Tyra Banks — America’s Next Top Model

It’s been said that the entertainment industry is rife with scammers and con artists. Usually, however, you don’t expect the scammer to be one of your idols.

According to Michael Fomkin, CEO of VIP Ignite Live, that’s exactly what seems to be happening with Tyra Banks.

Let’s take a look at America’s Next Top Model.

According to Cycle 1 winner Adrianne Curry, despite being promised a contract with Revlon on the show, Revlon revealed to her that they never intended to use the winner in ads and instead offered her $15,000 to model makeup to a room of 10 executives.

She was “crushed” but still grateful to be compensated.

So, is that a scam?

Part of the casting process for a client is choosing the person who will represent them (the model) in a campaign. They chose not to use her…but they compensated her…so although she was disappointed, she was not scammed.

Imagine this. You win America’s Next Top Model. Obviously, you and Tyra are going to be besties, she’s going to manage you and make sure you’re successful, right?

According to Tyra Banks, “When a girl wins, it’s up to her to work with the modeling agency she’s partnering with. A lot of girls, some of them just want the crown. It’s disheartening, like, “I just won and I’m about to go back to my hometown and get a boyfriend and get me a baby.”

But this is not a pageant. Others are hungry to work and do get jobs, mostly internationally. This is a global business. On American Idol, the guy or girl wins and their song is played on the radio around the world, whereas on Top Model, the girl may win and then book Spanish Elle or Japanese Vogue, or South African Harper’s Bazaar. These are huge magazines, but they are regional, so it’s difficult to feel her success.

According to Michael Fomkin, CEO of VIP Ignite, “When you are in the entertainment industry, it is important for you to define success. For Denzel Washington, success is landing the next blockbuster movie. For a new model, it’s getting that first tear sheet.”

At the end of the day, ANTM is a reality television show… and Tyra Banks is a businesswoman. In 2012, she completed a nine-week course at Harvard University’s Owner/President Management non-degree extension program. The Tyra Banks you see on television is a brand.

At VIP Ignite, we work with several contestants of America’s Next Top Model.

One of them tells a story that his agent sternly advised him against auditioning. He didn’t listen, but now he’ll tell you that while it was an experience he learned a lot from, he doesn’t talk about the show when working with clients because it adds zero credibility to his brand.

As Alycia Kaback, co-founder of VIP Ignite tells the talent that she scouts and mentors, you’re getting into show business. That means that you have to treat your career as a business. The core of who you are doesn’t change…but you have to take decisive actions because you are the CEO of your career.

One thing that any CEO will tell you, and that Tyra Banks exemplifies not only on Top Model, but also as a personal branding guest lecturer at Stanford University, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with a team.

Are you ready for more success as a model or actor? Join us for our next live, virtual audition… join our team and the sky’s the limit!

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