modeling lifestyle adventures of teen model Cameron Passinault.
By C. A. Passinault, an author from Tampa Bay, Florida
© Copyright 2004-2005 Independent Modeling,
IndependentModeling.Com . All rights reserved.
convertible MR2 Spyder banked off the highway and merged into the dense
traffic on the causeway toward the west. The silver finish gleamed in
the afternoon light. Long, dark hair whipped in the wind as a button nose
crinkled under the bridge of dark sunglasses. A hand shot up from the
stick shift and yanked down the visor. The hand made a detour to the in-dash
player, tapping a button as the volume shot up and loud techno dance music
drowned out the sounds of the traffic around her. The engine revved, and
she reached down to shift as the car lurched forward and accelerated.
Lipsticked lips curled up in a grin as she took a deep breath, breathing
in the salty air from the warm bay waters lapping along the roadside seawall
and feeling the sun glow on her dark skin. A couple of seagulls flew over
her, soaring in the sea breeze. She ran her tongue across her abundant
God, she loved Summer.
She heard a ringing in her left ear. She tapped a mute function on her
car sound system and reached around her chin to tap another button on
her cell phone's wireless head seat, which was clipped to her ear. She
greeted the caller.
"Cameron Passinault, how may I assist you?"
"Hey, Cammy, where the hell are ya?!?!" the high pitched hyper
voice chattered. She smiled. It was another personal call, and not the
call that she had been expecting.
"Hi Jen, what's up, beeeeeaaatch?!"
"Where are ya?"
"On the Courtney, surrounded by assholes who should be poster children
for the campaign to jack up car insurance rates."
"You working again?" The voice inquired. It didn't miss a beat.
"No, just making the rounds. I'm on my way to Clearwater for a go
She patted the leather portfolio laying on her passenger seat.
"You're always working. You never have time for your friends anymore!"
The voice teased, with a slight whimper.
"Well, I have car payments to make. It's not like I book every job."
"You don't have bills compared to mine! Don't even start! Besides,
you seem to get a lot of jobs."
"That's because I don't let myself sit around on my ass all day.
You've gotta work it, baby. I'm what you could call a go-getter, and don't
you forget it!"
She glanced down into her driver side mirror, and turned her head to check
her blind spot. She abruptly changed lanes, prompting an angry honk from
a rusty old VW next to her. She noticed two guys fishing off the seawall.
They were cuties.
"Cammy, you have got to be the worst driver in Tampa! I'm always
hearing pissed people around you when you drive!" the voice laughed.
"Whatever Jenny. These people suck. Besides, you're the one that
keeps on getting into crashes. I have yet to even put a scratch on my
"You're just lucky" Jennifer chimed.
"Baby, you make your own luck." She giggled. She slowed to stop
for a stoplight, "Shit."
"I hate stopping. I've gotta go, go, go!"
"Hey, what are you and Ryan up to? You want to meet us for dinner
"Yeah, sure, but I can't give you a time yet. I have no clue how
long the art director is going to keep me."
"Where you want to eat at?"
"I've got to take the Courtney on the way back, so how about the
"Where's that again?"
"South end of Rocky point off the second light. Hmmmmmmm, you know,
I don't know if Ryan can make it."
"What's he doing today?"
"I don't know. I've been too busy lately to keep up with my love
life. I think he's off doing something with his friends. I can give him
a ring when I'm done."
The light Changed. She glanced to her left down Rocky Point. Nice place
to eat, but not that fun. She was the third wheel with her friend Jennifer
and her boyfriend Jack too much lately. What was Ryan up to today? He
wasn't at his apartment when she stopped by that morning. They lost touch
Well, at least everything else in her life was going well. She was almost
too busy to miss him. Almost.
"Hey, if Ryan can't be found, you could get with Jack and me tonight.
You know how much we're into you, supermodel. That would be cool!"
Cameron made a sour face.
"Whatever. You're not funny!"
"Hey, I remember that time we kissed."
"It was a dare, and it wasn't a real kiss. I'm never drinking rum
with you again, you hear?"
Jennifer laughed. The high pitch of the laughter pinched her ear.
The car behind her honked.
Time to go, go, go. Next stop was a studio near Clearwater beach. The
Spyder chirped tires as it accelerated ahead, beginning its trip across
the long Causeway.
