My resume says I’m 22. That’s because my agent said in modeling it’s not how old you are, it’s how old you look. So, truth is I’ve been 22 for about 5 years now. I wish I could say it’s been an easy job. I mean how many times can you line up next to a bare wall, making the same smile you’ve practiced for 6 years? It doesn’t matter if it’s a go-see or a cattle call – the same damn thing.

Name. Age. Agency

Sometimes I have dreams of walking into a room full of casting directors, in my designer jeans and a white camisole and having the outcome be different. Instead of the same ‘thank you’ from whomever is sitting closest to the door, they actually look at me. It is somewhat a fantasy and a nightmare because I’m not sure what I would do if this happened in real life.   I’d probably start sweating or something- God forbid.

Come to think of it, I’m glad they never look up.

Most of my friends have given up modeling. They say once you hit 25 you’re too old. But I chose to stay in the game, traveling to every casting my agent sends me to. When I was 22 this used to be fun. I’d see all my girls at the shoot, we’d go and get some drinks after the casting and pretend to care about each other’s lives. Mostly we just show off at the trendy clubs and play ‘who can get the most free drinks’. That’s how you separate the models from the club rats. Models never pay… for anything.

But now castings are followed by a quick trip to the gym for a massage and some Pilates. I have to stay flexible, looking 5 years younger doesn’t just come naturally. I don’t drink anymore because I’ve found that alcohol and fine lines have a closer relationship than models and top-ranked photographers. They flock to each other, sometimes willing to do way too much for the recognition.

I’m not trying to recognize my wrinkles – yet alcohol always gives them a welcome mat.

My friends tell me I should do something else- that I’m wasting my time trying to chase that big contract. Some have moved on to sales jobs while others have moved into acting. I’m not into any of them. I tried spokesmodeling once, but the whole part about remembering product details was too much for me. There’s only so many tight t-shirts a girl can use, and I didn’t take years developing my walk to push a vacuum cleaner either.

So I go to the castings, and I smile, and I turn and I say thank you. I may not know what I’m going to do next year, but for the meanwhile, I’m going to do what I know.