Friday, February 28, 2014



Hey FASHION SHOW PRODUCER NUMBER ONE OF TWO, It was great to see you last night, as well as some of the lovely ladies I've modeled with back in the day.

I wanted to reach out to you because last night I left feeling pretty upset about the production. There were many positives, such as e makeup, some of the model choices, theme, and energy that made it an exciting experience to witness.

But to be honest, the SHOW itself was very painful. Before I talk about why, I want to say that this email is coming from a place of respect and a desire to see you succeed in creating more impactful serious events. It is in no way a personal dig at you nor does it reflect my intentions with our future friendship.

First of all, while having alcohol in the dressing room can be fun for a quick toast, and understandably the birthday girls were smashed... encouraging models to drink constantly by refilling their glasses every other second will always result in the woolly, drunked, glazed, and sloppy walking that only lingerie can emphasize as sleazy.... Not fashion. Most of the girls could barely make it to the end of the runway... And when they stood on the top of the box, a few of them teetered barely able to stay up.

Second of all, a few of the models weren't even in clothing that fit them... At ALL. Especially in lingerie, if you want this to be a FASHION show and not a "here's my body, imagine fucking me because I'm practically naked" make sure to approve all outfits. Make sure they are tasteful and actually FIT the models. The lingerie from last night could have been really classy but due to the way it was worn by some, it just came across as slutty. Like a bad bachelor party.

Thirdly sending models who are BARELY dressed into a room that is 90% male when both the men and your models are CLEARLY intoxicated BEFORE a show is wrong. Just wrong. You are jeopardizing the integrity of your models, pimping out their bodies for your reputation, and  putting them in potentially compromising situations in which they could get sexually, physically, or emotionally harassed. When you do that, it cheapens your own image as well as the models and if you really look into it shows how little you think of them.

Fourthly and lastly, YOUR FELLOW PRODUCER at the end of the runway has got to put his dick back in his pants and out of his head. At the end of the runway, he was standing in a position that allowed him to help the models onto the platform. Right off the bat when the first model stepped onto the platform and turned around, he pointed to her bottom and said "see that nice ass?" Then proceeded to pretend to smack it... To which the other security guy who was helping her laughed and also commented. This type of lude behavior was speckled throughout the performance.  These kinds of comments... From your own partner in crime producer. IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. needless to say that this is disgusting. Absolutely in UN fathomably disgusting and just trashy. How DARE someone... ANYONE... ESPECIALLY one of you two do that to these girls? How dare you treat them like one dollar hookers and make fun of them at their expense in front of your audience while they innocently do the show that you asked them to be a part of?! Is that really how you want to be seen? Is that really how you want people to remember your shows? "Oh yeah, Karen it was amazing! The girls were soooo drunk it was HILLARIOUS, and barely dressed omg! It was soooo funny because even the producer was pretending to smack their asses".

THESE GIRLS TRUSTED YOU. When you ask them to be in a FASHION SHOW for YOU, you are asking them to meld their image and reputations with YOURS. None of these girls are getting paid.... Oh wait they are-in exposure. Exposure of what? Their bodies? There were no talent scouts, newspapers, magazines, or buyers there! They only people that seemed ready to invest in any of the girl's futures, were simply looking to get sucked off for the night... For five dollars or less. When you aren't paying your models, and they aren't getting any further in their careers being in your production then at least offer some basic standards. PROTECT YOUR GIRLS... Don't whore them out in dental floss underwear to promote your image to drooling drunks potentially volatile people. A model should expect to feel safe. That mean s they trust your choice in wardrobe, you have the power to keep them sober and clear, and you hold their integrity at the highest level, treating them with the highest respects.

BE EFFICIENT their time is money even if you aren't paying it. Don't keep your models in a tight space for 6 hours running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Next time have models show up in stages so that they don't wait around for hours doing nothing. Give people time slots to get hair and makeup. Little organization couldn't hurt. (Feeding people wouldn't be a bad idea either)

But most importantly, these people are YOUR FACE. If you treat them in demeaning, derogatory, sexually perverse, disrespectful ways PUBLICALLY DURING YOUR SHOW then you should change your event titles from FASHION SHOW to PEEP SHOW. This is an industry where SEX DOES SELL but that does not MEAN SEXUAL SELLS. If you are ignorant of the wrongs of last  night then You need to learn the fine line between sexy and sexual.