The walls were barren, with
scuffs in the drywall. A lone picture frame was hanging lopsided from
a nail in the wall. Several girls were sitting in chairs lining the wall,
and they didn't bother to look up when Cameron came through the door.
She held onto her worn leather portfolio and scanned the room for an empty
chair or a place to sit. There were none. The air in the room was warm
and stale; a collage of a thousand brands of cheap perfume. Cameron made
her way into the room and eyed the painting on the wall. She shook her
head, crinkled her nose. It lacked composition.
A door on the far side of the room opened and a thin, beautiful lady stood
halfway through it, reading from a clipboard.
"Jamie Miller, you're next. He'll see you now."
A pretty girl in the middle of the room gathered her book and her tiny
purse and got up. She looked at Cameron and flashed a friendly smile.
"Here, take my seat."
Cameron moved into the warm chair. The other models didn't seem to notice
her. Jamie entered the door and the woman shut it behind her. Cameron
opened her portfolio and started going through it. She hated the waiting
part with these.
"That picture rocks!"
Cameron laughed. "Excuse me?"
The girl next to her moved closer. "Wow. Where was that taken?"
"A park in Northdale six months ago."
"Who took it?"
"The photographer was from Aurora PhotoArts."
Cameron thumbed through a few pages. The girl pointed out a swimsuit shot
of her in a Jacuzzi.
"What about that one?"
"Craig Huey in Orlando."
"You have some awesome pictures!"
The door opened again, and the woman with the clipboard reappeared. Her
eyes were locked on Cameron.
"Hello there. May I have your name, please?"
Cameron looked up.
"Cameron Passinault. I'm here for the 5:30."
"Right. We have you down. It will be a few minutes. Make yourself
The woman smiled at Cameron before vanishing into the realm behind the
door again. Cameron glanced around, noticing that this time several girls
were staring at her as if she had just appeared out of thin air. One of
them was staring her down. She smirked.
Cameron returned to her portfolio. There was one of those at every go
The door opened, and the woman let Jamie out. Jamie looked hopeful as
she headed toward the exit. She glanced behind her and left.
Wow. That was fast. The girl was too pretty to have been dismissed so
"That girl was a Hawaiian Tropics Swimsuit model." The girl
next to Cameron
whispered, "Lot's of bikini pictures in her book."
"Do you look at everyone's book?" Cameron laughed.
"Well, you know, it gets boring!"
"Hi." she extended her hand, "I'm Cameron. My friends call
"My name is Missy."
Missy's hand was bony and clammy. Cameron noticed that her badly chipped
nails were press ons. Not a parts model, for sure.
"What kind of modeling have you done?"
Missy shrugged. "I'm kind of new. A lot of TFP and some swimsuit
work. How about you?"
"A lot of catalog, some editorial, swimsuit, a few local covers,
a couple of runway jobs in Miami Beach, and some fashion print. I do mostly
catalog. It pays well."
"How long have you been doing this?"
"Since I was eight. I was born into the business. My mother was a
catalog model back in the eighties. She was one of the best until she
went to college and gave it up."
"You've been a model for eight years?"
"Ten. I'm older than I look."
"What agency are you with?"
"A few. They get me work, but I got this one on my own."
Missy was surprised.
"Can you do that?"
"Why not? I've found that a model who takes the time to educate themselves
and prepare is better than most bookers."
"I just got signed by the Johnson agency in Safety Harbor. It cost
me a lot to get my portfolio pictures, but they are starting to send me
"Have you even booked yet?"
"How much did you pay for the pictures?"
"$1,200.00 . At first, it was $600.00, but the pictures didn't come
out. They had me do another one. You have to spend money to get started
in the business."
"I'm sorry." Cameron said, shaking her head, "Take my advice-
If you don't start booking, go see an attorney."
Missy didn't seem to care.
"I hope this job is a good one."
Cameron looked around. How many models had been scammed by photo mill
agencies? Most of the models in the room looked like they could book the
job. The psycho model across the room was still burning her with her eyes.
She wasn't blinking- at all. Creepy.
Cameron glanced back at her portfolio and pulled out a print out from
an insert sleeve. "Catalog print for a retail start up- who knows.
I couldn't find much on the company."
"It pays well, though."
"Perhaps a little too well."
Cameron pulled out a few sheets of paper.
"The art director gets to sign it. It's just to make sure that this
go see is the real deal."
