“I don’t fit the casting description, should I still go?” – #ModelTipTuesday #ModelAdvice

Another #ModelTipTuesday post for ya! These posts will be dedicated to your questions about modeling. If there are any questions you have, send them to me via any of my social media sites, or email me your questions. I will either respond to them directly or respond to you and post the question as a blog post for others to learn from. So, Here I go!

 

I recently had a comment on one of my posts asking this very question. The reader basically said that there was an audition that she was going to go to but she didn’t fit the height requirement for one of the characters that she was auditioning for. She wondered if she should go…

 

My advice?

 

I don’t think she should go or at least audition for an other role where she fits the description.

The casting directors put out the requirements for the roles or the booking a certain way for a reason. It could be that the clothes for the shoot or show are a certain size or the height of the model has to be a certain height in order to fit into a particular set setup with a model or actor of a complementary height.

There aren’t too many chances that you not fitting the requirements are going to change the director or the agent’s mind in regards to you winning the role just because you showed up and auditioned for it, simply because its not what the role calls for.

 

And that’s my 2 cents!

Reader Question: I have Pimples. Can I Still be a Model?

Recently I have been getting a lot of questions about modeling and going to castings, but this one I decided to share because it seems to be a recurring theme, especially among teenagers who want to pursue modeling. Check out the reader’s question below and my response.

Reader’s Question:
I have casting this coming Sunday. However my face has some scars and white heads and I’m just wondering if they’ll look at all my white heads and all because I’m sooo not flawless…. But I’m still growing. I know I’ll have clean soft skin if I don’t have these pimples. So I’m wondering if they don’t really care about the scars because makeup artists are able to do makeup for me next time, or do they really want clean face girls? I planned to cover up with foundation and concealer but you said they want to see you as you are. So I’m really not sure. What if I cover up and next time they are shocked to see my face scars?

My Response:
Your skin condition will be looked at when you attend a casting, you are being judged on your appearance, it’s the nature of the business. They may ask you about it, they may not, but you should be honest about its condition if asked about it. With that said, if you attend the casting, you should wear makeup to cover the scarring and even out your skin tone. Makeup won’t cover the pimples from being seen it will just take away the color of the scarring or redness, which will still allow you to be seen as a blank canvas. Should you get booked for the job, you should communicate your condition with the person who booked you so they can prepare for production.
Will your skin count against you? It’s possible. It takes more work/resources ($$$ for editing, makeup artists, [which isn’t always provided], etc.) to work with a model with problem skin compared to one without them. People in business like to control costs and stay within budget and time constraints and problem skin could hinder that. To increase your chances of being booked in the future, I strongly advise adapting a regimen that will help you achieve smoother skin. Usually a pimple here or there most agents look past it.


*The reader’s question has been edited.


So what do you think, am I right? What advice would you give to this reader? Do you have a question that you want me to answer about modeling? Comment below and I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP.


This question originally appeared as a comment on Model Advice: What to Wear to Casting Calls and Go-Sees

How I got started as a model…

The header pic, is a pic from about 10 years ago, maybe more an 10 years, of my first swimsuit shoot in Atlantic City. I thought I was DOOOOOOING IT! lol Thank goodness that was the beginning and there was a lot of improvement to be had!

 

Day 2 of the 7 day blogging challenge by Alex Beadon, and the challenge is to write about how you got your start as an entrepreneur. Since my modeling is how I got my start as an entrepreneur, I decided to detail that. If you want to know how it got me to start my business, I’ll be detailing that in the future on my company’s blog, “The Pour”

 

Here Goes!

 

What initially drew you in to become a model?

 

I have a cousin that was a model when I was a kid. I remember looking at her pictures in her portfolio and some of her tear sheets from the ads and print work that she had done and thought to myself, I want to do that. The pretty, perfect, and polished look that she portrayed was what initially sparked my interest in modeling. I think I was around 9 years old when I realized a model is what I wanted to be.

 

What challenges did you face?

 

Well, the number one challenge that I faced was getting started. I didn’t know how or where to start, who could point me in the right direction, how to get work, what did I need to be a model, what was a scam and what was worth pursuing? And so forth.

My first comp card. Thank the Lord for growth lol (that email address, I no longer use by the way)
My first comp card. Thank the Lord for growth lol
(that email address, I no longer use by the way)

How did you overcome them?

