After like five dyes I finally got it to where I like it:
After like five dyes I finally got it to where I like it:
I’ve been trying to not be a model for a while, but it’s addicting. I feel like shit most of the time when I’m not booking jobs, but then a job comes along that pays my rent for a few months. I imagine it’s how strippers feel, being treated like whores but then some rich guy comes in and gives you $500 to rub your tits in his face. I don’t actually know what happens in strip clubs, I’ve only been to two- both of which were in Kalamazoo. One of them was extremely awkward because a girl I knew from high school was dancing around topless and clearly on meth. She was okay looking though. You have to rate strippers in the Midwest on a sliding scale. A ten in Michigan is like a six in LA. But a six in Michigan is like a ten in London. I have an excel spreadsheet of this.
I’ve been working on a book for a while, and I finally got a chance to meet editors who weren’t interested in just “general” meetings. It’s such a relief when someone actually wants to meet you because they’re interested in what you do rather than think you’re interesting and want to hang out. I was in London with James being a model, so I flew to New York for a few days of meetings. Oh New York, you are just the best city in the world. The weather was great compared to rain and coldness constantly in London. I was so happy in New York not having a car and getting anywhere in Manhattan in fifteen minutes on the subway. I don’t know why I don’t just move back….
After a great day of meetings I planned on getting some pizza and going to a movie playing at the Tribeca festival called Trust Me, that I’m in! (only two lines but it’s my first feature). I got off the subway and went into my hotel room. I called James to tell him how great my meetings went but instead we had one of those relationship talks that felt like a knife is being stabbed into my stomach. Relationships are hard, especially when one person is working sixteen hours a day in another country. I never got my pizza. I cried. I called my sister and she told me to go see my movie to get my mind off of things. I was tempted to stay inside and contemplate suicide but I went to the movie. Clark Gregg directed it, and asked me to be in it because he thinks I’m hilarious on twitter. At least that time wasting website is good for something!
While watching the movie I was so upset I felt like I was in a dream. A very bad dream. You know those times in your life when everything is so great? It’s very rare for me, so when I notice I’m feeling like that I stop myself from getting excited because it’s never that easy. I guess I was right. Anyway. After the movie I got texts from friends asking to grab a drink but I just couldn’t. I had to be up at 4am for an eight-hour flight back to London. I was originally flying home to LA but I booked a great job that was worth flying back for. I slept maybe two hours and then took a very depressing subway ride to the airport. I had two seats to myself so at least I had that going for me.
I got to London in the evening and had to be up the next day at 6am to take a two hour train to Manchester. I’m surprised I haven’t contracted a sickness from not eating properly and being stuffed inside airplanes. The ride to Manchester was nice. The countryside in the UK is very beautiful, green, and peaceful. It rains every fucking day so the foliage better be neon green. I met two other models on the train and we found a cab to take to the hair salon. Everyone could tell I wasn’t in a great mood because I barely said a word the entire eight hours that my hair was getting cut and colored. Another model I worked with was American and from LA, so we talked about how much better London is for work than LA.
After the hair prep I went to my hotel. I shared a cab with a male model. We didn’t say one word to each other. I have no idea what to say to them really. “So, you’re really good looking and tan, how’s that going?” I run up to my room and look at my hair in the mirror. It’s shorter, darker, and has some weird red things in it. Whatever, it’s my job. I tried to sleep but it wasn’t happening. I decided to take a stroll outside during sunset and take pictures. Manchester is amazingly beautiful.
As I was walking down some street with a thousand pubs on it, a man with a French accent stopped me. I turned around and a very stylish South African/French man was standing there with what I assumed was his girlfriend.
“Are you french?” he asked.
“Nope, American, boring I know.”
“You’re kidding? You look so French! Your style is so Parisian! I love it!”
I’m wearing the same black Paige jeans I’ve worn for a month, my Golden Goose sneakers and black fake leather jacket. I wear a version of this outfit basically every day.
“What are you doing? Just walking around?” he asked.
“Yep, here for the night working, not doing much.”
“Well you should come to a pub with us!”
Normally in this situation I would make up an excuse to not go, but I went with Patrick and Ana. We went to a pub close by where they knew the bartenders- a cute French girl and a tall, skinny, stylish English guy. I ordered a ginger beer with rum, very delicious. I don’t really drink much and I haven’t been eating much so I only drank about half. The couple asked about my life and what I do. I told them about my relationship drama and we talked about music and fashion. They had never heard of LCD Soundsystem, who are these people?!? They were very perceptive and friendly. They told me I had a really kind vibe and I seemed like a dreamer. For whatever that’s worth it made me happy.