"Can I see it?"
Missy looked at the papers. She seemed confused. "I've never seen
anything like this."
"Keep it. I have more." Cameron chimed.
"This is an affidavit?" Missy asked, "Why do we have to
use affidavits? Where did you get it?"
"I printed it off of the Independent Modeling web site. They are
free, too. When you don't know who you are dealing with exactly and if
you don't know if the go see is legit, you have to do what we call clarify
"Clarify and verify?"
"Clarify their intentions and verify their references. The ASA agreement
that you have right now is for go sees. It's just to make sure that this
isn't some bait and switch scam where they try to sell you something."
The door opened again. The woman glanced down at her clipboard. "Melissa
"Oh!" Missy jumped up, "That's me! It was nice to meet
"Nice to meet y......."
Missy was gone. She was already through the door. Cameron noticed the
stack of papers that were left on the chair. Missy had taken everything
but what Cameron had given her.
She shrugged. Well, she mused, she tried. At least she would make them
sign the agreement when it was her turn. She retrieved the papers, stacked
them neatly, and put a paperclip on them as she slid them beneath her
portfolio case. She thought again about Missy. She missed the chance to
check out the portfolio that she was sure that the photo mill agency had
ripped her off
on. She seemed to have modeling potential. Why wasn't she booking?
Two more models were admitted. The minutes crawled by. The model seated
on the other side of Cameron was reading. Cameron sorted through her book.
The woman came out again, calling another model. Missy emerged, heading
to the exit. She was crying. Her makeup was running down her face.
Cameron perked up. "Missy? Are you ok?"
Missy made a detour toward Cameron on her way out.
"They said that my pictures weren't good." She whispered.
She left without another word.
The model that was called was the one that had been staring at her. She
paused as she passed by on the way to the woman with the clipboard.
"Passinault. You must think that you're hot shit."
Cameron was surprised by the rude comment. "Excuse me? Who are you?"
"I've seen you around. I'm sure that I'll see you around some more.
Good luck, princess!"
The girl chuckled and walked the rest of the way to the door.
"Friend of yours?" The model who had been reading finally spoke.
"I have no idea who that was!"
"She doesn't seem to like you."
"Seems like it. What's up with that?"
The model returned to her book.
Cameron couldn't wait to get this over with.
A few more models were seen. The rude model ignored Cameron on her way
out. Cameron was finally called and was admitted past the door. She was
escorted down a long hall by the women to a small room with several people
in suits behind a table. They had stacks of composite cards and paperwork.
A stocky man came up to her and extended his hand.
"Hello Miss Passinault. I am Neil Crowly, and I am the art director
for this project."
Cameron matched his firm handshake. She looked him in the eye. "It's
a pleasure to be here, Mr. Crowly."
Cameron remained standing as the art director returned to his seat. She
was asked to present her portfolio. The people passed around one of her
composite cards and looked through her portfolio. It seemed to take forever.
"We asked you here today because we were impressed with the letter
that you sent us and your work history." Mr. Crowly finally broke
the silence, "We don't normally see models who are not sent to us
by an agency, but we do like your look and Matt over at Alexa seems to
think highly of you."
Mental note: Send booker Matt at Alexa a thank you
"Thank you" Cameron replied, "Mr. Crowly, before we begin,
I would like you to read over something and sign it".
She gave him the small stack of papers. He read through it and scratched
"May I ask what this is?"
"It is a document clarifying that this is a go see. I use them at
every go see that I go to."
"I see. May I ask why?"
"It's self explanatory, sir. Most people sign it because that's all
that the go see's are. They are for the consideration of a job. Nothing
more, and nothing less."
The art director paused. He smiled.
"It makes sense. We've just never been asked to sign anything like
this. Very well. I will sign it."
He signed it and returned it to Cameron.
"Ok, Cameron, now we have a few questions to ask you. Off the top,
is your mother here with you?"
"Our files says that you are seventeen. Will she be able to sign
any documents for you?"
"I turned eighteen last week."
"That's fine. So, tell us about yourself, Cameron."
"What would you like to know?"
She looked at one of the art director's assistants, who evaded her eye.
"Well, your last name is Passinault. It sounds familiar. Have you
done any work that we may be familiar with?"
"It's the name of my father, who has an entertainment career in Los
Angeles. That probably explains why the name is familiar. My mother remarried,
but I didn't change my name when she did."
