Star maker Kathy Longsderff

Kathy Longsderff worked part time as a print and runway model to earn extra money while at NHU (now SNHU). She opened NEMG (New England Models Group) in Nashua in 1988 and then relocated to her current Manchester location in 1995. The agency’s modeling divisions include commercial, fashion, print, film, runway and fitness, but they still have to turn away a lot of hopeful souls wanting a shot.

Photo by David Mendelsohn, Assistance by WendY Mendelsohn
Hair and Makeup by Loretta Tower of the Dover Color Bar


In her own words:

  • We turn people away for many reasons — such as they resemble another face we are representing. 

  • We do meet a lot of young girls wanting to be models who do not meet certain requirements, and many leave upset. My staff knows our job is to always be honest.

  • I must admit it is painful to see some people cry. 

  • The industry is very competitive, and for novices who don’t want to invest in classes and marketing tools, it becomes a waste of both time and energy.

  • When I first started NEMG, my vision was to have a fashion agency but soon learned that New England is not a fashion market.  

  • Sometimes we are like sport agents who are seeking good players.

  • With children, the process begins with interviewing their parents. If they are here only because the parent wants them to be, then we don’t accept them into the agency.

  • We seek kids with big, friendly personalities and are willing to talk to anyone. We need kids that can go on set and not cling onto a parent’s leg.

  • If a model has everything but has one small fixable issue, then I might make a recommendation for cosmetic surgery.

  • Our industry seeks perfection.

  • There is a good market for plus models in NYC. There is some work in New England, but not much. You’d think that would be changing, but it’s not.Plus models have to be tall, attractive and proportionate in order to enter this market.

  • NEMG has one plus model on our roster.

  • There’s a lot of film work in New England. Casting directors keep calling us. We have placed our talent in films such as “American Hustle,” “The Judge,” “The Heat,” “Ted” 1 & 2 and “Black Mass.”


NEMG has many success stories, but they took special pride when they landed a local lad, Concord’s Nicholas Purcell, the lead role of “Jake” on Nickelodeon’s “The Troop” — a role he played for 40 episodes between 2009 and 2013.

Purcell is seen here in a publicity shot surrounded by fellow cast members.

Categories: Q&A