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14-05-2008
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model_mom's Avatar
 
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One Model's Story
When you send your picture's into an agency,you realize your chance of getting an answer is not good. When the phone rings and it's a top agency wanting an interview,you're still thinking,this may or may not happen. When they sign you shortly after you walk into their office,you start to think,OK,I'm going to be a model. Your idea is that you're going to be in local magazines and do commercial jobs for department stores. Their idea is much bigger....in fact it's amazing. They want to send you to Paris. They know what your dreams are and they fuel the flame. If you take a chance and go to Paris you'll have your dream and much more. The word "maybe " is never mentioned. Two weeks later you're on your way to Paris (with your mom,because you're only 15.) You arrive with too much luggage and drag the whole mess into the agency. The receptionist takes you to meet with the agency head and during the conversation it comes up that you're only 15. Her reaction is an immediate "NO"! Your mom says right away that if that's going to be a problem, your bags are still packed and you both can return to the states....but after regaining her composure she says,"Certainly not". Then all the talk about a doctor's visit to get a health certificate and that you can only work a few days a week comes out.
In the mean time she is giving your mom an address for a room where you will be staying. Room is putting it mildly....the carpet is full of holes,the twin mattresses are on the floor and the paint is coming off the ceiling. The house where your room is located is occupied by a 90 year old lady who has a tendency to wander. The next day she wanders into the bathroom where you are taking a shower (no curtain) and won't leave. Shortly thereafter your mom is calling the agency to say this is not going to work.....to be continued...

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14-05-2008
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Next day....You find yourself moving into a room in a different apartment in the Red Light District of Paris right across the street from the Moulin Rouge. You still haven't heard from the agency and the bills are piling up for rent,food and taxi fare. You have no idea how to use the subway but your landlord tells you it's a much cheaper way to travel. After three days of this, modeling doesn't look so exciting and you wish you were back home with your friends. The next day the agency contacts you and says to come in and meet with the other agents and then sends you around Paris to a few castings and for a test with a photographer.....still nothing about the subway so more taxi fares. Paris is a BIG city and the street directions are very complicated so after exiting the taxi we are lost in no time.
As we are looking around a nice lady that speaks English approaches us and ask if we are lost. She asks if I am a model and what agency am I with....she mentions her name but it means nothing to me and we find our way to my first casting for the day. After a few more castings and a test we return to the agency to find out the lady we met was Ellen Von Unwerth and she would like to meet with me the next day..... to be continued

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14-05-2008
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We still have no idea who the lady is but my agent says that she is a very important photographer and to dress in something that makes me look older for our meeting. I went with Ellen to her office and she took some polaroids and ask if I was available to work on Thursday.....the answer was no.... because of the age thing and that was my only contact with a photographer that I now know was world famous.
In the afternoon we walked to another casting that we thought was close by but we ended up at the wrong address (again). While we were backtracking we walked across a bridge over the Seine River and sat down to rest. I'm not sure where he came from but a horrible street person started harrassing my mom till he had her in tears. We couldn't understand what he was saying but he wouldn't let my mom pass till he was finished with his rant....OK I'm 15 ,my mom is hysterical and we have no idea how to get back to the agency....are we having fun yet?

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14-05-2008
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wow this sounds interesting

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14-05-2008
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Back at the agency....now... with my mom recovering from her scare...an agent goes with us to the metro,explains to us about getting a pass and shows us on the map how Paris is divided up into districts that fan out form the center of the city. The next few days are spent in an endless amount of castings for shows which have to be on a certain day in order for me to work....I am instructed not to mention my age but not to lie if asked. I was asked a lot....not a good sign. My mom cooked a lot because eating out was so expensive but all I wanted to do was curl up in my bed with the cat and sleep. I hate this place and want to go home. We can't go out at night because the streets are full of tourist (mostly male) visiting the sex shops and attending the performances at the Moulin Rouge,it is understood that if your in the streets you are a part of the scene so we stay in the room and look out the window for entertainment. I still haven't booked a job but I have two tests tomorrow.

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14-05-2008
  6
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sorry mm..just wondering..what is this?. who wrote it?. does it belong to a book or something?.

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14-05-2008
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this has to be a book

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14-05-2008
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No this is Ali's story taken from her journal when she first started modeling...the mom in the story is me.

(Keep in mind that this is Ali Turner) We have so many models named Ali that are in the news now that I don't want anyone to be confused.

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14-05-2008
  9
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Very interesting!

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15-05-2008
  10
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I am so glad that you are posting this model_mom!!!

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15-05-2008
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I just knew it was Ali! And I strongly suspected that those were her own words. Thank you and thank Ali for sharing.

There's a lot of aspiring models here who will find it very interesting and very helpful. It shows both sides ... the fun and the frustration of being a model. It's not all excitement and glamour .... which is evident here. And young girls who want to become models need to know that.

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15-05-2008
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Thank you, I talked to Ali before I started this thread and she gave her OK.

We decided to try and keep up with Ali's schoolwork while she was in Paris and the only assignment from her English teacher was that she keep a journal till she returned to school. In the end all the homework became to much to keep up with and we had to end up homeschooling Ali till she returned to school a year and a 1/2 later.

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15-05-2008
  13
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I went to a casting for "Dior" this morning....it had something to do with a hair ad in a magazine and was suppose to be for "a lot" of money.....here's the catch....they wanted to cut my hair short and dye it black. I came downstairs to talk with my mom but she could see by the look on my face that it wasn't going to happen. We met a girl name Tatiana (sp?) from Russia today. She was 19 and had been modeling by herself since she was 16. She speaks ENGLISH! (side note I think this is the Tatiana that starred in the VS show in 2006) She was so nice and could probably see that my mom and I were a couple of lost sheep. I had a casting for Harpers Bazarr next and ask her to go along with me. She said it wasn't on her list but I talked her into going in with me. She booked the job! (They took one look at me and said they were looking for a "Pro"?) I was happy for her. We went to lunch with her...it was so nice to find a friendly face. She warned us to look out for the gypsys in the Metro. She told us they make a living by stealing from the tourists! We went downstairs to find a phone tonight....It's daytime in the US and I want to call my boyfriend,my mom about had a cow...she thinks I am going to be kidnapped. I was laughing at her until a young man walked up and licked the phone booth!!!

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"Let's stop treating models like greyhounds we plan to shoot after a race. We have to remember we are dealing with real people who have real feelings."
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15-05-2008
  14
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Thanks for posting this model mom. It's great to see a real insight into an experience that many could possibly take as a cake walk.

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15-05-2008
  15
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This is so interesting! Thank you for taking the time to type it up and to your daughter for writing it in the first place

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