Since I started to model in SL, I often hear people saying “You will not be paid by Lindens but you will be paid by outfits” or “Payment will be your outfits”. Hmmmmm can outfits be payments?
The answer is a big NO. Outfits are what you need to walk in a show and it is not, it is never and it will not ever be a payment.
Why? Some people might argue “but you get free clothes”. No we don’t. Because those outfits we get to walk in a show is like your desk, your telephone, your pen if you were an office worker. We need them to do our job. What if we say “ok I will walk in the show but I don’t need the outfits” then we can’t work in that show, right? What if your employer came to you one day and said “your payment for this month is your desk”, would you think “yaaaay! I got a desk for my payment!”?
Outfits are NOT payments, period.
I do understand and accept that a new agency has to do a show without any payment by the participating designers because it has to show what it can do. In this case, it’s a “sample”. Even in real life, the first issue of magazines are usually free and the publisher will “borrow” advertising visuals from advertisers, of course, after getting their permission to use it in the first issue. It’s the same thing. This first issue is a “sample” so advertisers can see what the new magazine will be like and decide if they want to advertise in it or not. But from the second issue, advertisers will have to pay for the ad pages.
It costs money to promote what you sell but that money is necessary to pay for the work that goes into creating any promotional tool, which in this case, is the show. As an Agency Director or Agency Owner, if you cannot negotiate a show to be paid that is your issue and it should not be taken out on the models because it is your job to represent the models.
However, if you “fail” to negotiate a price, then the least you can do is let the models know beforehand that the show will not be paid at the time of casting. Then it will be up to the models if they still want to walk in the show even if they will not be paid to do so. And in this case, at least you are silently admitting that you “failed” to negotiate a price.
But what I really hate about the phrase “outfits are your payment” is that who ever is saying this is trying to legitimize his or her position by saying that a payment will be made but it will be made in the form of outfits the models will receive because……..(go back to the second paragraph and I repeat) outfits are NOT payments.
So if you are new to SL modeling and you hear this phrase, you know that this is not true and that it is only a big excuse made by somebody who does not want to admit his/her failure to negotiate a price for the models he/she represents.