A Day in the Life of a Model #4…Stroppy Divas
So! Today started off with an absolutely killer session at The Skinny Bitch Collective. I have a feeling that Russell Bateman is a sadist, crouching there in a dark corner like Lucifer next to a stereo that’s pounding out techno and shouting LUNGE!!! Although, thinking about it, he did crack a smile as he did an impression of me to the whole class of me getting an exercise wrong. He really nailed my uncoordinated jumping jack/dim smile combo (I like to smile through pain, a bit of cognitive behavioural self-therapy. I hope my bikini waxer doesn’t think I’m weird). I basically felt like I was about to faint or be sick the whole time, but wanted to do it again afterwards because a) endorphins and b) Doutzen Kroes.
I reckon the classes will have such an impact that I’m tempted to do ‘before: out of shape and covered in a fuzzy layer of hair’ and ‘after: extensively retouched in flattering light in my Victoria Secret campaign’ but I’m too vain for the before pics.
Then onto the casting, which was between the times of 10-12. Upon exiting the station, I saw a missed call from my agency. Despite being an adult, I still get a snaking, cold fear when I see that the agency has rung, not dissimilar to how I felt before (and during) January hockey lessons at school. Especially if it’s Igor. ‘What have I done?’ ‘What will be asked of me?’ ‘Will I be dropped?’ ‘Is he going to ask me if I can drive/ice skate/tame lions and be disappointed when I say no?’* I also worry that I might have just missed an opportunity for a casting for a big job, which has happened before.
*The worst call was ‘can you dance professionally? Would you be willing to be dressed up as a large letter of the alphabet and be filmed dancing for Channel 4?” Luckily, I can’t dance professionally (or amateurishly)
I rang back and, with my sweetest voice, said “Hello! How are you!” Worrying that I’d got the timing of my casting wrong or somesuch. “Where’s Caroline? Have you seen Caroline?”
“Um, no, I’ve been at a very intense exercise class,” (This was to counter the pictures currently all over Facebook of me eating and drinking my way through last weekend).
“Well if you see her tell her that she needs to get a new phone as I’m trying to get hold of her and her phone keeps dying every 5 seconds.”
PHEW! He was ringing me up to tell someone else off, through me. Far preferable.
Having been issued strict instructions not to turn up too early or late ‘OR YOU WILL NOT BE SEEN’. I turned up to the casting at a very respectable 11:20AM, and was unfortunately greeted by a snaking line of dispirited fellow models in a very narrow entrance to the offices. It went up and down the foyer three times, then all the way down a staircase. Goodie! No one likes a long queue, and few people are able to resist comparing themselves to all the seemingly thinner/more elegant/younger/beautifuller/stylish competition.
“CAN YOU GET UP OFF THE FLOOR, PLEASE!” A harassed looking lady shouted at us all. I squeezed my bottom onto a tiny seat full of deserted handbags and coats (models are very trusting leaving their stuff everywhere – I’m not and always keep my bag on me. Stuff does get nicked). I was very glad I made this move, as all other models with no seat were told to wait outside!!! Sorry, but this is really out of order. It’s February. The waiting time was around half an hour or more. If you can’t fit a lot of people in an office, don’t get invite 150 or so models in a 2 hour window. We are skinny, and you can fit a lot of us in, but this was a bit much. “YOU’VE ALL COME AT ONCE AND THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY OF YOU!”
Well to be honest, I was 40 minutes before the finishing time, which means that loads of other girls got there at 11. Basically we were getting harangued for their decision not to stagger arrival times per agencies, which would have avoided this issue. I do understand why she was a bit stressed as she probably had tonnes of work to do and didn’t want this casting to overspill into her day, but I didn’t really get why we were to blame.
So the decision was made that the photographer would come to us, peek through our books and tell us whether to proceed to the second casting where they’d try clothes on. “Oh, I’ve seen you before!” Said the lady with him. “You were talking about your fringe of power.”
WAS I? Did I say those words? I probably did. “Was I also talking about bumblebees?” I asked, realisation dawning.
“Yes, I think you were,” replied the photographer. I pondered on why I didn’t book the job. “I think we can send you through to try on the clothes.”
“Oooh, you’ve swiped right!” Said I, with what I felt was a rather pithy Tinder joke. He looked nonplussed and moved onto the next model.
This part of the queue took a very, very long time. Long enough for me to ask how I knew a girl next to me, and then realise that I had never met her but I had once looked through an entire photo album of her wedding on Facebook. I told her this. I regretted telling her this.
Anyway the next part is quite boring. Basically I had to try on a green dress and stand to the side of the room quietly, waiting for the photographer to continue swiping left/right in the other room. I enjoyed watching the two clients not-silently-enough discussing why I was wrong for the job. I left.
And then I didn’t wake up and none of it had been a dream. Alas.