Model Management Agency – MMA has grown to become one of the most respected talent agencies in the Philadelphia and Tri-State area since it was founded in 1989.
Rachel Platt-McMullan is one of their many successful clients. She impressed me from the jump as someone who has chosen to be happy and has naturally projected that positive view into her full life.
The early years
“My parents are still married to this day and were always supportive of my dreams. They never said that I couldn’t achieve anything. The only dreams that I ever had were to be on stage, or to be in front of the camera,” Platt-McMullan said.
Making an apt link between her childhood in rural Columbus, New Jersey to her still-current nature she said, “Part I was born with and part was nurtured. Making my own plays and performing them at parties was something that I did when I was three- or four-years-old.”
Having an outgoing personality led her to play soccer and to being a cheerleader. Both activities involve total teamwork. That character trait helped build a bridge to her career path.
Making the right career choices
“I was looking for a strong agency and I had gone to some open calls. Model Management Agency’s name kept popping up (among other models/talent who were recommending that agency).
“MMA advised me that they needed to see a few non-professional photos submitted first, because their open call is by invitation.
“I went back to the next open call with some photos, but they didn’t take me. I went to other agencies, but there was something about MMA that just stuck. So, I had some professional pictures taken.
“By not signing me right away, MMA showed me that they were a legitimate agency and very selective. It felt professional,” Platt-McMullan said.
She was highly motivated and went again to MMA’s open call and was signed. She was then guided in her career and was booked for work.
“You have to be the type of person who is willing to give. I received this huge gift. MMA is like a family to me,” Platt-McMullan said.
“Rachael is a talented model and actor. She is professional, lovely and dedicated to becoming her personal best,” Ellen Wasser-Hrin (the Founder and Director of Model Management Agency – MMA) said.
“When I sat down with Ellen, she really listened. It was like talking with my mom.
“She wants everyone to reach their dreams and is willing to take you further in your career. There is something really sweet and sincere about her and there is something different about the people who work for MMA. If I met someone and that person didn’t tell me that he, or she, was working for the company, I would know it.
“Sometimes people can be very cutthroat and cold. But working with them, it’s like a family.
“Having MMA as my “Mother Agency” opened a lot of doors,” Platt-McMullan said.
“Besides booking her in the Philadelphia area, we also helped to get her placed in New York with a New York agency. We also work as her mother agent,” Wasser-Hrin said.
Everyone remembers their first gig
“One of my very first bookings was with H C Gifts. The photographer and I had such a great rapport. We have worked together for 10 years now. I’m still working with them today,” Platt-McMullan said.
Her affable personality was evident during our conversation. So, it’s no surprise that she bonded with the first important person who was connected to the client that she worked for.
Commercial verses high fashion
“My look is more commercial, than high fashion,” Platt-McMullan said.
She defined commercial as a more natural look, whereas high fashion is connected to specific measurements for certain garments. Megan Irminger, who is another Model Management Agency client, would be an example of someone who works in the high fashion end of the business.
“With modeling and acting, you need to be open to what the client needs from you. If you want to be successful in this business, you need to expand who you are.
“Be a different character. You need to have a certain thought process. Playing dress-up, or playing a part. You need to be willing to try new things,” Platt-McMullan said.
Being attractive gets someone noticed. Possessing that attribute, while also making smart decisions, secures, develops and maintains employment.
Anyone who achieves true success in the field has done so because of who they are, not just because of what they look like.
No Just Means – Not Right Now
One of the flashpoints in our conversation came when Platt-McMullan spoke about rejection. Her philosophy is shared by all high-achievers and can be adopted by anyone who wants to reach their goals.
“No just means, not right now,” Platt-McMullan said.
Twenty-two letters formed the six words that she offered. Consider how fundamentally strong that laser sharp assessment is for just a moment.
Everyone faces rejection, or disappointment of some type in life. But, the manner in which we respond to those moments sets the stage for our immediate and long-term performances during each subsequent day.
As we all know modeling is partially about numbers and also about brains.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Danny DeVito became famous through his monstrously great portrayal of the character “Louie DePalma” on ABC’s iconic sitcom “Taxi”. His most recent show, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” has developed a strong following on FX because of it’s outrageously unique humor.
Competition for a spot on that popular series is fierce, but Platt-McMullan landed a role. Yes, she’s a model and also an actor who was the 2010 Best Actress Winner for “Unlock!” in the 48 Hour Film Festival in Philadelphia. She was also part of a team that won a Best Film Award for “Half A Sandwich”, in the National Hunger Awareness Contest during that same year.
“My first on-camera speaking role was playing a hooker with comedic geniuses Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney on the set of the hit series, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. Those guys were welcoming, down-to-earth and completely hilarious on- and off-camera.
“That experience remains one of the funniest and most memorable days of my acting career,” Platt-McMullan said.
Philadelphia Fashion Fest, Brad and Ella
Being open to possibilities often leads to moments that we could never imagine.
Platt-McMullan’s work ethic also led directly to a life-changing moment. It was inspiring and gratifying to hear this next part of her story.
“I called Rachael for a last minute booking. We had already booked the show models for Philly Phashion Phest; however, the client needed a promotional model who would help with a spa booth.
“I told her that I truly believe that when you do good and/or help someone then something good will come out of it. Like the saying, ‘The good you do comes back to you multiplied.’ She was so gracious and helpful. Rachael met a wonderful guy at that event who later became her husband. The good she did came back to her multiplied,” Wasser-Hrin said.
“I was working at Philadelphia’s Phashion Phest in September, 2006 when this man asked for my phone number. I had to give it to him.”
That man (Brad McMullan) became her husband in June 2009. By March of 2012, their daughter Ella was born.
“Being married to the right person means that your career doesn’t change that much. Brad was even more of a cheerleader. He’s been my best friend and my biggest fan.
“When a pregnancy and a daughter comes into play, things do change. You do need to rest and your first priority is taking care of your child,” Platt-McMullan said.
But then something unexpected happened…
“Model Management Agency – MMA has a children’s department that is run by Lindsey Catherine. It was decided that my baby was going to be part of the family.
“Lindsey asked if me if I wanted Ella to be in a commercial with me. Of course, I said yes.
“It was so cool because everything came full circle for me. Ella was only five months old at the time. It reassured me that everything was going to be okay.
“I’m in nursing school now. Within the next year I’ll be a registered nurse. I believe that my modeling and nursing careers are going to mold,” Platt-McMullan said.
Rachael Platt-McMullan has been dedicated to her profession for over a decade. She smartly chose to work with a reputable agency during that time and earned a positive reputation in the industry.
Her openness has created a magnetic reciprocal cycle where a building stream of positive people are connected to the personal and professional parts of her life.
“I look forward to being with my family and continuing to live fully and truthfully.
“I love the idea of being a nurse and helping others. Tomorrow, I could also be playing a character on a television show, or modeling for a client,” Platt-McMullan concluded.
Sean O’Brien is based in the Philadelphia region and has written professionally for over two decades. You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB.