I am currently sitting outside of my apartment, chattering away to my TextEdit and waiting for my laundry to be done. I have no clean underwear left and I am commando in my black Brandy Melville dress, trying to find a comfortable position for my legs without exposing my private parts.
Brandon is out of town for a week due to work and I’m not scheduled to work until Thursday, so you’re going to be hearing a lot from me. Even more so than you do in general.
Actually, I need some help from my viewers. I have a question for you guys: what annoys you? Please send me a text, email, or Facebook message so I can make a list and quote you.
Lately, I have been getting a ton of messages asking how I was discovered and what the early stages of my modeling career were like. Because I am me and I’m not one to just write a single paragraph about it, I have written yet another three-part trilogy.
Let’s go back a couple years. Picture me: I’m 15 years old. I’ve grown 5 inches and have learned to wear mascara every day. My so-called “clear” braces are finally off and my hair is long and mermaid-like. It really was like coming out of the cocoon and turning into a butterfly overnight. On the outside, I was a tall, thin, blossoming young woman but on the inside, I still felt like the clumsy caterpillar.
It was a normal Friday at Cardinal Newman High School. I was sitting in class and tapping my pencil on my desk while watching the clock, my eyes growing wider and wider as I waited for it to finally be 2:33 PM. Our teacher was still trying to teach us something about Thomas Jefferson or whoever. I mean, honestly, why do teachers still try to fit in lessons 15 minutes before school lets out for the weekend? My friend, Maddie, looked at me from where she was sitting and made a sign with her fingers of a gun blowing her brains out.
Tick tock, tick tock.
With 15 minutes left, I started wondering how the night would unfold. My best friends (of that week or month) and I had plans to go to the mall and shop for something to wear to the football game that evening. Our colors were blue and gold which really sucked and put a damper on my outfit choices.
We all jumped out of our seats with smiles as we gathered the last of our book bags and pencils. Our teacher was trying to yell over our chatter about the supposed homework assigned for that weekend but we didn’t care. The only thing we were worried about was who passed for 21 and could buy Four Lokos. Maddie flipped her thin blonde hair and sauntered over to me.
“What’re you doing tonight?”
As if she didn’t know. All of the girls in my grade did the EXACT same thing on Friday nights.
“Going to the game. You’re going right?”
“Yeah, who are you going with?”
“Camilla, Cathleen, Erin, Ali, and Amanda.”
We continue chatting as we packed up and untucked our ugly baby blue buttondowns out of our khaki skorts that we were forced to wear. She told me she was going to the game with two girls that I disliked. I rolled my eyes. Maddie didn’t even like those girls.
The way our clique system worked was very weird. We were all typical, flaky teenage girls that fought over stupid things. We changed our groups as often as people change their clothes. There were really only two separations in our grade: The kids who did band and weren’t very good looking and then my friends, the pretty girls and boys who went to high school parties. At the moment, I was closest with the five girls that I mentioned but that didn’t mean Maddie and I weren’t close either. We all had an understanding that our friends didn’t mesh well together so we would choose and then disperse.
Maddie skipped off to her homeroom and I walked back in silence to mine, 100 kids rushing around me all talking at once. I always viewed teenagers as loud and annoying. I knew from an early age that I needed alcohol to be able to tolerate them. Some girls tried to talk to me as I passed them but I merely waved and pretended like I was in a big hurry to get to my homeroom.
I reached my homeroom where Camilla and Amanda were already packed and ready to go. I gave them hugs and they informed me that the others were on their way. I nodded and went over to my locker. I was always scared to open it for the fear of my books falling onto me. While most girls had pretty lockers with pictures and magnets, I threw my books in haphazardly and prayed that it would shut.
Isn’t it weird that I have a hard time remembering my oldest brothers birthday but I still remember my old locker combination?
I opened it slowly and breathed a sigh of relief as my textbooks and loose leafs stayed in place. My homeroom teacher was always telling me to clean my locker and I always just stared back at her as if she had just told me something beyond crazy. Eventually, my stare would make her feel uncomfortable and she would walk away. I learned to do that to get people to leave me alone and I still do it to this day. Nothing makes people feel more awkward than you just gaping back at them and not saying a word. It’s also a great way to get information out of people.
