MODELING AND THE
The October 2009 Perspective
Tampa Bay Modeling
far, one of the most controversial articles ever written by C. A. Passinault.
A must-read for any professional model, or anyone in business today!"
Tampa model Monica Stevens, Advanced Model
Authors note: Please note that much of
the information in this article consists of my opinions, and a lot of
information which I have studied. I read, and comprehend, a lot, in a
wide variety of different industries and markets. As such, I will not
be citing any references, or sources, as much of the following information
comes from memory, experience, and educated conclusions drawn from comprehensive
analysis. These are my opinions, and should be accepted as such. Take
it as you will, and please, keep an open mind.
In September of 2008, the U.S.
Economy teetered on collapse as a severe economic recession, brought about
by corruption in the housing lending industry, and outright corporate
greed, became the great recession.
The U.S. government responded by throwing in a lot of taxpayer money after
bad money and debt, investing in many of the same flawed businesses and
people who were responsible for the economic crisis. Although the money
did help, it was not as cost-effective as investing in new business, and
which investing in the consumer market, would have been.
The result of this, a panic move on the parts of both the Bush and the
Obama administrations, we now have a national debt which is unequaled
in history, with a payoff which is simply not possible in our lifetimes.
Higher taxes and crippling inflation are sure to follow, too. For the
first time, there is a real chance that America could become a third-world
country in the future, and, in all honesty, it is well-deserved. It's
just too bad that all of us may have to pay for the mistakes, and the
crimes, of others. Most of us already are.
Of course, the job market really suffered. As of October, 2009, the economy
is showing signs of recovery, but there is still a big problem. The problem
is our job market. With unemployment topping 10% in many parts of the
country, millions out of work, and tight credit markets undermining the
ability of businesses to operate, the reduced cash flow in the consumer
market is sure to hamper the recovery of the economy. Unemployment is
expected to further increase through next year, and many analysts predict
it will top sometime in 2010. Reports from some analysts suggest that
it will take years for the job market to recover, and I even read one
report that stated that we would have to generate 500,000 new jobs a month
in order to get the job market back on its feet in the next two years!
500,000 jobs would be an explosive job growth rate which this country
has not seen since the early 1950's, and it is doubtful that we will ever
see this kind of job generation anytime soon. Do you think that Obama
is going to make this happen? Oh no he can’t (in my opinion)! I’m
sorry, but pad the numbers any way that you like, and spin it, baby, but
a ton of minimum wage, blue collar jobs should hardly qualify, or be counted,
as “new jobs”. How many of us will be able to pay our bills
on pay which amounts to little more than an insult?
There are jobs out there. It’s just that there is cutthroat competition
to land those jobs. It is said that for every job opening, there are just
over six applicants. The key is to beat out the other five, and the five
who have their act together the least are not going to get the job. The
question remains, however, are the jobs worth landing?
It is doubtful, in my opinion, that any of us will ever be able to make
the money that we once made ever again, unless we are very good at what
we do, and know what to do. The economic crisis is so severe, in my opinion,
that things will probably never be the same again.
Simply put, there is no longer any room for laziness and ignorance in
the workforce. It’s survival of the fittest. Many are not going
to make it. This said, this is also an opportunity for new types of business,
and new ways of doing things. For those of us who are educated and smart,
these are times of opportunity, not despair.
Which brings us to modeling and the economy.
Well, I may be getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk a little about
the new consumer economy, particularly this new “discount”
mind-set that everyone seems to have now, and the sloppy, panicked response
from the retail industry to the new economic realities, which made things
even worse. We are all such a bunch of cowards, really. We don’t
have the confidence in our experience to keep our eye on the ball and
play it through, and we panic when we should be thinking, and leading.
The American consumer, as well as many retailers, are a victim of their
Now, I am not talking about myself. I think for myself. I don’t
go out and live beyond my means, and actually live a lifestyle which is
quite humble (although my car wasn’t cheap... I like cars. Can you
blame me?). It’s called being smart. I’m not insecure, and
don’t go out living on credit, and trying to look wealthy when I
am not. Sure, I am wealthy, but not in the way that you might conventionally
measure wealth. I invest in ideas. I invest in my own education (and not
any piece of paper known as a “degree” which supposedly qualifies
me. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many college graduates out
there with doctorate and masters degrees, who don’t have a clue
about what they are doing- one of the reasons that they are now unemployed).
