I'm gonna talk to you about my story a little bit And how I got into the modeling world. Um, in my eye, I always had a huge interest in fashion. Um, watched Ailsa clinch as a little girl. My grandmother was really beg. Shouldn't speak English, so I would have to translate for her and I'd get up. It's at six years old. And instead of watching the snorkels, I was watching Elsa Clinch so that in the sense that night and I got my first subscription devoted age 10. So I was really into it. I think I grew up in the time when the supermodel era was still really big. Um, and it was just so different than and we're gonna talk about modeling now versus modeling around that time, cause it is super super evolved, and it's very different, and we'll get into that. But so I kind of I guess my story was that I wasn't naturally very thin. I kind of indulged way too much the most delicious foods ever. And on, um, I guess I was considered I could have been a plus model, but I really was into the trademar...
k fashions of Vogue and W. And I wanted to be in that market. And I guess I was sitting down one day and I thought, Well, how do I do it? So I was Nanning at the time when I was going to school, just started the university right after high school on, I decided I was gonna work out and get really healthy, and I cut out all the sugars and the white refined carbohydrates, and I hired a trainer, and I started working out three times a week. Then it grew to five times a week than six times a week, and I eventually lost, like, £58. So what I did then? Waas. I started taking really simple pictures. Local photographers like Let's see, you know what agencies say on I submitted them to probably 10 agencies, a few in Chicago. I was a little intimidated by the New York market. My parents like, No, you can't go there, you know it's dangerous, you know, things that they don't want their their 18 year old to really dio. And then I sent them to Miami and I got two responses, one from a Chicago agency and then one for Miami, and they were both the same agency because you will find that there, Let's say, for instance, Ford in New York. There's also Ford in Chicago, Ford in Miami. So it was a really Hi agency high end agency, and they said we'd love to work with you. So I went to Miami and I started testing. And then when I finished doing two tests with their I guess in House photographers that they like to use, I got an email from my best friend who said, Look, America's next top model's looking for models You should try and I saw the first season. I loved it. I was hooked. It came on super late in my hometown was, like 12 at night, and I said, Oh, but the deadlines in two days was like I'll never make it So I ran across the street. We had to do a video submission and I asked the neighbour, Can we borrow your video camera? I went into my mom's like bathroom and the hall, and I was like, I wanna I was just really natural. So even when girls say, How do I submit a video? I get this all the time. Just be yourself. I wasn't even thinking about now. I think it's a little spa. Girls have more of an agenda to go on a show like that, to be famous, to get, like their town, to be like raving about them or their mom to say, like my daughter went on this show. I mean, then it was like, Oh my God, I get to win a contract with I AMG models be so cool. What can I do? So sent the submission and then with them, like I think, less than a week. I got a phone call from a producer and said, We want it on the show and I was like, Oh, my office crates that mean I made it like just show up if you want, You want a calm calm. I'm like, Wow, but that's kind of like what the modeling world is there. Like, if you want a great If not, we'll get another girl. My God, I'm coming, I'm coming. So I went to, um, Miami. They had a huge casting on. Guy had a number already because I had a call back from the video submission and then from there. I got another call back and they had a casting in l. A. And they make you go through this grueling process. And we met Tyra and then from there went to New York and we filmed for about almost four months. Um, our group went to Milan and then one, which kind of at that time, I think was really surreal for me and had to come back home for another five months and not tell anyone and go back to my everyday life of being a baby sitter, monsieur Wanna going for slushies and to the park and waiting, which was great because I really got kind of settled and gave me a chance toe kind of understand what was gonna happen after this and what was you know, what What would the aftermath of going on a show. And I mean, I will say it opened tremendous stores for me coming from that show. I will not complain. I got offers to do TV hosting. I was the only girl the time of the agency going to do fashion reporting. Even if I wasn't getting paid. I was out there and I was getting seen and we're gonna talk about that. When? How much free do you have to give out before you're like, OK, this is enough as a photographer, right? Matthew, can you tell me about your experience in New York when you first started working? Oh, my God. And when did you start like, Okay, this is enough. I'm charging now. Well, this means, like a gradual progression. I tested a lot, and I love the whole process of testing all the agencies, meeting all the bookers and being the relationships which I still have. Now, this day, uh, there's a point when you're testing and you've got make a living in New York City where it's hard and expects it's expensive and even more so now. But it's just comes No, a point. When you gonna stop when a body's calling you and want you to test, you know, you're in demand, and then you start charging on getting work. Yeah, we'll get into that. So Yeah. So I got to New York on the first day I met with I m g there, like Great. They're like and my mom said somewheres. You want gonna live like we don't know like. Okay, well, but we need to stay here, and we've got her set up to meet these clients tomorrow, So that was really a culture shock for me. So my mom said, Can she live in a model's home? And they're like, No, she can't. They're overbooked. And you want to. Just came from a TV show is probably not a good idea. She'll get invited to parties, and these girls would probably want to kill her because they've been here forever. And here she is, like, Hi. And that I know. So I I was fortunate to have a really incredible makeup artist. Let me use his space for three months, and I tried to pay him what I could. New York was mind blowing. I never expected it would cost so much. As soon as you walk out the door, you sneeze. There goes 20 bucks, you would turn this way another $ like not anything. What happened. So, you know, that's why. Don't really recommend girls move away until they're certain and promised that they're gonna be able to make a living. Because I can't tell you how many girls I've met go out there on a dream and come back crushed or having to wait two or three restaurants just to make the rent. Having to share apartment with three people, embarrassed to kind of tell their parents what their situation is just so they can have that New York experience. But I will say New York is so much better when you have money in your pocket. Um, it's a hard city, so we'll get into that. Um, it is amazing and I love it. It was great, and I lived there for eight years. Do I want to live there again? Probably not, but but for what it waas And I think you know, you just change as you get older and what you kind of want. You do want your backyard and you do want certain things and you want to help in your car with the sun and all that. New York does provide that, but I think they're just being a Florida girl, wanting to get back to my roots and still be able to work a lot and travel. It's great, Um, I so back to signing with this agency. The first thing they did the next day after I saw clients, there was nobody to walk me around the city. I didn't understand New York at the time. I had to learn really quick on. That's really important. Especially if you're getting sent overseas abroad. No one's gonna hold your hand. No one's going to say. Did you know Susie Lou? Make it to the agency? Is she safe? Is she okay? Did the clients like hurt? No. They're going to give you a list. They're gonna email it. Probably. You might even get an email an hour before you're supposed to be somewhere. And they're gonna expect you to be ready and to see that client and to look the way you should look. Present yourself beyond time. And then you might have a gap for another two or three hours and go see another person SUNY to navigate your way around the city and into manage and to understand