I packed my English literature textbook and notebook. I secretly loved writing essays, especially On good books like Romeo and Juliet or Great Expectations. My Friends always dreaded them and had tried to pay me to write theirs for them just because they couldn’t be bothered. I never did because I never wanted anyone getting credit for my writing abilities. I was a stickler about people cheating off my tests and whatnot which led to a lot of people to believe I was in uptight bitch. I did hate being in “regular English”. I thought I deserved to be in Honors English and It KILLED me when my slacker friends got the same grade as me. My monotone English teacher was just super lazy so he would basically just give us all A’s and B’s.
Cathleen, Ali, and Erin had arrived so we all strode out to Cathleen’s moms car because none of us could drive yet. We piled in and the car filled with our idle gossip and Katy Perry songs.
“God, I can’t STAND so-and-so”
“I know, she think she’s so cute and that every guy wants her. ”
We all chimed in with our mutual hatred of this girl. What none of us actually said was that she really was a cute, skinny, tanned girl that all the guys really did want. She was pretty but I thought her voice sounded like a crying baby. She had just fucked a boy in our class who Ali had a long time crush on back in the day. Ali always thought they were going to lose their virginities to each other and was crushed when this girl had sex with him like it was nothing. I really did feel bad for her. I had the same crushing blow when I found out a friend had hooked up with the boy I liked (and by hooked up, I mean given a hand job to at a party in the closet).
We arrived at the mall and got out at the food court. The girls wanted something to eat before we went shopping but I had no desire did to my Adderall. They chose Chikfila. Everyone ordered except for me and one of the girls shot me a look. She had spread a rumor about me the previous year that I was anorexic (which is weird because I developed bulimia only after I became a model) and had told everyone to cut me off until I got “better”. To this day I will never understand why she did that or why I chose to be her friend again afterwards. There’s a part in The Virgin Suicides where the youngest Lisbon sister, Cecilia, is hospitalized after trying to kill herself and the doctor says, “Why are you here? You’re not even old enough to know how bad life gets “.
“Obviously, Doctor, you’ve never been a 13-year-old girl.”
I resonated with this strongly which is silly when I think about it now. Teenage girls are just unwise and want to be liked by everyone which is impossible. They ate, and I watched them, my eyes daring them to make an anorexia comment. ******
I’m finding myself laughing as I’m typing due to the fact that teenage girls are just so funny. We are these irrational creatures that run around town and talk shit about our friends and then hug him when we see them. For example, these girls weren’t worried about my weight or health, they just wanted to have something to dramatize and talk about. I wasn’t any more innocent than these girls. I did the exact same thing but I did like to push people to their limits and challenge them to say things to my face. As teens, we are constantly in a limbo of wanting to be liked and hating the people that we want to be liked by. I thought that Cathleen was probably the most genuine out of my group of friends and that’s why I still consider her to be one of my best friends.
They finished their food and I sipped the last of my Coke Zero before making our way to Forever21. Instantly, we were greeted by bright pullovers and two dollar tank tops. We disbanded and went our own ways. I spotted a blue shirt that I knew would go with my gold Jack Roger (lolololol) sandals. As I was holding it up to my body in front of the mirror, a short woman of some kind of Asian descent approached me. Little did I know that this woman and her two cohorts that were trailing behind her, would change my life.
“Excuse me, are you a model? “, She asked timidly.
“Nooooo. That’s very sweet of you, though.”
She introduced herself as B and her colleagues, two hipster twin brothers, as E1 and E2. They explained that they had just started a mother agency for models and they liked my look.
“How tall are you? ”
“I’m five-seven, I think.”
We chatted more and she handed me their card. It was blush pink with their company name (we will refer to them as “The Mother Agency” from here on out) embossed in gold above a couple telephone numbers. I was a little taken a back and I was cautious about giving away too much information. I told them that my mother would give them a call. They nodded and smiled in unison and we said our goodbyes. Bewildered, I stared at my reflection in the mirror.
Me? As a model? Wait, really?
I got a tingle in my stomach from excitement.
Okay, calm down, Megan. They could be a scam or rapists. Don’t get your hopes up quite yet.