After a few hours of going to different pubs they asked me to come to their flat because they wanted to cook me salmon and spinach and listen to Amy Winehouse. As fabulous as that sounds I was ninety percent sure both of them would try to make out with me. They walked me back to my hotel and we said goodnight. I ate a bag of pop chips, texted with James for a while and went to sleep.
The next day was the shoot. I was in a much better mood. Half of the shots were outside (it was about 40 degrees and windy). I’m a professional god dammit and I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time so I modeled the shit out of that hairstyle. The photos looked great and I was finished by 4pm. I took the train back to London, watched Survivor with James, and went to sleep.
We went to the London Zoo that weekend and had a great dinner in Teddington next to our favorite cigar shop. It was raining on and off that day, and by the time we left the restaurant there was a giant rainbow in the sky. It was a great end to that day, and I flew back to LA the next morning.
And here I am.
I woke up this morning- EARLY this morning at 4am because my shit fuck head of a neighbor was up doing drugs and playing the drums. I called the police. Which is funny because the police were here two days ago to arrest Mark for threating a girl who lives in the building next to us. My new goal is to get him either evicted or put in jail. I love my apartment enough to stay but he’s ruining my life.
As you know from me complaining about it all the time- I’ve had an ongoing battle with acne since I was 15. I took Accutane a few years ago, which cleared up everything. Without makeup there’s a little bit of scaring but it’s so minimal that I’ve never been rejected a job because of it. This morning I went in the bathroom to examine my skin and it looked better than it has all year. It makes me very happy when my skin is clear, and despite being woken up by Mountain Dew Mark, I was feeling really good about myself.
I had an audition for an insurance commercial and I ran into a girl I know. I mentioned that my current print agency isn’t working out (I’ve been on maybe 20 twenty castings since they signed me 8 months ago and I’ve booked 6 jobs, oh and they owe me $2000 from a job I did in December where they cut all my hair off). I told her I had a meeting at a new agency and she said, “ehh, they’re okay.” I knew they were an “ehh” agency but I know a girl there who gave me a booker’s contact info and he wanted to meet me so it was easy. At this point any agency would be better than my current one. I didn’t feel like being rejected by Elite or Ford again so I figured this new smaller agency would be happy to sign me.
I get to the office and it’s in a large building on Wilshire. I open the door and see that it’s a little ghetto. Two older blonde women are sitting at a table across from each other and don’t notice me. A few seconds later a guy walks right by me and sits at the table and immediately starts talking about how some drunk girl hit his car. This story goes on for about ten minutes.
He finally looks at me and says, “Hi, do you need something?”
“Yeah, I had an appointment with you at noon, Melissa.” It’s about 12:15
“Ok fill this paperwork out.”
One of the blonde women walks over and hands me a clipboard with basic info bullshit, sizes, age, blah blah.
“Wow, you’re cute!” She said and smiled. They already love me.
The booker comes over and sits in a chair next me. “So, tell me about yourself.”
I talk about working in NYC and how I was constantly busy, and how I just got back from London where I signed with an agency. I mention I’ve worked for Target, L’Oreal, Nikon, Vice, In Style, etc. all the big jobs I’ve had, the designers I’ve worked for in NY, and tell him about the national commercial I’m in that’s currently running. I’d be impressed with me. That’s a pretty great resume for a model that’s only been working 3 years.
Someone walks in and we move to the table with him and the two women. Some strange Indian guy comes out of a room and says something to one of the women and walks back. It was weird. I notice the wardrobe the two ladies are wearing- not very good for a modeling agency. That sounds snooty but every other agency I’ve been in has been full of well-dressed people who are on top of their shit in the fashion world. The office didn’t look professional. I’ll just say that. To be honest I was ready to leave right when I got there because I didn’t feel comfortable.
He looks through my portfolio and says, “Well, the first thing I notice about you is your skin, you have some scarring?”
I’m surprised he brought this up because a few hours earlier I noticed that my skin looked great.
“You need to take care of your skin, what are you doing?” He asks sassily.
“Well I took Accutane a few years ago, use Retin-A every night and I’ve been getting chemical peels but no one has ever mentioned it as a problem in the past year.”
