Crisis for Sale

Long before I planned to venture on the modeling industry, I once was a girl growing up wanting to become a story-teller-slash-ballerina. All from the pictures of women gracing a perfect stance from head-to-ballet-shoes-heels. At home I’d practice pirouettes and plies in order to achieve picture-worthy arches. Until I was five when my helper (up to now) ate Eden woke me at 5 am and said, “Hey try this swimsuit!” and as a child, I obliged. Clad in a snoopy one-piece, I strut a pose on a red Ford Expedition car my father once owned. It’s a complete foreshadow of the future of my wildest dreams. You can say that it was the beginning of the pursuit, but no. Locked on an all-girl’s Catholic elementary and high school, the institution taught me that such dream can be out of reach, at least for a student who badly wanted to go to that school. For eleven years I waited with a tough route. The phase called “Awkward Stage” kept revisiting me at some points in life, which of course piqued my insecurities. Also, bullies were repeatedly encountered on hallways. However that did not halt my ammo ambition to market my pictures. Hey, who can blame me I need a wall of frames at my dream house (and of course I adore extra-gorgeous shots with an artist's touch)

So you might think modeling is all about snacking of apples a day, cutting the water and/or salt content, and working out twice daily; the only way through the industry is shredding ten pounds a week and rubbing elbows with the elites of Metro Manila? It might be the stereotype but my tip is to start small. Have someone really dedicated to take your photos. Divide commissions, if ever, and pray that they will see your personality and WON'T CHANGE YOU in any way as they please. *Highlight they.* 
Flash forward today. The school bullies are gone; they were never there (to keep me down since their opinions didn’t matter to me.) Albeit the negative experience was a bigger bully I have to face on my own, those who are authorized to book me or not on their shows with enough power to state any criticism and objections about my individuality. I encountered long haul of fifteen rejections from Modeling Agencies—calling me stout, obese, and “ugly” to name a few. Some marked ‘X’ in front of me during Go-Sees. Others are online casting, meaning I have to get as much ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ in order for them to admit me to their company. One teen-magazine commented, “Why don’t you focus on your writing instead (of this)?”

Their negative feedback, rejection, and opinion about me enabled me to be independent—doing freelance modeling and collaborations with dedicated photographers at my generation. Working with people ‘making a name for themselves’ is a wholesome experience, knowing that you can make mistakes but try again, be creative, discover and explore your strengths and weaknesses. It doesn’t give you the swiftest exposure as a model. For starters, a pack of hissing comments from social media. Poor quality image, trying hard, nothing special, and (their favorite word again) ugly to name a few judgments I hear both online and offline. All rookies and professionals know what it’s like to be in a certain location, strut a pose, and receive stares-laughs-coughs-and-comments from third parties (insert sneaky picture-taking based on your peripheral.) I used my experience in dancing as a perk in posing. To be honest, until now I have no idea what my best angle is because I love playing with my expressions and experimenting on my posture/position. Those where a few things that kept me going through the years, but of course, I still ought to be recognized for my craft. There's no point in denying people want to look at visually flattering models, and with an exotic face and voluptuous body it's a challenge to stand out. 

With only an ounce of hope before finally giving up, who would have thought that my sixteenth casting on my overall auditions finally said “You’re qualified!” and coincidentally at the year 2016? 'The search' commenced at January this year for an event on February: A Valentine Search. As much as I’d like to say sweet words, I have to say the workshop and runway was awful (not because of the models) but of their services. Hint: All models have no idea about the music during the runway, hence clueless on where the cameras are hidden, and lack of rehearsals. We had one workshop, don't get me wrong. Our workshop was an icebreaker, a two-time walk on a fake runway, and a dance rehearsal only prepared during that day (with the looks of it, I guess.) Got also bruised during the team building (note: it was a week before the show) and they replied to this accident as We are not liable for the damages. Gee, haven't you heard of quasi-contract, you're breaking all the rules and I can't even get a refund (of my time and energy.) Great thing our contract was a one-time deal. Was it a bad experience? Not exactly, but it’s not as good either. To be honest, I’d rather have this encounter at my time capsule than facing another disappointing ‘no.’ Any Valentine model during that time would also share to me personally about the awful experience. The good thing is, we have to write another "experience" on our application form. 

That’s it your only modeling experience is through your collaborations in this blog and from a one-time contract on an agency? Technically yes, however soon it will foster. Currently signed a (life-time) contract with an agency (out of another three I applied for within June this year.) Two of my friends recommended me at their respective modeling agencies. With weeks to decide, I chose the one who upholds our upmost safety and promotes the best exposure to the industry. This month, I’ll attend weekly runway workshops and modeling classes which I’m hype about. SO ecstatic to learn and place my talent into test. Best thing is some of their funds go to charity. Also, who wouldn't mind free designer clothes/makeup and sponsor gifts? Perhaps I could claim those 5 am call times once again?


At my best effort, I told a personal story of mine not to brag but to simply explain a little puzzle of my backstory. There is a spirit within me that roars, “I’ll encounter more” from the industry maybe not today but soon. Also, to anyone at who thinks they are controlled by the situation they are in, “the choice is up to you if you’ll leave, stay, or change they way.” As I’ve shared to you a while ago, I went to an all-girl’s school and back then it was merely impossible to start a career or sideline even in show business and modeling industries alike. It was only until college when I finally decided to create my network and expose my talent. My mentor Coach Dave Aguila told us three types of people aiming for success and the probability attaining it. First, education without implementation is a definite failure. Second, performing without proper education is a success on chance. Third, proper knowledge and implementation is a guaranteed success. Modeling is an unfinished chapter at my book, I seek to know more and do more from it. Experience is not the only thing that will make one qualify for the job but other forces as well. This includes determination, education, connection, and the most important of all is discipline. Motivation is not enough. Anyone can get motivated to get the job done, but with discipline there will be proper actions for that specific goal.

With that, if God bless my words to be claimable and creditable, “Modeling is not only marketing Sexa-Pill (sex appeal), impossible-to-achieve body measurements, and thud attitude. It’s a crisis for sale*.”

*The capability to monetize one's skill and talent via countless bad experiences.

Crisis for Sale Crisis for Sale Reviewed by Michelle Tan on 8:00 AM Rating: 5

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