I was still pretty shocked as I walked over to my friends like a zombie. Cathleen was in the dressing room but the other girls were all together. They stopped their conversation as they saw me walk up with my weird, confused expression.
“So, I think I just got scouted.”
Amanda squinted at me, “What do you mean by ‘scouted’?”
I regretted telling them immediately. I explained what had happened very vaguely and just kind of shrugged it off so they wouldn’t think that I thought I was “hot shit”.
Camilla spoke first.
“Well, it sounds cool.”, she said nonchalantly.
“Yeah, it does.”
“Why didn’t they go up to Ali?”
I rolled my eyes. Couldn’t they just let me have this one moment? Sure, Ali was 5’8″ and very pretty with her bleach blonde hair and tanned body. Still, I agreed with them that it should’ve been Ali who got scouted, not me. She smiled and disregarded it.
Cathleen finally joined us in a hurry, carrying four things in a balled up heap under her arm. “What’s going on?”, she said out of breath. I grinned at her. I fucking loved (and still love) Cathleen. She marched to the beat of her own drum and I thought she was the prettiest out of my friends. She had long, dirty blonde hair that was always secured with a bow and had a beautiful, infectious smile. I could tell her anything without her judging me. She was like my soul sister.
“I was just approached by a modeling agency!”, I squealed, permitting myself to bask in my exhilaration.
She jumped up and down and hugged me.
“I know, I know but like my mom still has to talk to them and everything so I’m not going to get my hopes up too much.” I replied.
“Still, that’s so fucking cool, Megan”, she said, making her way over to the cashier.
Cathleen bought her things and we made our way to Bloomingdales. The subject shifted back to our meaningless highschool existences but I couldn’t pay attention. I had just been scouted. I had always known I was destined for bigger and better things besides West Palm Beach, Florida. This could be my ticket out of this boring town.
I excused myself to the bathroom and called my mom. She was thrilled. She told me she would call them when I was with her. I suddenly didn’t really want to go to the football game later. I just wanted to go home and call these mysterious strangers.
Cathleen’s mom picked us up and drove us back to her beautiful, two story house on the water. We all pranced up the stairs to Cathleen’s bedroom. It was the size of my mother’s master bedroom and had nautical accents everywhere. After locking the door, we all pulled out our many water bottles filled with our parent’s alcohol. We had a nice selection of Tito’s Vodka (Thanks dad!), Bacardi Rum, and an unknown tequila. I winced at the bottle filled with tequila. Every time I drank it, I would black out or do something really stupid. Also, THE SMELL OF IT.
We sipped our mixed drinks as we got ready, being careful to ration some of it to put in to-go cups for the game. I wanted to hook up with a boy tonight so I would need some liquid courage. We all started heating up our straightening irons and pulling out our new purchases. Getting ready was always my favorite part of going out. This was the time where we shared beauty tips and inside jokes were formulated. It was a sisterly type bonding that I didn’t get with my own sister who lived in Santa Barbara. We turned on Kanye West and laughed as we sang along to the aggressive lyrics.
Two hours later, we stumbled down the stairs, tipsy and ready to go. Each of us carrying our rum Gatorades and phones. We had run out of the Tito’s so we switched to rum and I now shudder at our naivety of drinking hard liquor. We climbed in Cathleen’s moms car once again, snickering at our clumsiness. Cathleen got in the front and kept looking back at us with semi-stern eyes to shut us up.
We arrived at the game twenty minutes later and walked on the damp grass like we owned the school. The thing about the football games is that nobody really watched them. We all just ran around flirting and avoiding our teachers, waiting for it to be over so we could go to someone’s house party afterwards. Immediately,I zeroed in on my crush. A senior who was my height and cute in a nerdy way.
It was slim pickings at my high school.
Throughout the night, we chugged our enhanced Gatorades and pranced around the bleachers. Some drama was occurring with Erin and one of the girls Maddie came to the game with. The girl that we had been bashing in the car was the center of attention, as always. I don’t remember much after that except for the fact that we went to some house party and I successfully hooked up with the boy. We ended up all at Cathleen’s at the end of the night, roasting marshmallows and eventually climbing into bed.
