Oct 14, 2012

A Q&A and some snackage!

A reader reached out to me recently with some questions, so I'm delighted to post a Q&A today!

Here's what she wanted to know - I hope some of it interests the rest of you, as well!

How long does it take to prepare for a show as in how many days prior are fittings etc.?

This varies show to show A LOT. I've had shows where we've prepped with fittings a month in advance and even had several walk throughs and a dress rehearsal! On the other hand, I've had shows where we had a fitting a week before the show, then showed up in the morning of the show (doing a show is normally an all day event - if you're walking at 7pm, plan on being there around 10am) for the rest!

As for me having only gotten to “know” the modeling business through TV shows like “Germany’s next topmodel”: What do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about it?

That it's glamorous. That you make a lot of money. That everyone looks like Heidi Klum. That you need to be on-death's-doorstep-skinny to be a model. Trust me, a lot of models eat. And not these HLB meals of salad monsters or a 'properly' portioned bit of trail mix, but I mean burritos, Mars bars, etc. In fact, a BMI of under 18.5 can get you dropped (or not signed in the first place) from a lot of agencies because of new healthy model laws - and there are plenty of designers who won't let emaciated girls walk in their collections! It was only after I gained weight and became healthy that I started modeling (even though I've loved fashion and modeling and all the roo-rah-rah for as long as I can remember).
Did you ever have to wear something you absolutely disliked so far?

Um, YES. Not to mention some really bad hair. But I've also been able to wear a lot of things that I loved, as well as rock some pretty cool hairdos. 

How did you still make yourself feel comfortable in it?

When you're a model, it's not your job to like what you're wearing. It's your job to make whatever you're wearing look as awesome as possible, which requires confidence like no other. I usually don't even let myself assess a look until after I'm done wearing it and the rest of the time I just take it as a fact that I look awesome. Just like you'd never question Mendel's Laws of Inheritance if you're a geneticist, you don't question that you look awesome if you're a model. I don't care if you're in a trash bag with arm-holes, your hair sticking in all directions and that part of your thigh that you don't love emphasized - you're hot. That's it.

What does a typical day backstage look like for you?

Get up. Eat breakfast. Do some homework. Realize that I'm running late and rush out of the door, cramming a snack of a protein bar into my mouth as I hoof it to the subway. Sign in backstage. Get fitted. Unpack my backpack full of textbooks in some corner and get back to studying. Go to hair/make-up when I'm called up. Eat yummy catering. Study some more. Get re-fitted, because the designer or the stylist changed their mind at the last minute about what I'm going to wear. Make-up/hair touch ups. A snack. Walk for 2 seconds on the runway (okay, mild exaggeration). Super-quick wardrobe change, often involving cursing designers/stylists rushing about like mad people. Walk again. Closing walk. Calmly get changed back into my clothes. Take the subway home in full runway make-up and hair. Ignore the odd looks since I'm wearing a hoodie and jeans with my glamourous neck-up look. Eat dinner. Scrape make-up off of my face and try to pry my hair-sprayed hair out of its sculpture and into a ponytail. Homework. Snack. Bed time.
Some designers are known to be eccentric. Have you worked with one of this kind so far?

Again, YES. 

I've worked with plenty of really nice, really chill ones - but I also once worked with this super high-maintanence designer (we won't name names) who went batsh*t backstage a minute before we were all supposed to go up and decided that he completely wanted to change the order of the models and that he'd need a five minute intermission, neither of which the show coordinator (it was a multi-designer showcase) agreed with. There was lots of screaming, threats, ripped clothing, and ultimately the designer told us all that we better NOT walk or *insert random threats* while the show coordinator insisted that we get our butts on the runway...we listened to her and risked a heck of a lot going out there in his collection without his permission, but he was super happy afterwards and it was hugs all around. 

That was quite the night.
What is the atmosphere like between the models? Did you have to experience jealously and mean comments from others?

This varies a lot, too. Often the models are all really friendly and chill, but sometimes there can be really bratty Mean Girls in the bunch, too. It can be kind of like high school or a cheerleading team back there. Male models are usually a riot, though!

That was fun! Does anyone else have any questions for me? You can ask me anything, whether it's about modeling, acting, Harvard, being South African-German-Zimbabwean-American, my obsession with Christmas... :P Just leave a comment here or send me an email at livinglearningeating AT gmail DOT com and I'll try to answer your questions!

Okay, now for the snackage part of the post, with minimal blah-blah-blah, since I've already just about yakked your ears off.

Just Tomatoes makes a whole lot of products beyond just tomatoes! But all of their products of freeze-dried, 100% natural produce with no added dyes or sugars.

Their business is 26 years old, but the products are as good and healthy as ever, straight "from the heart of nature!" They recently introduced new packaging:

I like how this fruit mix has a (heart-shaped!) window so I can see what I'm getting - and also when I'm running out and need to get some more. The freeze-dried mango and cherries in this are amazing and the whole thing is as sweet as candy!

They also have new snack packs, which are in resealable snack packs with one serving each - perfect for taking on the go! With just all natural fruit (it's hard to believe when you taste how sugary-sweet and delicious it is) and less than 100 calories each, it's a great on-the-go munchie or mini-snack! 

When I'm traveling, like taking the train back and forth from NYC, I like to take a bag to pour over my yogurt and cereal. It instantly brings it up to awesome :) 

They also have Just Fruit powders now! They're only available on the website, but the possibilities are endless. A mix-in for yogurt? For smoothies? For homemade froyo? For white chocolate creations (melt a white chocolate bar, stir in the strawberry powder and some crushed almonds : yes, it's genius). I've only tried it mixed into a bowl of vanilla ice cream, but that was AWESOME. 

Yummy! You know what? These could make a great backstage snack! My backpack is half textbooks, half snacks, and a little jar of Vaseline when I go to shows or shoots :P

Anyway, I've been really wanting to try their Just Peas for a while, since I love freeze dried peas. These snacks are so yummy that I guess I'll really have to try Just Peas soon!

Do you have any questions for me?

Have you tried anything from Just Tomatoes?

Do you already know what you're going to be for Halloween?

Don't forget to enter my organic cheese giveaway!


  1. That was really interesting :)
    And you are obsessed with Christmas??
    Wish u a great sunday :)

    1. Aw, it's so cute how you say it like it's a question :) I'm OBSESSED

  2. This was such a great post! You should definitely write more about your modeling/acting gigs! I think its all so interesting!!

  3. Wow it was so cool to read about your awesome modeling career my friend :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. Hi,

    Thank you for answering all of my questions - I was afraid some might be too nosey. It was really interesting getting to know more about the "real" life as a model.
    Also, I hope I didn't seem stupid asking about how you made yourself feel comfortable. I knew it was your job to make it seem like that as a model but still wondered whether you used any tricks or else.

    Again: Thanks!

    1. No, they weren't! My motto is always ask - the other person always gets to choose whether or not to answer, after all :) And it didn't seem like a silly question! I'm sorry I don't have a better answer - for me, it's just about sucking it up!


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