Ultimately many of these models are my friends, and many I do not know. However, they are people who are holding dreams of becoming something bigger. They are people who hope to one day grace Vogue, W, NYFW, Milan, etc. These are people who eat less, work more, and spend hours working on their external beauty in order to fit a mold. They come to YOUR SHOW not because your shows are like Yoga or some sport club. Its not for a fun thing TO DO most of the time. It is because you are offering a means to an end. YOU are offering an opportunity to get one step closer to that dream!

And you are ruining it for them. ANY AGENCY in the country that's serious would never sign a model that was working a show like that. They would say , if the model would let themselves be treated like that what kind of standards are they holding for themselves? Why would our clients want to be affiliated with this standards.

You have a real opportunity to elevate these women's lives and help them achieve these dreams. If models that walk for you start getting signed, it boosts YOUR reputation too! But that will never happen on the track you are on. You need to change course, or start being more real with these women about what you are really offering them... An opportunity to have shameless slut time in front of a crowd of drunken guys at a bar no one really cares about for your own gain.

As said before this isn't an attack on you as a friend. This is simply a real view of you as a professional from someone in the professional industry. That being said, AS A FRIEND if I hear that this quality of production continues, I WILL have to distance myself from you. I will also, as the friend off many Bay Area models that you utilize, will have to ask them to distance themselves too. Because as a friend, I know that currently any affiliation of what you have to offer as a professional... Will only ruin their opportunities and dreams.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Make It Work

Too fat.

I am too fat.

Too big.

I am too big.

Too manly.

I am too manly.

These are the things I have been told over the past few weeks.

I am 6'2, 140lbs, have size 10 feet, and armpit hair.


Therefore I am not a woman.

Or woman enough. the fashion world.

Over the past two weeks, my life has been curled into witnessing a massively powerful storm of love, hatred, alcohol, drugs, sex, parties, greed, identity, and trickery. It has been SO overwhelming I actually ceased writing this blog in order to process everything.

So let's return to where we left off.

1 week ago....

My agency sent me to a femme wear designer, the audition required tight black clothing and heels at least 6" in height. I'd only been practicing in 3" heels because who the HELL is seeking to cast a 6'8 woman? This isn't a basketball game!

I purchased heels at a place in which I was fully expecting to return after the interview. Out into the pigeon free streets of NYC, through Times Square, past the video billboards of women walking their bronzed long legs in tightly rippling strides on looped feeds that were plastered to various high end clothing conglomerate stores.

Into a building whose door was bullet proof but whose elevator had two of the buttons taped in place. The front desk man was lamenting about the loss of his favorite UPS delivery person over the fact that the building had switched to Fedex deliveries. He was very upset.

The whole place was very upset.

The designer sat in a small studio room playing light club music on an old boombox by the if at anytime the RIGHT person might just WALK in and say "awwwwww yeah turn this up let's partaaaaay!" And transform the room into something more exciting.

The garments were actually impressively crafted. Most were black with fancy studdings and faux jewels embroidered into various pieces. There were shirts, pants, coats, and surprisingly no dresses.

The designer looked confused for moment as I entered in my collegboy styled jacket, but then waved me to a seat upon introduction. I shifted around awkwardly on the slippery fake velvet couch.

"Take this one and this one. Try them on for me please." The designer takes a shirt and miniskirt and hands them to the girl. She smiles briefly and strips to her bare essentials, handing him the previous outfit.

As he turns around to hang the clothing up, I see her face flash with minute panic. She's just realized that the miniskirt is very very VERY tiny. She blushes because there is no private space to change, so this process for her is public... It was only myself and the designer, but still... Public.