As boring as high school was, it was simple and innocent fun and if I could relive a year, it would probably be this one. I’m writing this as a budding twenty year old sitting in my apartment, nonstop smiling to myself about the memory of my friends and I as fifteen year olds. Oh, to be young, beautiful, and shameless. Back then, I worried about boys, grades, and friends; whereas five years later, I worry about things like taxes and rent. It’s baffling how much life changes in a short period of time.
The girls that I mentioned are still my friends and we’ve obviously all grown up. They may be mad that I portrayed them this way but this is how we truly were. This is how all 15 year old girls are. It’s funny truly funny to me that we used to behave this way.
The next day, I dragged my hungover body out of bed and into my mother’s Jaguar XJ8. My head hurt like hell and I wanted to throw up but I had to act normal so my mom wouldn’t be suspicious. With every sharp stop and turn, my stomach churned and I scrunched my face up, clutching my SmartWater tightly.
“Are you okay, Meg?” She asked, noticing my discomfort.
“Yeah, I just didn’t sleep very well.”, I lied. What she didn’t know wouldn’t kill her.
Thankfully, I lived very close to Cathleen so we were home before I knew it. I made a beeline for the fridge and immediately heated up last night’s Chinese takeout. I think my mom used our stove once or twice in that house. She hated cooking and would always bring home prepared meals from Joe’s Classic Market, which we all loved. I found some unused chopsticks from one of our many deliveries and dug in.
My mom joined me at our granite kitchen island and nibbled on graham crackers. Even in my debilitating state, this made me smile. I adored my mom even though I rarely showed it. She’s 5’4 and skinny with short strawberry blonde hair and blue-green eyes. I nicknamed her Loris after the small, slow-moving monkey because she wasn’t very good with technology and both of their eyes take up 70% of their delicate faces. I could never stay mad at her because of those eyes.
I fished the business card out of my Vera Bradley overnight bag and handed it to her. She studied it and started typing the number out with one finger. I watched anxiously between bites of my lo mien.
“Hello, The Mother Agency. E1 speaking.”, said a Spanish accented voice.
“Hi. This is Megan’s mother, Lorri. I believe you stopped my daughter in the Gardens Mall yesterday and gave her your card.” She spoke so eloquently over the phone due to the many dictations she had to make as a lawyer.
“Ohhhh HIIII!”, E1 shrieked back.
E1 spoke with my mom on the phone for a good hour and my mom informed me that we would be meeting with them next Saturday at our favorite Starbucks. A whole week? How would I be able to focus in school knowing I have a meeting with a real modeling agency that could change everything?
I hugged my mom and put my dishes in the sink. She hated asking us to do chores because her parents never made her do them and she also did things in a very meticulous manner. My ex-stepfather-times-three (yes, they married and divorced three times) hated this and would try to make us do them. Caitlin and Robbie were very sassy back to him but I would use my favorite diversion tactic of quietly gaping back at him with a stone face. Needless to say, we never ended up doing anything he asked us to do.
I trudged upstairs and peeled off my sweatpants and tee shirt and checked myself out in the mirror. Turning side to side, I realized for the first time that I had a cute, slim figure. I frowned at my nonexistent chest. My boobs were the size of the ends of potatoes that you cut off. I always hated taking my bra off in front of boys because I felt like I had let them down.
I brushed my teeth and climbed back into my vintage-looking, wrought-iron princess bed. I clicked on my TV and chose Bring it On for background noise. Kristen Dunst and Jesse Bradford flirted on screen and I remembered how I used to have a crush on him in the early 2000’s when the movie premiered. Funnily enough, I would meet him years later at Caffe Primo in LA through my roommate and tell him that he was the man responsible for my sexual awakening. He drove us throughout LA in his vintage yellow car and we stopped at multiple restaurants to try their mimosas. I forced him to follow me on Instagram.
Only seven more sleeps until I meet with them, I thought before dozing off.
A hangover nap doesn’t count.
