How did you get started with Alycia Kaback and KMM?
It was last Spring. A friend from school called me and his girlfriend was a scout, so they scheduled me for an open call. At the appointment, they were focusing more on acting and the event, but I looked at the website and did my homework. I don’t like to do anything without doing research. The money for the event is a lot, but it is worth it for acting. I was mainly focusing on modeling, unless acting comes my way in the future. I had worked for a year on my own, but didn’t have representation or the connections, so I signed. I’m working full time, and still going to school; school will always be there, but not my looks and age. I want to be a full time model, so I’m dedicated to that.
Is this something you ever thought you could do?
I thought I could because I’ve been tall and skinny all my life, but my parents stressed academics as my main focus. I’ve always been focused on school, but modeling was always in the back of my mind. I just didn’t really know how to start, and I didn’t want to disappoint people. I went to school, but then on a whim I tried out for ANTM because they were holding tryouts 2 stops away in Texas. It was convenient and I kept making the cuts. I made it to the top 32, which is the first aired episode, of cycle 15. I was in LA for a week, and then I was part of the first group cut from the semi-finalists. I was disappointed, but I was one of 32 out of 15,000 and I had never done any modeling before. I know that if I made it that far, modeling is definitely something I have potential in, I just need to work on some stuff. I don’t know how to do it on my own, but I started trying to find jobs and networking. I have my values and I am strong-willed. I don’t want to do anything erotica. I know what I want to do and have been working on building my portfolio. I know it doesn’t happen overnight, but I’m dedicated and excited. Before, it was a dilemma between modeling and school, but school will always be there. It will always be my backup but this is my motivation. If I could do online classes at the same time, modeling is my focus. I just don’t want to dive in to it and be broke, because this is an investment in order to build your portfolio and go to jobs. If I had to move to New York to start making money, I’m ready and that is fine with me.
What was it like being on ANTM?
Miserable, cameras are on only 2 hours a day. When the cameras are off, you can’t talk. Imagine eating all your meals for a week, and not being able to talk. When they can talk is what you see on TV. There is a lot of stuff that goes on behind-the-scenes. It’s too expensive to run the cameras all day, but the sacrifice is us not being able to talk. I’ve stayed in touch with a lot of the girls. I wouldn’t do it again. They want the emotional, sob story, but I’m a strong willed person and don’t want to sell my story. It was modeling and TV, and I wasn’t going to alter myself because I have a reputation to make for myself in order to maintain and didn’t want to taint it before I made a name. I learned a lot, but I wouldn’t do it again. They are looking for the stereotypical looking girl, super tall, super skinny, weird/unique looking. I want to do what I want to do and have fun. It’s not about the attention, it’s about the passion.
What are some of the jobs you’ve done so far?
I just signed with KMM last week. My appointment was on Wednesday, and did a fashion show on Friday. I haven’t done anything major yet, but a friend of mine, Elizabeth Valentine who is with Colby Models, is doing stuff. I’m ready.
What have you done personally?
May of last year was when I did ANTM. I worked on my portfolio, and did a lot of trade and print work, because it can get expensive. I’ll find photographers that I’m satisfied with and work with them. I’m very personable and meet new people on model mayhem. I am proud of myself for being a hussler. I look for photographers who are also looking to build their portfolios and we both benefit from them. I’ve learned how to retouch myself and I’m happy with where my pictures are at. Since I’m new, and have my portfolio, I can start working soon.
I like high fashion photoshoots when you have a wardrobe stylist, makeup stylist and hair stylist. I’m a girly-girl so I like getting dolled up. Tyra said I have a commercial face, so I like getting done up and being able to be creative and quirky, so big photo shoots I like. All I have to do is show up and then work it for the cameras. I want to do runway, but I’m kind of nervous because I’m not a size 0 and I won’t be. I have a butt, and I’d like to keep that. If it’s appropriate, I want to do runway.
Heidi Klum because she’s done what I want do do. She’s a personable person and is gorgeous. She has a family, is successful, and has grown it into a business. She stays in shape and is beautiful, and is the epitome of what I want to do. I’m a Swiss citizen and she speaks German, and I speak German. The more that makes you stand out and the more willing you are to learn, is a good thing. I’ve been complemented that I do what it takes to get the shot and I’m fun to work with. I don’t want to be one of the girls who complain and since I’m a model I don’t really have a say. I’m not high maintenance or picky. I hate when models are because it’s not the models choice. Models are the clay that we mold to fit what the photographers want. I want to make that process delightful for everyone. When people like you, and you produce great work, you get more jobs. I don’t have a finish line. I just want to keep going until …
What do you look for in photographers?