First she slips on the shirt, which hangs flowingly like something upon an apparition.  Then she steps into the miniskirt and begins to pull it up. It can barely get past her thighs. Her brow furrows, and the designer turns around and watches her, smiling slightly. He doesn't offer a different article to try on.

She doesn't ask for one.

This is the silent pact of "Make it work" that the fashion world has. As in... Even if it hurts, wear it. You want the prestige right? Then just deal with it. Stuff your feet in those shoes, stop eating, hold in your stomache, choke yourself etc. If a model can't MAKE IT WORK then they don't belong in that garment.

The girl squeezes her butt tightly like a bad exercise commercial and rubs her legs together, wiggling and squirming, inching the skirt higher and higher. It gets to her waist, the zipper has scraped her hip so tightly that it's slightly prickling tiny drops of floorburnesque blood. She twists the skirt back and forth, scraping even more, and biting her lip... It makes it over the region and FINALLY the skirt zipper settles at her belly. The designer walks up, turns her around and proceeds to attempt to zip it. It's too tight on the first round. He asks her to suck in... And she does so. A deep deep sharp inhalation that matched the sound of the zipper clasping the skirt closed.

He asks her to turn around. Her face is barely moving. She's trying not to breath. She teeters on her heels, he asks her to walk and she does so mechanically. Her eyes barely blinking. Upon her return, he nods and smiles.

"Great! You definitely fit this one well."

Photos are taken, her face is red and flushed, her eyes flickering slightly. Then just like that it's over.

The miniskirt comes off. She exhales and inhales as if she's having contractions.... Through the lips. Attempting to be subtle. A skid mark scratch goes from her thigh to her belly button.

And she's off.

Suddenly it's my turn.

The designer says he likes my look, and toes lightly towards asking if I'm biologically a woman. When I say I am he says "of courrrrrse you are! Of course. Of couuuuuurse."

Then he gives me a pair of pants and a shirt to try.

The pants are size 2.

I KNOW they aren't gonna fit. And part of me wants to cry, because I know I won't fit ANY of these items. I know he knows I won't either. He's just being polite. And IM EXPECTED to make it work. It's a test. If I can make it into these little leg huggers then I can have a shot at being in this show.

"I think these might be a bit small."

"That's your problem honey. Either it works or it doesn't. I'm looking for confidence and beauty here."

But, I can't event get my foot though the thigh section. Seriously, my FOOT is too FAT for the thigh section of these pants.

I take a breath... I decide.... I'm gonna do this. I'm going to MAKE IT WORK. And we will see WHO feels awkward after THIS.

So I sit on the floor and inch by inch force my feet to the ends of the legs. Then I proceed to pull them up but they only go to my knees. It looks like I've just come off the toilet.

I pull the shirt over my head and my breasts don't allow the buttons to close. They bust though the neck like a bad joke. Vavavoommmm

I turn around and say "want to see my walk now?"

He shakes his head at me, but I walk for him anyways wobbling forward on stillettos in designer pants that suction around my ankles and a shirt that pretty much looks like the Looney Tunes graphic where Porky the Pig pops out saying That's All Folks! (Except porky is my tits.)

He asks me to try another item. It's a mini skirt. And boy was it MINI. He also gives me the flowy shirt.

The shirt fits, but now my shoulders are too broad. I can't move my danged arms anywhere without hearing a micro tear. I tried to put the miniskirt on, but it won't pull up past my knees. I try wiggling, but it's just not going to happen.

"You are too big for a woman." He says.

I look up at him.

"What's the average size for one?" I ask as I continue to wiggle.

"0-4 maximum. That's it."

"Thats the average size for a model you mean?"

"Yes models size 0-4... And women in general who are healthy are average that size. You are just.... Big. Really big. You might be better with a menswear designer..."

A model suddenly pipes up in the corner, she entered sneaking as I'm making a fool of myself in this getup. "Yeah, I think you would be much better a boy. Definitely a boy model."

"When I model menswear, I model it as a woman." I say.

She tilts her long silky dark hair. "Who looks like a boy right?"

