Top-Notch Talent Being Discovered in Safety Harbor
The Model Placement Center has had a hand in the careers of Channing Tatum, Brooke Hogan and ex-Buc Michael Clayton, among thousands of others.
Safety Harbor is known for a long of things — a quaint downtown, a renowned Spa, acclaimed artists and fun festivals, to name a few.
But were you aware that the city is also home to a talent management company that has worked with the likes of Channing Tatum, Brooke Hogan and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Michael Clayton?
Yes, the Model Placement Center has been sending qualified talent to top-flight agencies in Miami, New York and beyond for more than dozen years, all while operating out of an unassuming studio on Third Avenue North.
“We work with photographers, agents, agencies, etc. ... and we know what they are looking for,” MPC manager Dianne Paulson explains. "Many people don’t know how to get into the modeling and talent business.“
“We’re the springboard to get you going the right way.”
From the Harbor to Hollywood
A team of qualified industry personnel — stylists, producers, photographers and talent evaluators — created MPC about a dozen years ago when the group realized the Tampa Bay area was becoming a hotbed of production and talent.
Sensing a need to help the talent succeed, and tired of travelling the globe from her own career as a model and stylist, Paulson and her partners decided to take root in Safety Harbor and cultivate young careers from here.
And they wanted to make it as easy and inexpensive as possible to help hopefuls break into a notoriously difficult business.
“We want people to get into the business without having to pay $6,000-$7,000,” Paulson says. “If they want to do acting, we charge $299 to $399 for a photo shoot, which includes makeup, hair, clothes, training and a studio and location shoot.”
“We take the images right away and start sending them out right away to see if they get any hits.”
Thanks to MPC’s extensive industry connections, their talent has a great chance of being discovered and utilized by some of the best agencies in the business; it’s that exposure plus their step-by-step management policy that makes MPC a truly unique company in every respect.
“We’re the only ones in the world that do free management, so we get people flying in from all over,” Paulson said. “It’s a no-brainer for them. We’re very good at what we do.”
Success Stories Abound
Although they only accept 50 applicants per year, the MPC offices are filled with headshots and model cards, signs of success littering the wall like high-gloss graffiti.
In addition to a slew of unknown models and actors of all ages that have gone on to do ads, magazine shoots and TV shows, MPC has worked with some readily recognizable faces.
Local singer/famous offspring Hogan — daughter of pro wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan — did her first singing photo shoot with MPC; former Buc Clayton and his family have all done shoots; and a baby-faced teen who found mega-stardom this summer is probably the company’s most recognizable client.
“I was at a fashion show in Ybor City in early 2000, and I saw this bleach-blond little 18-year-old hanging out by the stage,” Paulson recalls. “I motioned for him to come over, and he said his name was Channing Tatum and he wanted to be a model and an actor.”
Paulson did some initial shots for him and “got him going” in his career, but she did give him one bit of advice the hunky star of "Magic Mike" did not heed.
“I told him he needed to change his name. But I said I think you’ve got it, kid.”
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