Updated: Feb 20, 2018
"Booking Out" means telling your agency that you're unavailable for bookings or castings on certain days. Agents get super annoyed when models & actors neglect to book out and this is something we remind our consulting clients often. Cristina and I swear there must be some Newton's Law of modeling that the moment you book your vacation (with non-refundable airfare) your agent will be calling with a great opportunity you're missing while you're away. Happens. Every. Time. In fact, wouldn't you know I had already booked a big two day shoot in January that I'd have to cancel. So it's important to let them know beforehand so you don't get on their naughty list.
The days after my diagnosis were particularly weepy and I was in a generally sour mood. I didn't really want to have to tell my agents in person that I had cancer, but then they called to tell me I owed them a commission and that I also needed to pick up a check. Usually the agency commission is taken directly out of my paycheck, but there are some instances where a client will send them my check in my name in it's entirety and the agency will hold it hostage until I pay them the commission they are owed. I am always happy to pay them their fee- we cannot survive as models without quality, reputable representation working on our behalf.
Since there isn't really a big demand for bald & bandaged models these days, I knew I had to book out indefinitely.
Agents can be known for being a bit cold and impatient- even snobby. Luckily my four year old sidekick, Darby, was at my side that day and she can make just about anyone smile. We walked into the glossy agency office and I asked to speak with my agents. As I opened my mouth to say the words, the tears came pouring and so did the kindness and empathy that I felt from them. Nancy, the owner of the agency, took me in her arms and held me while I cried. She reassured me there would still be a place for me once was healthy and ready to get back to work. And who knows, maybe the knew pixie cut I'll be donning by then will give me an edge in the Dallas market.
As we exited the building, tears still wet on my face, it was great to have a warm hand to hold. Darby and I walked across the street to Starbucks and treated ourselves. We mugged for a selfie just to try and make ourselves feel better. It worked.