I invest in my career. In mind, spirit, self-esteem, true friends, and
intellectual investment, I am one of the wealthiest people in the Tampa
Bay area. Many of my investments are now paying off, too. I am able to
change markets, and inspire new directions in business. I own such a rich
portfolio of top web sites right now, that I am extremely influential.
Oh, yes, and while on the subject of having a voice and an audience, I
am also one of the most qualified. I’m certainly not Mr. Joe Schmo
blogger who can’t string together simple sentences into effective
ideas. I know what I am doing, and I know what I am talking about. This
is possibly the reason, also, why you found the Tampa Bay Modeling web
site, and why you are now reading this.
So, you continue driving your BMW, which isn’t paid off, and live
in your really nice condo, which isn’t paid off. You worry about
jobs and paying bills. I’ll continue to write, work, inspire markets,
and live within my means. I’ll also continue to observe, learn,
and express myself, regardless of what anyone says, thinks, or does. This
is the reason that I will make it, and I will make a difference, while
most will not.
Ok, now on to the retail mess.
When the economy was tanking in late 2008, I did some work with large
retail businesses. I was stunned by how they were reacting to the economic
mess, and it was obvious that they were panicking. Deep discounts were
being offered, across the board, months before Black Friday, undermining
any potential incentives that could be gained when Black Friday finally
came. Blood was in the water, and the consumer took advantage of it. It
was almost like an orgy of discounts, and it made the situation worse.
With most of their inventory joining the ranks of the loss leader, profits
were reduced despite the increase of customers looking for bargains. It
became worse, too. The consumer became acclimated to discounted retail,
and soon the perception was that every business was desperate for business,
and that the customer could pretty much pick the prices that they were
willing to pay.
Was it any surprise that Black Friday was one of the worst in decades,
and that many retail businesses, who traditionally come out of the red
in the holiday shopping season, soon went out of business? Retailers panicked,
offered discounts that were too deep, too early, and undermined Black
Friday. Ever hear of Circuit City? Did you ever think that you would see
a world without the names that you grew up with?
It’s even worse than that, too. Now, many retailers are admitting
that they made mistakes (Gee, I figured that out last year when they were
making them), and that now their number one fear is that they will never
be able to bring prices back to what they were; making it more difficult
for them to make a profit.
Expect more business failures, soon.
Now, too, you have this discount economy which is now the accepted norm
for consumers. I guess that we are all a bunch of people struggling to
make it, and everything can now be had at a discounted price because businesses
cannot “afford” to turn down any business.
I’ll tell you now. Any business which does not turn a profit, and/
or which does not lead to cost-effective business, is bad business, and
should be turned down. If you are working yourself to death, and losing
money with every deal, how is that making it, at all? The only thing that
you will be doing is spinning your wheels, and working yourself deeper
into debt while you spend money to do business. While you work, you keep
yourself from finding more profitable business because you’re wasting
your time with bad business!
On a side note, I became really annoyed with how some businesses were
advertising. I’d roll my eyes every time that I heard a commercial
starting with “In this economy”, or “Here is our economic
stimulus package!”. Those commercials were so patronizing, and I
don’t think that many people realized how insulting that they were.
Sure, they try to come off as emphatic, but the ad people who came up
with those ads were jerks. I especially liked how a lot of businesses
were all over the consumer when the government dispensed those stimulus
checks. Remember those? I wish that the government would do that again,
instead of giving money to banks and big businesses (especially the banks)
which hoard the money, and don’t use it like they are supposed to.
Those commercials practically begged for the consumer to spend their stimulus
money with them. It was pathetic marketing which only seemed to underline
just how desperate the businesses were. Do you think that the consumer
respects a business which loses their sense of dignity?
So........ What does all of this have to do with modeling?
If you look at the modeling industry today, you see the discount mind-set
everywhere. It’s like a cancer, devaluing market value and hurting
I see it now. I’ve seen it firsthand (I’ve positioned myself
several times in places where I had access to lots of valuable inside
information). In the summer of 2008, you could see the storm coming. Everyone
who I talked to, in different industries, told me that business was slow.
