Tuesday, 16 August 2011

"Talk with the London"

Travelled to Hangzhou for the Spring 2012 GMXY show last Thursday. The bus ride to the fitting was about 2 1/2 hours long. Twilight was playing on a screen at the front so the trip went by quickly. There were 20 models in total, around 15 of them being Chinese  and at least 5 11" I was by far the shortest of them all.

We arrived at around 4pm and went straight to the fitting. They put us in show order and numbered us off (I was 6th). There were 90 outfits in total so the first 10 girls had 5 changes, we were photographed in each our outfits and 5 hours later left for the hotel. The place we were staying was in a secluded peaceful area surrounded by trees. It was a resort style hotel so my roommate Julia from Russia and myself had to walk a fair way from the main building to our room where 2 comfy beds in a quaint apartment were awaiting us. 

The next morning we woke early to make the Chinese style buffet breakfast in time. The show itself was in the same vicinity as the hotel so it was a short walk from breakfast to the venue, GMXY signs labelled "Talk with the London" leading the way. Walking into the auditorium I see dozens of Chinese men running around working on different parts of the union jack shaped stage, and the skyline style backdrop. It was then that I knew it was going to be a fun show.

Straight into rehearsals we're given 2 choreographed walks for the different collections. The first 6 which I was lucky enough to be in opened and closed the show. Once we had gone through what each of us was required to do we then played the waiting game.
All the models spread out amongst the venue and either had a nap, skyped their friends or went for a smoko until we were summoned for a not so appetizing lunch.

Once we had eaten (or picked at in my case) we were ushered into hair and makeup. The rest of the afternoon went relatively quickly I had a book to keep me entertained and chatted  with one of the other models about her travels around the globe. Before I knew it people were starting to arrive and the 7:30pm start time was getting closer. 

The show itself took 50 minutes but to me it felt like 5. The time spent on the catwalk is sort of an adrenaline infused blur, as soon as were backstage and out of the audiences view it's all shoes flying off and unbuttoning of pants as we run back to our dressers in preparation for our next look. Im glad there were 20 models in-between me and my next outfit there were definitely a few moments where my dresser had tangled clothes and didn't have things ready. But all in all the show went smoothly and was a lot of fun. Although fashion shows don't pay as well as catalogues they are definitely my favourite. Walking down that catwalk with hundreds of eyes on you, all you can see and hear are cameras flashing and the beat of the music. The feeling is indescribable.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

If the glove fits..

A lot has happened this past week and a half. I checked out Shanghai's largest water park - Dino Park with James from my agency. Entry was 120RMB which equates to about 18AUD. I felt like we were the only white people there when thousands of eyes were watching us as we explored the facilities. There were a few slides, a lazy river a man made beach with a massive wave pool that acted as the sea. Was a fun day but the lines were huge and there were far too many people there so I think that will be our only visit to Dino Park.  

Last week I was supposed to have a TVC in another city, this was the one I had a 3 hour rehearsal for. They also required me to do a fitting which included hair and makeup and a 5 hour photo shoot. My agency told me 2 days before I was due to leave that they had cancelled the TVC and will just pay 2500RMB to each model. It was quite disappointing as the money from that shoot would have put my balance in the positive.  

I had a photo shoot for a glove company on Sunday. Their angle was that they can be used on IPhones and IPads so you don't need to take your gloves off in the winter to use the touch screen function. It was a pretty easy shoot, it consisted of me pretending to use an iPhone or iPad whilst wearing the gloves. They had reference images that I had to copy to the tee. Some shots were with another model - Jackson who is also from Melbourne, which made the job a bit more enjoyable. It's always good to have someone in your shoes that you can have a laugh with when the client asks you to do funny poses.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

All that Jazz

Had rehearsal yesterday for a tv commercial, selling what I can only assume is puffer jackets. 

I am required to take off and put on various jackets whilst doing one of choreographed dances. (There's 4 in total) 

Some "great artist" from Taiwan named Bruce that highly resembled the drama teacher from Summer Heights High was teaching me the moves in this poorly air conditioned dance studio. Let me just say he obviously isn't accustomed to this heat. He was dripping with sweat from every inch of his body, and having to swap jackets with him during this dance made me a bit paranoid about catching meningitis..

I'm supposed to be shooting with a chinese girl and according to the director I need to teach her the moves. We fly to Xining for 3 days to shoot on location  heres hoping we don't get a 40 degree day! Nonetheless it should be a fun job.

Below is a video from rehearsal. 

Friday, 22 July 2011

Highs and Lows

This week has been full of a lot of highs and lows for me. The castings seem to be dying down for the girls I have only been going to around 1 or 2 a day, and that in turn, results in fewer jobs that can be booked.

On a higher note, I experienced 2 new venues in Shanghai this week. Every Wednesday and Thursday an amazing five star restaurant - The Strip puts on a model dinner where 10 models (first in best dressed) experience a 4 course meal plus drinks on the house. In return we agree to go to one of the most prestigious bars in Shanghai - Mint. Now if the amazing terrace views from The Strip weren't good enough then perhaps the 25m long shark tank at Mint might be somewhat impressive. Looking around I see fish tanks perched next to cow hide couches sitting underneath massive chandeliers. Each table is privately booked out for a small fortune and sprawled with 5L bottles of Belvedere or Grey Goose and buckets of Moet.
View from The Strip

Shark tank at Mint

This week we also had a bit of a move around with the model apartments. More and more models are arriving with no spare beds to put them in so the agency got a new apartment for the boys and the girls now have 2 apartments. Me and my Aussie companion Georgie moved into the boys old apartment yesterday and are very happy about our new living arrangements. We each have our own room and as we are both clean people we don't have to worry about catching all kids of diseases from old food or dirty dishes being left all over the kitchen.

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Visited Bar Rouge again on Friday, this is definitely my favourite place in Shanghai so far. The terrace views over the Bund are second to none and the DJ's play great tunes one after another which make it very hard not to dance!
View from Bar Rouge
Up at 5am today to shoot a catalogue for clothing label Peace Bird with 3 other models.The theme was rockstar 
chic with a hint of hippy. We shot on location at a local club - Mao. The scenes varied from playing in a rock band
on stage to jumping on the couches and drinking beer "backstage". This was my favourite shot, they asked us to
shake up the beer bottles so they would spray everywhere. You can imagine the mess we made, I ended up with 
a face covered in alcohol! Nice way to start a Sunday morning... 

On Set

In other news, Moby our pet turtle is no longer with us. He passed away last night due to unknown reasons. 
May he rest in peace, poor little guy.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The taxi experience in Shanghai

Story of my life!

Double Booked

Long day of castings today with alot of waiting around for each. One casting in particular was a show for shoes, where we waited about an hour to be seen and each took turns walking for the client. They picked me and another girl from my agency to stay back. They then did about 3 more culls before asking us to walk one final time before settling on 5 girls (me being one of them). 

Happy having booked the job I go get my things from the van as they had a fitting scheduled for us straight away. Upon my return to the clients office I see theyre on the phone with my booker confirming dates. Turns out im flying to another city for a TVC the same day as the show so am unable to take part.  Highly disappointing!

This is the second time this has happened to me, I go through the long winded process of a casting, book the job only to find im not available. If you ask me they should probably check these things before they pick the models, it would save everyone alot of time..