In her guide dedicated to prospective models, Tiana Pongs reveals important insider tips for a serious entry into the industry. The author shows how to build up a modeling career from a practical perspective. In an easy to understand step-by-step guide she explains how to identify your own type and how to find reputable agencies – and consequently get your first modeling contract. She provides a proven list of agencies from all over the world. By sharing personal experiences, as well as an overview of the various stages of the model industry, up-and-coming models can obtain valuable insights.
Targeted Age Group:: 15-40
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My latest book is "Keep Smiling" – it's the English version of "Der kleine Modelguide". I wrote about my life as a model and the business. What inspired me were the same questions. So, at some point, I thought I should just write everything down.
As I still felt uncertain whether or not I could make a living with modeling in the long-term, I also decided to register at a university for psychology and educational sciences. But thanks to my agency in Munich, my career proved to be successful very quickly.
What was supposed to be a three-day trip to Munich, then turned out to be a two-week stay. Three days of go-sees were planned in Munich originally but instead resulted in me getting my first bookings and
other options. From Munich, I then went straight to a major casting in Paris and also to Athens to set up my photo portfolio. At the time, I was accommodated in a private model apartment. This is where I quickly got to experience the loneliness firsthand that one often feels when they suddenly live and work far away from home. I often found myself in completely strange cities, and moreover with people that often didn’t even speak my language. I have traveled a lot in the past twenty years and have gotten to know the different markets of the model world, which I would like to introduce to you in greater detail.
My early pregnancy was definitely a major turning point in my private, as well as my professional life. Begging the question – what was I willing to sacrifice for this job? If I'm being completely honest, my decision to keep my baby was therefore also kind of protection for the sake of my private life. I had to choose whether or not I was willing to commit to this life to the fullest and accept a lot of cutbacks regarding my private life. I was not. I would have definitely lived a very different life if I had been willing to do so. With a baby boy, however, I always had a valid excuse not to be “on stay” somewhere for weeks at a time. In retrospect, it was the right decision for me. I love my son, and for me, my family life is the perfect balance to this fast-changing and impulsive, sometimes very superficial model life.
Now I am 40 years old and have slowly and steadily withdrawn from the modeling industry in recent years in order to focus more and more on my acting career instead. This is a wish that I have had ever since I was 9 years old, and which has crossed my path every now and then due to my many years in the modeling industry. At the age of 20, I was offered a leading role in the famous German soap opera “Marienhof” (ARD), which I had to turn down due to my pregnancy. My career definitely would have been completely different, if I had decided to accept this offer.
In retrospect, I have to say that many things in my life initially didn't seem to make much sense at first but eventually turned out to be incredibly helpful to me. My psychology studies combined with 20 years of camera experience, for instance, are the best foundation for my future acting career.
Steve Jobs once said in his famous Stanford speech: “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
The journey is the reward and I would like to accompany you on the first few steps of your journey. It is my goal to remove a few stumbling blocks from the start and to give you an understandable, clear, and honest insight into the world of modeling. It is a wonderful world, but this shiny world also has its dark sides. Nevertheless, I’m more than grateful for my life experience, my trips, and the many wonderful people I got to know during that time.
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