“Okay, well I notice it, and if a casting director sees a girl who looks like you, then sees you, he’s going to choose the girl with the better skin.” He talks to me like I don’t know how the modeling business works.
At this point I’m a little annoyed and I don’t like how he’s talking to me. He looks through my portfolio again.
“Your book needs a TON of work.”
I give him a confused look.
“You don’t think so?”
“Well, actually, no, I’ve gotten nothing but compliments on it in NY and last month in London. I think it’s very strong.”
He goes through each photo saying “yes” or “no” to them. He stops at my L’Oreal photos, which I think are strongest in the book, and says, “Eww, these are tacky.”
“Those are from L’Oreal, that was the biggest job I’ve ever done and those are on the L’Oreal website and in salons.”
“Well I don’t like them at all. How long ago did you cut your hair? These photos don’t look like you.”
UMM HELLO ISN’T THAT THE POINT OF BEING A MODEL??!? My job is to transform into whatever the designer or director wants and I have a look that does that. OF COURSE every photo isn’t going to be a 100% noticeable photo of my face because most models look very different when photographed.
I’m so annoyed. I wanted to leave. He asks me to stand up. I’m wearing a tight short skirt and a cute shirt. He asks how big my hips are.
“Hmm.” He moans. HMM WHAT? Did you not know that 35 is the most common size for models hips? Kate Moss has 35 inch hips, Agynes Deyn has 35 inch hips. Every fucking model I know how has either 34, 35, or 36 inch hips. Don’t “Hmm” me.
“Well you have a commercial agent already?”
“Yeah, and I like them, I booked a commercial with them and they send me out on lots of auditions.”
“We like to keep our girls all under one umbrella- commercial, print, theatrical, just so we don’t have to compete with your other agency and get schedules mixed up.”
Sure, that makes your life easier, but I’m not willing to risk losing a great commercial agent to try out your agency when you don’t even like my portfolio and think I look too dissimilar to my photos.
“We’ll sign you for print, but you have to give up your commercial agent and sign with us commercially too.”
“I’m sorry, I just can’t.” He hands me his business card and says if I change my mind to let him know.
No. I won’t be doing that. And honestly, I don’t like you. This isn’t New York, you don’t have to pretend like you work at the top of the chain at Elite. You are in a shitty rented office building with those square foam ceiling tiles from 1987 and a piece of white paper that has your agency’s name typed out and laminated on your front door. If my portfolio is tacky then your “faux” hawk is even tackier.
Good day, sir.
I was just in the UK for a month where I found myself a London agency and learned to drive on the other side of the road. I initially was going to be there for two weeks visiting James but the first week I was a victim to jet lag, and had some 24 hour vomiting flu thing. So I extended my ticket another few weeks. I did NOT expect to find an agency as easily as I did, but that, of course, is my low self-esteem talking.
The house where I was staying is about a 45 minute train ride into London, which I’m used to from my days of commuting from Long Island to Penn Station. I imagined London as a foggier New York, but it’s actually quite spread out which makes going to 5 castings a day challenging. I learned the underground system in one day. Fuck you NYC subway system! I still use google maps to get from the Lower East Side to Hells Kitchen. Get your shit together and color code your lines! Five-year-olds could maneuver the tube for fucks sake.
It’s been a while since I’ve actually posted something unique on this blog and not something from Vice. Nobody cares or notices except for me. Great. Good talk.
Anyway. I’ve been in LA for 4 days and on each of those days I wake up at 5am and instantly start panicking about everything. If I have shit I need to get done I will obsess over them until they’re completed. It’s very unhealthy and stresses me out far more than I need to be. Pills are helping, and I could increase my dosage to be a zombie but I NEED to have these feelings. I like being sad, just not all the time. Sometimes I feel like a boring, uncreative piece of garbage, and no matter how hard I think of something funny or interesting to say it’s just not there. That sentence scares me.
On Monday I had an audition at the Sunset Gower lot. I was so into this audition. The part was for a sassy, funny model. HELLO THAT IS ME IN REAL LIFE! The producer and writer and a bunch of other people were in the room, which would normally make me nervous and awkward but I was wearing my new Alexander Wang dress and I totes had this in the bag. There were a bunch of kids in the waiting room practicing their lines, and then there was me, sitting next to them on a couch with my sexy wardrobe and heels on. Child actors scare the shit out of me. They’re like tiny adults who are far too confident. I was called into the room and I strutted in there like “yeah, I’m the girl you’re hiring by the way, nice to meet you.” The audition was one line, and I nailed it. Every single person in the room laughed, that’s hard to do. I impressed the shit out of them.
