Well It is The Silly Season...
It happens all the time, but this Christmas season has seen almost all the Facebook "Modelling" pages and many of the Model contact websites inundated with "casting calls" for "models" which are no more than thinly veiled recruitment ads for escorts, in Australia certainly, but mostly from Asia and America.
As seems a symptom of the times, these great, once in a lifetime opportunities to be a world famous star, ( no doubt to pose for an international award winning photographer! ) offer ridiculously low pay rates ( or nothing at all but "exposure" ) for amounts of work which could not possibly be completed in a week, rather than the time it takes for a "photo session", and "qualifications", audition materials, and dedication beyond that of a trainee nuclear physicist.
One ad which particluarly caught my eye, posted in many places, was offering the princely sum of $400. .. you got to work from home (?) provide "evidence" of a certain amount of "work" daily, fit very specific ethnic, physical, body measurement and colouring requirements...
oh I better make it clear: $ 400 per MONTH for working for an escort agency based in Chicago, (advertising in Australia remember) which the advertiser/recruiter claimed he did not work for, allthough he was a "former" owner.
What is most disturbing however, is the number of either gullible, desperate, blind, or "don't give a shit" models who jump at these opportunities.
These casting calls are always met with a constant stream of "models" desperately crying "pick me pick me!"
Now I know that each and every one of these model contact sites and every photographer is inundated with desperate unemployables thinking they have what it takes to be a model ( broken chewed nails, tattoos, excess fat, complete ignorance of what modelling is, and an utter aversion to getting a job seem to be prime requisites these days)
I myself get several emails each week from totally unsuitable girls , (and quite often men with muscles in all the right places...or so they assure me,) and I don't even advertise on any of these sites.
Although I only work within a 100km radius of my home near Sydney, I regularly get emails from as far afield as Perth, Rockhampton in Qld, New Zealand and California, and New York, as well as Russia...all from damsels begging me to photograph them (because it would be great for MY portfolio) in a great location they have not far from their home!
Do, or even can , these people read? Do they care what kiind of situation they get themselves into? Does it matter that the photogapher they are applying to is great, good, bad, indifferent, or even knows enough about photography to know which button to push, or that you actually need a data card in your camera...in the old days the number of "photographers" without film in their cameras was legendary...but girls still haven't learned.
Well good luck to you girls: I fear that you may indeed become famous, but for very different reasons than you imagine.