John Bruce is part of the PRM team - a boutique model management company based in london - which his partner Paulo Ribeiro started in 2012. Clients include Versace, Burberry and LV.
How did you get into the modelling industry?
I was scouted at the age of 17 in South Africa. After a few months I soon realised that I preferred being more in the agency than being at photo shoots. I then asked my booker if I could intern which led to my booking career. A year later I moved back to London, where I am originally from, and instantly landed a great role at a leading men’s agency. I have been booking for close to fifteen years.
What are the skills of a successful booker?
You need to be friendly and efficient. Listening to both the models and the client’s needs. It is essential you work well within a team.
The best and worst things about being a booker?
The best thing is seeing youngsters being offered amazing opportunities. Modelling can be short term or long term. Some can walk away with a life long career and being able to buy their own home at the age of 20, some walk away with an ego boost. The toughest part of the industry is seeing opportunities wasted. Patience is the toughest game in our business and it is all about waiting your turn.
Can you predict if a new face is going to do well?
I think two elements come into play. It’s all about an intelligent agent knowing where they can promote a model - you really need to know what your clients are after and what is the trend of that season. A model can be amazing but can have a really bad attitude so it’s down to an agent to carefully nurture a model. I love scouting and it has formed a vital structure in the growth of PRM. When you spot an interesting face and can instantly list five clients that you know would love them - you know you have found someone good.
What do you do to escape and unwind?
My partner and I go to the gym every morning at 7:30am, I see this as my escape. At least 3-4 times a week I do a 5km run and this really gets my creativity and motivation going. It is hard for me to completely unwind but I am prone to not leave the sofa on Sundays.