*Cuts on Empire State of Mind*
Hey guys! It's been a while. Much has changed and I can't wait to share.
If you would have told me one year ago that I'd be where I am today I wouldn't believe you. Life has a way to picking you up and throwing you around just so you can land on your feet. A week after moving to the city of bright lights I was connected to a modeling agency. After meeting them and learning that they wanted to work with me I thought that I had arrived. In my mind I would be sent to castings and immediately book them because of the hunger to win that lived inside of me. However after being called "plus size", being told to get on a diet in front of a room of people by a reality tv star and being told I don't have the right to choose what I will and will not do when it comes to my body because I'm a new model I found myself at an all-time low.
You see people have a way of breaking you down. After hearing something countless times you will start to believe it if you don't have the strength to dismiss those ideas down in your mind. After failing to book countless jobs and ending the year with $78 in my bank account I found myself working part-time for $9 an hour and unhappy. I hadn't found a way to make friends and loved ones from home saw visiting me as a trek halfway across the globe so loneliness set in as well.
Telling this story is not to make you all sad or pity me... or to ask anyone for money (unless you'd like to donate to my student loans than email me lol) but to shed some light on a few things.
After a few months of being part-time I was promoted to a manager which was definitely a much needed financial "come up". By March it had been months since I attended a casting or had a photoshoot. Financially I was feeling more secure however the frustrations of knowing that I moved to NYC to take my career by storm was haunting me. Daily I found myself in the midst of everyday conversations models from all over the world because it is my job to build relationships with my associates. At times I found myself a little frustrated because they were doing the exact thing I wanted to but happy to have people to talk to. And then one day something happened...
After running my mouth with one of the models she asked me "Why are you not signed to an agency? I've seen your work and you're amazing." I replied "I've tried so many times. I haven't had much luck. I feel like I need middle man to get me in because I go to open calls and they like me but after seeing my book they say no." And then she said the unexpected "Well girl you're in luck! I'm best friends with one of the scouts from MSA and I can get you in. I'll show her your work!" I quickly thanked here and told her I'd give her any type of photo she needed yet in the back of my mind it sounded too good to be true. Flash forward to about a week or so. I received a text from that same young lady explaining that she showed her friend my Instagram and she wants me to come to open calls.
Excuse me while I faint. In that very moment a dark time in my life became so bright. After months of struggling with the of idea packing my things up and heading back home, the light at the end of the tunnel had shown itself. For about two weeks excitement and anxiety wrecked havoc through my body. I was happy that I finally had this opportunity but the chance that I could be rejected again didn't seem so appealing. After deciding it was now or never I attended Open Calls.
The day of Open Calls I arrived to a line of prospective models wrapped around a tight hallway. As I assumed my position alllll the way in the back I began to pray. Whenever I do anything major I pray the same prayer... "Dear Lord I thank you for this opportunity and for bringing me here today. Lord I know what I want and I would love to do this but if it's not in your will I don't want it. Lead and direct my path and give me the discernment to know what is for me. I may not be pleased if I don't get it but I trust your will and I know you'll always have something. In Jesus name Amen." Shortly after my talk with Jesus an intern came out and collected my statistics and portfolio.
That was the longest wait of my life. With no expectations I awaited the verdict of them wanting to work with me or not. The same intern appeared and called me to sit in the waiting area. As I shouted with joy on the inside I pranced to the front of the line. Five minutes later a new woman came out of a glass door and said "I'm sorry but it's going to have to be a no today" with no emotion. (Insert playing violin) On the inside I was confused and conflicted. I had said the prayer but I didn't expect that answer from God lol. Instantaneously I heard the voice of my best friend saying "Don't you leave that office without getting some answers." The same intern who let me in the office then appeared of the elevator. I asked her if I was supposed to wait to see the scout that asked me to come in. The intern asked the secretary to call upstairs and after being told "Just take her pictures or something" I knew it was my time to PERFORM. After giving all the face and smizes I could in 5 snapshots they took the camera upstairs to be viewed. As they stepped off the elevator and said "She'll see you now" (Insert "Turn Up" Music) I was in a state of shock and confusion. That was a Tuesday... on Friday I was sent my first official contract.
This story is not to boast or to rub my success in anyones face. This story is to motivate and encourage anyone with a dream to keep going. I was at my lowest of lows during my first year of living in the concrete jungle. This place can definitely eat you alive. HOWEVER through mustard seed faith (because that's all I had left) and perseverance I finally got what I've been fighting 6 years for. I was supposed to sign with this same agency 5 years ago but things fell through with the connection I had. Life is all about timing and even though I thought I was ready then.. I wasn't. I say all this to say no matter how off course you may feel continue to do what you can. Even if it's a baby step you have to know that the step you're taking is towards a greater goal. People are quick to tell you that you can't do something but when you accomplish it they're the first to say "See I knew you could do it!" -_- All the people can be against you but if you're on your team you're already winning. You have to be your own biggest cheerleader because there will be times where all you have is yourself. You owe yourself the chance to open your wings and take flight. There will be many risks and failures along the way but they're all learning opportunities. Don't sell yourself short and wake up a 50 year old wondering where the time went. Time stops for no one.
Okay I'm done preaching lol.
Until Next time...