“This is nowhere near Nowheresville, and it’s certainly not outer space, it’s Los Angeles.” Those lines were spoken during an actor’s monologue here at IMTA, where hundreds of scenes and monologues like that one would be performed by actors while their modeling counterparts walked the fashion runways. Contestants in both acting and modeling categories give it their all in front of agents and casting directors, during what is the largest modeling and acting convention of its kind, held for a week each January in Los Angeles and every July in New York City.
The week typically begins on a Sunday, as groups of models and actors hoping to break into “the business” file in to the host hotel to begin a journey that will include competitions, seminars, and meetings. Parents are also encouraged to attend and sit in on topics such as “What Parents Need to Know,” “The Business of Show Business,” and “The Runway to Success.” It’s all designed to give the contestants every possible edge, build up their confidence, and make them stronger competitors.
IMTA stands for International Modeling and Talent Association, and its appeal is international, indeed. One international supporter is Barbizon Modeling Centers, and its members have long enjoyed attending IMTA conventions, simply because it is the easiest way to accomplish so much in one place and in such a short period of time. “How else can you put yourself in front of agents and casting directors from New York, Los Angeles, Europe, and Asia without ever leaving the building?” says Debra Hall, President of Barbizon International. “It really is like one-stop shopping. Everything you need to succeed in the modeling or acting business is right here. The people, the information, the opportunities — they’re all at your fingertips.”...
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