Modeling agent Paul Fisher, who has launched the careers of many top supermodels joined me to discuss his new CW docu-series, "Remodeled", his views on the modeling industry, how he's inspiring others and what he's doing to improve the industry.
Candace Rose: You've launched the careers of many supermodels including Naomi Campbell and Carol Alt, and now you're the star of the CW's "Remodeled." Can you tell us about the show and what inspired it?
Paul Fisher: "Oh sure. Candace, I started on this mission, we call it 'a movement' about two and a half years ago to see if we could roll up about 150 modeling agencies around the world; if we could empower agencies in smaller markets, actually the agencies that are discovering the stars in the first place. And we wanted to see if we could roll up these agencies around the world and kind of convince them that they have the power to actually create stars, not just discover them. When Sony Entertainment kind of found out that I was on this mission, and I was running around the world rolling up these modeling agencies with a very important initiative which is about bringing the world of health and wellness, and giving back and sharing into the world of modeling. You know, they approached me, Sony approached me to see I'd be interested in doing a reality show or a docu-series, and for about six months I said 'no I'm not interested'. I didn't want cameras in my face, but then I just thought that it could accelerate this mission that we're on to try to create a very, very safe environment for young kids all over the world that want a career as a model, and so I decided to allow them to film what I do everyday."
"3 Men and a Little Agency" – Pictured (clockwise from front center) Paul Fisher, Joseph Villaneuva, Olga Tavarez, JT and Anna in REMODELED on The CW. Photo: Patrick Wymore/The CW©2011 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of- The CW
Candace Rose: Can you tell us about The Network?
Paul Fisher: "Sure, The Network is a company that I'm the owner of/the CEO of, and kind of how modeling agencies manage models, we manage modeling agencies. And it's never been done before; we manage about 50 different agencies around the world, and we have agencies in Colombia, in Mexico City, in Panama, in Slovakia, in London, in Zurich, in Orlando, in Vegas- we have agencies all over the world. And we're actually the largest modeling network in the world. Today we represent more models than anybody does in the world. We manage more agencies than anybody does in the world. And what we do is we empower agencies in secondary markets and we give them the tools, the contacts and the relationships to literally find a kid off of a farm, and literally walk that kid right into Vogue magazine, Eddie Razek at Victoria's Secret, or Allure magazine, or Ralph, or Calvin- people like that. So we're really giving agencies in small markets really the true ability to create stars. And the second part of our mission, which is probably the most important part of the mission to me and to my team is we're really trying to create role models and that's not a rap, it's what we're really trying to do. When we have kids do Calvin or Versace, which they do, we don't kind of celebrate with them and have parties with them, we ask the kids- 'who are you going to tie with'? 'Who are you going to give back to?' 'What foundation and charity are you going to support?' So we're really all about teaching young people that their physical features are a blessing from God, and if they don't treat it as a blessing from God it'll be the one thing that haunts them for the rest of their lives. So we're really trying to create role models- young people who other young kids can emulate and look up to; young kids that give back to their community. So in summary we're a community of modeling agencies that manage modeling agencies around the world, and we teach young kids that our models how to give back, how to share, and God willing lead a very, very healthy, healthy life."
Candace Rose: I was so inspired by the way that you took on Blaze Modelz last night on the season finale, and especially when you said "you must lead this agency by example". I thought that was brilliant.
Paul Fisher: "I want to say thank you for that because you're going to give me chills and bring tears to my eyes. I say this very, very humbly Candace, I try to say that to my team about myself- that I can't sit here on a pulpit and preach health and wellness. If I can't sit here on a pulpit and demand giving back to the world, and being a part of your community; unless I as the leader of my team isn't willing to walk the walk, and anything that I ask my agency to do, I can assure you I'm right there by their side every step of the way and trying. I sail a lot, I sail everyday. I sail every single day but I'm trying really, really hard to be a good role model, to walk the walk, to be somebody that the young people can look up to, and God willing that my agencies can look up to. And once again I sail every single day, but I'm trying really, really hard to be somebody that you all people look at and say 'he's a man that really cares about his kids."