"What makes me look like a boy?" I ask, I've given up on the miniskirt. And now feel emblazoned to make a point on how being female isn't all about how closely your life reflects that of a sorority cheerleader from a bad college flick.

The designer interrupts "Well, you just have a strong jawline, and your style... Features. You're just... If one of my clients saw you... They would say you were a boy. Or a drag- um... I mean, you are big. Big big big girl. Too big for girl stuff."

The model nods, "I totally thought you were a boy when I first saw you! I don't mean to offend you, you are very beautiful too! BUT, you'll find that the women market here is a certain size and look. I'm sure you will get SOME female work, and I think what you are doing is soooo..... Cool. Unique. I'm just saying you should like just stick to menswear."

The designer takes my garments. I grab my stuff . Shake his hand firmly and leave.

"I'll call you, don't worry!" He says as I leave.

He won't.

I go down the elevator and stare at the duct taped buttons. I rap my forehead against the metal panels.

Why can't I just look like me and that be considered a woman?

Why am I considered too big?

I'm very skinny for my height....right?

The image of that girl hurting herself to fit a size she wasn't depressed me.

I desperately need work. Money. A roof over my head. Every day to be here has been a gamble thus far in all of these departments... Because none of them are stable.

I know that if I can't MAKE IT WORK there is a higher chance that this adventure will be very short and end very sorely. If I can't conform... I can't get stable gigs.

But how can someone CONFORM their physical body? Is that even possible?

Wait it is.

Lipo, breast reduction, starvation, drugs, tanning beds, makeup...

I went into the Planet Fitness changing room, and took off my clothing to shower. I found myself staring at reflection like a totally obsessed creeper. I've been working out every day to trim down, eating a modified diet, and putting different skin care products on that I've never needed before. It's been a totally committed bland life of get up, have a glass of water, workout, have a cup of food, go to castings, workout, have a cup of food, do bodycare, go to bed. That's it.

No socializing, exploring, touristing.

I've gone from a size 8 to a size 6 in two weeks.

I thought, as I was running on the treadmill, about this for hours.

I pushed myself harder, faster, processing my current situation.

I'd like to say that I came up with an empowering realization right away, but I could not. I found myself sitting in my own head, a fog of insecurity, self questioning, What Am I Doing Out Here.

It's not that I felt that I wasn't a beautiful woman or powerful AS a woman. I love who I am.

It was more that I felt that perhaps putting everything on the line to be here in NYC was a mistake. Perhaps there wasn't a market for me beyond the cliche gimmicks of genderbending. Or even, perhaps so much aspiration had been found in this industry that I feared failure would result in a mental shutdown.

I am human.

It wasn't until the next three days that things changed. Massively.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

PHILLing in the Gaps

Today Phillip Seymour Hoffman died.


From what is potentially a case of heroin overdose.


If only he and his perceived world were good enough unaltered.

Over the past week, I have found myself going through alterations... And swimming through seas of individuals who feel that they would not be as beautiful or talented without them.

Alterations in diet, clothing, physical cosmetics, perception, etc.

People are constantly doing things to themselves negatively in order to make the world around them  see them more positively... Or in order to SEE the world more positively.

On a stairwell a week ago, when I attended my first few women's castings- there were female models who were talking about how they could only consume baby food.... In order to keep themselves thin. They discussed different brands, flavors, benefits. Their emmaciated bodies reflect a story of hunger and diarrhea.... But their minds are convinced that a single solid food may ruin the worlds view on their beauty.

In a similar casting, a model showed up hammered... Barely able to walk. While he managed to make it through the audition, he confessed to me that he can barely wake up in the morning without a shot of tequila. He feels looser, less judged, and more capable with a constant buzz. While his slightly hollowed but well-makeup concealed eyes convey a tale of blood and body poisoning.... His mind tells him that with a little intoxication, e world would be miserable and see him as such.

Even in petty environments, as in a few nights ago when I was crammed in a room with tons of femme models.... The alterations could be seen. People wore tights and miniskirts despite the subzero temperatures. They walked in ankle breaking heels, despite the ice and discomfort. They had body modifications such as plastic surgery for their faces  and breasts. They pretended to be ignorant despite their higher intelligence because they felt the world would find them more attractive if they were perceived as a little niiave.