I don’t like ones that just snap and don’t stay anything. It’s so many frames and you probably only got 2 good shots. I like photographers that take their time and work with the lighting. Ones that give some direction and produce shots that most times don’t even need editing. Photographers that appreciate the art aspect, value the process, and are skilled and knowledgeable. If it’s just snap snap snap, you forget what you’re doing with your face. Different photographers look for different things, so as long as they can communicate, then we’re good.
Are there any jobs you wouldn’t do?
Porn. I used to say I wouldn’t do nude, but I have done a nude shot. You can see everything and nothing at the same time and it’s a beautiful shot. It’s the artistic illusion. When it’s artisitic, I don’t really have a boundary. But some people take it too far and it can become trashy. If I’m not comfortable, I’ll speak up. As long as it fits my values, then it’s fine. I’ve seen a lot of pictures where boobs may be out, but it’s a beautiful picture and its high fashion, and that is what you achieved, so that’s fine. In this day, edgy is in and so is sex, so as long as its artistic, it’s fine.
What was the fashion show like?
Rushed. It’s very fast moving and exhilarating. It was fun and it was a smaller fashion show. As a model, you do all types of jobs and you have to be able to adapt to the different settings. We didn’t know where we were walking until we got there, but I go with the flow and that is part of the runway. It’s always more enjoyable when you like the clothes you are modeling, so that made it easier.
Who is your inspiration and why?
My daddy. He passed away 3 years ago, so as of now he is my motivation because I’m his legacy and I carry on his name and work to make him proud. Even when he was still alive, he supported me in whatever I wanted to do and modeling is who I am and what I want to do. I’m inspired to do this because of that belief that he has. It’s harder when my mom has a specific idea of what she wants me to do, I have to make her proud first. He will always be proud no matter what I do first. Most definitely a daddy’s girl.
Looking forward to in the future?
Being a supermodel. I really want to do runway and big fashon shows. Not necessarily Fashion Week, because you might not get paid and I’m about getting paid. It’s live, so you have to be on point. Making it big and hopefully doing big shows for big designers.
My ultimate modeling dream would be to be a Victoria’s Secret Model. Only Ford and Elite do Victoria’s Secret (mostly).
I’ve dreamed of doing the Victoria secret’s show with the wings. If I see it, I can hopefully do it one day. I’m not discouraged, and I can only work hard to get there. If I have other things that I do to be proud of, then that’s ok.
Goals in life and modeling?
Be successful. Modeling-money, good reputation, impressive resume. I want to be successful in whatever other endeavors I pursue. I want to go back to school. I like research so that’s probably the backup plan. I find science interesting because you can always learn more and I love to learn. I want to go to graduate school; I’m not on a strict timeline, but it’s something I want to do. I want to make my mom proud; she has more rigid views-I want her to have faith in me, and I just have to show her that now is the rough point, but my time will come.
What are your hobbies?
I used to do swim team and became a certified lifeguard. I like swimming. I work and that takes a lot off my mind. I’m good with customer service and sales, so whatever I do incorporates them. I like to go out. I have a twin sister and now she is in DC for school, so I visit her. She is my biggest fan, which is nice, but she isn’t into the modeling thing. My other sister I got her a photo shoot, but I don’t want to push her.
What advice would you give to people about coming in to KMM?
Being hesitant is always good, because it’s safe. Use that to motivate yourself to do your research. If you see negativity online, realize where it’s coming from. If it’s jealousy, don’t listen to it. If it’s coming from someone who is already signed, then look into it more. It’s not a scam because it’s realistic and it’s an investment. It’s gonna help you take the next step that you can’t do on your own. Not everything you read is true. If your gullible, the industry might not be for you. I’ve only been here for a week, but I’m excited for it and know eventually I’ll be a success story. It’s not 100% just on your management. You have to have the drive, be on time and work hard. It’s a partnership.
Has your life changed a lot since signing?
Yes, because my focus is not strictly academics, but not so much because I’m still a newbie. I know it will change a lot more and that excites me. I’m not waiting anymore, I’m ready and know that my day-to-day life will change.
To sign-up for modeling, acting and or music please visit The It Factor Productions at http://www.theitfactorproductions.com