I landed my first modeling contract when I was eighteen years old. I was so excited. I found out I was pregnant, but shortly after I had my son I landed another one. I started teaching at a modeling school and was quite busy with modeling jobs. It was a fun time. I was tall and thin. Not all models are anorexic. In fact, I never knew anyone that was. Many of the girls had been teased over the years for being too skinny in school and modeling was a natural place for us. It could be hard on the self esteem at times but it was also a very empowering industry. In six inch heals (which placed me at 6’4″) and dressed in flattering clothes, I felt powerful and was in a unique place to really make a positive impact on younger girls.
The modeling schools accept anyone that has the money. This is true, but what you get through the process is priceless. I worked with them on posture, eye contact, auditioning, speaking, walking, personal care, and these girls felt beautiful and could show themselves as strong, confident young women by the end.
I loved the photo shoots. I was able to take my children with me when a shoot was out of town. I was a working-stay-at-home mom and it was just what I needed. I would take a break when I was three months pregnant with my daughters then return again to do more work.
My favorite was Runway modeling. To walk sensually, yet confidently down the runway, lights shining, music swinging, wearing amazing new fashions was really a great way to spend a weekend night. The entire day was spent in a hair stylist’s chair. What one’s hair would look like in the end was anyone’s guess. At one show my hair was chopped off, dyed bright red, and spiked. Another time, when I had long hair again, it was teased and wrapped around grapevines (I kid you not) and stood three feet in the air! It was fabulous. My fellow models and I always headed out on the town after these shows, full wild makeup and hair, just to get the different looks.
After Emily was born I went to work as the Executive Director of an acting and modeling agency. I was able to try my hand as a floor director for a pilot television show, was the villain’s girlfriend in a movie, and enjoyed finding new talent as well as staying busy with my own career. Eek, looking back I was a diva. Now the only time I get to be a diva is at karaoke. For three minutes at a time.
After that company folded (the owner disappeared), I quickly opened my own. Armed with new boobs and money from selling my house, I opened Supermodels Talent and after being in the paper, was able to find plenty of great models. (Incidentally most of them were from the county we now live in!) I was well known in the industry and it seemed it could go on forever.
I had my own assistant. God love him. I would simply put my arm out and he would be there to place another cup of hot Starbucks coffee in my hand. Now, I will be out in the gardens weeding, put my arm out, and…Darn it! Where’s my dang coffee?! Poor Doug. He stays out of my way when I get like that.
I put on a huge runway show downtown. All of my models were in it. My favorite designer and hair stylists and cosmetologists were apart of it. Broncos players and other local celebrities were in attendance. It was a fabulous final party. I was burned out.
Fast forward fifteen years and I am standing in a field with six goats watching the baby ducks waddling by. My overalls have chicken poop on them and my hair is under a handkerchief. Mucking boots replace six inch heels (though the heels might aerate well). I still do one runway show a year for my friend, Mindy, at the Douglas County Fair. Now, I am a farmgirl.
I know several friends and neighbors that have recently been laid off. They wonder if they should get another job. They wonder what they should do? Is it possible to reinvent yourself after doing the same thing for so long? Of course! What is it that you have always wanted to do? Sound scary? It’s not. Worst case scenario you have to get a part time job to support it. Time to lower costs of living and start living. It’s a perfect time to reinvent oneself!
I guess I’ll go get my own coffee. From the kitchen.