 

I did a lot of researching, back when I was starting there were a few ‘urban’ models who had websites that displayed their portfolios and resumes and also gave a lot of tips on how they got started (before blogging was popular) so I took some of their advice from their sites as well as other modeling advice sites and started out on pursing my career. A lot of what I have come to learn has been from trial and error and research to figure out what path would be the best path for me to try. Through my research, I learned that pictures are the main thing that will get you booked and without them you won’t be taken seriously as a model. SO I set out to do a photo shoot. I found a few social networking sites dedicated to models and photographers and I put a few pictures of myself on there that opened myself as looking to shoot in order to build my portfolio and I had a number of photographers respond willing to shoot me and a few even for free! I decided to shoot with one photographer (I paid him) and ended up learning a TON from my initial shoot and used those pictures to book more shoots in order to perfect my posing and my port, and thus I began to seek out work and the bookings started to come.

 

How did you get your first booking?

 

My first booking was fashion show that I was referred to do by the same photographer that I did my very first shoot with. It was for a local designer, I can’t remember her name, but I was booked for that show based on the pictures he showed her that he shot of me. I didn’t even know how to walk the runway I was a PURE newbie, Lol But I booked it!

 

What has been your biggest lesson as a model?

 

The biggest lesson I have learned as a model is the vital fact that pictures and your network can and will take you places. Without the pictures and without knowing people you won’t get far. It’s like the saying goes, “Its not always what you know, its who you know and who knows you.”

Allow me to reintroduce myself…

My name is Hov, (Oh) H-to-the-O-V.……..
But not really tho! Lol

Hi I'm Alean

If you haven’t figured it out by the domain name of the site, my name is

Alean Elston

(AL-leen ELS-ten)

and welcome to my digital space!

I’ve been modeling for 12 years now (and still getting stronger) and as I’ve gone about in my career I’ve come across some awesome people and learned a lot about business and a ton about myself. What I’ve realized is that I learned the most when I shared with others and when they shared with me. It enabled me to grow and I hope that I’ve enabled others to grow as well. With that being said, my goal is to connect with the aspiring models, the professional models, the drinks and business enthusiast, and the beverage and modeling/entertainment industry folks who want to follow along with me in our journey with my blog. I believe that if you are one of those people, then we have a few things in common.

 

I love modeling, modeling led me to start my own business, starting my own business enabled me to work with various beverage brands and sparked the passion of me working within the beverage industry. All of these things are very connected in my life and if you have a passion for any one of those things, there is where we share our connection. I’ve been in your shoes as the inexperienced model, looking to find out how to get started and how to start booking shoots, shows, and getting paid. I’ve been the business owner that struggled (sometimes I still struggle) to get the first client and develop the momentum to continue to build a customer base. I am the person passionate about cocktails and wine and beers and wanted to learn all I can about the business of it, I’m also the blogger that lives life just like you but my goal is to share my experiences and ideas and to connect with those who share the same sentiment, and build and grow.
The one thing that I hope that you take away from my blog is that you can have multiple goals but they mean nothing if you don’t pursue them. All it takes is a few baby steps towards your goals for them to gain traction and watch it grow faster than the speed of light. I’ve watched it happen to a number of my peers, and now it’s my turn.

Watch me work.
If you need to reach out to me with any questions, or you would like to work together please don’t hesitate to email me – alean@aleanelston.com

My 1st NO WEAVE Anniversary and Why I Stopped Wearing Them

Wild Thang

Yes it has been a while since I have written a post, but I assure you, Its not because I didn’t want to its because I’ve been too busy to sit down here and do it. But now I’m back and I’m ready to get back to bloggin!!! YAAAY!

And yes you are reading the post title correctly, I have not had a weave in my hair for slightly over a year. Let me tell you the story…

You see, a few years ago, back in 2003, I was in a car accident that injured my thumbs. (This guy ran a stop sign and crossed in front of me and I couldn’t stop in time, which totaled my first car 🙁 and turned me in to the “cautious” driver I am now…) I loved to do my own hair prior to that and being that my hands were injured and it hurt to do simple things like write and type, you can imagine how much pain I was in trying to do my hair. So my solution to that? I went to the african shop and got Kinky Twists in my hair, something simple and easy for me to maintain. I got them touched up every so many months until my hands got better to the point where I could handle things without pain, then I went back to doing my own hair. That’s when I believe that the laziness set in lol. I figured that I don’t really feel like doing my hair EVERYDAY but I want it to look good EVERYDAY, and I didn’t want braids or twists anymore so what can I get? I didn’t want to get a relaxer anymore because I was scared that my scalp would be too sensitive and it wouldn’t take being that I hadn’t had a perm in about 6 months at that time. Thus began the journey of the WEAVE QUEEN!

