From my Twitter tonight. A lot on my mind!
What is a life experience you wish you hadn’t had, and it had to happen? Mine is being a NY agency model. People in the past misjudged every aspect of my being—I’m actually a shy geek—but it to this day is the best marketing backstory for my film/film music one could wish for.
I’m on a roll sharing things with social media friends. What really lies in my soul. Lately, my heart half wishes it could burn every trace of having ever done modeling but to do so would unravel the rest of my life. My lesson to you is value everything you cringe about. You are here because it is meant to be.
I was an NYC agency model in my early 20’s. Prior to that, I had already been going out to events in the hopes of networking my way into achieving my goals. Modeling seemed another way of getting there. When I was 21, as I was getting new freelance journalism jobs in Manhattan, I was under the required runway height of 5’9” plus. A person who believed in me pushed me to go for it relentlessly. My first agency signed me. Hurray! I thought, “This should be easy! I can network my way into anything and be a top model who uses that transitioning into filmmaking and film music! Good paychecks!” I had already been attending events since I was a teen girl. This because at the time, nobody wanted to hire me the standard routes you go as an aspiring filmmaker or composer. Modeling could help everyone in the room talk to me faster and want to work with me! Well, um, no.
Being represented by an agency, or several, I had a few I switched around, is never the guarantee you think it will be. I thought I would do whatever I had to do to fit in, and the rest would be history. What really happened: I became the last choice understudy of sorts. Whenever someone failed to show up to a booked job, and most often probably partying all night, I was called in. I was never the first choice. Nobody at casting calls ever selected me. The agency sent me straight in without an audition. I never had a steady enough stream of booked gigs to be a full time working model. Wrong for someone who always wants to be an employer’s FIRST CHOICE. People did not see this. To outsiders, I was probably glamorous.
Of course, because you can’t leave a giant hole in your life story, and because it creates more of an interest point in me, the first thing people note about me is “she is a filmmaker, film score composer, model...” and it gets glued to my name. To me. My persona. Never mind it is not a current occupation. People will presume every aspect of your being with the word “model” in your life story. You are wild. Beautiful. Shallow. Materialistic. Into going on dates every weekend with a misogynistic ripped abs guy of some societal status. You party a lot. No. Party too much. The IQ must be very low. You don’t have a university degree. You lack real skills. And the list continues.
For me to be on my path of changing my image, I have had to have animation and film music out. Talk as excitedly as one can, or until my fingers can’t stop typing, about everything I do and think online for others to know I have a genuine passion for these things. Yes, I kick my shy self to be outgoing in fear of people not knowing the real me! Demand I want to not quit journalism because I need a job that has nothing to do with what one looks like in an era when ALL that matters for women is their physical appearances in entertainment and corporate life. Dress the way I want: ladylike versus skin is in. Be as out there as one can. Because when you don’t reveal yourself to the world, the world decides who you are.
Looking positively at this, again, when people hear about me, the big thing they are first interested in is my unconventional transition into film/film music. How many filmmakers and film composers do you see on any awards roster who are former agency models? Haha! None. So far! The absurdity of it interests people and is by far my biggest marketing point one could ever wish for. Unintentionally, my modeling career never helped my actual modeling opportunities further. It helps me years later gather interest in my film/film music work? Make more connections because people have to meet this person with the backstory? OK, deal. Life has a way of working out. It’s for the best—and I should think twice about burning that chapter in my life.