Life List: Be a Fashion Model
Married, two kids
Real-estate agent and licensed practical nurse
Be a fashion model
Learn to fence
Go to Bali
Hairstylist you trust
I've wanted to model since I was young. When I was 16 I briefly went to a modeling school, and when I had my high school yearbook pictures taken I brought a lot of outfits thinking I could use the photos for my portfolio someday. But all that got me was a few local fashion show bookings and a couple of short-lived jobs as a department store perfume spritzer.
I attended college on a track and field scholarship and gave up my modeling dreams when I got married at 23 and had my son at 24. I trained to be a licensed practical nurse and also worked in real estate. Still, modeling was always in the back of my mind. People would often come up to me and say, "You missed your calling. You should be a model." I'd always tell them I was too old.
One day in 2008 I was doing a real-estate settlement at a law office when a client who was an image consultant came in. In passing she asked if I'd ever considered modeling. I took her card and later learned about a casting call in New York City for women over 35. I had to get up the nerve to go. They took a few head shots, measured me, and asked questions about what I would or wouldn't do as a model. I said I wouldn't model nude or do cigarette or alcohol ads.
I had to go to Manhattan a few times for photo shoots for my portfolio. In January 2009 I finally got a booking, for a Lands' End catalog. I was ecstatic! Even so, I hesitated. The timing was bad because I was about to start classes for my RN degree. I was also letting my hair grow out and the client wanted it short. But in about two seconds I realized that I couldn't pass this up. So I headed to the salon and then booked my flight to the shoot in Chicago.
I loved it. I loved having somebody do my hair and my makeup. I loved that they flew me out there and paid for my hotel. I felt like a movie star, getting all that special treatment.What I Learned
I have an amazing husband. Whether I model or not, he's behind me in everything and thinks it's great that I'm pursuing so many of my dreams. I've also learned that I like juggling a lot of things at once. Right now finishing school is my first and foremost goal. Once I get my degree, I'd love to pursue modeling some more. In five years I see myself as a healthcare professional who models fashion on the side. But if somebody offered me a full-time gig or a contract right now, I'd take it in a heartbeat.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, December/January 2010.