"Your roles will come if you just keep working..."

At 49 years old, Duane Daugherty attended SHINE with Advantage Models and Talent. He was highly sought after by the agents at the conference. Six years later, Duane is now signed with 14 agencies, and has been featured in dozens of catalogues, covers, lifestyle ads and television commercials.

How did you initially get involved in the entertainment industry?

I initially was introduced to the industry by Nise’ Davies, who owned Advantage Models and Talent in Nashville, and who is still an big part of AMTC. Our sons went to high school together, both played on the football team and ran track. Nise’ suggested that I give modeling a shot. I had zero knowledge of the industry, in fact Nise’ was the first person I had ever met from the industry, and I was skeptical. I knew Nise’ and her family to be first class people, so I dove in.

When did AMTC come into the picture? How was the audition?

I joined Advantage and was able to view all the excitement at Advantage around SHINE. I asked Nise’ if she thought AMTC would be productive for me. I was 49 years old, just starting, knew very little, and thought AMTC might just be for “young people”. Nise’ was positive without hesitation. The audition was a little intimidating due to the large attendance, but the atmosphere was very energizing. Carey was at my audition and was anything other than intimidating, treating everyone so respectful. I was thrilled when I received an acceptance call to AMTC later that night.

What was the SHINE Conference like? Do any particular moments stand out in your mind?

The SHINE conference was a very professional event. Being in the Corporate world I attend a lot of conferences, and SHINE was on the level of them all. For a “competition’ type event, the atmosphere amongst talent is very receptive and encouraging. What stood out in my mind was the quality of the individuals in attendance. I met several very young people that inspired me.

You won Overall Male Fashion Model while at SHINE! Tell us about that!

What an honor that was for me personally. I would not know where to begin; an enormous highlight and blessing. I can honestly say I never imagined the possibility of winning. My hope was to make some contacts within the industry and start my way. I remember the young men in the category of Male Model being so gracious and genuinely happy for me. It still makes me smile. Looking back, winning was a process. Like anything else it takes work. Advantage Model and Talent started working with us six months prior. Every week Advantage was prepping us in wardrobe, monologue, runway, photo shoots, diet, exercise, head shots, etc. It was definitely not and individual award, it took a team and I was very fortunate to be part of the Advantage team.

You’re both an actor and a model…how do the two overlap?

That’s a great question. They are the same. I think we attempt to separate them, but I believe it is a mistake. There are some different skill sets for both, but being in front of the camera is being in front the camera. Interaction with the camera, and many times other talent, crosses both lines. The common successful denominator in each, is the skill of being natural; that is why I say they are the same.

What has been your favorite project, throughout your career?

I have been asked that question a lot. Until this year I always struggled with the answer. This year I was fortunate to spend eight days shooting for Yamaha Watercraft. That may sound like eight days of fun on the water, and it was fun, but it was intense work. Breakfast at 5:00am, Call time at 5:30am, work until 8:30 pm, dinner at 9:00 pm, repeat, for eight days. But it was boats and jet-skis!! It looks easy and calm in print and on video, but it is wide open at 60 mph within feet of the camera boat. One of the most intense things I have ever done.

Tell us about filming “Like A Country Song.” What was it like, working with such big names in the industry?

Being on a movie set has a different feel. I have shot a couple of commercials where the set and number of crew was as big, but a movie set has it’s mystic. The two big names in the movie were Billy Ray Cyrus and Jennifer Bini Taylor. I did not get to act on camera with them however I was on set and in wardrobe and make-up with them, and you would never have known they were “big names”. The respect and humility they extended to every person was exceptional.

What has God been revealing to you recently?

That about being in this industry, being a modeling, acting, is not about “what do I get from it?”. I think I begin with that mindset. I can tell you that I now eagerly pursue the dream for different reasons. I think God has revealed that it is not about me, it is about how I can help others due to it.

What advice do you have for performers who want to make it in the industry?

I think that I have a book of advice, but two things always come to mind.
First, understand that there will be many more “no’s” than “yes's”. Someone may look at my resume and think “he has been successful”. What they do not see are the numerous times I was told No, and the No’s can be very deflating. The No’s can make you question everything about yourself and your dreams. But you have to understand that EVERYONE gets No’s, and you have to understand what they mean many times.

I remember my very first audition; I did not get the job and I was devastated. Self-questions of “what is wrong with me?”, “what did I do wrong”, “am I that bad”, “maybe this is not for me”…..then I saw the commercial, and the person that got the job. I realized that I was not the person for which they were looking. It was the total opposite of my look. Sometimes, a lot of times, the role, the script, is just not ours. Your roles will present themselves if you keep working.

Secondly, make it your goal to learn at least one thing from everything you do. Every audition, every shoot, learn one thing; make a diary and write it down, it does not have to be anything dramatic. There will be experienced people around you, watch them. Listen to what everyone is saying, and learn. Watch how the experienced talent moves, works the camera. Listen what the casting directors say to others, and learn. Watch the directors, watch the photographers, watch the camera people, and learn. Just learn one thing each time, and you will soon be the experienced one that people are watching. Check out Duane’s Featured Grad story!