Walk a Mile in My Runway Shoes Part 1
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I will be daily posting different accusations that have been said to us or other friends who were opporating legitimate, high quality businesses over the years. And then I will be responding to each one of them.
If you think that being a model is tough...
ACCUSATIONS AFTER A FREE MOTIVATING AND INFORMATIONAL SEMINAR
I had a seminar one day giving free information to a group about how to be successful. My topic was much the same as usual when meeting hopeful talents. I believe true success only comes from knowledge. Although it is diffiult to break into the buisness, with persisitance and personal growth, anyone can do this. You don't have to be cute (Jack Black), you don't have to be thin (Melissa McCarthy), you just have to be you and willing to not quit until you finds the right part for you. You don't have to have it to work it. Not all models are perfect either. There are "real people", "Plus" and "Petite" models but the work is more limited. I usually recommend the modeling become a sideline for those with limitations while they focus on acting (if they have a persoanlity for it).
I sent a young husband home with an information package and instructions to call the following day after speaking to his wife about coaching for acting. Although a bit short, he was cute, but had no experience and froze on camera. He never called the next day and never came back, despite his enthusiam.
Two days later, we recieved a letter from the wife, who I'd never met. She wrote things like, How dare we put stars in peoples eyes so that we can take the food off of other's tables. While we walk around wearing diamonds in our expensive office, we should be ashamed of ourselves.
At that time in my life, I had bought my staff fake CZ rings for the purpose of impressing people. I had purchased a large name franchise that had been advising me on how to be successful running a training facility. I was told how many quare feet of space I needed and where it should be located. Most of thier advice, however had been greared toward how to do a sales pitch and creat the right image to ask for the fees that were dicated by home office. Home office took 40% of all enrollments and the New Faces director was entitled to 20% commission.
The facility was left 40% to cover over head, advertising and my income, if there was anything left.
Home office only allowed me one book as a manual for the 300 students we enrolled in those three years of opporation. After paying $75,000 for something we thought woud be impressive, we were less than impressed.
I drove a Saturn to work. I liked it. It was cute. I put my son, who was two, in day care and went to work from 11-8 daily. I had a two bedroom apartment. I was putting food on our table, too.
I wasn't ashamed of the false image that apparently worked at fooling people to believe I was more successful that I was. I was working hard to maintain that image. Sometimes it works to impress people. I think it would be lovely to impress people while sitting on the floor, barefoot in jeans, but that doesn't happen too often.
It would have been nice to buy my staff all a diamond ring someday. They were lovely women of strength and character and would deserve anything ever given to them. I'd still like to do that for them someday. They were there when I was new in Naples and just starting out with my own company as a single mom. They were my team.
I guess in retrospect, the thing that bothered me most about this young mother's rant, was this. I never blew any stardust up anybody's wazoo. I state that it takes time and effort. I say it's hard. I say after years of local work, you can relocate and be a bigger fish in a pond of sharks and still eat mac and cheese while you wait tables. This person who didn't know me, however, was calling me a liar. I had been trying to inspire someone to follow a dream. Aparently that is worth insulting, and certainly not worth paying for.
It would have been nice if she had agreed to discuss this over dinner, where we could share the food, the knowledge and perhaps exchange CZ rings. I'd even cook.