How To Be a Playboy Model and Enter Playboy's First Non-Nude Model Search
Stacy Collins, Executive Editor of Playboy Special Editions, manages image and video content creation for the Playboy Girls Network. She is also actively involved in the amateur model audition process—Playboy Casting Calls—which travels around the country and gives aspiring models the chance to showcase their Playboy potential.
Playboy is currently running their Miss Social Contest on Facebook, the first non-nude model search. Julia Brook is the moderator of the contest, coordinating all logistics associated with the program, from communicating with the models to producing photo shoots at the Playboy studios.
In this episode of Model Talk Radio, Stacy and Julia explained what it takes to become a Playboy model and how you can gain exposure through the Miss Social model search.
WHAT HAPPENS AT A PLAYBOY CASTING CALL?
Ladies can become part of the Playboy universe in two ways: Either by submitting their photos online or attending a casting call.
Playboy prefers casting calls over photo submissions because it gives them a chance to interact with the models personally and get a sense of their personality—photos can only do so much! After you register online, fill out the basic paperwork (you must be over 18) and show up for the call, you will have 15 or 20 minutes to show a Playboy photographer your potential! There’s a certain level of nudity expected for Playboy casting calls, and you must wear a bikini or lingerie and high heels.
WHAT IF SOMEONE CAN’T MAKE THE OPEN CALL?
If you are unable to attend an open call, the next best thing is the photo submission website.
Your photos will go to the Playmate editor first, who gets first dibs at the girls who have Playmate potential, then they filter down to Stacy. She will then assess what Playboy potential the girls have and what division they’re best suited for, such as Cyber Girls, Playboy Special Editions, Playboy Golf, etc.
If a young lady is selected to actually do a photo shoot, she’ll either be flown (all-expenses paid) to the Chicago headquarters or to one of their strategically-located photographers across the country.
DO ALL PLAYBOY MODELS SIGN CONTRACTS?
A Playmate is absolutely bound to sign a contract because she must do promotions and further activity with Playboy while her issue is out on newsstands. Her contract is only for her particular month, so her $25,000 earnings are doled out over a period of time to make sure she adheres to her obligations. She can also go on to be Playmate of the Year, which will earn her $100,000 plus a funky car, motorcycle or something else really cool. And because Playmates are Playmates for life, they’re encouraged to attend Superbowl parties and mansion parties.
Models other than Playmates usually have a very basic work-for-hire contract instead of a strong and binding one.
IS PLAYBOY ACTUALLY INVOLVED WITH PROMOTING THE WOMEN?
No, it’s really the brush with Playboy that has opened so many doors for women. The Girls Next Door, for example, gave the women tremendous exposure. They were smart, savvy and made the best of their opportunity with Playboy. They also created opportunities themselves, but they probably wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t had experience with Playboy.
HOW DOES SOMEONE BECOME A PHOTOGRAPHER WITH PLAYBOY?
It’s quite a learning process! It doesn’t happen overnight, either. Playboy has been working with two photographers on the west coast for 15-20 years, who have it down to a science. And Playboy Special Editions has photographers located around the country who are continually working and striving to hone their craft.
Being a photographer with Playboy takes a lot more than a creative eye. You have to know how to deal with crew, locations and models, including some that may have jitters about nude shoots. It takes a specific personality to deal with those sorts of things, plus you must be technically sound.
There’s no formal submission process for a photographer to become part of the Playboy family. So, most either go through the masthead in the main magazine or through Special Editions to find out who the decision makers are, then send in their portfolio or samples.
WHAT IS THE MISS SOCIAL CONTEST?
Playboy has a very strong social media team, and the Miss Social Contest is a way to give girls the chance to use social media to its full potential. It’s open to any woman in the world (must be 18) and is more about the power of social networking rather than posting hot photos. Girls download the Facebook app, then upload 10 photos (no nudity allowed!) to their portfolio. From there, voters decide the winner.
The contest starts on the first of the month and runs for 28 days. Girls can register throughout the month, right up until the semi-finals. One girl wins each day and moves up to the semi-finals, but they can also win through cumulative votes. Playboy strives to make the contest as fair as possible and gives everyone plenty of opportunities to move up in votes.
WHAT TYPES OF PHOTOS SHOULD USERS UPLOAD?
The contest adheres to Facebook standards, so no nudity is allowed! The 10 portfolio photos also contain a wide variety of content, from professional photos to candid photos to cell phone photos.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF WINNING?
It’s not about winning the contest, it’s about being a part of it! Miss Social gives its participants so much exposure: They have 4 million people on their Facebook page, plus they post on Twitter and use the contest for marketing and online advertising. Basically, they give the girls the tools to market themselves through the Miss Social program.
Aside from the exposure, the winner will have the chance to shoot a Playboy pictorial with an esteemed Playboy photographer. And in the past, the top 10 have even been sent to the Superbowl Party at the mansion.
DO CERTAIN LOOKS OR TYPES OF PHOTOS BRING OUT MORE VOTING?
No, the Miss Social contest is actually more about how the you market yourself. The application links to any website you want, like your modeling portfolio or your Facebook fan page, and you can get your friends, fans and followers to like and share your link. People get votes for simply logging in to the application on a daily basis, and they can cast those votes for their favourite girls, save them for the semi-finals or finals, or even save them for the next contest.
The contest also holds daily challenges that lets you work your way up the program. The most recent one, for example, was the Batter Up Challenge, where girls posed in their cutest baseball outfit or sports gear. Playboy chooses their favourite, but also opens it up to voters. The girls with the most likes gets bonus votes, but everyone gets votes for participating.
In the second half of the show, Aaron answered questions sent in during past shows.
SHOULD I EXPECT AN AGENT TO PAY FOR MY PHOTOS?
It works a little differently in the fashion, commercial and acting worlds. In fashion, it can work a couple of different ways. Either the agency will front the money for the photos and you will pay them back once you start booking jobs, or you will pay for them yourself. Actors always pay for their own headshots, and in commercial modeling, it’s always up to the model to create the photos, pay for the composite sheet and pay to be on the agency’s website.
WHAT CAN AN ACTOR DO TO LESSEN THE TENSION DURING AN AUDITION?
The easiest thing to do is acknowledge your nervousness because it brings more life and energy to the read. On top of that, you should always make certain goals for every audition. First, you should enjoy yourself. Second, you should learn from the experience. And third, don’t focus on booking the job. It might sound strange, but so many factors go into booking a job and not booking a job, many of which have nothing to do with your acting ability.
For example, if you’re a teenager auditioning for the role of a son and give a fantastic audition, you might not get the job because the parents, who’ve already been booked, look nothing like you. Or, you might be taller than the person who is supposed to play your older brother.
IS IT OKAY TO WORK WITH AGENTS IN DIFFERENT MARKETS IF YOU’VE SIGNED AN EXCLUSIVE CONTRACT?
Read your contract very carefully! Does “exclusive” mean to that particular area, or does it mean throughout the entire world? In order to have success with an agent you must have a great line of communication, so you should call your agent and arrange a time to sit down and talk about it. When you sit down and discuss things like adults, it’s amazing how much you can accomplish.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS TO STAY SAFE WHILE OUT ON AN AUDITION OR A GO-SEE?
In today’s world, you have to be very, very careful! Always let people know where you’re going and at what time, and if you want to book a job on your own, send it through your agent just to be safe. And if you’re at any time concerned, bring somebody with you.
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