Fresh Off The Runway
Last summer was a busy one. I was booked nearly every day and enjoyed the chance for travel to Miami for Swim Week. In fact, my calendar was so slammed that the day I was scheduled to return to NY - I was also booked for the first day of filming Lifetime's premier Season of Project Runway Junior. The call time of 12:15 was same time I was due to land. YIKES. Tried everything including getting to the air port at 4:30am to slide on the first flight out. Denied and had no choice but to cut it close with my original 9am departure and cross my fingers that by some blow of the wind we land early allowing me time to make it to the studio. To add to the drama, I didn't pack the required model uniform of jeans and a plain tank - instead my suite case was full ofsun dresses, shorts, and and bikinis . Thank the heavens for my partner and brand manager, Marvin who would drop off gear.
We boarded early and everything was all good. I shot a text to management to share good news and closed my eyes for a well needed nap. I came back to consciousness nearly an hour later to find we where still on the runway. I suppressed my urge to flip out and took a deep breath. Meanwhile my phone alerted with several stressful messages from my booker as she found out about the delay. If I couldn't make it to the studio on time I was due to be replaced. whooosa. By then, the sun had risen and as my eyes caught its radiance I heard the wisdom of my mother’s voice.
“What is for you, is for you…"
After 10am we hit runway to finally lift off toward NY - I had no control of what was to come and really didn't know what would happen so I rested. I was in and out of dream world until around 12 when the pilot said we would be landing soon. At 12:20 I could see the NY skyline and for a split second considered cutting time by taking a parachute to glide directly to the studio. As we landed I got the text no model once to see.
" If you can’t get there in 15 they will have to replace you"
By the way- Laguardia is 25-30 minutes away from the studio. Game Time. I made the decision to make this booking BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.The moment I exited the plane I ran like a hungry cheetah in by my jungle green romper and cheetah sandals by Sam Edelman . I high jumped over children and rolled by sweet old ladies in a mad dash for the exit. I slammed through the exit doors to find a lengthy line of those ahead of me for a cab.
I had no choice but to get into character. [ cues tears ]
" I’m so sorry ladies and gentleman but I have a HUGE job opportunity today and my flight was delayed and I just… please if you could..." [ insert sobbing and more tears]
Affected by my display, the first lady in line said I could go ahead of her - I smiled inside as I wiped my tears and expressed my sincere gratitude.I hopped in the cab and just like the movies I exclaimed, STEP ON IT! The odds were against me, by I was still was 20 minutes away. Oh and did I mention it was rush hour bumper to bumper traffic? Luckily, I had a creative driver who didn’t mind driving very fast as he floored it on the highway shoulder. With my phone battery on 5 percent, I called Marvin to confirm he dropped the gear - behold he too was in traffic.
Desperate, with my deadline swiftly approaching, I sent screen shots of my location to Trask, the model coordinator, confirm that I was close as the cab plowed through the freeway. It felt like a scene from Fast and Furious the moment was so intense. Thankfully Trask, was able to buy me more time. I was relieved when the cab screeched up to the curb of the studio and I was greeted by his and Marvin's smiling faces.
Yay! Tea you made it!
echoed from the room of models, many whom I've worked with before.
[ wipes brow] whew. SHOWTIME!
I really wasn’t sure what to expect, I was told Victoria would be my designer as we all lined up to begin filming.
We entered and the hugs and nice to meet you’s commenced. Victoria had a sporty all black look with some kick ass boots. She rocked a bright purple lip and had this vibe like she could do some serious work on a base guitar. From Cleveland, with a sporty posh vibe she told me about her inspiration she made adjustments.
Each week we worked together to give the judges our best on the runway. I admired Victoria’s confidence and positive view of her work no matter the reviews. She reminded me of myself as a teen, in my own word on my own rhythm and clearly different from my peers. We bowed gracefully after Episode 4: OMG! That's Michelle Obama, when the judges offered their final critique of her work for the School Girl challenge.
Participating in this production was such a rewarding experience. I enjoyed working with the young and talented #DesignerVictoria as well as the awesome production team. I look forward to more greatness from Victoria and each of the designers as they bloom into maturity and mastery of their craft. My experience from start to finish has proven my mother's wisdom to be true. When I really think about it, everything always works out- especially when your willing to put in the work. It was only a few years ago I moved to this city for better career opportunities. My eyes are bright with ambition to see what adventure, the future holds from runway to runway.