I had worn weaves before in the past, but this started an era with me where I REFUSED to be seen without one! My real hair was in that natural at the root and permed at the ends state and I didn’t feel like dealing with the jungle at the root on a regular lol and it seemed that the weaves had saved my life! All I had to do was wake up every morning and make sure the little section that showed to cover up my tracks was straight, who could ask for anything easier?! Not to mention, when I was in college, I didn’t really have a lot of time to dedicate to my hair with studying, internships, running a club on campus and working and I just wanted it to look good. PERIOD

It wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I realized the damage that was being done to my hair from the constant wearing of the weaves. Sure my hair was growing underneath, but that section that I kept out in the front to cover my weaves was breaking horribly! I don’t know if it was because it was permanately straight due to excessive heat straightening or what, but all I know is when I attempted to try wearing my hair different ways without weave, my hair felt like doing a hard core “break” dance and those permed ends quickly fell off. What ever was left of that, that continued to remain straight after I washed my hair and didn’t revert to a thick cotton ball state, I cut it off and thus began to wear MY hair.

I did it for the first time, like really out and about and proud back in 2009 and I did a photoshoot to commemorate it and to join Tyra Banks in her “Real Hair” Day and this is what it looked like in 2009:

After that photoshoot, from time to time, I would still wear my weaves but then something MAJOR happened…

Can you guess what it is?

BILLS!!! That trick Sallie Mae started beatin down my door for me to start paying back my student loans! I had to take a chill pill on my spending and cut back on a few things. Weaves were the first thing on the list!

I started recycling my weaves, washing and wearing again of course (good for the environment right?! lol), figuring out ways to stretch out my weaves and make them last longer, until I just couldn’t anymore and I stopped wearing them completely and challenged myself to wearing my hair for 3 months straight, in which case I would reward myself with a weave! Crazy, I know. But that was my thinking at the time. When it came time for me to reward myself, I didn’t really feel like wearing a weave, but, because I was going to visit my bestie in Cali, I thought I don’t wanna worry about my hair while im out there so I wore a nice, cool, bob weave, pictured here:

I still have this romper somewhere...the question is where...(raised eyebrow)

When I got back, from that trip, I kept the weave for a a few weeks and when I took it out, I haven’t put a weave back in my hair since.

 

I say all of this because recently I had to think back to the last time I had a weave, and May of 2010 was that time. Now its June of 2011 and I still love wearing my hair.

 

Now I’m not saying that I will never wear a weave again, or that wearing weaves is the wrong thing to do, in fact the next weave I intend on getting will be a big curly fro, or a long Naomi Campbell style weave with a center part. I love the versatility that my hair is able to give me in my look, I’ll even go as far to say, that because I’ve been wearing my hair it has been a sole reason of why I am booking more modeling jobs. But none the less, I love the fact that I have options with my hair, its deciding what to do with it next that’s driving me crazy! lol

 

Hope you enjoyed my hair story! 🙂

Things you MUST have to be a GOOD model (Part 1)

ANTM Cycle 7 Models (no that is not me in the top of the picture, although I do get mistaken for her a lot)

 

I usually get a lot of questions about modeling and what it takes to get ahead in the industry. Every time I am asked I always make it a point that being a good model, means being a “model person.” What I mean by that is, be the model that you want to be. You have to model a model in order to be a good model! That means getting into the mindset of a model and executing those mannerisms in your daily life. For example, when you are starting out as a model, you might compare yourself to your favorite model. Not saying that you look like that person, but their successes and thier persona. Don’t mimic what they do, but research what it is about them that has gotten them to the point in their career that they have reached.

Aside from the physical things that one needs in order to be a good model there are a few things from within that a model must have if they want to get ahead. One of the main things is a personality.

Personality

As a model, you will meet a lot of people and the key to you getting more modeling work often lies within meeting these people. You will need to be able to talk to people and project to your potential client that you are a confident and capable person. How do you do that? You have to talk and let people have a feel for the way you are!

Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t really know at social functions. Doesn’t have to be anything deep, it could be about the weather or better yet, compliment them on something you like about their outfit. That is usually a small ice breaker that can usually get the conversation flowing, who knows where it may go.

Another thing that most models need to be a good model is a good head on their shoulders, you have to be SMART!

