Wednesday, July 29, 2009

IMTA: scam? window of opportunity? blessing?

We were fortunate enough to attend the IMTA awards this past week that where held at The Hilton Hotel on 53rd and 6th Avenue.

This being our first physical interaction with IMTA gave us a lot of mixed signals and different opinions, this is how our evening started and how it developed:

When we arrived we were taken to a back room with an open bar, we saw some models, bookers and other fashion industry insiders. Our first impression was this is quite the small award ceremony compared to VH1 fashion awards (if you remember those). Talking to presenters that were giving out the awards for model of the year (female and male) we saw how they were discovered during this convention.

We took a walk through out the halls and saw aspiring models, and other young people that think that they can model when the reality is completely far from the truth.

They escort us to the VIP section at the dinner, and to our surprise we see around 3,000 guests at this dinner, everything from scouts, bookers, agents, photographers, coreographers, models, aspiring models, aspiring actresses, parents, guests...WOW it blew our mind away the great impact this convention has on the American culture and the whole world for that matter.

At our table we had the pleasure to meet some models that are signed with Whilemina and Elite Model Management, they actually got discovered at this event a few years go.

We ran into bookers from M4 Model Management in Germany, Ford Models, Elite, IMG, Major, Whilemina, Beatrice in Paris..well a lot of important names in the industry. Surrounded by tables with major players in the scene and talking to them apparently it all comes down to the final rounds of MODELS OF THEY YEAR (female and male).

The ceremony starts, there are some performances by some young aspiring musicians, which I have to say they were NOT good at all, except for this phillipino brother and sister who blew our minds away with their voices...young men aspiring to be the next Justin Timberlake, or the next Yianni (famous piano player in case you do not know!)

We can see how IMTA is a business, they feed off of the dreams of hundres, THOUSANDS of young men and women around the globe with the "opportunity" of getting their foot into stardom. The scence of "scam" comes to our heads...but the slowly we start seeing how 1 out of 500 actually has potential, and is that 1 person that makes a complete difference, either if he or she is a model or actress.

By my left side I see this older gentleman sitting down enjoying his cheesecake, and slowly I notice how every agent in the room waved or came by to pay his/hers respects. This was no other than a huge producer for TV and MOVIES that is there with the sole purpose of seeing who is the female/male model of the year and also to see what potential there is for the acting division competition. Now this competition for actors is quite impressive, the most impressive category was the kids division...the kids that won their categories...WOW!! You could see an 8 year old little boy nailing to perfection his role, this is what this gentleman was looking for.

We started talking to this producer which we will call AL, he started telling us about how he has been attending this conventions for 23 years and has discovered talent for famous TV shows and BLOCKBUSTER MOVIES, he did not give away names as for confidentiality of his clients, but I can see this guy is not joking around. Even though IMTA is a well oiled machine that charges around $5,000 dlls. to each contestant to participate, it is what they claim to be...A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY.

Now after numerous awards for dancers, singers, actors...the awards for MODELS OF THE YEAR start, this is what we are here for...with the question mark in our this for real or is this just a scam?

Well ladies and gentleman its as real as it gets, we had the opportunity to see amazing talent walking down that stage, faces we will see in NUMERO, V MAN, VOGUE, COSMOPOLITAN, NYLON, GQ to mention a few, gracing runways of Paris, Milano, New York...I mean the talent they brought to this competition took my breath away, I got to see FIRST ROW how young men and women from all over the country came as an aspiring model and left as an agency model.

IMTA is definitely an opportunity to shine and learn, do not miss the chance if you have it.

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