I grew up in Southern California and have always lived close to where the “magic” happens. I am 6 feet tall, but I have never considered modeling or anything of the sort. Well, once my mom took me to a model agency when I was in 6th grade I think (because I was a foot taller than everyone else) and they told me I needed to lose around 20 pounds. What??? I’m 13 years old! Needless to say, I left and never went back. I would rather play sports anyway. Humph! I showed them!
An opportunity came my way through a friend to participate in an Oprah Winfrey (I guess I really don’t need to put her last name here) Magazine photo shoot. Of course I was going to say yes! I did and they decided to include me in the shoot! They needed a male model in his 30’s so I asked my friend Dave (livesinavan.com) to come and join me in the fun.
For some reason, I was nervous leading up to the shoot. I mean, we’re talking OPRAH! Hello!!! They told me to bring swimsuits and wear beach clothes in brown, beige, and purple. Ah! Just what I have in my closet! Every pale skinned woman has a flattering beige swimsuit on hand. Hummm, this was going to be challenging. I threw all of my pasty colored clothes in a bag and off we went!
I have to be on time…to everything. Dave and I were going to be 2 minutes late and I started to panic. Obviously, I have never done this before. Dave (the veteran to photo shoots and being an extra on tv), told me not to worry and that we would be sitting around all day. What?? Nonsense!!
We sat around all day.
For this shoot, there were about 15 models posing to recreate “Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte” painting by Georges Seurat for the 21st century. I was cast as one of the women in the background sitting on a picnic blanket. We started the shoot about 3 hours late in overcast, cloudy and windy conditions. Was I complaining? Heck no!
One of the children in the shoot decided that she had enough. She didn’t want to stand in the freezing beach weather in a swimsuit anymore. At the last minute, they pulled me from the back and put me right in the middle of the shot, holding an umbrella and a child’s hand with my purple dress on.
I did my best to try and pose to the side. You know what I am talking about. Most women know that doing so will make you appear thinner. Well, the secret was out and I heard, “hey, woman in the purple dress...please stand straight on to the camera and stop turning” over the megaphone. Who me? I didn't do anything...
I don’t know what issue this photo will appear. It was an experience for sure. Even though most of the models had agents and were complaining about the long day, I didn’t mind. I was fortunate enough to have been invited. I look forward to seeing the end result. At least I will have photographic evidence of me in a dress…holding a child’s hand no less.
Sorry to say that David did not make it in the picture. I sure did enjoy his company, though! Thank you Dave for making the drive down to experience this with me. I look forward to visiting you up north and watching you doing stand up comedy!
Here are some pictures I took to give you an idea of the day... yes, that's "Niky Stevens" from the L Word.