People are living their lives in an altereds Tate constantly because they feel they aren't good enough for the world.... Or the world is not good enough for them.

This level of insatiability is destructive.

Things like drugs, alcohol, and extreme forms if self modification are not necessarily unhealthy in moderation. Many of the worlds greatest minds have smoked, drank, par taken in substances and social trends. But it's when people start doing these things to a point that they are codependent on the results in order to create an apparently more tolerable perception of the world or themselves to said world.

It's when we forget who we are. We forget our limits. We forget we are enough.

These models surviving off from baby food isn't exactly Philip Seymour's heroine addiction, but it might as well be. It's the same mentality that despite harming oneself in the long run, they world would not bea ble to handle you.... Nor you it any other way. It's the feeling of inadequacy and depression.

I find myself on a road in which I am modifying myself somewhat to fit this industry. I'm learning to walk in heels, changing to a size four, and using skin care products constantly to avoid breakouts.

And I can feel the effects.

Because suddenly I feel less acceptable as a woman if I can walk in heels.... As if the world of fashion will cast me aside. When, just a month ago, I felt just fine without this capability. So now I practice obsessively to nail the skillset down. Despite blisters, back pains, ankle pains, and the constant falling. Even if I learned to walk perfectly.... Heels wouldn't be good for me- or anyone. Ever.

I find myself also being more conscientious of nothing's like having abs, slightly smaller thighs, and being a size four... If not a size two. Because apparently, designers won't make clothing in my size, and if I walk next to one of these toothpicks... And we are both in bathing suits.... I will look MUCH largess. Every muscle line is seen on a toothpick, the natural fat in her thighs does not ripple when she glides, and her stomachs is not only flat but defined. Mine is just flat. Recently, I started seeing a line appear, and I got really excited that progress was being made. I even worked out harder than before to expedite the results.

Ugh but what progress? More like the digression of how I was into who this industry needs me to be. Why was I not good enough as I was previously?

All of these emotions about my inadequacies have already I been digested. I have come to terms that I am NOT like the other women. I am NOT like the men either.

I am me.

ME is comfortably a size 6. She likes eating solid food with salt. She enjoys chocolate. She prefers waking in military boots.

Right now, I am playing THE GAME.

I am working my body to be industry standard. I am learning to harness heels. I am practicing popular feminine mannerisms. I am balancing what I eat (with   pizza here and there). I am telling myself that this is just like spy training. Just like military boot amp. Just like the SEALS.

I am going to walk this line, and become industry standard FLEXIBLE. But once the industry has adopted me as a professional, I'm going to introduce myself to them. I'm going to fight for more size appropriate models, healthier promotions of balanced diets, the acceptance of facial blemishes should they occur, and the realization that heels shouldn't be required in order to rock a dress.

I know I can do this, because I know my limits. I have accepted the world as it is whether it is positive in reciprocation or not. I can handle the negative feedback, because I get it all the time. And if this training to become industry standard becomes too dangerous, then I will pull out. No looking back.

But YOU. The others who feel you must alter your physical or mental states in order to be more accepted or accept the world more.... I'm not going too say stop. I'm going to say...

The world may never be enough for you. You may never be enough for it. But fuck it. You don't have change yourself or the world. You just have to change your attitude about it.

It's a fucking miracle you are even alive right now. Do you know how many little particles are vibrating in perfect form for you to exist right now? How insane it is that when you consume something it turns into the blood that pumps into the very brain you are using to read this shit I'm writing? How ridiculous it is that out of 5 million little sperms that just happened to shoot out of your paternal figure's urethra... YOU are the one that reached the egg first.?

I mean there is a lot of crazy, beautiful, impossible, powerful things making you aware enough to scan the blog right now.

So don't fuck up a good thing okay?




I can't wait to bring these words to every platform around the world I can for others to here.

