Thursday, April 2, 2009

A false start


When the modelling course was over, I took my A graded certificate and life went back to bored teenager in the suburbs normality. I didn't know what I could do next to seriously try my hand at the modelling business and was quite underwhelmed with my little portfolio of photos. Even I could tell that I was no natural at this. It seemed my dream was just that, a mirage, a fun little interlude but just not meant to be.

The agency who had presented the course was a small, amateurish operation and I suppose it wasn't in their interest to recommend that I try and find real, professional representation. So while I scoured the small print in the spine of every magazine editorial and read the sexy names of agencies like Boss, Storm and Outlaws, I had no idea that you could just call them up for an interview. I was sure you had to be discovered eating an ice cream (Naomi Campbell) or catching a flight out of JFK (Kate Moss). Imagine this world before the internet explosion, before entire channels on TV were dedicated to fashion, models and celebrities, before Tyra! All a girl could do was read her mom's fashion magazines and dream.

Then one day, out of the blue, the agency called and told me that if I could get to Cape Town within the hour, a photographer would shoot me for a newspaper. Excitedly I promised to get there in time and slammed down the phone to get going. Only then did I consider the facts:
I was 16 with no means of transport, both my parents were at work, my brother didn't have a license yet, and we lived 35 kilometers from the city. I decided I'd walk into our town centre and take a train. This could be my big break, I had to do this!

Luckily my brother sensibly interceded. It would take me thirty minutes to walk to the station, another fifteen to figure out which train to take. Then who knew when the train would depart, how long the journey would be and once all that was done I'd only be stuck at Cape Town station with no knowledge of the city or where I was meant to be. Never mind the fact that our public transport in SA is unreliable at best, dangerous at worst, and especially back in 1994 a young girl alone on a commuter train was probably not the best idea. He made me call the agency and tell them it couldn't be done. I hated him for it, while at the same time realising that he was absolutely right. Having my picture in the local newspaper, was just not worth putting my safety at risk.

6 comments:

Stephanie @ Gossip. Style. Wed. said...

Ugh, I so know that feeling of excitement and frustration. It's rancid.

Ruby Slippers said...

Ack, don't stop there! Evil woman.

Btw, I'm not sure if you know or did this on purpose, but your full posts aren't showing up on google reader. Is this so we have to click to the page to take part in the fun polls?

Being Brazen said...

I used to love Kate Moss and Claudia Shciffer. They were my favourite 90's models :)

Marie said...

I'm hooked, hooked, hooked. And feel for 16 year old you, dreaming of the break and then having to be sensible.

Cate Subrosa said...

I love your enthusiasm, but I'm also glad your brother stopped you.

So do you just call an agency or what?

(Ah, back to the early days of Redframe, waiting for the next instalment...)

Julia said...

OMG (and I don't write that lightly) I am having SO much fun reading this!