|Models on Maui Corinne Doherty|
With over 25 years in Modeling, Music, and Management, Eugene Pierson has done it all! From working with Sports Illustrated to Paul Fisher and more, Eugene Pierson is a highly successful, sought after talent manager based out of the spectacular, magical Hawaiian Island known as Maui.
This week, Eugene Pierson gives Celebrity English a practical, keen insider’s view of the modeling industry!
Alex Graham: Please tell me a bit about yourself and Models on Maui.
Eugene Pierson: Me myself, I am a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to entertainment. I like entertainment and I have been to school and I have been through different avenues of the entertainment business. Over 25 years – Music, Modeling, and Management.
Music, Modeling, and Management is the basic. I like modeling because I can be more hands on. And what Models on Maui is basically about is bringing in models from around the world. We bring in models who are interested in doing glamour, world shots, swim suit, lingerie, and lavish attire.
Alex: Do you do the photography yourself?
Eugene: No, actually. I am the liaison between the photographers, artists, and the clients.
Alex: What is the modeling scene like in Hawaii? How does it differ from say LA or New York?
Eugene: Well it’s very modern. When I say ‘modern’ you find a lot of what we call ‘agencies’ that do the basic swimwear, catalog type work. And then you have the big, very lavish exclusive type agencies. You will see Sports Illustrated come over here and work with a lot of the little boutiques. But it’s more hidden under the radar type thing. It depends on where you look and what you are looking for.
So to answer your question, in LA and New York there is more of a market there for different variety and in Hawaii it is basically catalog and swimwear.
Alex: You have seen a lot in the Entertainment Industry, what do you think it takes to become a great model? Or what are the qualities needed that go naturally with the industry?
Eugene: Well that depends. If you really want to get into the industry on the promotion part of it, where you are going to get promotion, where you are going to go big, you are going to have to have a certain stature. It’s a very stereotypical business. If you want be a runway model, you are going to have to be 5’8”. If you are a petite model and do face work, you are going to have to be very accessible and you have to be determined.
You basically have to know the business from the standpoint of where you are going to market yourself and promote.
Alex: And that is where you often come in.
Eugene: Right and that’s what I do.
Alex: As a manager and mentor, how do you go about bring out the best qualities in your models?
Eugene: Well first, you have got to understand and qualify me. You have to understand that it is a business and you have to stress that to the individual. And once they understand that you are in it to help them succeed in business. Then you find out what their strengths and weakness are and you just match them up. So it’s a supply and a demand. But you do get to know them personally. And the best thing, someone always told me, is just be honest with them. If they don’t have the qualities to be a runway model then don’t tell them that. If they are not going to be able to glamour then don’t tell them that. Just be honest with them.
Alex: What do you think is the biggest misconception about the Modeling Industry?
Eugene: That you can make a lot of money doing nothing. A lot of people think that you can just come in, you show up, and you shoot the photos and bang you are a star.
Alex: Leading off that one, what advice would you give a model just starting off?
Eugene: First thing is, look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself: “How serious do you want to be?” You have got to be serious. If you are not serious, don’t do it. Go to College.
Alex: In general, what are typical wages or contracts for someone eager and starting out?
Eugene: Well let’s start at the top. If you are a top model, and let’s just say you want to do runway and you have a top agent like maybe Paul Fisher, what they will do is put together a day rate. And the day rate is set up by how many placements you have. Like a billboard or if you are on a rack job or if you are on the side of wall somewhere. You just judge it by that. So you can make anywhere, if you are a fashion model, anywhere from six figures to two hundred dollars an hour at the lowest.
Alex: Can you tell us about some of your success stories? Or famous people you have worked with?
Eugene: Yeah I have a lot of success that I would consider to be successful but not on a national plain. I have worked with one person in general and that is Paul Fisher. And a lot of the things he has taught me through the business itself, it has helped me develop young and up-incoming models in various industries; not just music and modeling, all kinds of entertainment. I help people to succeed!
The main person that knows of me is Tori Praver – she’s Hawaii’s ‘all girl’. Tori is Maui's best swim wear model ever! She has been big. Tori has her own apparel company here. She has been on Ford. She has been all around the world. So she knows how I work.
Alex: Best way to contact you?
Models on Maui Community Pages
Alex: Is there anything you would like to add?
Eugene: Pretty much I just want to say that, I believe in working with people and as long as people believe in business. I am the guy! I am not it to be your friend, not in it to hold your hand. I am in it to help you win it! That is basically it.
Alex: Why should people select Maui?
Eugene: Well Maui is really not like people think. The reason I would bring people to Maui is so that you can get away from the ‘status quo’ meaning the normal ‘hustle and bustle’. You want to come here and bring family it is a great place to get away.
You want to get away from the 'rush' of New York and the over 'crowdedness' of LA. It’s not as face paced. We call it 'easy living'. But it is a great place for people who understand business.
Alex: Thank you for a great insider’s interview! It was a pleasure!
Eugene: Aloha and God bless. Much success!
Alex: Thank you Eugene! Take care,
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Always happy to meet new people! See you next week!