But for now while breaking in.... Here's a video of a RUNWAY WALKING CLASS in heels with famous instructor Coco.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pedastle to the Metal Still

I couldnt tell.... But it looked like HIM.

I sat seminervously in a barber chair that had been set down as an artistic installment for models to settle into as they waited to be seen by the designer. The room was surprisingly only scattered with a few people... It felt like perhaps this casting wasn't very popular.

The couple of models who were ahead of me were focused, tossing their hair about, and picking lint off their shirts. Except for HIM. He was leaning in a corner, his bleach blond hair accenting the furrow in his brow as he texted on his phone. His mouth was drawn in a thin line, and despite his fluorescent white clothing and sparkling teeth.... He seemed dark and broody. Very much like Malfoy from Harry Potter.

Perhaps he was having a bad day? But then again... If he was who I THOUGHT he was then based on what I'd seen thus far, perhaps this demeanor was just a part of who he was.

"Oh dear God I am SO drunk right right now! Sooooo drunk! Like you don't even know drunk!"  A femme masculine voice giggles loudly.

It came from a stumbling male model, who's hair was not unlike Macaulay Culkin- nor was his boyish grin.... Which was plastered all over his face.

The designer, a young 6'4 man with Clark Kent-ish hair and a casual vintage tshirt smirks. "When are you NOT? Now I want you to put this ON and walk at least a straight line for me please."

The inebriated model flicks his wrists, "Ok... But I'm not promising anything!"

He sways in place as a jacket is fitted to him. Pants are tossed casually into his arm, he begins the acrobatic process of hopping into them one leg at a time.

For a minute I panic as it dawns on me that I might also have to try on the pants. O.O

I had been told by several models  and my agency that castings require you to wear black tights or skinny jeans. A secret trick to looking as sleek as possible is to NOT wear underwear. And, ahem.... Well... I was flying freebird today.

As I frantically try to come up with solutions just in case- the intoxicated now dressed model wobbled over to the desk. (Let's call him McDrunkles). The designer nodded at him.

"Now give me your best walk."

McDrunkles takes a deep breath and like an automated machine starting up, his posture suddenly aligns, his feet move shoulder width apart, his eyes narrow, his lips purse, his shoulders flex back, his butt tucks in and he takes off powerfully down the invisible runway. Every step is solid and confident, not a single waver.... Not a single stumble. He poses at the end and veers back halting abruptly in front oft he designer.

"Wow.... I did NOT think you would be able to do that..."

McDrunkles bows and then tips over, catching himself on the table. He apologizes minutely.

The designer shakes his head in playful disgust. "Lucky for you, our dressing rooms are stocked full of imbibements so you'll be just fine if we cast you."

McDrunkles high fives him and then sways violently for a moment as if an earthquake were occurring. An intern leads him over to a swivel chair and shoves a mug of coffee into his hands.... To which he sips as he twirls his seat in circles.

Then HE... The guy who looked so familiar brushed by me. He strode up to the designer desk, shook hands, and put on one of the items. Then went straight into his walk.

He muscled forward, his shoulders crawling with his feet. His lips puckered into a parted semi duckface, his hands clenched, his boots thudding on the wooden floorboards. He pauses at the end and gives a sneer to an invisible audience, then returns. The designer thanks him, shakes his hand, and just like that he's done.

He grabs his bag and slides through the door swiftly. The person who's checking in models in the waiting area watches him go and shakes his head slightly.

I HAVE to know at this point or it's going to drive me crazy.

"Wow... That guy sure looked a lot like Chris from Americas Next Top Model huh?" I smile at the check in intern.

He laughs as if I've told a big joke. "Yeah haha hardly recognize him without the parrots on his shoulder right?"

"So... That WAS him?"

"Man hahaha you ARE killin ME! Hahah don't harp on the guy so badly, that show made him kind of antisocial. It's not his fault he's the way he is. You know, when people become known as celebrity villains.... Their lives change."

Omg so it was true. The bleach blond model I had been sitting next to was Chris Hernandez... Who was just barely only the previous season of Americas Next Top Model. He was the main villain and a top contender for prize. What was HE doing here?