I rarely leave auditions feeling confident but I knew I was going to book this. On my way out of the building I was fiddling with my phone and looked up to see a cute girl walking towards me. I stared at her like I knew her, stumbled over my heels a little and then realized who it was- TOPANGA FROM BOY MEETS WORLD! This was a sign of good things to come. She looked awesome. I wanted to be her so badly when I was 13. It was a great Monday so far. I picked myself up a strawberry banana smoothie and went home awaiting my phone call confirming that I booked the job.
An hour later as I was surfin’ the ‘net and I heard that little ding when you receive an email on my phone. I checked my email on my laptop and saw it was from my manager: “They thought you were fantastic but going with another actress.”
WAIT WHAT? IMPOSSIBLE! I read it again and said “well, fuck.”
I was bummed for about five minutes, but I was so happy to have made eye contact with one of my childhood heroes that it didn’t fucking matter.
So, now my dilemma is deciding where I want to be. Los Angeles or London. I could go to London and be with James and probably work quite a bit modeling, or I could stay in LA and focus on shit here- auditioning and writing. My brain is telling me to stay in LA but my heart is telling me to go to London (that’s the cheesiest thing I’ve ever said). I promised myself I would never let another man be the deciding factor on what I should do/where I should be. I need to do what I think is the best choice for my career. But if I put that in front of a relationship would I regret that? Or am I going to regret living in London when I need to get my shit together in LA? I’m not saying London is awful- I could potentially work there and have a great life with James and his dog. I love being in different places and having new stimuli around, and it would be great for my blog to write about modeling in London.
But Los Angeles has been great to me, as much as I tried so hard to dislike it. I started to miss it when I was outside in the rain looking for my castings in cold ass London. I’m sorry, LA, can we be friends again?
I don’t know what to do with my life, as always.
I’ve been in England for a week – most of which I’ve unfortunately spent drenched in my own jetlag sweats, vomiting expired hazelnut yoghurt into bidets. Other than that blip, and the fact that the combination of bidets and poor nail maintenance is something that the people on the mainland seem overly happy to bear, I love Europe. Especially this cold, rainy, dreary place. People in London are so fucking cool I can’t handle it. I seriously mean that. After fleeing New York (my favourite shithole) for Los Angeles, I’ve decided that I love London more than both for many reasons, but mostly it’s people’s shoes.
After working in the fashion industry for so many years I’ve grown complacent to the sight of people wearing the most full-blown crazy shit on a daily basis, so I was very impressed last week when I was in Teddington smoking cigars in a lounge with older men dressed in couture Givenchy suits and the most amazing loafers you’ve ever seen. As I listened to them complain about their asshole sons who keep talking shit about them on Twitter, I couldn’t stop thinking about how amazing they were. And they had a dog with them. A dog was in the lounge. And then I saw one on a pub roof. London: How you get so quaint?
In about eight hours I’m meeting with my first London agency. What a great coincidence that I just happened to get foodborne illness last night and can’t sleep more than four hours at a time. Who knows, maybe this potential agency is into the “flu” look, because I’m borderline Gwyneth Paltrow in Contagion right now. (Here’s betting they will be, looking cracked out seems like a great way to get ahead in the industry over here.)
I’m in the UK for work. After my hellish stint of searching for an agency in LA, I’m hoping to be welcomed by London with open arms. My unconventional looks probably fit in better here than they do in Malibu. You guys like freaky looking chicks, right? None of your models have teeth in the right places and they all have eyes like wells that children have been thrown down. I’m in my element.
The only downside to being in London rather than LA right now is that I’m missing pilot season. Pilot season is basically the busiest three months of the year for aspiring actors, it’s when all the new shows are being comissioned and everyone and their mum (shout out to Dina Lohan) goes to Hollywood to get cast in the next Pretty Little Liars and become famous. I have an amazing manager in LA who’s been helping me turn my modelling life into something I can benefit from, which means something that doesn’t actually involve me being a model. Trust me, it makes sense.
My NY booker has submitted me to a ton of agencies here, including the ones that I have no fucking shot at signing with: IMG, Elite, Storm, etc, where the girls are either Kate Moss or 15. I have a return flight to the States soon but I really hope I can cancel that because the future me has succeeded in modelling here.
