10 questions for model-agent Billy Yip

models of model-agent Billy Yip

The second guest in our “10 Questions for…” series is model-agent Billy Yip. He works with models as Jooty Huynh, Brandy Grace, Katherine Thom, Michelle Yi and Elisa Kim. Read and learn about life in ‘the business’…

Asian-Sirens: Why and how did you enter the model-business?
Billy Yip: Interest in the import scene and boredom with my day job. I was miserable at work two years ago and decided I would try to enter the scene as a participant in some fashion. Honestly I was not certain that I would start working with models when I started. My friends at the time were more interested in the actual tuning of cars and they thought that maybe I could put my big mouth to use and try to find models and sponsors. I succeeded finding models but we still don’t have a car for show yet. If anyone has some cars for us to consider working with email me at billy@jooty.com haha.Asian-Sirens: Which models do you admire and why?
Billy Yip: Beyond the models I work with I admire models that have confidence, focus, and drive. I think it is important that people have an idea of what they want to accomplish; I want the work to interest all parties.

As for naming names there are a few that come to mind. Here’s three.

Francine Dee. I have never met Francine but I have friends that know her though. Every import model owes Francine a debt of gratitude; Francine made the import model scene possible for all that have followed.

Carolyn Savage. Carolyn is truly a remarkable person in real life and in the scene. Her drive and enthusiasm are amazing. I’ve been fortunate to know her for a year now and she has grown so much during that time. Care and her work with her manager Barry are a great example of what a good and shared business relationship and vision can accomplish.

Kimloan Duong. I can’t help but respect what Kim has done in the industry as a model/manager and leader of her agency PMGirls. I can argue with the business model Kim has in place and she is a class act. She is truly a business professional.

Asian-Sirens: Are there models who expect the impossible from you? (please elaborate if so! 😉
Billy Yip: Honestly I haven’t. Regardless I believe for the most part that people in general have a fairly good idea of what they can accomplish and just need help accomplishing those goals. I don’t think anything is truly impossible; it’s just a matter of time, effort, and dedication necessary to achieve the goal(s).

Asian-Sirens: What makes a good model?
Billy Yip: Honesty, open mindedness, self-confidence, and respect for one and all. I can see how people might think this sounds cliché but it is the truth. You have to be honest and respectfully of yourself and the people around you. My friends, that are mainly creative talent and not models, and I talk as much about how key respect and business savvy is as much as we talk about creative ideas involving the model talent. A good model has to be confident and comfortable with themselves on and off camera, be able to balance life and work (and for some school as well), and be aware of the business side of the scene and the entertainment industry. This I think makes up the one’s image and as the cliché goes image is everything.

Asian-Sirens: Is there an Asian model you really would like to work with?
Billy Yip: There are definitely a few that I can think of but for me I think it is more important that the model, she does not have to be Asian though, thinks that there is something I can help them with. I try not pitch working with talent; I’ve found the process tends to be time consuming and a tad counterproductive. I have great people that I work with in front of the camera and behind the scenes already and it is important to me that I do the best job possible to do them justice. I think it is critical that I devote time to the time and effort necessary to help the people I work with succeed. In my opinion if I do not believe in someone enough to devote time to them then it is better that I don’t work with that person at all. It would be an injustice.

Asian-Sirens: Did you ever screw up an assignment?
Billy Yip: Luckily for me no. I’ve seen plenty of work placed on the back burner though. But those are things that we will get back to one day hopefully.

Asian-Sirens: Did you ever get intimate with a model you worked with?
Billy Yip: No. I am strongly dedicated to my core three (Jooty, Brandy, and Katherine) because they are such great people but none of that is intimate. The risks are too great and I don’t want jeopardize the individual relationships.

Asian-Sirens: Can you give us an impression of a typical day on the job?
Billy Yip: A lot of email and usually a fair amount of phone activity. Besides emails about work and proposals I receive a decent amount of email and correspondence from creative talent we work with or are pitching proposals to work with us. The group, the models and our creative team, devote a fair amount of time considering and analyzing everything that is presented to us. If someone takes the time to write us we will take the time to look into the opportunity.

Asian-Sirens: What are your future ambitions as a model-agent?
Billy Yip: I’d love to expand the roster but I will not expand for the sake of just expanding. My creative partners and I would like to work with more people and if the opportunity is right I would be glad to take on the challenge. I would like to find someone that can help with management but I caution folks that the job of an agent is not fun and games and is not as glamorous as you might think. Photographers tend to have more fun and I personally would like to work with an agent that has experience. Tough challenge but if you are interested in applying feel free to email me. 😉

My goals for 2006? Re-launching Brandy and Jooty’s websites are high on my list. Katherine has our friends at the Icons Network to help with her website so I am more than comfortable that Katherine’s site is in good hands. I have been fortunate to find a talent that will take on the challenges of the re-launches and help me launch a few more ventures as well. There is an agency site in the works and we would like to tackle a few more creative endeavors as well. We’ll see how things develop and I’ll keep you posted.

Asian-Sirens: Any tips for aspiring models?
Billy Yip: As I mentioned before be honest, open minded, confident in yourself, and respect one and all. Surround yourself with people with experience and try your best to work with quality professionals. Never compromise your integrity or try to be something you are not. Be comfortable with your inner circle on and off camera; it’s key that you work well together to succeed. Remember your success is a group effort and you can never have enough friends. The more popular you become the most important your inner circle will be. Don’t sweat things too much. You will reach your goal when the time is right.

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0 thoughts on “10 questions for model-agent Billy Yip”

  1. And how about any tips for aspiring agents or suggestions for what kind of jobs are available for people who’d like to get into the model-business?

  2. Been busy folks but I’m back. I’m Ameriican born Chinese and Jooty is a better bilingual than I 😉 To answer Nate’s question my suggestion is to work with someone you enjoy working with and try to learn the ropes from another agent if possible. Otherwise try learning the scene helping out at shows if you can. Hopefully that helps.

  3. Hey Robin. I was away again for a few days hehe but I have returned again. About having an Asian heritage I think being Asian myself likely helps. At least it provides for some cool cultural jokes at times and once or twice helped break the ice.

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