Today is a day to dance in the rain, not to take a nap because of the storms.
With how poetic that sounds, it's very real. We have needed this rain for so long. The air has been scrubbed. The plants have been watered. There has been some relief for the firefighters and all who are affected by the fires.
The smell of rain is so rich and fresh. The feel of the rain is so cool and makes everything so green and richly colorful.
What a blessed day!
I wrote a whole bunch in the my last post, but half of it didn't publish. So, I will continue from a few posts ago from here...
So, back to when I had mono for the 3rd time. I wasn't good at taking care of myself. That is something I would have to learn. It was natural for me to take care of everyone else's needs above my own. I was a nurturer, and still am.
To back up a little...
I always wanted to be a model. From the time I was a young girl. I dreamed of modeling and singing. However, my anxiety always stopped me. I tried out for cheer leading, and that really stretched me. I tried out for some musicals when I was a junior in high school, but even though I made it on as a cast member, my father wouldn't let me be part of the musical because I got a C on my report card. I think it would have been really good for me to be part of something like that, to be able to use my talents for that.
I wanted to BE SOMEBODY. I wanted to put my mark on this planet. How was I going to do that if I was told that I couldn’t for everything I wanted to try?
I would be good at so many things but decided not to even ask again. I learned that in Junior High.
So, I made choir one of my courses. That way, I at least got to do something I loved. Music. Singing. Junior year, I made it into madrigals and was able to go to other schools to perform and had other huge performance experiences. I made a ton of friends in madrigals that I will always cherish.
Senior year, we moved closer to Wisconsin. It was a fresh start at school and my confidence was pretty good. I was able to be in three choirs as actual classes my senior year and loved it.
My social life was great! But, I didn’t have really close friends because I didn’t feel comfortable having them come to my house. I had one friend that came over once and was astonished that we had to ask for snacks or to do anything in our own home. The snack? We were given bananas. Not really teen snack material. She said that it was like we were visitors in our own home, and she never came over again.
Anyway, I had an opportunity to try out as one of the leads in Under The Apple Tree. I was getting a 4.0, so I didn’t ask. I just said I was trying out.
I nailed the tryout and became a lead in The Lady and The Tiger story of Under The Apple Tree. I would attend practices regularly, doing everything I could to be great at my part, even though I had so much anxiety.
It was dress rehearsal time and the director had me wearing some see through genie pants (other than the attached panties, a fancy bra top, and a sheer cover/robe. Even though we practiced and practiced the choreography, he insisted that I was supposed to take off the robe/cover during the scene. I argued with him on it, but went through with dress rehearsal.
Show time came and I didn’t take off the top. I figured he couldn’t fire me. It was a high school musical.
My parents had a total meltdown though. They had no idea that I was wearing this kind of costume. What they were worried about though was there reputation. They said something like ‘we told our friends to attend and you embarrassed us with our friends ‘.
They didn’t say how well I performed. They didn’t compliment me on my dancing. Nothing. Nothing but how they were embarrassed.
For senior talent show, where the whole school attended, I sang REO Speed Wagon, I can’t fight this feeling any longer’. I rocked it. Everyone had their lighters out and they were waving them back and forth. It was awesome! I had so much anxiety but still did what I set out to do!!
So, back to trying to ‘be somebody.’
I was living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming when I finally had the opportunity to model. I was invited to model in a runway show for shoes. It was at Snow King and it was terrifying. I had other opportunities to finally do more work like that and it got easier with each one.
When I moved back home to help my mother during her divorce, I got into modeling for an agency. The work started shortly after she moved away. It was fun work, photo shoots that were practice, at various locations.
Nearly 6 months went by and no jobs had come of it. So I asked and the people would not get back with me. The photographer was not getting any gigs aside from the practice ones either. Frustrating!
What we found out was that this was a fly-by-night kind of place. They would so collapse. End of that contract for sure.
I was determined to be part of the fashion industry. So, I got an appointment with one of the big agencies in Chicago.
I took time off work and went downtown (which was brave with my anxiety). Entering the offices, I felt under dressed and overweight. I also felt like a little person.
I was not fat at all. I was also pretty tall for a girl, at 5’10” tall. I felt like I was at a convention for anorexic giants. It was crazy.
I got called into the office of an agency rep and he liked me up and down and asked what I wanted to visit about. I told him that I wanted to model. He looked at me like I was an alien. He had me stand up and turn around a few times. They took my measurements and weight. They sized me up.
The agent said I was too short, not skinny enough and that my face was not symmetrical. He also said that my lips were too full.
So, then this representative sits me down and says that he could get me some jobs if I had a good portfolio. Hmm. Tell me I suck but you want to find me work?
I didn’t know what a portfolio looked like at the time. I had pictures that the photographer I had been working with had given me. I figured that I was supposed to show those. So, not knowing any better, I handed the guy a pile of 4 x 6 pictures. Not exactly a portfolio, and he told me so.
From there, he offered me their services and said that, if I pay $10,000 for them to create a portfolio, that he was sure that he could get me jobs. That after telling me that I was too short, too fat, and etc. Hmmm. Interesting type of sales tactics?!
Well, I was smart enough to see that this was a pawn, a sham, and a shame. I decided that I would not model if I had to go through a seedy agent. Instead, I would only model when I found the jobs myself, or on the occasion that I was given the opportunity.
I would find the opportunity on occasion and was fine with that. I think I would have been eaten alive if I had gotten into that business as a full time gig.
...Continued in upcoming posts...