Current mood: happy
For someone who is so shy it may almost seem odd that I actually enjoy being in front of a camera. When I'm on set for that moment all eyes are on me and it's all about me. In my everyday life I don't necessarily crave that kind of attention but when I am modeling or acting it's almost as if I have stepped outside of myself and I am someone else even if just for a picture.
I was lucky enough to book an audition I went on a couple weeks ago and the photo shoot was today. When I arrived I was quickly reminded of why it is that I love modeling so much. I was quickly whisked away by the make up artist to have my make up done. Then, it was into my first outfit of the day. I was a bit nervous at first. Sometimes when I start out I really feel the pressure to do well because I know so much depends on my pictures looking good and there are so many people that are counting on it. They chose me for a reason and I do not want to disappoint. I'm tentative at first and I doubt myself a little but then after a couple shots I'm able to get into it and have fun. It was a pretty fast paced shoot. Some shoots involve a whole lot of sitting around doing a whole lot of nothing in between shots but that wasn't the case with this one. There was only one other model scheduled during the same time slot I was so we basically took turns on set with two couple shot and the majority individual shots. it was make up, wardrobe, shoot over and over with not much idle time in between. Almost like clockwork I'd sit in the make up chair after changing and shortly after I'd hear a voice calling "is Cece ready?" or "Where's Cece?" Everytime I turned around there was someone tugging my outfit into place or smoothing down a stray hair. I'd walk away from the make up artist only to find that she is following me with a can of hairspray aimed at my head. I smiled, I posed, I did different "looks" and I enjoyed every minute of it. Before I knew it the shoot was over and I'd made a nice bit of of money for the minimal amount of hours I had to put in and I liked doing it. It doesn't get much better then that.
No, these shots are not slated for Vogue magazine or a billboard suspended above Times square but that doesn't matter so much to me. I wanted to be a model and I got to be one today. I'm glad to say that's enough for me. I was really happy today despite....everything. I felt good about myself and it's days like these that really put it in perspective for me. Life is not always easy and goodness knows I've got my share of worries imagined and real, but despite everything, life can be good. For every bad day a good one might be just around the corner waiting for me to wake up and enjoy. I loose sight of that sometimes but I am always glad to be reminded.
On Set: Fashion House
I got the call on Saturday. I'd been booked to work on a new Soap Opera filming locally. I would play a model. It's nothing major I know, but still I was immediately filled with excitement. This is an AFTRA project and while I would have no lines I was still considered a principal which is a major step up from background. Hey, you take what you can get in this business!! My call time was 10:30am and I pull up to "base camp" and look for a PA to tell me what to do next. I am handed my paperwork and told to wait at the wardrobe trailer for the wardrobe person to come. She arrives and I am handed my "wardrobe" which consists of nothing more then a black lace bra and panties. I am given a thong to wear under it and a robe to cover up with. I head off to one of the other trailers, change, and await further instructions. One of the other models comes into the trailer also wearing a robe and flip flops. She gets sent off to make up trailer first and then after a period of waiting I am finally next. As I sit in the makeup chair suddenly I am told that we are needed on set right away. So, us three models hop in a van and are shuttled over to set robes and all. We were there just for a short time...apparently the director just needed to get a look at us. We are sent back to base camp where I finish my makeup and then wait some more. Base camp is actually a 5 star parking lot that has been commandeered by the production company into headquarters for filming. There are various trailers situated around the perimeter, and food truck, and later tables are set up under a large canopy for the cast and crew to eat. There is a lot of waiting. We are never told what will happen next or when. Since we do not have lines we are not provided a call sheet and therefore are pretty much left guessing. When they need us we are never given much notice.
We are taken back to set for a quick rehearsal after lunch, later we are shuttled back into hair and make up for touch ups and shortly thereafter taken back to the set for filming. It is hot and there are tons of people milling about. Hair and makeup people, crew people, stand in's, the lead cast members. Everyone just tries to stay out of each other's way as best we can. I am again amazed at what a huge production this is and how many different people it takes to get it together. The process is painstakingly slow and tedious. There are rehearsals, last looks, then finally the actual filming. There are shadows and angles, timing, and marks that all need to be attended to. I am standing around in my lingerie and periodically hair and makeup people will come up to me and whip out a hair brush or a makeup bag to touch up my hair and makeup. Others will snap our photos for continuity so they can keep track of our look on each scene. Amazingly, after a while I forget that aside from the other models I am wearing the least clothes of everyone on the set and am actually thankful because the set is quite warm. I don't envy the director’s job. He is back and forth giving instructions to the actors, viewing the monitors, and calling for more takes. After our scene which is a photo shoot wearing faux diamonds there is more waiting upon waiting. I lose track of time. Eventually we are given dresses to wear for another scene. At one point one of the other actors is told to step aside so that they light can be on me and I feel very self important for a moment and it feels good. It is a scene where two of us are laughing at the third model and the camera was aimed right at us.
It is chaotic, it is tedious, it is exciting and I am loving it. I love being on set. I love watching the whole filming process. I am all eyes as I observe the lead actors go through their scenes. I soak up everything I can. One of the other actors incidentally is Bo Derek...America's perfect 10!! I thought I recognized her. One other tall willowy girl who looks like she just stepped off the pages of Vogue looks familiar too...perhaps I remember her from a Guess add?. On set I overhear that she is with IMG in New York, which is a huge agency. I look her up later and see that she is from sweden, has been in major add campaigns for adds like Versace and actually has been on the cover of German Vogue. Only one of us three models were given a line and the make up artist was a bit rude to me in the morning but I won't let it spoil my experience.
All told, I was there for about 10 hours. This is hard work. You have to be able to do what you are told when you are told to do it and how you are supposed to. I didn't even have a lead part, but it is an exhausting process. I just keep telling myself that even if nothing ever comes of it....I will be ok with that. I have gotten to experience some things that others may never even if on a very small scale. I am getting paid to have my image broadcasted and that is an accomplishment in itself. I am sure I will get down in the dumps over this roller coaster of a business many more times than I care to guess. I just have to keep getting up....that's all.