The week flies by and is a mix of more petty gossip and endless homework. The only part of school that I actually looked forward to was my English class. We were learning about poetry that week and I actually have one of the poems saved on the laptop that I am chattering away on. I wrote about Marie Antoinette’s transition from Austria to France and it was actually very good with notes of underlying facts that I knew from reading her biography for fun. For example, She REALLY did have her pug, Mops, ripped from her arms, as well as all other Austrian things she was bringing; She REALLY did have a fascination with cherry trees; and the ending symbolized that she has entered France because she starts speaking French:
Farewell my gentle childhood
I must leave you behind in the garden.
Farewell to the cherry trees
from which I lay beneath and dream
Farewell my dear Mops,
to whom I found a friend
Farewell my innocent love
you remain forever in my heart
I thought that shit was good for a 15 year old in regular English. All of the extra facts and information would inevitably go unnoticed by my teacher who actually gave me the same grade as one of my classmates who wrote about his love for spaghetti. Not saying that I am William Shakespeare, but I really did take the time out to study my subjects and try to seduce the readers with my words.
I have another one saved on my computer as well. Our assignment has been to implement a pun in one of our poems. My smart ass decided to put an asterisk underneath my poem to highlight my genius to my dim-witted teacher:
November 4 2010
Staring up at the glowing night sky
These stars form into a constellation
The beauty of the scene possesses I
As the stars shine with an obligation.
The heavens are warping reality
I can not shut my eyes for an instant
For fear of meeting actuality
As stars reach down and leave an imprint
By the view, I am becoming mindless
For a minute, the diamonds hesitate
For this celestial sight gives me bliss
The diamond shapes begin to dilate
Vincent is prevailing my perception
Gogh(PUN) on Vincent, maintain your reception.
*I used Vincent Van Gogh’s name as the pun because he painted a famous picture and named it, Starry Night*
Meanwhile, I will never forget my friend Jaynie’s poem. She wrote a silly poem about a narcissistic, aging woman who found a grey hair and thought she would dye. WHAT A RIOT. I would have to tone down my anger when we received our equal grades back because you’re not supposed to care about things like trying hard in high school. No fucking way, that made you SUPER uncool.
My friends were perplexed when I decided to skip out on this Fridays football game but I think they were kind of relieved. That’s one less girl to compete with. Again, I’m tapping at my keyboard and shaking my head and smiling because I was truthfully the same way. I groaned whenever I heard another girl would be joining our night out. Fucking so-and-so is coming? Ugh fuck that, I’m not down. But you also had the fear of missing out (FOMO) so it actually wouldn’t stop you from going. Nothing was worse than looking on Facebook the next day at all the fun you missed or hearing about it at lunch on Monday.
I spent my Friday night on my brown leather couch watching Blue Lagoon. My mom had just spent $20,000 on some new furniture pieces for our living room. She was fascinated by rococo style after watching Marie Antoinette and had just bought all of this new furniture, which included a beautiful hand-carved, brown and gold daybed that she always ended up falling asleep on. She sat on her throne and watched in silence with me. Brooke Shields in the eighties was everything to me, and even though Blue Lagoon has a thin plot line, I still watched it over and over to admire her flawless beauty. Chris Atkins and his toned body were also nice to gawk at.
The scene where they make love for the first time was always my favorite. I pictured myself as Brooke Shields and wondered what it would be like to have a beautiful man over me and holding me. I wanted to lose my virginity on an island with a gorgeous boy that I’ve known forever (HA!). I drifted off dreaming of the bleach blonde, curly haired boy on the screen in front of me.
Eight hours later, I woke up with a knot in my stomach. Wow wow wow, I’m meeting them today and I have NO idea what they’re going to say.
Our meeting was scheduled at 3 pm so that meant I had to fill time with mundane activities until then. I took out my math textbook and decided to put a dent into my homework. My thoughts kept drifting off and turning to the meeting.
x=3y-42 (8 + 9)
x= Who the fuck cares? I’m going to be a model.
I tried playing with my chubby Akita puppy (who was actually a couple years old but she reminded us of an overgrown baby so naturally we called her a pup) and even decided to clean my room. I don’t have the patience to clean my room and no matter what there is always a giant heap of clothing that I sift through and let grow. My mom didn’t care if I cleaned or not but she did always nag me to fold my clothes and take better care of them. I didn’t mind cleaning on Adderall so I decided to take half a pill and turn on some Passion Pit to get me in the zone.
