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New Faces® Modeling & Acting Advice


Top Elite model and actress, Shani Scherenzel

Advice From New Faces™ Supermodel & Actress Shani Scherenzel

Top Elite model and actress, Shani Scherenzel, has been in the fashion industry for over ten years. Her international experience has brought her from the Mediterranean Sea to the beaches of the Caribbean and from the deserts in Africa to the farmlands of Austria.

Shani has appeared in numerous international magazines such as Flare, Canadian Living, Wedding Bells, Toronto Life, Cosmopolitan and The San Francisco Examiner. Currently represented by Elite, Shani is busy with runway and advertising clients, and television commercials. Some of her catalogue clients include Nordstrom's, Sears, Mervyn's, Eddie Bauer, The Bay and Kohl's.

Shani is familiar with the area of acting as well. She studied theatre at The American Conservatory of Theatre and is experienced in speech and voice technique. She has put in her fair hours on set as well, having worked on several productions such as "Honey", "Get Rich or Die Tryin'", "Missing" and "The Perfect Man". She is the author of Star Power; a hypnotherapy CD for auditioning actors.

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Shani Modeling

Learning More About The Modeling Industry

Interview with Top Elite Model Shani Scherenzel

Q. I really want to model. Please tell me honestly if my height really matters - Kate Moss is apparently 5'6"?

Height matters, yes and no. It matters for high fashion shows and because models need to be similar to each other and height showcases clothes better. In other areas of modeling it matters in that the clothes need to fit well and being short or extra tall means that hemlines and cuffs will not reach the length the designer chose. For advertising and TV commercials it matters far less than other features such as a great smile or acting ability. You can lie about your height but agencies will often measure you and one can always tell if you are shorter just from looking at you even if you are wearing heels.

Sometimes height is a deciding factor, if an agency isn’t sure about taking you on, and you are short, that can be the deal breaker. I have seen a few models who did very well and were short, but they also had excellent portfolios, were beautiful, had an excellent attitude and did body work. I wouldn’t let height completely discourage you, but definitely it is an issue to look at.

If you are short you can still easily work in film, TV or commercials, as a character model, swimsuit/lingerie model, or parts model, etc. These would be easier avenues than trying to become a high fashion runway model.

Q. I was told that I don’t have what "it takes" to be a model physically. Can you help me find a career that can be similar without the physical demands?

TV commercials and advertising often calls for models to not be very "modelly" looking. Find an agency that represents these types of looks. These types of agencies often browse New Faces looking for new talent to represent. If you enjoy fashion; there are many other fields within the industry. You can work in public relations, as a fashion designer, agent, coordinator, art-director, makeup or stylist. These are just a few, they necessarily don’t require formal training but strong connections, sense of hustle and good communication are important.

Q. You have mentioned that one needs the right "attitude" to be a model, what exactly do you mean? Why is it so important, if we hear of supermodels who are difficult to work with?

Attitude can be everything! Part of what makes one attractive is the feeling you give others. People want to be around polite and positive people. This is true in any field.

A model needs to be quick to pick up direction and smart to anticipate how the mood and feel of the shoot or show needs to be. They need to be educated (reading and following magazine and fashion trends) to be aware of what looks and ideas are current. They need to be intuitive to understand the direction and what the client is looking for. They should be confident to ask questions when they don’t know what the client needs. Showing up on time, ready to go is important. Friendliness to everyone on set, including the other models is also a good thing.

These points make for a good attitude which will help get repeat bookings, even if sometimes your look is not perfect for what they are looking for. Sometimes certain people get away with a bad attitude because they are just are irreplaceable. Even then, I believe they likely work less than they could!

Want More Advice?
The Insider's Guide to Modeling is the #1 guide for beginning and established models. If you want to know how to be a model, get free photoshoots, avoid scams and more, this is the Industry #1 Best Seller that MTV calls "The BEST modeling guide on the market!"


Shani Acting

Shani Scherenzel Answers Your Acting Questions

Q. Hi. I am really interested in pursuing my acting career. I don't live in NYC or LA. Do I have to move?

You can live anywhere and do community theatre. If you just want to act and you love it, this can be very satisfying. If you are interested in a career in Television, Film or bigger theatre shows, you will need to be in a larger city that promotes this work. New York and Los Angeles are the biggest markets; there are a lot of people living there aiming for a successful career in acting and competition for work is very tough. It is hard to land work that is being cast in these cities without living there. You will need to build a relationship with casting agents and network where the work is, and NewFaces.com is the best way to do that because it gives you access to agents in teh big cities and worldwide.

Q. Hello! I am a new actor and have been doing a little non-union work. I have been invited to join the ACTRA Union. Is this worth it for me?

What counts is your resume. I would work a while getting non-union work to pad up your resume, if you can. If you live in a really small market, there may not be much union work around and you may be busier doing non-union. However, if you do live in a larger acting city, it would be advisable to join the union. There are many advantages to being in the union. First off, the caliber of work is much better, the union brings you a more professional image and being part of the union tells others that your work is up to professional standards. Union work is controlled, so you will always know how much you will get paid. The union makes sure you are being paid residually which doesn't usually happen with non-union work. As well, being in the union provides you with a large group of people that you can socialize and network with more easily. In the long run you will be able to take advantage of the RRSP holdings, health plan and other benefits that are allowed to union members.

Q. What kind of training is suitable for actors, will I be losing my natural talent by going to acting school?

A common misconception is that acting training will kill any natural inclination towards the craft. This is very far from the truth. Studying can only enhance one's knowledge of the work. Study at a university or college that has a good drama program. Many have studied privately one on one with a trainer for very good results. As an actor, one must always keep learning. You will constantly need to brush up on your skills in auditions, camera work and scene studies. Having other skills such as dance, voice, yoga and stage combat are useful and complimentary to the art of acting.

Training for becoming a good actor is varied. Many popular actors have degrees in various fields. It is important for actors to be well rounded and knowledgeable about a variety of interests. A broad liberal studies background will enhance one's appeal.

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