Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How to be a ShopHQ Model

Have you ever wanted to be a home shopping model? Do you dream of cinching a belt over frumpy, shapeless clothes while smiling vacantly at a camera? Or being slapped around and insulted by overly-enthusiastic beauty vendors? Well, girlfriend, today is your lucky day!

Amy Olson, model supervisor for ShopHQ and former model herself back in the the good ol' Value Vision days, posted this handy-dandy Model 101 video series so we aspiring models can all dare to dream the dream.

Apparently, if you, dear model, don't show up on time, the entire home shopping universe implodes into a state of utter chaos. Literally! The visual staff runs around the building trying to hunt you down--screaming, yelling, and setting their hair on fire. When they can't find you--because you are a bad, bad model--they call the model supervisor who is available any time day or night, 365 days year, including weekends and holidays. A models work is never, ever done y'all! Then she calls the your agent. Then the agent calls the you. Then you are in big trouble, lady! (Now, I'm no logistical expert, but wouldn't it be easier to streamline the process and just call the dang model directly? Just a thought.)

Once you get there (on time, of course), that's when the hard work begins. Models are expected to do it all. You'll have to bring and do your own hair and makeup. Don't expect a bunch of hair stylists and makeup artists fawning all over you and helping you to get all prettied up! Remember, as a model, you'll also have to be ready to go at a moments notice. Schedules are always changing at the last minute. ShopHQ will not be doing another hour-long dinky-doodle show is those thing aren't selling. So be flexible ... and on time.

When you get to the building, go to the security desk. They will take you to the visual office. You must sign in. If you don't sign in, people will think you are late or that you aren't showing up at all, and then thousands of people will have to be called, and the search and rescue crew will be sent out  in order to accurately establish your whereabouts.

Make sure you go to the bathroom and get some water before your show starts. And if you leave the studio, please, for the love of all that's holy, tell someone! If you disappear, the staff have to run all over the building looking for lost models--and they do not have time for that sort of nonsense. If you are modeling beauty products, make sure you talk to the vendor. You must learn how to use the product before you demonstrate it on air!

No cell phones during the show. Seriously. Put them away. Seems like an obvious thing, but apparently this is a big problem. Just remember: no texting and driving, and no texting and modeling! Yes, it can suck to stand around for hours on end in painful high heels in a freezing cold studio, but you must be ready for a live shot at a moments notice, not dinking around on your phone.

Also--and this is particularly important to home shopping modeling--always be ready to make a fool of yourself. You never know when the host or vendor will demand you salsa dance or do a train around the runway. Play along and don't ever let your utter humiliation show on your face. Sell it!

Since he worked as a line producer for years and is now a sales manager, Casey knows live television inside out and from the bottom up. He likes models that are easy to work with, and show up on time. Did I mention show up on time? That seems to be the main home shopping modeling qualification. Keep that in mind.

So why are the models so important?

Let's start at the beginning of how a home shopping product is born. When a buyer loves a product, they write up a proposal and work very, very hard to get it approved by a fancy committee full of bigwigs. Once the buyer gets approval, Casey comes in to talk to the vendor and the buyer to figure out the best way to present the product--from talking points to styling the set. What does this have to do with you, oh dear aspiring home shopping model? Keep your pants on ... we're getting there ...

Casey works with vendors big and small to help them sell the most they can. Sensa--big! Carson Kressley--big! The big ones must be handled with child gloves. On the other hand, Halftee is a small wee-baby company. The CEO, Noelle, started the business in her Utah basement with children running around underfoot. The products were hand-sewn and hand-packed, so they could only produce one hundred at a time. Noelle even drove a truck to Mexico herself to pick up shipments and shipped them out herself. She also bought her own plane ticket out to Minnesota to be on ShopHQ. All this work for only eight minutes on air. Eight. So if you, aspiring home shopping model, don't show up on time, this poor lady's hard work could all be for nothing. (On an ironic side note, Halftee is now on HSN. Go figure.)

As a home shopping model, you will be expected to sell some strange things like shapewear--creepy, goofy shapewear. After years of experience and watching hours of other home shopping networks, Casey can tell when calls go up, when they will stagnate, and how many times to show what’s coming up throughout the hour. For example Slim & Lift does well even though the guest gets out of hand and has to be toned back. You might have also noticed that most of the fashions aren't clothes that you would wear on an everyday basis, but that's just because models aren't the ShopHQ demographic! Silly model.

So do you still think you have the stuff that a successful home shopping model is made of? Can you work in the cold, on heels, and sans cell phone? Can you do your own makeup and hair? Are you willing to make a complete fool of yourself while looking fabulous? But, most importantly, can you be there on time????


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