Hold the Glamour

I am a full-figure model and working mother. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend. I am a Leo. I am a first-generation Aussie and mother to two amazing little native New Yorkers. I believe that fashion is important—but so is real life. I believe that all women are beautiful and strong. I believe in working hard and loving harder. I believe in eating delicious food and drink with close friends, in breathing deep the air of new places, in laughing until you cry. I believe that when our bodies and minds are healthy and balanced, anything is possible.

Tag: casting

It’s been a year!

I cannot believe that I started my blog, ‘Hold the Glamour’ at the end of March last year some 12 months ago. Incredible really! I’ve always documented my life in some way since I can remember and this past year I’ve gone public with it. So friends… Here we are. I can share that I’ve enjoyed the process, learning, growth and support of you all. Thank you very much.

NYC - Garment District (also known as the Fashion Capitol)

NYC – Garment District (also known as the Fashion Capitol)

Last week  I went on a couple of castings in the Garment District – the Fashion Center of New York. Wikipedia explains it best, “The Garment District, also known as the Garment Center, the Fashion District, or the Fashion Center, is a neighborhood located in the Manhattan borough of New York City”.

The District encompasses the area from 6th to 9th Aves – 34th to 42nd roughly. It is a highly concentrated area of manufacturing, fabric design, pattern making, design, couture houses and showrooms.

NYC - The Fashion District Needle & Button at 39th Street & 7th Avenue approximately

NYC – The Fashion District at 39th Street & 7th Avenue

One of my castings was for a bra packaging job and the other, for a big fashion label that specialises in straight-size and plus-size fashion. The views are always spectacular from their 40 odd floors above ground.

There is always so much activity and energy flowing in the Garment District. People are always on the move and rushing off to somewhere. Deadlines are endless and a part of life.

NYC - Fashion Center

NYC – Paying respect to the creativity and hard work of fashion

In both castings, I signed in with my name and agency on a sheet of paper then sat down and waited till I was called. I tried on two bras for the first casting and two outfits for the second.

Photos were taken in the samples supplied by a photographer whilst the ‘panel’ looked over my book, comp card and me in the flesh. There were seven people deciding for the bra job and two for the second job. It always varies from job to job and casting to casting.

Fortunately for me I was successful in both castings! I love a good week. One never knows how a casting will turn out so it’s always refreshing and rewarding when you succeed… Especially when it’s two out of two!

Whilst I was waiting to be seen, I flicked through a magazine that rested on the coffee table in the reception area and came across the quote/saying below. It resonated with me. I hope it does with you too.

NYC - A saying I came across in a magazine whilst waiting for one of my castings

NYC – A saying I came across in a magazine whilst waiting for one of my castings

Have you been to the Garment District or Fashion Center in Manhattan?

Have you ever worked in the neighborhood?

Do you have a quote/saying you love to live by? Share it with me please… I’m all ears.

Robin Williams & Woody Allen in one New York day

Today I was rushing out my apartment door, heading for the subway to take me into Manhattan for an audition/casting when I suddenly looked up and saw Robin Williams in front of me. He was filming a movie and they were doing take after take for the three minutes I stood there taking a couple of pictures for you. How wonderfully random – New York style.

Brooklyn - Robin Williams shooting a scene

Brooklyn – Robin Williams shooting a scene

Brooklyn - Robin Williams taking a break

Brooklyn – Robin Williams taking a break

I was on my way to an audition/casting for a Woody Allen film. The part I was going for was titled “French Woman” – yes, I know I’m not French however, there were two lines in French that I knew and could say well without feeling like a goose. We shall see!

NYC - Fulton Street subway stop

NYC – Fulton Street subway stop (where I got off)

I walked into ZuZu Productions downtown, located in the Financial District and it’s a seriously big production house. The staff was buzzing everywhere and a charming guy called Ivan came up to me and settled me in to the waiting room. There were two other lovely straight-sized models/actors who were tall, beautiful and had accents (none of them were French by the way). Perhaps, the role would welcome any foreign accent – mine included? Here’s hoping.