Suddenly I saw a sign with a breakdown of models they were expecting to see and where they were known from. Television reality celebrities, top European models, even a few singers were on list. A bullet point of accolades came after each. There were only About 50 names on the board. On the bottom there was mine. I was the ONLY model without ANY credentials after their name. It said simply "muse".


The designer had his head down as I approached. He asked to see my book, and flipped through the photos half heartedly. The first four are male shots. Then... he gets to a femme photo. He finally looks up. He shakes my hand again. He looks at the girl next to him and grins.

"I am SO excited to have you here! SO excited! Omg yes wow, yeah now I remember, you look exactly like my muse. The person I designed all these clothes after. EXACTLY like her! Doesn't she? He? Um....."

I grin.

"Oh, well wow yeah we have GOT to put you in THIS." He grabs a jacket.... And no pants. THANK GOD! "Walk for me?"

I go to the curtain in back, on my return, he practically squeals. "Yes... Yes..... Omg yes. Ok. Great thank you. Good. Um. You a re gonna need photos taken over theeeere."

I'm pulled aside by Phototakerlady and snapped some shots of. McDrunkles pats a seat next to him when I'm finished. "Come sit downnnn! Sit with meeee... Tell me alllll..."

I lean against the table and we chat about gender, alcohol intake during auditions (as in-- he does and I do not), and he pulls out a mini airport sized shot of tequila.... Advising me on how brilliantly wonderful they were for concealment and portion control. The designer jokes with us for a moment in between castings, and then pulls out my comp card. He takes out a sharpie and writes on it.

He holds it up for me to see. It says "YAAAAAAAAAAASSSSS!" He gives me a thumbs up.

Until my agency calls me and says I'm booked, I'm not going to celebrate. But I can't help but beam hopefully!

And then just like that I'm back out the door, on the subway, munching on the worst slice of pizza in my life... And headed to one more casting.

This one was different. I was actually very excited about it, but also unsure of what I was walking into. The designers were a duo who called their brand Eckhaus Latta. The NY TIMES Fashion Week Review says "Ekhaus Latta is a brand of virtually unwearable clothing... Yet popular."

The location is set on the fringes of China  town.... Where little Italy nestles snugly two blocks away. A lot of angry shouting in the street in several different languages and dialects umbrellas me as I search for the entrance. Sandwiched in between a liquor market and a wonton restaurant, a man sits by a door as if guarding it. I nod at him, slink past, and dash up the stairs. The hallways are narrow and each floor has something different.... A dental office, a paper press, a pseudo kitchen thingy.... All th way to the 6th floor. I catch my breath and slide inside.

There are only two models at this location as well. A group of smiling young well dressed individuals sits in a cluster 10 feet from the door. One of them looks at me and smiles. He reminds me of the mischevious Peter Pan, and is wearing a tunic that perhaps inspires this thought. His highly androgynous face beams.

"Welcome in! We are going to need to see your book, comp card, and if you could take off your shirt and leave it over there-"

I realize they think I'm a man. A part of me debates stripping anyways.... Juuuuuust for the fun of it. But I decide to give them an option. "Are I you sure? I DO have 36Ds so.... I mean if you WANT. To see those-"

They all stare, laughter breaks out, they take my book and murmur as they flip through it. Kinds words, compliments, wows etc rise up. I blush madly. I haven't received so much positive feedback in one day before.

They ask my gender preference, I clarify that I'm a woman, born with breasts and that I just have a nice jawline. They ask me to walk for them... And I'm told by PeterPan to do so without any specific gender influence. Just to be as I feel.

That was new for me.

Bt the freedom to sway my hips slightly, roll my shoulders forward, and keep an even chin was refreshing. They all nod. More compliments. I can barely handle it. They ask me to walk again... Bt slower as the runway they anticipate using is much smaller. I do as they ask, and then stand in front of higher one more time. The stylists ask me once again if I have a gender preference to represent on the runway. The designers ask the same thing.... and if I felt comfortable in heels. Lastly, PeterPan asks me if he can take a photo for his Instagram. I told him only if we could trade!

