Sunday, February 3, 2008

Brynda Mara

Psst…wanna buy a modeling agency?

Model Brynda Mara’s agency is officially up for sale, as she has decided to focus her energies instead on writing a self-help book for aspiring models.

“I am writing a book about modeling and how to manage yourself as a model,” she says of her new venture. “The book describes every single type of modeling on the market, and what kind of body you should have if you want to be in that market. It’s all about how you go about getting a job and how you get started. I did research with agencies all over America. The book is going to be really great. There is no book like mine, and it is going to be published sometime this summer.”

Whatever the Rio-born model does, it is done in the name of helping her fellow man (and woman, and child). Her modeling agency, BMNY (which stands for Best Models Near You) took a portion of its proceeds and donated it to the education of poor children in Brazil.

“The whole reason why I started the agency was to help children in Brazil,” she says. “I took some money out of my pocket to keep them in school, and that’s okay with me. However, I can’t keep coming up with five thousand dollars every year to keep them in school.”

The agency, which is website based and focused on getting trade show and photography work for models, is now looking for a loving and caring new owner.

She says, “Best Models Near You could do very well if it had the right people behind it. It would need model managers who can start a team. I am not the right person because the only experience I have is as a model.”

Brynda, who has two college degrees and speaks seven languages, is based in New York.

“The New York modeling market is the number one market,” she says, “especially in America. New York is the greatest, biggest market for modeling. There is so much work. You just have to look for it; you have to go after it, especially if you are self-managing yourself.”

Considering herself “self-managed,” she has free-lanced with a number of commercial agencies; however the majority of commercial and trade show work she scored was as a result of getting it on her own.

“Working for myself as a model, I mainly only booked myself,” she says. “Being a trade show model and traveling all around America as a show model really was great. I did shows for swim suits, for resorts and for bridal. I traveled all over the US full time the whole year, doing that. It’s great because everything is paid for you, the hotel, the food. It’s fun. You get to meet a lot of nice people.

“I could book myself all the time because I am a reliable model and my pictures are exactly what I look like. There was no problem.”

The problem, however, presented itself in the models who desired to be represented by her agency, and the false impressions they harbored as to what they could actually do in the business.

“The models just lie about their height,” she says. “Many of them were not honest. They were not reliable. It was a nightmare. They don’t size themselves properly. They send pictures that are not fresh; the pictures may be three or four years old. I spend the whole day trying to get the models castings and then they don’t show up.”

Her experience booking others is what inspired her to write her book. She had found a major, gaping whole in the expectations of certain models, to the point of serious delusion.

“Models have got to be able to judge themselves right,” she insists. “You’ve gotta be true to yourself. Make sure you look like the modeling jobs that you are looking for. Because you cannot be high fashion if you are not at least 5’10”. It’s not going to happen. It’s just not going to happen. You have to have somewhat of an exotic look if you’re going to be high fashion.

“You can be a trade show model when you’re not 5’10”, but you cannot be a high fashion model. What I am writing in my book is that you have to be straightforward with yourself so that you don’t waste time in the wrong market.”

Brynda herself never had any delusions about what she could do within the modeling business. She says, “I am only 5’7”, not 5’10”. I am not skinny. I could never be a high fashion model, and I don’t really care about being a high-fashion model.

“My modeling career was great because I wanted to pay for my schooling and I didn’t want to work in a restaurant. Modeling gave me quick, easy, not-too-hard working money. I have two degrees, and I got those degrees through modeling, instead of working in a restaurant full-time.”

Unfortunately, her own desire to build a good cause did not match the needs and demands of developing and managing other models.

“When I tried to be a model manager, it was not what I was expecting,” she says. “I tried for three years. I started not so much because I wanted to be a model manager, but because I wanted to help the children in Brazil. People were always asking me for models, and I was always giving them the names of girls I knew for free. So I thought, why not make some money with it? And while making money out of that, helping a good cause?”

She had first been scouted while living in New Jersey, and turned a lark into an entrepreneurial pursuit.

“I participated in a pageant for a sports club,” she recalls. “There was a designer who attended the pageant who really liked me, and he needed a model to do runway shows on TV stations because those models don’t need to be so tall. That’s how I started.”

She continued to build a modeling career, and now she is prepared to share her advice with young aspirants. Her hope is to steer them clear of the pitfalls she sees in the road everyday, and rescue the models who fall into them. She feels that her book will maneuver them around those pitfalls.

“To trust in God that is what we should be doing,” she says. “Don’t panic. It’s very easy to panic. It’s easy to work, and then three or four months later is when you’re going to be getting a check. You never know when you are going to have a job and when you are not. So you worry about how you will be able to pay your rent. But trust in yourself, and in God. Don’t give up. Continue to just work hard and look for new clients.”

It is her hope that her new book, entitled The BNMY Modeling Guide For Every Body, will enlighten with practical advice.

“It’s a modeling guide for every single body type,” she says. “Every single woman can model no matter what size or height they are. It’s just a matter of focusing on the areas that they can work.”

As she turns to the world of writing, she leaves her bittersweet experience in modeling behind her.

“I’m retiring as a model and I’m finishing writing my book,” she says. “I want to help other models. Not every model can do high-fashion, but almost anybody can be a model. There is not enough material out there for models starting out who are not high fashion models.”

Now, at last, there will be.

To take a look at Brynda’s websites, go to and


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home