I walked in to the recording room with Todd who was clearly loving his casting job today. He too was charming and happy. How nice to see people enjoying themselves and what they do for work. Todd asked me about myself and we had a one reading run-through without being recorded. He was satisfied with what we did and proceeded to record me on video for the second reading. It went smoothly so I was pleased.

Even though I’m not an actress nor have I ever claimed to be one, my many years in front of the camera as a model, shooting numerous TV commercials and studying drama in both high school and university have enabled me to be comfortable and natural at castings and auditions. Thank goodness I didn’t have to learn ten pages of script off by heart  – that would have been a different story!

NYC - ZuZu Productions in the Financial District

NYC – ZuZu Productions in the Financial District

When I walked out of the room, there were two more tall, beautiful, straight-sized ladies waiting for their turn in front of Todd and the video recorder. I smiled to myself and tried to guess their accents. I’m certain that these lovely women originated from Russia or the Eastern Block. What happened to the French chick? How cool would it be to have a role, no matter how small in a Woody Allen film?! Bring it on.

2 castings and a hair cut

Happy Memorial Day long weekend to those of you in the US of A! Summer officially starts this weekend and everyone I know is thrilled for the warmer weather… Finally!

My first casting this week was in the heart of the garment district in New York City. I wore my ballet flats to and from the casting however, put my heels on in the foyer of the building just before popping into the elevator (typical model behaviour unless the model takes cabs everywhere and I’m not one of those chicks).

I just bought my orange/red wedges from Anthropologie and I couldn’t wait to wear them in, although slowly does it tiger with the new shoes. One does not wear new shoes all day in the city when one is walking around all day and zipping from one place to another. You may as well start counting your blisters now… Summer has just begun and I have the next few months to wear sandals, flip-flops and sexy summer shoes. I’m not about to ruin my feet.

I walked in, introduced myself to the designer and then she proceeded to look through my book. I had to try on a champagne coloured wedding dress and then she had the owner of the business come in and take a look. He too looked through my book then took two of my comp cards to keep before leaving for his office. I was there for no more than 10 minutes.

Next… I was off to get a hair cut at Cutler Salon on 57th Street and 6th Avenue. I’ve been getting my hair highlighted and cut at Cutler since I moved to the city 10 years ago… I’m a creature of habit and they do marvelous things for my hair. My mane is very important for my work as well as for me personally therefore I make sure  it is taken care of by the best people in the industry.

Jenny Balding is amazing at what she does and has been my hairstylist for eight or so years. She cuts my hair every three months and I feel like a new, lighter woman every time I leave. It’s like a shedding of the skin which I find therapeutic.

NYC - Jenny Balding cutting my hair at the Cutler Salon

NYC – Jenny Balding cutting my hair at the Cutler Salon

NYC - Cutler Salon

NYC – Cutler Salon

My second casting was at my agency Ford Models on Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District. I walk in to see my four bookers at their desks working hard and laughing even harder. I had my book updated with some new tear sheets (jobs I’ve done) and some new test shots.

A test shoot is a shoot that the model organises for themselves to get updated images in their book. I usually test one to two times a year. Some models test more, others less. The model usually pays for the test at a discounted rate to a typical shoot, unless the photographer wishes to do it for free which seldom happens these days. If  the whole crew needs new images to update all their books then it’s typically free. The crew usually consists of the photographer, photographer’s assistant, model, hair-&-make-up artist and the stylist.

Anyway, back to the casting at Ford, I waited about an hour because there were so many models waiting to be seen. There were men, straight-sized women and some fuller-figure models like myself. Once I go in to the conference room, I introduce myself and sit down. The three clients pour over my book looking up at me whilst flicking through. We chat briefly before the casting is over and I leave the city to catch the F train home to my slice of heaven in Brooklyn… Leaving the chaos, hum and buzz of the Big Apple behind for another day.

Peace and quiet can be very glamourous!

Castings, campaigns and space shuttles

New York - Florentina and I with Alberto our hairstylist

New York - Florentina and I

New York - Space shuttle Enterprise does a flyby past our studio

Last week I went to a casting that was held over three days… I went on day one within the first 90 minutes of the casting starting and discovered approximately 150 models waiting to be seen. There were women and men, full-figured and straight-sized models… All shapes and sizes if you will. I had to see the client then and there as I couldn’t return later or at another time due to work commitments.

