Adventures in Quasi-Modeling

I had kind of a funny experience with modeling in New York City.  First, let me explain that I didn’t set out to become a model, nor did I evolve into one either.  It started when I was at Ruby’s in Rye, New York, and a fellow told me I should contact his agent on Park Avenue.  So I did and ended up getting calls for go-sees for the next five years.  I would train down from Greenwich, Connecticut, to Grand Central, travel all over Manhattan, and spend a few minutes saying some inane lines for egg commercials or Vaseline ads.  Sometimes, they just took my photo.  One time, a young woman working at one of the auditions said to me, “You know, like, you’re here for your hair.”  When I first started to model, I didn’t realize that print and commercial modeling was less about runway and fashion and more about filling up bank advertisements with smiling people.  Mark Roddenberry ended up taking photos of me in Manhattan and up in Shelton, CT.  Before that shoot, I had a ponytail and cut it off leaving a big hole in the back of my head.  The result was that the top of my hair became sort of a blond pompom poof, apparently much in demand because my agent loved the photos for my comp card.  At the Vaseline go-see, I was asked to strip to my underwear.  A man behind a table with two people flanking him said to me, “You know . . . you’re gonna have to shave your chest if you get this job.”  For me it was a fun excuse to travel to the city, after which I went to the Frick or the Met or the Whitney or MOMA.  Or to a film.  Then trained back to CT.  I was called in for request go-sees for a lot of big companies.  No one ever called me back.  Except for once.  For my one actual job I was cast in an Internet Microsoft commercial.  A costume designer called me to work out the shoot.  I prepped my lines for several days.  The night before the shoot, my agent contacted me and said it had been aborted.  I was still paid $1000.  So the only job I ever received money for during my brief New York City modeling career was for something that never happened.  I wish I had more jobs like that.

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