Candace Rose: Young models look up to you and the success that you have as an agent in the modeling industry. What would you say to those looking to get into the industry, and to their parents?
Paul Fisher: "Wow. Well, the first thing I'd say to the parents is really, really think about it very long and hard before you allow your beautiful child and your beautiful soul, little kid to get into our industry because I think it's very damaging for a young person to become a model. I don't really suggest it nor do I support it for anybody. I think it's a very, very tough business on kids and not for the normal reasons why people would think I would think that. Not because of the sex. Not because of the drugs which there's a lot of it. These young 15/16 year olds are asked to grow up very, very quickly. They're in front of the camera at a very young age, and being asked to be very sexy and they grow up way, way too quick in my very humble opinion. But that's not the hardest part of the business and that's not the thing that upsets me the most about this business. To me what's the hardest thing is you're a young 16 year old girl- you've waited an hour to see a photographer, and five seconds later he goes 'no, next'. Now do that 5 times a day, 25 times a week, 100 times a month, 1200 times a year and now when you're 21 years old look in the mirror and tell me what you see? These beautiful kids don't think they're good looking anymore. They put too much emphasis on their physical trip. They live underneath a microscope; under a bubble, and I don't care if the kid becomes famous she's still going to not like the way she looks in the mirror because by the time she's 23 years old she's going to be considered 'over the hill' for God sakes. At the age of 23. I think the business is very, very damaging for kids, and I don't suggest anybody to become a model but here's my asterisk- there is an exception. And the exception is if you can kill it. The exception is if you could do really, really great at it, then I think you have a responsibility to the world, and a responsibility to young kids out there to become a famous, famous model and so other young people can look up to you. And then the last thing I say is go to TheNetworkTalent.com. We have a really cool site where kids all over the world and parents all over the world can really learn what the modeling industry is all about. I tell all my parents, and kids of my parents- I say 'knowledge is power'. First gain the knowledge, learn as much as you can possibly learn, and then take a couple of steps into our industry. But don't do it like Stevie Wonder- don't do it blindly. Don't just run into our business and think it's fun and exciting and it's great- it's not, it sucks. It's very hard on the kids, very damaging to the kids. So, at least get the knowledge and once you have the knowledge, then at least you're taking an educated move versus just a blind move of 'I want my little kid to be famous'. So I suggest them to go to TheNetworkTalent.com, read about the modeling industry; study it, study it, study it and then don't do it. But then if you are going to do it at least we have a safe environment for your kids to do it within."
Candace Rose: You take an active role in social media; how would you say this has influenced the show?
Paul Fisher: "Oh wow, my whole tip now with social media is it's the new currency of the world and we represent these 10/12/13,000 kids around the world. Maybe it's even 14,000 kids around the world, and what we're going to do is we're in the process of aggregating all of our models social media accounts under one big huge umbrella, and we're going to reach about 100 million followers. We're going to be a very, very powerful force to be reckoned with. One of the main reasons I want to do that is if designers don't start putting out the right images and start taking responsibility for the images they put out there then I'm going to have an affect on their bottom line, because I'm going to have 100 million followers around the world that won't buy their products, or buy their products if we support them because they're putting out the right images. Social media has been very helpful, I believe for my show. We've had some really wonderful ratings and we've had kids all over the world tweeting about us and doing Facebook about us, and posting links on their Facebook and things like that. And I really believe that social media is the currency, and I think we've had some wonderful ratings last night (season finale) and I believe a lot of it is due to social media because my kids all over the world are talking about this; about our show."
"Modeling Agency or Modeling School?" – Joseph Villanueva, Paul Fisher and Olga Tavarez in REMODELED on The CW. Photo: Scott Humbert/The CW(c)2011 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of The CW
Candace Rose: Well, it's due to you. You really inspired me last night, just to even be a better person.
