MODEL DIARY: I DON'T THINK ASOS LIKES MY FEET...
So here comes my second 'model diary' post. I originally thought it would be just the one (which you can read here) - but I keep having these ridiculous days - with issues created completely by me and my own clumsy mistakes by the way. You would have thought that I would have mastered the art of going to castings by now, after several years working full time as a model. Sadly that is not the case… At least I keep creating content that I can write about here on the blog :P It wouldn’t have been very interesting to read about my successful day, when everything went totally as planned and where I just followed my daily routine, now would it?
On this particular day from about two weeks ago I was scheduled in for a shoe model casting with ASOS. But before I get in to details about this day, let me just give you a little bit of relevant background information about earlier events prior to this day. We have explained what it is to work as an ecommerce model here on the blog, in previous blog post. To recap: it is basically a job where you photograph lots and lots of items, usually in front of a clean white backdrop, and the photos are being used for online shops. So you can imagine that ASOS is in need of tons of these photos, seeing that they sell such a large amount of items on their website. I believe that they have several different ecommerce shoots everyday of the week, and their office is filled with lots of small photo studios for this exact reason.
As a model you are self-employed, and our income is usually very random and sporadic. One month I might have lots of nice jobs and earn a good monthly income. However, for other months I might not get a single job and therefor earn literally nothing at all. So even if I have a good month, I never dare to go overboard with my spending as I might need some of that money for the following months. In other words, this line of work can be quite unpredictable. It is therefor very nice when you as a model get a regular client. Someone who books you on a monthly or even on weekly bases, so that you at least have some regular income – and the rest is more like a bonus. ASOS offers this sort of stability for their regular models, and it is therefor a quite sought after job to get.
My feet happen to be the exact right size for shoe modelling, a UK size 4 and a European 37. I have actually done a fair share of shoe modelling over the years, and have worked for some big brands like ecco Shoes, Dune, Burberry and Sam Edelman to name some. For ecco shoes I even did one of their campaigns, not just ecommerce or showroom-work.
Because I’m a size 4 I keep being asked to go in and see ASOS, however they never book me. I know that they already have a group of lovely girls working for them and I’m sure they all have beautiful feet, but ASOS must be in need of a few more models as they keep casting for it…? Maybe they need someone to fill in the gaps whenever their regular girls are busy on other jobs or on holiday? The other day (the one this post is actually about), I had my 6th (!!!) request casting with them. My booker called me about it the previous day, and we even had a laugh about it – as this is almost becoming a joke by now. I asked her if she was sure they actually wanted to see me, as they clearly must know after the 5th time seeing me that I’m not right for them. Otherwise, why haven’t they booked me? But no, apparently they had asked to see me yet again. So although I wasn’t exactly very hopeful about the casting, it would be silly not to go – it is after all a very nice job for those who end up getting it. 6th time lucky, isn’t that what they say!?
I guess it’s quite important to mention the fact that I have webbed toes on one of my feet. That it self should kind of knock out any chance I might have of ever having a shoe modelling career :P I mean, if you can pick basically anyone you want with size 4, why pick the one with weird toes? But this particular issue of mine hasn’t seemed to be a problem for any of the other brands that I have worked with in the past. It’s not that noticeable, and most shoes will hide this part of the toes anyway… But for one of my last campaign shoots for Cara London they didn’t even photo shop it out, even if it would only take a single click of a button to edit it. Of course I know that ASOS would never hire me with this imperfection linking two of my toes together, but I thought – hey, maybe they are into showing individuality. Being different is quite trendy now isn’t it? hehe.