He posts up the photo on his social network. Everyone shakes me hand again and says they will see me soon. Once again I remind myself that noting is a guarantee until the agency calls to confirm at it's been booked.

And back into the street.

I pack my stuff from Brooklyn and prepare to run to my next couch surf in Queens. I spend the next four hours in silence, not quite processing the day. But when I arrive at my destination, I get not he phone with a close friend...and see that I'm officially up online as one of the people in the Men's and Women's packages for fashion week as promoted by Major.. And suddenly I start crying. A whole flood of tears and emotion just pour out heavily.

I couldn't believe it. I could NOT friggin believe it. 

Do you know that just over two months ago I was WATCHING the show Americas Next Top Model each week with my friend Jen. We would see an episode, then exercise to work out videos off from YouTube. We always booed at Chris' villainous character... And when we found out that ANTM was hosting auditions we went to LA, BAKERSFIELD, SAN DIEGO.... Everywhere. We spent money we didn't have, waited in line for hours, practiced what we were gonna say to each other, filled out tons of paperwork, paid for printouts of our crappy photos. We dreamed.

Why didn't I just get a real job? A 9-5? A stable paycheck at some random place?

Because I thoroughly believed, that if I focused on what I wanted.... 100% deep.... That I could do it. I honestly thought I could be originally, a lucrative actor or film maker. I dedicated EVERYTHING to it. I wrote letters, set up shoots, made short films all summer long... Even worked on HBO sets as an extra.

I was afraid of getting a stable side gig. I did not want to be derailed from my goal.

Modeling happened accidentally. I'll explain in a different story.

But basically... One day- after going through all this crazy crazy low quality lifestyle... I suddenly woke up and had a massive feeling that I needed to go into FORD. The conviction was so strong hijab I booked a bus THAT night I only $30 extra in my pocket and went down to LA.

What was wrong with me, I don't know. I felt possessed. I had no real portfolio, my resume was limited, I was broke as hell. I didn't have money to spend doing this... What was wrong with me?!

Immediately, FORD took interest and the head of the men's division said that my market was NYC. I was told that if I ended up in NY that my information would be forwarded over.

Before I could even breathe, I'm in NYC. My grandmother paid for my ticket with her hard earned cabbing money, my wallet has a little over 100 bucks in it. I don't know the city... My portfolio is just as crappy... My resume just as small. But I went into EVERY SINGLE AGENCY I could. FORD, WILHEMINA, DNA, IMG, AIM, NY MODEL MANGEMENT. Then one day, I made phone calls to a few I found after researching agencies who have famous andro models. And that's how I found MAJOR.

There were offers from 6 agencies.... But MAJOR was the only one that embraced me for doing both MEN and WOMEN. The others wanted me to do MENs boards solely.

The catch was that I had to remain in NYC for Fashion Week and be a part of the show package. That may seem a haily ever after, but... I wasn't prepared.

Suddenly I found myself in a situation where I had no stable place to stay, no funds in the most expensive city in the world, and due to the on call nature of the FW GOSEES I was told not to get a job. Not to forget it was the Polar Vortex.

So here I am, exhausted, broke, hungry, alone, awkward and wondering what the hell I'm doing here. I felt my opportunity could be stripped at any moment. That Fashion a Week might not pan out positively. That I'm not femme enough....

And I'm in the same room as someone I'd just seen on television.... Who I'd wished I could've been two months ago. I'm vying for the same opportunity. The same designer. And we are on the same package for the same agency.

We were equal...



He as just as human as I as, and just as much at the mercy of the casting director as I was.

Your life can change at ANY second.... No matter- NO MATTER AT ALL how SHITTY your situation may feel. 





I know that my career may be short lived, I know things aren't easy now, but I also know how I WANT this to play out and I'm going to do EVERYTHING I can to keep on this path.

I hope you do too.

I hope you change your dreams to goals.

I hope you make time for your happiness.

Because when you discover yourself... Others do too. And your life can flip in a matter of seconds.

Get it.