Struggling Finances of an Aspiring Model
By Ariel D.

Model Finances

Some aspiring models have been discovered accidentally by scouts who work for bigtime modeling agencies. As convenient as that may be for them, it is not the story of every model.

Most aspiring models have to work very hard just to get their foot in the door of a professional modeling agency. They’re forced to spend their own money on commercial quality headshots, portraits, full-body shots, and videos of themselves.

After the models send these materials to various modeling agencies, they must wait for a reply from one of them. In the meantime, the models have to work other jobs just to survive. It is almost like how a struggling actor has to work regular jobs until they’re discovered too.

Model Finances

Modeling In New York City

Like any struggling actor, an aspiring model usually moves to New York City to look for work. Right off the bat, models have two strikes against them after moving there.

First, New York City is a very expensive place to live in. The average rent in the heart of the city is about $3,000 per month plus utilities. Second, amateur and aspiring models do not get paid very much money. Even if you get a modeling job with a magazine publication or advertising company, you may only get paid between $100 to $400 for the entire job.

This may seem good to people in some parts of the country, but in New York City, that kind of money doesn’t take you very far. The only upside to taking low-pay modeling jobs is the experience they give you.

How to Survive

As you continue to look for higher-paying modeling gigs in New York City, you must find other ways to pay the bills in the meantime. You could get a so-called regular job as a secretary, but the low wages won’t even be worth it.

A lot of aspiring actors and models become waiters and waitresses or find other favorable hour gigs like Uber or DoorDash because they’re more likely going to get big tips from the wealthier customers they serve.

The final alternative is to become a dancer or a cam model. This might be a riskier lifestyle for some models, but it is a way to get even bigger tips than you’d get as a waitress.


Modeling In New York City