Local models chase their dreams

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For some children, a dream of theirs is to become wild things such as an actor, a professional athlete. Other children dream of becoming models and spending their careers walking runways and posing for cameras. Many people would say that this is an unrealistic dream, but to others who do not share that same idea it is completely achievable. Students that either attended Johnston or are currently attending that are in the modeling industry include Taylor Shortell ’18 and Brina Bily ’17.

Of the numerous types of modeling that are offered in the industry, there are jobs that offer pay and others that people choose to do because they have the opportunity to do them. “There are some jobs that you can get paid for, and there are a lot of jobs I will do just because I want experience, and to get my face out there,” Shortell said. “Des Moines Fashion Week is just one of those that I did for experience.”

Shortell is one of many students that is striving to pursue a modeling career for herself, whether it is behind a camera or by walking down a runway. “I have  a natural runway walk, I already walk one foot in front of another,” Shortell said.

As opposed to the common belief that runway modeling is just getting dressed up in designer clothes and walking than leaving, there are many things that happen both behind the scenes and before the event. “The Black Tie party cocktail mingling is the most fun because I just feel so fancy and I get to get to know the other models,” said Shortell. While in attendance at a Black Tie Cocktail party, the attendees mix and mingle with the other models. In this time, they get to know each other learning things about one another that strays beyond typical elevator conversation.

After high school, some students continue chasing their dreams by pursuing modeling in college or even moving to a city that contains a successful agency. “Being in college hasn’t been impacted by modeling so far,” Billy said. “In high school I did have to miss some school and it was hard to catch up, that’s part of the reason I decided to become homeschooled,”

There are various methods of being discovered that range from posting  pictures on social media, to personally contacting a modeling agency, to moving to a city, such as Los Angeles, that is successful for producing models. “I always tell people pursuing modeling as a career in Iowa is like pursuing a snowboarding career in Florida; It doesn’t mean there are no modeling opportunities here though,” Steven Myers of Peak Agency said. “Due to our market demands, it just makes it tough for anyone to pursuing modeling more than just part-time here in Iowa.”

I always tell people pursuing modeling as a career in Iowa is like pursuing a snowboarding career in Florida”

— Steve Meyers

The struggles of modeling in Iowa have also affected Bily. “Due to our market demands, it just makes it tough for anyone to pursuing modeling more than just part-time here in Iowa,” Myers continued.

As for Shortell, she is taking the route of posting and contacting. These methods have proven successful as many models have created names for themselves in the industry this way.

Attempting to find time between maintaining a modeling career and school is a large struggle for younger models because both things are quite large time commitments. “Some of my biggest struggles are being busy with classes, homework, activities and still choosing to make healthy food choices and going to the gym and taking care of yourself,” Bily said.

The struggle of managing their time may be too much for some students but for those who have the persistance to follow their dreams and become a signed model, there is nothing that can keep them from chasing their dreams.

 

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