So here’s a fun fact, back in 2017 I was picked to be part of a national campaign here in Australia. Basically, I was found by a casting company through my Instagram page. I auditioned and all that jazz and I somehow ended up being picked (you’re as surprised as I was) and then before I knew it, I was a paid model for a day. What even.
Turning up on set and being surrounded by other models and actors who have basically all done this kind of thing before was…nerve-wracking. Was I pretending I was on America’s Next Top Model all day that day? Yes. Was I trying to follow Tyra’s advice and ‘smize’? Yes. And was I told to stop doing that immediately? ….also yes.
I feel like I spent half the day going around telling anyone who would listen that I was not any kind of a pro and was there because they found me on Instagram. I don’t know, telling people that made me feel slightly less nervous and intimidated? Either way, it calmed me down a bit because to be honest, I was having a major bout of imposter syndrome. Eventually when the day was done and dusted, I had my ten seconds in the limelight and when all was said and done, I actually ended up learning more from that day than I ever thought I would.
So the experience was extremely fun but most importantly it couldn’t have come at a better time for me career-wise. About a week before I had just been wondering about whether or not I should get back into acting. Mini background: acting was always something I’d enjoyed and wanted to do, but I did three-four years studying and working behind the camera (production design, costumes, you name it) so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hop back in front of the camera again. Anyway, I (not kidding) asked the universe to give me some kind of an experience that would let me be on set and would help me decide what I wanted to do, and then this offer came along.
While I don’t think I’ll be in the modelling world any time soon, I knew I loved being on set and in that environment. Being in front of the camera rather than behind, waiting around but not having to spend any time worrying about schedules/budgets/whether or not everyone’s hair and makeup is perfect etc was amazing. I was so used to the feeling of being behind the camera that I forgot what it feels like to be on the other side. Straight away I knew that this was the side of the camera that I wanted to be on. It wasn’t the acting part I was unsure of, it was whether I would enjoy the lack of control you have when you’re not behind the camera but oh buddy did I enjoy it, it actually felt freeing. The day ended up being pivotal and after it was over, I decided the career route I was again going down. Acting, I’m coming for ya.
I’m fairly certain I think lower of myself than other people think of me (low self-confidence man, I’m working on it). Although the casting process and wardrobe fitting day was a very new experience for me, it was still so fascinating to hear what impartial strangers think of you. Not saying it’s always good, but I walked in there that day feeling like a massive fish out of water. So offhand hearing some of the positive comments people were saying about me really caught me off guard, in a good way. It just goes to show again that you never really know what people are thinking, so don’t always assume the worst.
When I first heard I booked this casting I went from ecstatic to panic real damn fast. It was like an hour of extreme hyper excitement followed by a few hours of “oh god I am not a model what happens if they accidentally picked me but then I show up and they realise they were meant to pick some other brunette but accidentally emailed me instead?!” Yeah, that’s how my brain works, be happy it’s not your brain.
Then you get to a point where you just think oh screw it, they picked me. I’m just going to get out there and do my best and that’s all I can do. I’m not usually that kind of a person but this whole experience really taught me to just throw caution to the wind and go for things more often. It taught me that I don’t always have to be such a Rory Gilmore about things and make PRO/CON lists about something before I do it.
PS- since I originally wrote this post, I’ve been pursuing acting. I’m actually starting a full time acting course next month! Crazy the impact one day can have on you, isn’t it?