Adderall is like my second god.
Not really, but it does give me super human focusing abilities that I truly need to function in life. My father and stepmom were always urging me to get off of it and I refused. I know it’s “bad for my brain” or it’s “too much serotonin being released in my brain at once” or whatever. I know this and couldn’t care less. Even if it really did damage my body and brain the way everyone said it would, I assumed science would come up with something to rectify it. I looked forward to the future advances in medicine regarding how to make the brain and body better. Now as a twenty year old, I take Adderall, Zoloft, and Clonopin. Without these three drugs, I would be batshit crazy.
Two o’clock rolled around and I began my getting-ready process. I had washed and straightened my hair the previous day so I wouldn’t have to wash it until Sunday or Monday; and for those of you rookies who grimaced at that sentence, just know that it is better to NOT wash your hair every day. I sat in front of my mirror and carefully applied my mascara, lash by lash, as well as rimming the inside of my top eyelid with black Mac eyeliner. This makes your eyes appear bigger and brighter and people can’t tell you’re wearing makeup. I decided to shave my underarms and pubic hair even though I knew they wouldn’t see either. I always felt super self conscious if I had an inkling of hair on either area, which resulted in many razor bumps. I don’t care as much these days. Not that I will let anything grow into an 80’s bush but I don’t shave everything everyday like I used to. Another tip: it’s not good for your skin to shave EVERY DAY, especially if your skin is as sensitive as mine.
It’s 2:15 p.m. and I have no fucking clue what to wear.
I examined my trademark pile of clothes and opted for simple True Religion blue jeans and a white tee-shirt. I wondered if I should wear some sort of heel because models are supposed to be very statuesque. I didn’t own any that were casual so I headed to my sisters expansive closet. I ignored her many designer items of clothing and checked out her shoe collection. After trying on six pairs of shoes, I opted for her black buckled boots that had a nice two-and-a-half inch heel.
I carefully glided down the stairs in my outfit, learning to acclimate to the heel height. I’m grinning AGAIN because within two months, I would learn how to jog in five-inch heels. Not only did modeling teach me how to stride with confidence in sky-high heels, but it taught me how to climb onto couches in clubs to dance and jump on. Cue my agencies and mother glowering at my last comment. Hehehehehe, sorry.
“MOOOOOOOMMMMM!”, I yelled throughout the house and heard an echo.
We were always calling out to each other in this manner because the house was so big and we couldn’t be bothered to actually go downstairs or upstairs to find the person we were looking for.
“YEAH?!”, she cried out from her bedroom.
I followed her voice and found her in her closet picking out an outfit that was a bit too similar to mine.
“No way, mom, you have to change or it will look like we tried to match.”
My mom didn’t put up a fight as she changed into her navy blue Cache shorts and striped boatneck tee. She was a faux Kennedy but dressed like a real one as she slipped on her Jack Roger navy sandals. She must’ve had about thirty pairs of Jack Rogers as well as Uggs in 10 different colors. I detested Uggs and called them the “winter version of Crocs”. I thought it was silly of her to own so many pairs especially since we lived in Florida. She liked to wear them with her fuzzy Calvin Klein robe in the morning when she made her coffee and pecked at graham crackers. She still does the same thing now and I love seeing her in the morning. She eventually earned the name “Baby Yeti” because that’s what she reminded me of. People get a kick out of seeing her name in my phone as that when she calls. It has morphed from “Lorris” to “Little Tortilla Chip” and finally, “Baby Yeti”, with a photo of the friendly Yeti from Monsters Inc. I love giving nicknames to everyone in my phone. i.e. When my dad is pissing me off, which is 90% of the time, I will change his name to “Satan” and use a stock photo of an overweight male dressed in a devil costume laughing.
As I waited for my notoriously late mother, I sent a couple texts from my iPhone 3 and cleaned out my olive green Michael Kors messenger bag. She emerged from her bathroom smelling of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue and we headed for the garage. Three shining cars parked before us: My brother’s Pontiac G8 GT, Caitlin’s Mercedes C230 Kompressor, and my mothers burgundy Jaguar. We jumped in the car and I played the mix tape that I had made for her. It was comprised of David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin.