Be a smart model…

I can’t tell you how many models I have met that seem to be the stereotype of the “DUMB” model. Very pretty but can’t count to 10 worth a damn! lol. As a model you are in this business as a self-employed business, you are independent. Even if you get signed with an agency, you are on your own. The agency works for you, you don’t work for them, no matter what you may think. Whatever jobs they send you out for, it is your choice whether you go or not. You are on your own to take care of how  you secure it, your transportation to get there, your hair, makeup, clothes, etc. you are responsible for it all. If you don’t know what you are doing, I strongly suggest that you do a lot of research about the business or start asking some questions. No client wants a model who doesn’t know what they are doing, and the ones that do, WILL exploit you for your ignorance. (MESSAGE!!! *in my spike lee voice*)

The last thing that I will mention for this article is:

You have to have “THICK SKIN”

What I mean by that is., you have to be able to take criticism, let downs, and whatever else this industry will throw your way. You can’t take everything personally and let it get you down in this business. Not everyone is going to book you, there will be times when people will tell you no and then IF they tell you why they said no and its a negative reason, you have to be able to take it as this is just the way the business is. If you cant handle someone telling you that you weren’t chosen because you have a look that they weren’t looking for, take it as you didn’t fit for this particular gig but there are plenty others where you would fit. When you find it, find out how you can exploit it and make your money to get in where you fit in! Don’t let one let down, let you down completely.

Part 2 will be up, pending the feed back from this post! 🙂

How to: Live your “Life with Style” According to Lifestyle Expert, Cameron Washington

Do you spend countless hours in front of the TV or computer screen admiring the lifestyle of your favorite celebrities? I don’t know about you, but I sure do. As a college student, I remember how challenging it was to keep up with the latest trends, go the finest restaurants in town, and live with style in general, as some of the men I admire in the entertainment and fashion industry.

Just when I was ready to give up on pursuing that lifestyle, on my Facebook newsfeed appeared the promotional ad for Life with Style, a guide to etiquette and style by the “Renaissance Man”, Cameron Washington.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to interview Washington and ask a few questions in regards to his upcoming book and tour.

Here’s the interview:

G. Cuadrado: Your book aims to challenge the way media influences its audience to believe they must be wealthy to live in style. How did you accomplish that?

CW: I accomplished that by using my personal life as a template. I speak of it in chapter one of my book. I was often discouraged because I did not know how I could reach the level of people I saw on TV and magazines, but I knew I could offer just as much as they did. One day I finally had an “auhhau” moment and realized I had to start living a fabulous life in my day-to-day walk. In the book, I use my experiences to show positive ways in which anyone in any given setting can experience a life full of surprises and delights.

G. Cuadrado: What has helped shape your vision and sense of style?

CW: My mother, who I dedicated the book to. I believe Martha Stewart has nothing on her. My mother is always entertaining family and friends by putting together the most amazing parties with a phenomenal sense of style. Also, my grandmother, who is one of the sharpest women I know. Being surrounded by both of them really put the style and entertaining bug in me, in addition to my grandfather, a very stylish man himself.

G. Cuadrado: What makes Life with Style different from any other books on related topics?

CW: What makes Life with Style different is that it offers advice and suggestions on different aspects of life, from how to network, to proper etiquette in dinning settings, home décor and more. In addition, it offers hassle-free and affordable ways to create euphoria, and implement amazing style to life. In the book, I also share my personal experiences and tactics, and share several images with readers to show how I implement style into all aspects of my life. I wanted the book to have that personal touch.

G. Cuadrado: What do you look forward to most while on tour promoting Life with Style?

CW: To meet new and amazing people and watching their lives change after reading Life with Style. I will be touring in other cities including Washington D.C. and Atlanta.

With that, our interview came to an end, leaving me to anticipate and look forward to the book release party this coming Sunday, April 10th, at Ms. Tootsies in Philadelphia. According to Washington’s publicist, Keven Parker, restaurant owner will share congratulatory remarks, along with emerging Author, Shontel Hightower, and Clinical Psychologist and Communicator, Dr. Chuck Williams. Ultimate Emergence Wellness Group and A LITTLE TIED UP-TIE COMPANY are sponsoring this event. Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information about Life with Style and the book release party visit www.cameronwashington.com

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About Author:

G. Cuadrado is a freelance writer for AleanElston.com, Marketing and PR Coordinator at 5290 Media Group. His interests are entertainment and fashion. Follow him on twitter @GermCU_ThePR