I talked to casting directors at television stations and art directors
who cast modeling jobs, and they all told me that things were bad. These
were the best professionals in the Tampa advertising industry, too. Business
was down, businesses were paying less to advertise, when they bothered
to, and, more often than not, many businesses simply refused to invest
anything into advertising.
And we wonder why we saw so many commercials last year which were reruns,
or which used non-professionals who worked for nothing.
Business 101 teaches us that any business which does not advertise and
market itself cuts its own throat. You have to advertise. Of course, with
fewer people buying anything, many businesses elected to cut back on advertising
until they could find a balance between expenditure of money on advertising
and a return on that investment with actual sales. They knew that they
had to advertise. It was merely a matter of finding a new balance in an
uncertain, unstable economic environment.
I talked to a lot of advertising professionals; the same professionals
who went to the modeling and talent agencies to find models and talent
to fill the best jobs in the industry (and, yes, these people also told
me that they were sick of dealing with modeling and talent agencies, and
that they were open to saving time and money by booking models and talent
without going through agencies, but that’s information for another
article here on Tampa Bay Modeling). They told me that they had always
considered advertising to be recession-proof, but that they had never
seen it this bad. Of course, the modeling and talent agencies were impacted,
too. I recall visiting a Tampa modeling and talent agency, years ago,
before this mess, and seeing up to eight bookers working, and phones ringing
constantly. During a recent visit at the same agency, I observed two bookers
working, and hardly a call during the time that I was there.
Dear God. We open our eyes and see things for what they are. Help us all.
Yes, people, it’s bad. It’s REALLY bad, and it’s going
to be that way for some time. Many businesses who give models jobs, and
even many modeling agencies, are in deep trouble, and some of them will
not be around much longer (I’m looking at Macy’s right now,
which, in my opinion, could fail at some point soon) unless they shape
up and cut the fat. I’ve already witnessed casting directors and
art directors lose their jobs, and these professionals were among the
best in the business.
Now, I don’t want to scare anyone. I don’t want to discourage
models, or anyone else, in the modeling industry. I also do not want to
see modeling and talent agencies go out of business because the modeling
job market is too slow, or any businesses which normally would have jobs
for models, go out of business. In the short term, things are bad. In
the long term, however, this could be a good thing. This could be a time
There ARE modeling jobs out there. It’s just that there are fewer
modeling jobs, and far more competition for those jobs. Only the professional
models who invest in their modeling careers, and who have strong portfolios
and modeling tools, such as composite cards, are going to make it. Only
the models who have the most experience, and have the widest range of
marketable looks, will book those jobs (so, if you are a model who has
invested in cosmetic enhancements, which tend to lock you into a certain
look, you only have yourself to blame when you book fewer modeling jobs
because you no longer have the look that they need). So-called models
who build freebie portfolios with amateur TFP photographers (guys with
cameras claiming to be photographers shooting aspiring models for free,
but don’t know what they are doing) won’t have the ability
to compete. Their portfolios will say amateur, and they don’t stand
a chance of booking anything. Most of the aspiring models who don’t
have the professional tools will, unfortunately, become the victims of
modeling scams, especially modeling job scams.
As a result of the slow Tampa modeling job market, and reduced advertising
industry work, we’ve seen a dramatic increase of modeling job scams.
In fact, I have never seen as many modeling scams in the Tampa modeling
industry as in the last year (I find it annoying, and so should professional
models, and yes, that was me grumbling at the radio every time one of
those modeling ads came on. A little secret: I monitor every media outlet
in the Tampa Bay market, and I see everything). This economy is bringing
out the worst in a lot of people. Gee, there sure are a lot of fashion
shows out there for major department stores; it’s too bad that every
department store that I’ve talked to tells me otherwise. Lately,
I’ve found myself walking through department stores and pretending
that there is a fashion show happening, with a runway filled with smiling
Tampa “fashion” models who are making lots of money (It’s
almost comical. Is there really a market for fashion in Tampa, or a lot
of fashion models? Of course not! Tampa is hardly Miami, and it is certainly
no New York!).
Of course, I also have an excellent imagination. These fashion shows are
not reality. At least not now (hint, hint).
As a rule of thumb, in my qualified opinion, if
you see any ADVERTISEMENT for ANY MODELING JOB, ignore it.