Or I’ll just return to the US feeling like a piece of shit failure, which I suppose wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. I could always return to pilot season and book a guest role on Two and a Half Men where I play a slutty English waitress who goes home with Ashton Kutcher. The mental anguish that would cause me would be worth it if I got to swan around a TV set pretending to find the age-old, transatlantic trousers-pants conflict fascinating and pronouncing all my “TH” sounds as Fs.
You know I’m not just trying to suck up to you English people so you’ll like me, right? Well I am a bit. Is it working? Because I’m not, and I only have a week left on this godforsaken rock to find gainful employment.
If you’ve been a legit model for more than five minutes, you’ll know that being cold and crying takes up an extraordinarily large amount of your time. I’ve got a casting in Tribeca today, and on the way to the subway I just burst into tears. I am miserable. I want to be home in my bed eating pizza. The tears freeze instantly into little mascara icicles on my face. It is very, very cold out, but to be honest I’m always fucking freezing because I’m borderline anorexic and the amount of fat insulating my body is akin to one of those weird hairless cats.
Earlier today my dermatologist pulled down the skin beneath my eyes, looked at me with a worried expression and asked me if I was anaemic. That’s another thing that contributes to the infinite sadness of being a model – because your job relies on your body, things that are wrong with you don’t get time to naturally fix themselves. Take a second and add up all the different ailments that you just tolerate every day, to the point that you don’t really even notice them any more. Now imagine if every weird, two-day rash or occasional bout of black dog sluggishness had a name ending in “syndrome” or led you off to the pharmacist because one of the professionals that surround your life had diagnosed it as a problem. Not great, right? I mean, it’s not waking up in a field hospital somewhere wondering how many limbs you’ve got left, but it’s a ballache. And if I had balls, I’m sure they would fucking ache all the time, too.
I recently watched a documentary on Isabelle Caro, the anorexic model who died at 28 weighing 79 pounds. She looked like one of those dancing corpses from the Michael Jackson “Thriller” video. I googled the shit out of Isabelle afterwards to depress myself more, and stumbled into the dark spiral of thinspiration websites. Then something really bad happened (worse than tofu cream cheese); I came across a photo of myself on one of the forums.
There I was, pouting into my iPhone in a bikini. I’m an inspiration to girls with mental illnesses? Being a model is just my job, but if I’m hurting unstable young women by doing it, that’s fucked up. Plus, like anyone with a brain, I want to be inspiring for absolutely anything other than my metabolism. I’m a lazy piece of shit, I barely work out, is this what I’m going to be remembered for? Jesus.
Back in Tribeca, I’m freezing my ass off when finally my half-numb brain musters up enough power to figure out which subway to take. While I’m waiting for the train, a cute guy sits down next to me and says something along the lines of “Cute shirt!” I look at him and immediately assume he is gay based on his hairstyle, Yves Saint Laurent wool coat and the fact that he is interested enough in a shirt to try to engage a stranger in a conversation about it. I’m bored, so I talk to him for the whole journey about how awful wearing five-inch heels is and how I miss Michigan. Then I get up, blow him an air kiss (I’m so good at those) and turn to walk off the train.
Get this, he asks for my number. The shock doesn’t come solely from the fact I’d assumed he was gay, either. As much as I want to lie to you, this never happens. Ever. Think about it, what normal guy would ever want to date a model? Most of us are fucking nuts, our schedules are beyond ridiculous, and we’re always naked in public. Plus, as I’ve just explained, we’re really, really skinny. That Isabelle chick who died from malnutrition is a very extreme, rare and distressing case of anorexia, but sometimes I feel like I’m a week’s worth of food behind her. That’s very far from sexy.
I give him my number, which – on the rare occasion something like this does happen – I never do either. I guess I’m just in a minor state of panic.
I hyperventilate my way over to the casting and see a line of one million girls waiting in front of me. Glamorous! Still, at least I’m inside and warm, so the hour-long wait for a runway show that will end up paying $400 isn’t so terrible. Finally I make my way to the top of the stairs, do my sassiest runway walk and pose for two photos. Oh yeah, models don’t blink.
The casting agent hands me some jeans and a shirt and I walk behind a thin curtain to change, sucking in my stomach and jerking the zip halfway up. Fuck you, metalwork, I win. My back fat is hanging out so I pull the shirt down to mask it. “Hmm, a little tight,” one of the designers remarks. I smile and shrug, I’m actually kind of pleased about it.
Later that night, my agent calls to tell me I booked the show. Well how about that. I guess I was just anorexic enough for them.