Ground Control to Major Tom: Take your protein pills and put your helmut on, Bowie crooned in “Space Oddity”.
Eight, seven, six…
Commencing countdown, engines on.
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you.
I felt like David was singing to me as we pulled up into the plaza that held our famed Starbucks. We parked and headed inside to order our favorite drinks. Grande white chocolate mocha with extra whip for Lorris and a skinny vanilla iced latte for me. We found a nook that contained a tiny sofa with two chairs beside it. My mom and I decided they were a bigger party than we were so we gave them the plush couch and I pretended to listen to whatever my mom was saying at that moment.
The three puzzling strangers who had stopped me at the mall entered.
They gave us big hugs and were so happy to see me. We engaged in small talk.
“How was your drive up here?”
“Not so bad. We love this area!”
They pulled out their portfolio and we got down to business. They talked to my mom about the modeling industry and I flipped through the pages of their portfolio. They were photographers as well as agents. I was in awe of the naturally made up girls posing. That could be me.
They pulled out a mock contract and told us to look it over before they gave us the real one. They also wanted me to have a test shoot with them to see if I had what it takes. We agreed to drive down to their studio in Miami the next weekend.
Ugh, another week of school? Seriously?
That had to be the longest week of my life as I couldn’t wait to show off my modeling skills. I practiced with the Photo Booth on my Mac Pro computer. I shuddered seeing those photos years later and deleted them, trying to erase them from my brain.
That Saturday finally rolled around and I woke up at 7 am. We were scheduled to be in Miami at 10 am. They told me to bring down a bag of neutral colored clothes and heels. I had raided my sisters closet and packed the night before so I was all set to go. I had a light breakfast of yogurt and a banana.
My mom got in the car at 8:15 AM and began our trek. I nervously picked at the split ends in my hair and listened to Queen.
Is this the real life?
Is this a fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
We pulled up to a sketchy looking warehouse and my mother and I exchanged glances. E1 came out and waved his arms at us. We parked and exchanged cheek kisses.
They picked out three of my outfit choices and gave me thick eyebrows and mascara. I was extremely nervous. What if they didn’t want me anymore after the test shoot?
We drove to a nearby park to shoot. I stood in front of a tree, racking my brain for different posing ideas.
“Just relax. Don’t be nervous. Just pretend like you’re sitting in a classroom right now.”
I gave them a bored look and they loved it. They taught me to part my lips a little and angle my head down. I leaned my head back against the tree and let myself open up. I kept telling myself that it was like playing dress up and to be calm. We moved around the park quite a bit and I got more comfortable with posing.
B came up to me to adjust my hair and whispered, “You’re doing great!”
My stomach ballooned with excitement.
A couple hours later, we finished and headed back to the studio. I changed and put my hair in a sloppy bun. My mom and I sat before them in the waiting room they had.
E2 got serious and folded his hands in front of him.
“So, we love her. We want to sign her and send her around the world to model.”
They presented us with a five-year contract that we were going to have our lawyer look over. They told us they would send us the pictures that week. My eyes dilated the more they spoke of London, Paris, New York, and Milan.
“We think Marc Jacobs would loooove you!”
I signed with them that Wednesday.
A blog wrote about me as an up-and-coming model that hadn’t been signed with an agency yet. One of the commenters wrote that I looked like a baby Brooke Shields and I thought I would explode with happiness.
After the post came out, my agency got a hundred emails from different agencies all around the world. They sent me a screenshot of all the emails and I couldn’t believe it. These people wanted to represent me!
We got a call from them a couple days later saying that Next Miami wanted to meet with me. I think I ran around the house yelling, “HOLY SHIT I’M GOING TO BE A FAMOUS MODEL! HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!” until my mom made me stop saying “shit”.
The meeting, which I will write about in the next post, was not what I thought it would be. AT ALL.
Tune in tomorrow for Becoming a Model part two.
****I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. I want to make another note here to anyone that may interpret the way I’ve portrayed you (that is, if you can figure out who you are). I’m writing about us as fifteen year olds and I’m not skimping on our catty behavior. I, too, was also a bitch and I know this. WE WERE FIFTEEN.