are great photographers and work very well with the models to bring out their best.
I don’t release anyone for work without some form of training, whether it be a course or one on one. In my courses I cover deportment, body language, speech, skincare, makeup, grooming, camera and television technique and fashion parade choreography. Modelling builds self esteem, confidence, posture and a good career path.
In the skincare section I don’t promote a specific product – I show the class how to use ingredients from their kitchen cupboards to make exfoliating facials and hand treatments, the whole class joins in and they have a lot of fun and can see and feel the difference for themselves.
Then I send them home to enjoy doing the treatments with their family and friends. Emphasis is placed on looking after your whole body, as you only get one skin and one set of teeth!
> What does the future hold for your business?
I see it growing and expanding, and I am in the process of enlarging the website. I have a model course running in September and a lot of the talent I use have come through my courses. I have a photo shoot day for portfolios with Hydro, also booked in late September. So if you think you have what it takes, please, come on in to Victoria’s Model Agency.
Think you have the model look?
Call Vicki at Victoria’s Modelling Agency, Port Macquarie NSW, Phone (02) 6583 2915.