TUESDAY THE 15TH OF AUGUST
Ok, so now to ‘the day’ – Tuesday the 15th of August. Normally when I know I have a shoe casting booked in, I spend the days leading up to it taking extra good care of my feet to get them in top shape. For this last casting however, I only found out about 4pm the day before and I already had plans for the rest of the day. Sadly my feet were a mess, and they needed quite a lot of work. Therefor I had to get up early the next day to make sure I had time to sort them out before heading over to the ASOS casting. So I spent most of the morning frantically scrubbing my feet in the bath whilst watching the 2nd season of Girls (love that series btw, can’t believe I have only stared watching it!). I’m doing pretty good time wise, which is very impressive for being me - but then comes the nail polish part. I actually hate applying nail polish. Somehow I always manage to make a total mess of it, plus I never seem to have enough time nor enough patience to let it dry properly. I normally apply a very natural base coat before this type of castings, but because I have had zero luck with my previous one for this particular company – I decided to change it up a bit. From being a regular customer on their website, I have noticed that the shoe models often have white nail polish on their toes. So I decide to apply a white-ish one, a colour slightly in between nude, white and baby pink. After letting the first coat dry, it was time for me to leave. However my nails were not looking nice at all, they desperately needed a second coat to make them look perfect. Great, so now I’m really starting to run out of time. Why don’t nail polish ever seem to dry when you put on more then one coat? This second coat was taking foreeeever to dry and I’m really starting to stress by this point. Once they are like half dry I decide that I’m just gonna have to go. I carefully put on my Birkenstocks pushing my feet as far through the shoe possible, so that my feet won’t touch the leather strap – and it worked :) Annoyingly my little toes was scarily close to be covered by the edge of the shoes and I had to adapt a super weird walking style with my knees bent to keep all the toes out of the danger zone. Safe to say that I looked epic walking down the street to my nearest tube station.
One of the fascinating things I have discovered with the van driver culture here in London is that so many of the drivers honk their horn for any girl they drive past, shouting something sexist out of their window. Charming hey! As I hadn’t been clever enough to get dressed properly before painting my nails, I had to put on something that I could easily slip over my feet to not touch the still wet polish. My only option was to put on my, slightly too small, jean skirt. If you have read my first ‘model diary’ post, you will know that this skirt does not like to stay where it’s supposed to – and my weird new walking style did not help the situation. Luckily I have learnt from my previous mistakes and had decided to put on a pair of cycling shorts underneath the skirt. So to those lovely van drivers who were hoping for a little peep show whilst shouting such nice words to me as they were driving past, I’m sorry – but I tricked you! Mohahaha. A little advice to all of you girls out there that like myself enjoys wearing pretty dresses and skirts during summer, make sure you put a pair of shorts under. It’s just so easy to get a sneaky look – especially when traveling on the underground, when sitting down, standing in the escalators or walking up stairs. You won’t have to worry about any of this just by putting on some shorts as well :)
To get to the ASOS offices from mine I have to get on the Northern line for quite a lot of stops. This particular line splits in two at one point, but then gets reconnected again further down. I was so sure that my end station was at a point where the two lines had joint back into one again, and I therefor didn’t even think to swap lines. I sat reading my book whilst trying not to stress about the fact that I was about 5 minutes late at this point. After about 20 minutes I stand up to get off at my needed stop, but I’m at the wrong station. I’ve gone a stop too far!! Having to go back the other end, and making sure I now get on the correct train is not proving to be easy, so I end up spending about 10 minutes just running around at Camden Town station – up and down so many different stairs. Thank goodness for my cycling shorts!! I finally mange to get on to the correct train and are now en route back to my correct stop. At this point I’m 15 minutes late, and I still had about 10 minutes left of my journey. 5 minutes late is rude, but half an hour late is just unacceptable. I’m so badly hoping that they are seeing several girls and therefor not really noticing how late I am. Sadly this wasn’t the case. Once I finally got out at the correct underground stop I find that I have a voice message from my agency. They are wondering where I am, and why I haven’t been to the casting yet. They also let me know in this message that the people seeing me at ASOS where on a very tight schedule. At this point I’m pretty much sure that I’m going to be turned away at the reception desk and told that the casting had finished. Luckily this didn’t happen and they were still ok to cast me.
After waiting for about 10 minutes in the reception area, a very sweet girl came to collect me. I apologised for being so late and she told me that they had managed to move some things around so that they could still fit me in to their schedule. How kind! I get into the studio where a completely different casting is being held and I’m given a pair of socks. I’m soon to discover that they are casting for someone to model boots for them. So basically no one ever needed to actually see my feet barefoot. My morning session of scrubbing, filing and polishing was completely pointless. I didn’t even have to show them my weird toes. This would have been the perfect opportunity for me, but I managed to screw it up yet again by being late. Because who wants to book such an unreliable model. Ironically I was only late because I wanted my toes to look nice – and no one ever saw them. Oh well, guess I’m just not mean to be a shoe model for ASOS :P
To finish off I just wanted to point out that although I’m late for a lot of things in life, I always manage to be on time when I’m booked for jobs, if I’m getting on a train or a flight etc. Yes, I am clumsy and I stress around a lot – but at least I manage to pull my self together when it really matters, I promise. Hehe.