Every single one which I have checked out turned out to be a modeling
job scam, where aspiring models are lured in for consideration for a modeling
job which usually does not exist, and are sold services in order to be
“considered”. None of the “models” ever see any
Hell, if the “model” never “books” the job after
paying for whatever, the company doesn’t have to prove that the
modeling job actually exists, or existed, now, does it? You'll never know
if it was for real or not, which means that the scam is seldom busted
for fraudulent, misleading advertising.
THIS IS A SLOW MODELING JOB MARKET RIGHT NOW. HOW MANY MODELING JOBS DO
YOU THINK ARE OUT THERE, LET ALONE SO PLENTIFUL THAT THERE IS A NEED TO
SPEND MONEY LOOKING FOR MODELS?!?!?!
Those modeling job ads that you see in the newspaper, or hear on the radio,
cost money. The business is spending money looking for models in a slow
modeling job market. Does this make any sense? Of course it doesn’t.
You have to consider how they are going to make that money back. They
can’t make money by referring models to those modeling jobs if they
are not a licensed modeling and talent agency.
Oh, and then we see the claims that models are needed for modeling jobs,
and that no experience is necessary! Think! Apply some common sense! Do
you think that you are going to book a modeling job if you are a “model”
who does not have any experience, especially when you are competing against
experienced professional models who have invested in their careers?
NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED= MODELING JOB SCAM. YOU WILL LOSE MONEY, AND WILL
NOT MAKE ANY. YOU WILL NOT BOOK ANY MODELING JOB. YOU LOSE.
Don’t be scammed. If it is an advertisement for a modeling job,
and they claim that you don’t need experience, you will, in my opinion,
get ripped off. You also won’t book any modeling job, if it even
exists (didn’t I just write that above in all caps? Well, this is
important, so I wrote it again).
So, how does one get started in modeling? Let’s say that you are
someone who does not have experience as a model, and you want to get started.
What do you have to lose by checking out the modeling job offer and then
buying the modeling portfolio photography services and the modeling classes
that they are really selling? It’s something that you are going
to need anyways, right?
Well, let’s put it this way. Can you really trust a business which
has to trick you to contact them so that they can sell you something?
If they advertise one thing, such as a modeling job where a model makes
money, and then turn around and sell the aspiring model services, regardless
of if the aspiring model needs it or not, it is deceptive advertising.
It is fraud! They tricked you, and you really can’t trust them!
You would be surprised to learn how many people buy those services, though,
even though they were tricked into it. Some of those businesses know what
they are doing. If you don’t know what you are doing, they will
be able to convince you that they have what you need.
I’ve researched the services that these companies sell, and find
that they are very expensive. Too expensive, actually (and, yes, I have
told my media contacts all of this). For about two to four times (!) what
a legitimate professional photographer would charge, you can get a so-called
“modeling portfolio” from them. The modeling portfolio, too,
is a bad investment. Many of the pictures are taken in a studio in front
of a backdrop in a group session, and the aspiring model is stuck with
an ineffective modeling portfolio of questionable quality. The modeling
job scams does not care, however, because they tricked you into paying
them money. It’s not about giving you a real modeling portfolio.
It’s about tricking you into giving them a lot of your money. They
only care about taking your money, not about your modeling career.
To be fair, however, most of the people who fall for modeling job scams
really have no business attempting to become models to begin with. Those
people are not my clients, and they would never be. They also don’t
belong on Tampa Bay Modeling. This said, no one deserves to be scammed,
even idiots, or people who delude themselves into thinking that they could
be models. Be careful. Stay away from any advertised modeling job where
the advertiser has to pay a lot of money (radio, TV, and print), and run
away if they claim that no experience is necessary to be considered for
a modeling job. Experience is always necessary, and you are not going
to get that experience by buying what they are actually selling!
Oh, and what if you check out one of those modeling job offers and are
told that you have to buy services before you can be considered for the
modeling job? Don’t fall for it! A legitimate modeling job does
not, and cannot, require anything, or any service, to be purchased! Think
about this..... “Wow, we really like your look, and we want to book
you in this job, but before we can, you need to buy a portfolio so that
we can see if we like your look before we can book you!” It’s
like being on step 3 of a process, clearing steps 1 and 2, and then being
told that you have to redo step 1 because you did not pay for it. IT’S
The reason that I brought this up is that a Tampa newspaper article described
this exact scenario during a so-called “investigation” into
an “alleged” Tampa Bay modeling job scam. Neither the clueless
reporter, or the idiots leaving comments on the article, could figure
out that what was being described is bait and switch, fraud, and a modeling
scam. One person who posted stated that “they have a right to run
a business, and to make money”. Well, not if you are misleading
people to get that business, and you require someone to pay for services
as a condition to book a job!!!!!!!