Paul Fisher: "Well, Candace I appreciate that so much. You know, one thing I try to teach my agencies is- be great. Be great, be great. Don't be good. We can all be good in things in life and we're only in this physical form for whatever it is- 80/90/100 years and some of us maybe not even that long. And if we're going to be in this physical form and we're going to be in this world, then why not be great? And I mean be great. Don't just find a little kid and discover her, put her on the cover of Vogue; know what it feels like to have the Gucci campaign or the Calvin campaign. If that's what you want to do with your life is to represent young talent, then be great at something in your life. And that's what I'm really trying to teach my agencies that you can keep doing what you're doing and nobody knows who you are but be great. Be not just the best at what you could do, be great. People say 'Paul why'd you become some big, famous modeling agent'? I'm not smarter than anybody. I'm dyslexic- I write backwards, I think backwards but there's only one reason I became a very powerful agent- I work harder than everyone else. If anybody goes 18 hours, I'll go 20 hours. They go 20 hours, I'll go 22 hours. I don't care. I just have to work harder than everybody else. And that's why Kobe Bryant is great. That's why these people that are great, are great because they show up at practice early, they stay late. They want to be great, and I want my agencies; I want them to be great, and I mean great."
Candace Rose: When can we expect to see new episodes of "Remodeled"?
Paul Fisher: "The summertime. I've been told by the CW that they're airing eight; all eight episodes this summer. It was tough, we were against "American Idol", and "Modern Family" it was a very, very tough spot for us. But we've got a nice following, the press has been very nice to us and so, Mr. Pedowitz who is the President of the CW, who I'm humbled that he supports me and my show. I'm so humbled; and we're airing all eight episodes this summertime. We'll have the schedule in the next few weeks and I'm excited. We're on during the summertime, and God willing more people will continue to watch our show and learn things from our show."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional information you'd like to share with viewers?
Paul Fisher: "Yesterday, in episode three or four- one of my kids, her name is Meghan Wiggins- she's going to be one of the biggest stars in the world- and she dropped out of school, and I got very, very mad in the episode. Yesterday, I had some great news, some really great news, but the greatest news was Megan passed her GED. I just want everyone to know that everything that they see on our show- I'm not an actor, I don't know how to act, I've never taken an acting class. I just care about my agencies and I care about my kids. I watch them walk down the runway and I cry. I feel so much for my kids. They're everything to me. I just want people to know that this aint a reality show, this is a docu-series. This is who I am. I'm a pretty intense, passionate character. Sometimes my communication skills suck, but I care so much about my kids. I care so much about my agency that I hope and pray that that's what people take away from my show. People have called me mean; I'm not a mean man. I'm a passionate man that cares so much, and I feel these kids pain and I feel my agencies pain. I feel it with every fiber of my being, and I'm not sure why but I do. And I hope and pray that people see that there's a man who truly, truly cares about other people and he's just doing his best to make other peoples lives better and that's what I'm trying to do. I said this last night at my screening party, Candace, you may not realize it but you are part of a movement. And they're going to have to kill me, Candace but I'm creating a safe environment for young women all over the world. I don't know why it's so important to me but I wake up every morning- four o'clock in the morning till midnight, and I'm going to do this. And there's a lot of challenges when you want to bring a lot of light into the world, and you want to try to transform a whole industry. You're a part of a movement, and young kids are going to call me up soon and they're going to say 'you know, I stopped putting my finger down my throat Mr. Fisher because of you', and that is going to be one of the greatest moments of my life. Not when another kid gets a Vogue cover or Calvin Klein ad or a Prada campaign- I've done a thousand of those. When a kid calls me up and I've truly affected her life and how she feels about herself when she looks in the mirror, that is when I will feel I've actually accomplished something with my life. And I thank you for including me, and I thank you for supporting my movement."
For more information on CW's "Remodeled" please visit:
CW Network: Remodeled
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