Indochine's Top Shelf

Party Hosting Opportunities

One area that remains a Pandora’s Box for models starting out in the business is how to deal with their first request to host or emcee at a club or party. I’ve dealt with this many times working with Bria Myles. This is largely a contractual matter, and I’ve included a Sample Appearance Contract with this article for convenience.


One question a lot of models ask is how much they should get paid to host a party. If you’ve garnered enough attention that someone has asked you to host a party, you’ve probably been on the cover of at least one major magazine or been prominently featured in a popular music video. That being said, I think starting price for this sort of thing should be at least $500 (if this was 5 years ago, I would say higher). If you’ve been in the game awhile and been on multiple magazine covers and in several big music videos, I don’t think you should get paid anything less than $1,500.


For some reason, hosting requests are one area where people tend to be very flakey. I can’t tell you how many times Bria has had someone put in a request for her to host an event, only to back out later. (I think guys use event hosting as a ploy to interact with models they like.) Often, by the time the promoter backs out, significant time and energy has already been expended. For this reason and to weed out the flakes, always request at least half of your fee 2-3 weeks prior to the proposed engagement date. The money should be wired to your or your manager’s account. Until that money hits your account, keep contact to a minimum with the promoter. If possible, models should have an agent or manager act on their behalf until the last possible minute in these negotiations, for the reason I mentioned above.

The balance must be paid to you before you step foot in the venue. All of this should be spelled out in the contract.

Pre-Hosting Formalities

Sometimes a promoter will ask you to make radio appearances the day you arrive in town to promote the event. Make sure you find this out beforehand, so you can determine if you want to charge extra for this service. Also, make sure you find out if you are going to be hosting with any other models, and be sure to demand top billing. Promoters are notorious for adding other “talent” at the last minute. Next thing you know, you’re receiving equal billing with a B or C-list urban model on the fliers. For this reason, you should also reserve the right to pre-approve any and all promotional materials before they are printed or posted on the web. Again, this should all be covered in your contract.


Hosting is limited to two hours floor time. During this two hours your duties as model could entail emceeing, greeting and mingling with fans, and signing autographs (you should bring something people can get signed if you have the chance - e.g., print out 50 nice 8x10s). There is nothing wrong with interacting with fans, but remember you are there to host, not to party.

You can make additional money working with the event photographer who takes photos. Let's say the event photographer is charging $10 for someone to take a photo with you and have it printed and signed. You can ask the photographer to go 50/50 on that.

Transportation & Hotel

If you are hosting out of town, the promoter should provide professional transportation services (limo) or pay additional fees for your taxi service around town. Under no circumstances should you be forced to ride around with the club promoter or anyone else associated with the event after you get to the airport. This is yet another hustle guys use to meet models. Bria actually cancelled an appearance after she found out she would have to take a two-hour ride with some club promoter to her hotel once she arrived in town. Fortunately, she had already been paid half her fee.

Likewise, while the promoter should pay for your hotel or lodging, you should actually book the room and get reimbursed. What you want to avoid is a situation where, because the promoter booked your hotel, they have a keycard with access to your room.

Finally, what of being able to bring a friend along? Well, if you're Melyssa Ford you can demand that the promoter pay for a friend to come along and a hotel room for two. For less prominent models, this can be a sticking point. Demanding that the promoter pay for air fare and lodging of an additional person can increase the fee by $500 easily, which is enough for many promoters to walk away. You may have to pay for this yourself, or split the fee with the promoter.

One of the classier fliers I've seen for a party Bria hosted with Drake...

Bookmark and Share


Liability for Misappropriating Model's Image for Commercial Purpose

NOTE: This article has been significantly edited as of January 24, 2010.

Just a little comment about the recent Judge Judy case where it was ruled that a club promoter who used an urban model’s picture on promotional fliers was liable for $5,000 in damages to the model.

First of all, it’s important to note Judge Judy is sitting in small claims court/arbitration, so that case has no real precedential value (e.g., no other courts will rely on that ruling as the basis for future rulings).

However, the general premise of that case is true – you can’t use someone’s image for a commercial purpose, which means to make money, without his or her written consent. That’s why 50 Cent is suing World Star Hip Hop. They used his image on their website in such a way that it looked like he was affiliated with their site without his written consent. This gave them greater traffic and more ad revenues, which is a commercial purpose.

So what does this mean for your average club promoter, graphic designer, blogger, etc? It means you should get permission from the copyright holder of an image and/or the model before putting it on a flier or otherwise using it to make money. This recent Judge Judy episode will likely inspire more models to act on this type of misappropriation more often.

• What are the damages?

In the Judge Judy case she slapped the club promoter with the maximum allowable damages in small claims - $5000. In reality, damages could be difficult to prove and might have been less.

In California, for example, “The injured party may recover (1) the greater of $ 750 or actual damages, and (2) any profits attributable to the unauthorized use and not accounted for in computing damages. In establishing profits, the burden is on the injured party to prove the gross revenue, and on the violator to prove deductible expenses. The injured party may also recover punitive damages, and the prevailing party is entitled to attorneys' fees and costs.” (C.C. § 3344(a).) That's a lot to digest, but the reality is that it would be difficult for a model prove what revenues a club made due to using her image on a flier without hiring a forensic accountant. Also, since there are no attorneys allowed in small claims court, there would be no legal fees recoverable, although some filing fees might be allowed. So that might mean just $750 in damages for the club promoter (in California).

• Exception for Newsworthy Matters or Matters of Public Interest

One important exception to the invasion of privacy/right of publicity claim is for newsworthy matters. You can use a model or celebrities image on your website if it is associated with a newsworthy matter or a matter of public interest. That is how and Media Take Out get away with using those pics of Beyonce, Melyssa Ford, Ahsanti, etc. to drive traffic to their site without being sued. That’s also one reason why informational blurbs almost always accompany my model postings, as opposed to it just being straight photos.

However, even when the matter is not newsworthy, there’s some evidence the right to privacy might be slightly reduced on the internet. Enter United States v. Gines-Perez, 214 F. Supp. 2d 205, 225 (D. Puerto Rico 2002). In that case the court held: "[P]lacing information on the information superhighway necessarily makes said matter accessible to the public, no matter how many protectionist measures may be taken, or even when a web page is 'under construction.'" "[I]t strikes the Court as obvious that a claim to privacy is unavailable to someone who places information on an indisputably, public medium, such as the Internet, without taking any measures to protect the information."

In terms of copyright (the photographer's cause of action for unauthorized use), which is different from invasion of privacy (the model's cause of action for unauthorized use) the Fair Use Doctrine may permit news related use without permission as well. "The Fair Use Doctrine is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 107 and states that “the fair use of a copyrighted work..for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. Fortunately for bloggers, most of what they do is, at the very least, criticism or comment.” (See, Miller, Bloggers, Is Your Content Safe Under The “Fair Use” Doctrine?, BlackWeb 2.0,)

The bottom line is that using images of models on fliers or the internet for a commercial purpose and without their written consent is a bad business practice in general and can expose you to liability. The key trigger is whether the use is commercial in nature; that is, are you using it to make money or promote a product or service. If so, then chances are, whether it is the internet or just a flyer, you will be liable to the model for damages should s/he decide to sue.


Bookmark and Share