Come on, guys, you don’t have to be a genius to figure these things
out. Modeling scams are often obvious! Is it my job to educate a bunch
of sheep who do not bother to think for themselves?
You can guess that I will be including this article with my next press
release to my media contacts, too (including the paper which published
the article). That reporter needs to be fired. Thank God that many reporters
in the news media are educated, smart people; those are the ones who I
deal with, and some of them are my friends.
As a rule of thumb, don’t bother to try to book a modeling job unless
you are a qualified, professional model. You need to have a professional
modeling portfolio, composite cards, and a resume listing your experience.
If it is a legitimate modeling job, you will be competing against other
professional models for that job, and you won’t get it if you don’t
have experience and a good modeling portfolio. A legitimate modeling job
will consider you with no obligation to buy anything.
NEVER, EVER PAY ANYTHING TO BE CONSIDERED FOR A JOB!
This, of course, is a lot different than investing in your career. When
building your modeling portfolio, you have no business trying to book
a modeling job. You also should never invest in your career with any business
which advertises modeling jobs!
Are you an aspiring model? Do you need to obtain a modeling portfolio?
How do you get the experience that you need to become a professional model,
and to eventually book modeling jobs?
Well, let’s see......
1. Find a professional photographer
or a photography company which is honest about what it is that they do.
They should be advertising photography services. Don’t deal with
them if they advertise modeling jobs!
Also, avoid wedding photographers. Wedding photographers, in general,
are often not qualified to shoot models or to help models build a modeling
portfolio. Wedding photographers work in a layman’s market with
customers who often are not qualified to evaluate photography. As a result,
they are common, average photographers. Modeling portfolio photography
is more specialized, with a professional client base. It’s much
harder, and the professional standards are much more strict.
Lastly, avoid photographers who offer to help you develop your modeling
portfolio for free. TFP photography does not have what it takes to give
you a usable modeling portfolio. YOU HAVE TO INVEST! A legitimate professional
photographer, who is in the position to give you a marketable, professional
quality portfolio, will not work for free. TFP is often a waste of time,
and it could even be dangerous! Most TFP photographers are guys with cameras
who want to exploit aspiring models, or who have other motives in mind.
On that subject, avoid nudes, unless you want to handicap your career
(I know some crazy models out there with nudes plastered all over the
net will disagree with me, but unless they are all-knowing psychics, which
they are not, they never miss the work that they never see as a result
of their feeble marketing tactics, and they never realize that they are
less successful than they could have been. How can you measure what you
never see?). Avoid nudes if you want a mainstream modeling career. That
sexy, provocative, nude work will cost you modeling jobs if it conflicts
with the market that the modeling job is for. It’s too risky!
Nude modeling and glamour modeling is legitimate modeling, but it takes
careful consideration, and it is for experienced professional models only.
Aspiring models who do nudes often cripple their careers, as nude modeling
is high-risk modeling! The pay is higher due to the risk, and the specialized
field. Nude and glamour modeling will make it impossible to model successfully
in mainstream modeling (although there are rare exceptions in fashion
modeling, which is high-end modeling, and keep in mind that few models
can be fashion models), and do not allow anyone to convince you otherwise.
Don’t be exploited, especially if it cripples your modeling career
before it has a chance to begin!
2. Get modeling experience
by working lower-end modeling jobs, and working your way up. Start with
promotional modeling and catalog print modeling (one model who I got into
modeling became a Dillard’s catalog model, and it paid her well).
Fashion modeling and so-called fashion runway shows and “major department
store fashion shows” are for professional, experienced models only,
and should be the last thing that any beginning model attempts to book!
Alright. Enough of the newbie modeling. On to the meat of this article.
Professional models already know all of this, and now it is time to address
their concerns. Also, if any photographers are reading this, I would appreciate
it of they stop reading now. The following is between me and professional
models who are serious about booking modeling jobs. No photographers allowed.
professional model and the slow Tampa modeling job market.
I know that it’s slow.
