I was asked to model for a hair/makeup competition in Chicago. Holy crap.
It was a live event, with judges, models, and some really amazing hair/makeup people.
I can be quite shy. And a live event took away my ability to control my poses/expressions to make sure whatever the outside world saw looked as good as possible. Heck, it took me a long time to just feel comfortable with regular photoshoots! In real life, someone like me is not going to look perfect at every angle, in every lighting-how many of us really do?! Well.. there were some really gorgeous models there that seemed to not have that issue. And seemed to have far more experience. But what do I know? We're far more critical of ourselves, everyone has flaws but we can see ours much more clearly than we can see them in others.
To top it off, I was going to have to walk, in heels. Oooh boy.
Shall I remind you that for a large part of my life I was a tshirts/jeans/tennis shoes kind of girl? Who's talent is not necessarily walking pretty or graceful? And outside of modeling, has very little experience in heels. At least for a photoshoot, I just have to stand there (yet that simple task can still be trickier than it sounds at times ;) ).
But I got back in the mindset that has helped me out immensely throughout this modeling thing: I just tried not to think about it, I had to just jump in. What is the point of worrying and freaking out about something when you have NO clue what is going to happen anyway?! And I had to remind myself of the fact that I was given the honor of being one of 3 models for this team. That's pretty darn cool! Not to mention this was one of my first modeling things OUTSIDE of my home state.
It was a struggle to maintain this mentality throughout the event, I'll admit. It was intimidating. I'm no size 0 and I was reminded of that quickly. There were size 0's. And they were tall. And pretty. And confident.
Stop thinking so much brain! This was an honor. And fun!
A BTS photo of our team's models. Photo: Ladie K Mraz
I looked around in awe. Watching these people work, as teams, to CREATE in a way that I'm not super familiar with--hair/makeup pro's can do some crazy schtuff.
We had a time limit. The hair person had to work at the same time as the makeup person. Now THAT is talent folks. My head is being jerked in one direction as makeup is trying to be placed in detail, and music is blaring to the point where there is no way for me to be loud enough to communicate to the hair artist that I think the hair dryer is actually burning my scalp-until I simply move--oops. However, outside of that, we all seemed to be in sync with each other. We all have our own tasks to focus on, yet we have to work AS A TEAM.
This wasn't so bad after all, why had worry tried to sneak in there so often?! A better question: why did I LET it?!
As I mentioned, there were 3 models on each team, for the 3 categories. My category was "natural"--my hair and makeup had to creatively be done in a way that was very natural. And I was in the very first category.
After hair/makeup was complete, we had to line up to take our turn in front of the judges. The way the venue was set up made it difficult to see our route and to see what we were walking into. But I was much more relaxed at this point, and enjoying myself and the event...
...Until my team had to be the very FIRST one judged, meaning not only was I in the first category, but also the first model to have to walk out there! Oh goodness. I had NO idea what I was doing and was reminded of that oh so quickly. Cue the high speed butterflies in my belly. So I awkwardly walked into the center of the room, PACKED with onlookers, photographers shooting my every awkward move. I tried to guess how to walk, where to turn, how long to linger and where. It felt like forever before the judges asked for a closer look. Finally, some direction! It is an interesting experience to be stared at more closely than ever by strangers, who's job was to judge--not to judge me necessarily, I reminded myself. I'm showing off the hair/makeup. That's my job here.
By the end of the event, the models in the following categories blew me away with their confidence and the personality they brought to their time in front of the judges.
Crap, I started worrying again. What if the fact I was so clueless made me so boring for the judges that I ruin this for the team?! Ah!
Scratch that, let's think about this differently...how I could approach it in the future to do better? All kinds of ideas! The past was past and I made it out alive, with lessons learned and experiences gained. ;)
And guess what? We came in 2nd!
Although I was guilty of over thinking and second guessing myself quite often, I am thankful I was able to get out of my head enough to actually just DO this, to BE there, and to stumble my way through as best as I could-even if it was awkward and not as good as others had done, or as good as I wish I could have done. I DID it! And I am so proud and thankful to have worked with such a wonderful, inspiring, and talented team who gave me this amazing opportunity.
A huge thank you to Colour Law for asking me to be a part of this. And my teammates! Ladie K (our category 3 model) was also so helpful when it came time to socializing--thank you for helping to push me to network and say hello to people when I got in my head again!
Check out the screen shot of the winner's below- I was on team Colour Law.
For more photos: www.facebook.com/NFGartist