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Walk a Mile in My Runway Shoes Part 3

I was informed rumor has it that I accept anyone into classes, regardless of their potential. So, I have to consider this accusation. I don’t believe anyone can accurately determine the potential of anyone else. When there are too many factors involved in the lafe choice of any individual, how could anyone claim to know that? I’m sorry, but my crystal ball is in the shop and is beyond repair. I do, however, select who I would want to work with, and some just don’t make the cut.

Let me describe some of the people that others may have thought were not up to the Industry standards of potential.

First, there was a model hopeful who was brought in to me when her husband urged her to try. She was a lovely, girl-next-door looking blonde who was a towering 5’4”. Yes, that was sarcasm. She wanted to learn everything (Runway, Print/ Photo Posing, and Commercials), although I informed her that runway would be limited to local petite boutique shows and not as common as if she had been taller. As, I was running the franchise at the time, the fee for 30 workshops was $2900 as directed by the home office.

This particular lovely woman did everything she was told. She practiced, she memorized her lines, she attended every class and followed our advice. Her photos were done after she finished the print class and she set out marketing herself as we advised. Before she finished her classes, she had recouped her entire investment, classes, photos and printing.

Last I spoke with her, she has done over 40 commercials, has been seen in print ads and has participated in local runway shows. This was her definition of success.

Now, let me describe an actress. A mature woman came to me after spending $35,000 on acting classes in Tampa. That was the quote she gave me. She proceeded to do a monologue that was not age appropriate for her and didn’t stay on her mark or even wait for the camera to roll before she began. I felt truly sorry for her. I explained the coaching she should try to find should be on camera and not stage coaching. I told her I didn’t have a recommendation in the Tampa area, bus should she find someone, I was willing to check their credentials for her.

She insisted on working with me. She asked for my longest available program, a year of unlimited workshops. I was concerned about the three hour drive, but she said she would come every weekend. When I could not discourage her, I accepted her. Ambition is something that creates results. She certainly had that. I offered to come to her for the first twelve hours of coaching to make things easier on her.

She had put her goals aside in her youth to pursue a “normal” job. No One in her family supported her dream, so she tried to ignore it. Now retired, she chose to try again. When she performed the monologue that I had sent her, I could see that she was actually talented. She took direction and was able to be genuine in the scene. She did a very creepy monologue, that once performed, could hush a large crowd. Did you see “Misery”?

I got a call from her one Sunday night at 10 PM. She was in tears after watching herself on camera. She pleaded, “Who is going to want to hire an ugly old lady like me?” I cited several movie roles that she could have easily handled and told her that she needed to love her beautiful flawed self. As we all are beautifully flawed, those are the things that make us relatable and adored. We are all God’s perfect, unique snowflakes. She calmed down and we ended the conversation at 11:30.

The next day, she was hired to be an extra on “The Glades”. After taping, she again called me and this time, her tears were of joy. She thanked me for encouraging her to do the thing she had always wanted to do. She said, “If I die tomorrow, I’ll die happy.” This, to me, is a success.

She continued on to appear in several more shows including an Irish sitcom. She was also in an indy film that has just been released, with her first Supporting role.

I can’t be one of those people that tells someone else not to try. My opinion is not the only opinion, as there are people on TV that I never would have placed there. If you have realistic goals and keep at them, you can achieve. It helps to alleviate some of the rejection to be really good at what you are doing though. When you won’t be right for every booking, it’s hard to keep trying. But, if you know you gave it your best and did well, then it’s usually not personal. It’s easier to feel proud of yourself and make it to the next go-see, or the next casting call.

Those outside of the Industry only think of one type of model, or the leading man/ lady actors. There are so many other types getting paid to do the same job. We see them every day. Who am I to say that you can’t? You may be limited, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try.

I would rather have someone call me up grateful to me than to squelch someone’s lifelong dream. I don’t know what you would do in my shoes. My contention is, who am I to judge you?

Oh, but I have kicked people out of my office with really impressive portfolios and a bad case of sleaze mouth. I’ve refused to enroll someone who couldn’t seem to take direction no matter how we tried to word it. I have offered advice to professional models to help them further their career, but never tried to sell them a class. I’ve given them connections without spending a dime with me. I’ve refused to train a child who didn’t want to be there, but Mommy wanted her to and made it clear that if her daughter didn’t do well, she would be sorry. (Popping your kid’s balloon when she cries in front of the camera is no way to impress anyone.)

I guess that is a metaphore for what I want to do. When I see someone with ambition, I want to not pop anyone’s balloons.

To support me in reaching as many hopefuls as possible, and in organizing scouting events to bring them opportunity, if you appreciate the efforts we make, or wish to be coached, please click here. Five Star is functioning on crowdfunding. I feel what I do is giving. We don't want to charge tuitions anymore, but are asking for giving support from the community. Please follow the link to read more. We appreciate you.

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