So, I asked this guy who was by the door if he knew who was next. He told me it was him. I asked him if I could go next and mentioned my reasons why (I  jumped the entire queue in a matter of minutes and it was legitimate). I knew some people frowned upon such behaviour… So what! I’ve let people in before and certainly appreciate being let in. I saw the client, told them this very cute guy kindly let me in and off I went… Off to my next gig. It was a beautiful day in New York! So far so good.

My next gig was a fitting for a shoot the next day. I walked in to the Broadway building to another massive casting. It was my client looking for a straight-size model for another days shoot. Once I walked in to the conference room I took off my gear, tied my hair up in a ponytail, took off my jewelry and then I put their clothes, shoes and accessories on for my fitting. A tailor pinned the clothes where necessary and he was going to sew the samples later that day to fit my body perfectly for the shoot tomorrow.

The next day at the shoot, my fellow model Florentina Kuhl and I meet at the hair and make-up station at 8am, clean and clear as we call it (no make-up on, clean hair, nude or clear manicure and pedicure). This is how we are expected to show up to our shoots (although some do not). We shot for the clients fall print campaign. It was a great day and before I knew it we were done and it was time to go home and finalise my tax preparation… YUK!!! Where’s the down time?  I was exhausted.

My last shoot for the week was also in New York with another straight-sized model. We meet at 8.30am at the hair and make-up station… It was the U .N. as we called it. The hairstylist was from Greece, the make-up artist was from Canada and the two blonde models (me being one of them) were from Russia and Australia. We saw space shuttle Enterprise fly fast our building TWICE in a matter of minutes. Everyone was going crazy at the sight… Me included (see the photo above). It was a long day in dresses and heels standing on cement however, we were all so happy that it was Friday afternoon and the weekend was here. My hair and make-up was done and I was ready for Mila’s pre-school art auction that started at 6.30pm.

Another good week of glam!

So far this week

Self portrait - off to a casting in the city

Self-portrait – off to a casting in the city

My week starts off on Sunday night after returning from another two fourth birthday parties with water dripping from our skylight in our dining room (it was raining in New York all afternoon and evening). Not impressed at all, since the external repairs we completed last September. Not again I scream silently!

Monday morning I am calling the Condo Board or Body Corporate if you will, trying to get a roofer out A.S.A.P. to take a look at what we are dealing with all the time, trying to get ready for a casting in the city. A casting is like a meeting or appointment where you meet with the client or person booking you for the upcoming modeling job. We have many we need to attend. It’s a great way to meet new clients and refresh the memory of existing ones.

So, our nanny Mollie comes in to take care of Levi for a couple of hours whilst I get ready (hair & natural make-up a must), dash in to see the client, have some pictures taken of me after they have looked at my portfolio book. They take a composite card for their records then I dash back home in time to relieve Mollie and feed Levi his lunch. The two of us build a Lego barn afterwards so he can drive his matchbox cars in and out of… Levi’s favourite pastime.

After lunch, I clean and tidy up, put Levi down for his two-hour nap then go to work in our home office (filing, opening mail, sorting through receipts etc.) and make calls without interruption. This is a great chance for me to get ‘office work’ stuff done and it’s much easier when a child is napping.

Today the roofer and our super came to inspect the damage and probable cause of the leak. The quote is expected in the next day or two. The Condo Board meeting is on Thursday night so I’ll make sure to attend that (in place of Steve who’s on the board and not back with Mila until Friday) and see what the quote reveals.

This afternoon, I had a manicure and pedicure in preparation for work tomorrow. I have my  days or hours of ‘maintenance’ as I call it which includes hair colouring, hair cut every three months, waxing, manicures and pedicures. All the above has to be taken care of on a very regular basis. It’s my responsibility as a professional to take care of my business and believe me, it is work after a while.

It’s Tuesday night as I write my blog…. There’s never a dull moment in my world.

Stay tuned for the next glamourous post.