Written – but of course you have to find one first!
I’m at the stage in my life now, where it’s starting to get to the business end of things, I’ve not actually told too many people about this; well until now but actually I’ve been doing the odd acting class as late and really enjoy it.
A very close friend of mine, who’s an actress and actually was in my favourite kids show growing up, “I used to fancy the pants off her, but lets keep that between us”, forced me into giving up my favourite Monday Quiz nights and going along to class with her.
And although I miss my Quiz team and they now struggle when it comes to the Spice Girl Lyrics round, now I can’t really thank her enough, Acting is right up my street and if anything I wish I had of started sooner.
The trouble with modelling is and don’t get me wrong as I’ve had a fantastic career, it’s taken me all around the world on many adventures and I’ve met some amazing people along the way, however it just doesn’t keep my mind busy enough. I need things to do.
My fathers was Comedian, my big Sister is one of the heads of Midwifery for Sydney, my middle sister is a Genetic Scientist in New York, so really I should have all the ammunition up there waiting to tap into, I mean; I love having my photo taken and probably always will but my favourite kind of jobs are commercials or moving film.
I’m not really one of those high end fashion models anyway, I don’t really do that many catwalks anymore or actually all that many magazines, well that was until the phone rang last Thursday, with a last minute magazine shoot happening the next morning.
I was actually pretty excited, as I said I don’t really do that anymore, maybe I would learn something new and could take that with me and use it for future modelling assignments.
I was shooting the Barbour campaign the other week, with this excellent photographer and he taught me something, which now; I’m all about.
The drunk walk! You know those shots where they want you walking towards camera, “Walk like your drunk!”, easy as that, gives you fantastic leg shapes.
Who would of guessed? That’s right up there now in the memory bank now.
Anyway so I get the call and with that the next morning at 7am, I know! I was on a busy tube train, across London to the shoot location at some posh house in Chelsea.
So I arrive on set, and I’m ushered upstairs into hair and make up at this point, really enthusiastic and excited about the day. The make up artist is lovely and we starting talking about my latest love life dilemma; you know, as you do.
And then in walks the photographer. Now how magazines work, are they don’t pay the model. Well they pay like £50. In fact I normally spend more on, getting to the shoot and taking the girl model out for dinner after but what they do get you, are pictures! And pictures make the world go round.
So there I am, by this point, the hair stylist has grabbed hold of me and they always make me nervous, you can never really tell their abilty when it comes to Men’s hair, occasional you might get one who knows there stuff; they are the ones you let trim your sideburns but other times, they just want to get so busy, and start blow drying, then straightening, then curling, then send you back to wash your hair again as it didn’t look as they envisaged. Anyway, I’m not going to go into him, as I have bigger fish to fry.
So I’m sitting there, and the photographer kneels down next to me and shakes my hand, for a second Donald the hair stylist turns the blow dryer off to I can hear myself think and the photographer goes on to explain the days shoot.
“Your agency did tell you didn’t they, that it’s all back off the head shots today, we aren’t going to show your face as we don’t want to distract from the clothes.”
“No, they didn’t!”
“Is he kidding me?” It’s meant to be one of the hottest days in London so far this year, one of the days it’s not actually raining, one of the 3 days of actually summer and he now he has me; trapped here, with Donald fucking up my hair and they want to shoot the back of my head!
I mean this would be ok if I was just starting out and needed the experience of how a shoot works and needed to start building up my resistance to people like Donald, or if I liked you and agreed to help you for some project at school, then I don’t mind shooting the back of my head, but this was not the case, I’ve been modelling 12 years now, I really didn’t need to be here doing this. I was not a happy Bunny!
I think the photographer sensed my agency did not mention to me that indeed it was non recognisable and I wouldn’t be getting any pictures, indeed after a brief conversation with them, apparently he hadn’t cared to mention it to them either.
And then the plot thickens, he goes on to say, that actually I wasn’t even his first choice hand model and that actually, the one he had chosen had dropped out last minute (probably as they found out what the shoot was) and I was the stand in.
Great! I wasn’t even a first choice hand model!
I’m always the professional and put a brave face on it, smiled and got on with the day, doing all they asked, building my story in my head of what I was going to write, once I escaped back to the pool at Shoreditch house.
After what seemed like an eternity the end of the day came and just as I was getting ready to leave, the photographer comes back up to me and says, “James, there were some cufflinks from the last shot that have gone missing, would you mind emptying out your pockets!”
I know! Right?! You couldn’t make this up!
I’ve given up my whole day, gritted my teeth, whilst sweltering away in hot jackets in the baking sun on this summers day, finally finished the job and now, he’s accusing me of stealing?
All I had with me was some flip flops, a pair of shorts and grey T-shirt, my phone, a travel card and some money.
“Was this guy for real!” He doesn’t know me at all!
I wouldn’t steel anything from anyone! Well maybe a pint glass or hotel towel, but who doesn’t.
With that, with a look straight into his eyes, “Can I go now?” and I was off out the door!
So that night, after I finally calmed down over a Mojito by the pool; I decided that it’s time to make a change and do something for me and applied to one of the best acting school in the world, in New York City!
And I’ve only gone and been accepted! I didn’t need to pay anyone off or anything. So maybe this is time for the next chapter in my life; time to follow my dreams, and Ride that Unicorn!
After all, you can’t be seriously good looking forever…
Wish me luck