It’s slow for everyone. Accept it, and move on.
What should a model do to book modeling jobs in a slow economy?
My opinion? You will have to do a bit more work to book work, but it is
there, and booking those modeling jobs should not require you to charge
lower rates. Stick to your guns, and stay the course. It works for me
(as a photographer), as well as many models who I know, and it will work
for you, too.
Just because it is slow, does not mean that you have to compromise. Just
because it is slow is no reason to panic. You’re not desperate (at
least I hope that you do not allow yourself to get to that point). Don’t
be. You are not a discount business. You’re a professional. Be firm,
and stick to the plan.
Everyone else can discount what they do, because discounts are the best
that they have to offer. Not you. Don’t worry about other models
undercutting your rates and booking certain modeling jobs. The cheapie
modeling jobs are often just not worth it. You want to book the worthwhile
modeling jobs, the ones that will help build your career while making
Don’t sell yourself short. I don’t. Let the less experienced
models work themselves to death making a fraction of the money. Sure,
you may book fewer modeling jobs, but the work that you do do will be
As a photographer, I don’t do discounts unless I see a really good
reason to, such as it will help my portfolio, or bring me in more business
(and, especially with my years of experience, I am the judge of that).
I consider all of the angles. Most of the time, however, I don’t
have to discount. I am not a discount photographer. I book full-rate.
I also book more photography work than all of the photographers running
around working cheap, or even more desperately, who work for free. TFP
photographers don’t bother me, and I don’t lose business because
How is this possible?
Because I market on value, not the lowest rates. People know value, and
they often don’t respect cheaper services because of perceived value.
Perceived value? There’s a bit of psychology with that one. Cheap
services often undermine the perceived integrity of the photography work.
It is seen as lesser quality, even if it is good quality! Would you respect
something that you had to earn, or something that was given to you?
This does not mean, however, that you go around ripping people off with
high rates, or charge more than what you are worth. Not at all! Be honest
about what you do, and what you can do! Don’t make any claims that
you cannot back up, or promises that you cannot keep. Don’t mislead
anyone, either, as it will backfire! Also, be polite, but firm, and show
them respect. Charge fair rates! Find out what fair market rates for your
services are (there are suggested
modeling job rates here on Tampa Bay Modeling). Charge what you are
worth. Don’t compromise and lower your rates just to get business;
it will often backfire.
Oh, and only work for professionals. I work with aspiring models as well
as professional models and talent. Aspiring models are one of my target
markets, however, so it is acceptable. I can give aspiring models the
professional modeling portfolios and the composite cards that they will
need to be competitive in their modeling careers. My portfolio, and my
long client list, is proof of this. Professional models, on the other
hand, shouldn’t waste their time with amateur modeling jobs and
amateurs offering modeling jobs. Make sure that they run a legitimate
business that will not undermine the integrity of your marketability,
make sure that they have a professional business web site, and stay away
from anything in bad taste, or anything which can be taken out of context
and used to exploit you.
Of course, this means that you avoid most talent
jobs on Craigslist, or businesses which use a freebie Myspace account
as their “business web site”, or photographers who use portfolio
networking sites for business, and who obviously have not invested in
their careers, or business. They just are not worth dealing with, but
you already knew that. After all, you are a professional model, and you
know what you are doing.
Modeling is a visual form of marketing. If you have a look that a business
can use to represent, and to market, a product or service, and you can
sell yourself on what they are looking for, you will book the modeling
job, and you will get the rate that you ask for!
Show that art director your portfolio. Show them that you can give them
the look that they are looking for by demonstrating your range of looks
in your portfolio. Sell them on your modeling experience, too, as well
as on your range of looks.
Oh, and don’t pitch a sale. Talk to them. Convince them that you
are what they are looking for. This done, stick to your guns. Don’t
allow someone to discount you or you to undersell yourself. Get paid what
you are worth.
That’s it for now. I will be writing more articles on how to find
modeling job leads, soon. I already have that information up on Independent
Modeling’s modeling job board, too, for your information. Go find
it, and learn.
Actually, I shouldn’t have to say that, either. As working professionals,
we all know that we make our own luck, and we make our own opportunities.
In a slow economy, there is more competition for fewer jobs, but those
of us who are really good at what we do book work. I still book work,
and so can you. Let’s get to it!