find articles by Author

Build a Career One Hand Job at a Time

2

Hayley DerryberryWhile my main jobs are acting and writing, I have actually made quite a bit of money on the side with a hand job here and there. I mean hand-modeling job of course. I’m sure you’ve heard of this career and possibly thought to yourself, “How does one become a hand model?” Well, it’s simpler than you might think.

For my acting I belong to a few casting websites including ActorsAccess and LAcasting, and when I first got to LA I often saw postings looking for actresses with nice hands or hand models. I’ve always gotten compliments on my hands and so I wanted to be able to submit for those roles. I started by having my husband take some photos of my hands and added those to my acting profiles. Then I started getting auditions. After working a while and learning more about hand modeling, I got better photos of my hands and started going out more and more. Now I’ve booked some big jobs with clients I’m not allowed to talk about, and while the job may sound silly to some people the paychecks are for some serious money.

For my hand modeling, my acting agent simply submits me along with any acting jobs that I’m right for, but there are agents that specifically handle body parts models. You can do a search online or check with SAG to find one and submit to them. And there are so many more body parts than just hands. The big ones are hands, feet, legs, and lips, but some body part modeling jobs are more obscure like abs, butts, and ears. Did you know there are even eye models?

Besides having a body part that is specifically “good looking” (i.e. properly proportioned with even skin tone), in order to model a specific body part, you need to be willing to take better care of that area than an average person would. For my hands specifically, I moisturize way more than most people. I’m also required to keep my cuticles in excellent shape, and refrain from doing things that could seriously damage my hands like rock climbing or volleyball. I do wear gloves a lot but not all of the time; Mostly if I’m driving, carrying something, or using chemicals like when cleaning.

Hand Job

photo by Paul J. Porter

 

A lot of people ask me if I get a lot of manicures, but I will give you a tip: for healthy nails, don’t get manicures! The only time I get a manicure is when I’m working on a job and they’ve hired a very good manicurist who usually knows how to properly manicure a hand model’s nails. Manicures are usually good for a quick fix but cause damage mostly to your cuticles, and that damage can take a long time to repair. My two main tools for taking care of my hands are a good moisturizer and a nail file. File your nails often and they will grow faster and stronger (Just like trimming your hair), and if you get a hang nail don’t pull or bite it, just file it down and be patient it will grow back to normal eventually.

I meet a lot of actors who think, “I’m only an actor, and that is all I do.” I’ve talked about this in my other blogs, and I think that is a horrible attitude to have. Body part modeling specifically is not only a great way to supplement your income but it gets you on set where you can learn so much about this industry and sometimes a body part job can even get bumped up to become a face job or acting job. We actors have got to cast a wide net to find our way into this industry. We will encounter many closed doors and that’s why we have to keep looking for opened windows. So if you think you might have the chops, or toes, or lobes then start by meeting with your agent or taking some new photos. Who knows? Maybe a hand job is in your future!

Hayley Derryberry

About Hayley Derryberry

Hayley grew up in Tennessee and began acting on stage at six years old. She moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2008 where she began a professional career in Film and Television. There, Hayley learned about acting on camera working with talented local teachers and filmmakers. She worked on local web series and independent films. She eventually earned her SAG card with a speaking role on the Starz series “Crash”. Hayley and her husband Paul moved to Los Angeles in 2011. With their production company Rogue Taurus, they produced their first full-length feature film “Rabid Love”. The film has been sold and will be released on March 4th 2014. Hayley’s acting career is currently flourishing. She went to Sundance 2014 with the critically acclaimed film “Frank”, and has been booking small roles on television. Hayley still stays close to her Indy roots though, playing diverse characters in everything from Comedy to Horror. In fact, in the February 14th issue of “Living Dead Magazine” Hayley was named one of the top 5 new Scream Queens and Rising Talent of 2014. With wholesome midwestern looks, fierce talent, and a funny name, Hayley Derryberry is making her mark in Hollywood.