I would like to try modelling or acting.  How do I get started?

Put simply, model and casting agencies place people on their “books”, then present them, via their photographs, to suitable clients.

For any particular job, the agency usually presents a variety of talent. The client then chooses the models/actors they would like to see personally.

Meetings (called “castings”) are set up for the short-listed talent.

It is then up to the the model/actor to attend the casting and do their best at the audition or viewing. Our training can help to give you the skills and confidence to succeed.


If I join an agency, am I guaranteed work?

As in any field, there are never any absolute guarantees.

Success at castings depends on a number of factors. In particular, whether you have the right look for a particular ad campaign.

However, it’s the person who is fully prepared, well-presented and skilled who makes the best impression.

For models, their “book” (folio) is key. And for actors, their “show-reel” is important.

At Tanya Powell, we guarantee all our graduates the opportunity to register on the books. The training they have done gives them the best possible advantage over untrained or unprepared candidates.


Do I need to pay a fee to register with an agency?

Agents make money by receiving a commission from models’ or actors’ fees. You should not have to pay a fee (initial or annual) to be simply registered for work.

They may, however, charge for photo shoots, prints, training and inclusion on their website. These costs should be reasonable. It’s wise not to pay anything unless you know exactly what it is you are getting for your money.

Ask how long the agency has been operating, and ask to see examples of photography, past successes and the qualifications of their photographers/instructors/staff members.


What about these modelling scams and rip-offs that you hear about?

There are several reputable model agencies in Melbourne, but a few shady ones too. So here are a few things to look out for.

Be wary if they don’t list their office address or land line number - a post office box and a mobile phone number are not enough. Go to and check out their office and facilities - are they really set up to provide what they promise? Above all, be suspicious if they promise you paying work - it may be flattering but no reputable agency would make that claim because all they can do is suggest you to their clients.


Do I “have what it takes” to be a model or actor?

Many different types of looks are required in this industry. There are no stereotypes.

We like to see each of our potential models or actors in a personal appointment so we can offer them proper advice and guidance. Qualities like commitment, determination and passion can be equally as important as outward appearance.


Do I need training and photos to model?

Since a lot of money is spent on advertising, clients understandably expect models to be professional and skilled. They do not have time to teach catwalk moves or photographic poses. Many expect models to do their own hair and makeup, so these skills are essential too.

The training at Tanya Powell is up-to-the-minute and reflects the expectations of a broad range of clients for a wide variety of jobs.

Industry-standard photographs are a must, but they do not need to be expensive. Photo sessions are included in a Tanya Powell course - we can do this because we have our own fully-equipped photographic studio. Also our prints costs are kept to a minimum to allow you to easily build your folio.


Do I need training to act?

Not everyone realises that acting is very much a craft that requires knowledge of different techniques and styles.

Improvisation, cold reads, script interpretation and flexibility - these are just some of the skills that need to be in an actor’s repertoire.

You don’t need a model portfolio, but you should have professional actor shots for casting directors to view.


My parents and friends think I have what it takes, but I’m not sure.  Should I believe them?

People who know you are often a better judge of your potential than you are yourself!

At Tanya Powell, we value the support and encouragement of parents and friends. Especially if you are under 18, we always encourage mums and dads to come along on your appointment day.




Frequently Asked Questions