"Why aren't you modeling in New York or Los Angeles? You have some
incredible looks here."
"I have a modeling career here in Tampa. I will probably work in
those markets soon, and I intend to test the waters in New York in a few
months. I will wait a while before I do anything on the west coast, as
I am going to make a name for myself instead of using my fathers name."
"Your portfolio is very impressive. How long have you been modeling,
"Ten years. I began as a child model."
"Your measurements are 35-24-36, and you are 5' 8''.... dress size
"Why do you try to book work on your own instead of going through
"Certain economic realities, Mr. Crowly. I save twenty percent, and
so does the company that books me this way. Tampa Bay is a weaker market
than in other areas, with fewer genuine jobs and more competition on the
agency level. A booker is going to go through their favorite models and
try to match them with the look that their clients want. Unless you play
a lot of politics, it's hard to be one of their top picks. When I play
politics, I play them on my terms."
An assistant spoke up.
"If we book you into this catalog, do you have a voucher to use?"
"Yes, of course I do."
Cameron presented them with one of her pay vouchers.
The art director looked at it and smiled. "I guess we see something
new every day. This is impressive. Did you design this yourself?"
"I printed it off of Independent Modeling." She replied.
"Independent Modeling is not your site?"
"No, it's a free resource web site that models use to promote themselves
and book work without an agency. I have a profile on there, though."
Another assistant spoke to the art director. "It's a well known site,
and it's very well done. Some of the agencies do not like it, but it is
showing models how to book work. I know of art directors who are starting
to book these independent models, and it's working fine for them."
"Thank you for enlightening me about this, Miss Passinault. We all
had a few questions that you have answered quite well. I have to admit
that I'm very impressed by you. It's not often that we meet models like
"The industry is changing, sir."
"So we are finding out."
The art director got up and shook her hand again, showing her out. "We
will be in touch with you."
The woman with the clipboard walked with Cameron down the hall and she
re-emerged into the waiting room, which seemed to have even more models
packed into it. Some models were leaning against walls. One was chewing
a wad of gum like a cow would chew its cud. Agency models. They took things
for granted. She left the building. It was now dark out. She walked through
the parking lot to find her car, and wondered about the questions that
she had been asked. Why was it so unusual for models to work independently?
This was the first time that she had ever been questioned like this. Then
again, this was also the first time that she had gone to a go see without
her mother. Maybe the perception of her working independently was different
without a parent in the mix. She realized that she had come through the
go see with a 50/50 chance of booking through. There were lots of models
there who could do the job as good as she could, if not better, and they
weren't as much of a hassle to work with since they were referred there
by an agency. Some of those people probably thought that she was out of
her mind. Still, she did land the go see herself like she had so many
others, and she had been booking through a
lot lately. She had no shortage of money that she made from modeling,
but it took a lot of long hours and hard work. Sure, she didn't get some
jobs, but it was part of the business no matter what you did. This worked
for her, and if she was going to be damned, she would be damned for who
she was. No matter what, she was going to stay true to her roots as a
professional independent model. What was next? She began to think of her
next go see, which was tomorrow night.
She finally found her car and disarmed the alarm. She got in and tried
to relax for the first time in hours. Who knew what came next, anyway?
Each hour seemed to bring with it a new set of uncertainties and some
sort of adventure, like the rude model back there who she didn't have
a clue about. Modeling was a tough business. She wouldn't have it any
DJ Santana's "Take me
away" Filled the warm air over the streetlight lit causeway. Wind
ripped her hair and blasted her ears. Cameron was pushing her new car
along at a decent clip, her thoughts settling down from a long day. She
loved Tampa Bay at night. The Florida sky was clear, with a canvas of
stars shining clear and bright. The full moon rippled off the dark water
the bay. The song always reminded her of this exact place and time of
She slipped on her wireless head set over her ear and turned it on. The
blue tooth transceiver synched up with the cell phone in her purse. She
tapped the button and spoke after a tone. "Ryan." The phone
automatically dialed his number. She really loved her toys. In the case
of her cell phone set up, it didn't come cheap, but at least she didn't
look like a dork talking with a wire hanging down to her waist from her
face like most people with so-called cheapo head sets. She looked like
a pretty dork talking to herself, period. It was bad-ass blue tooth, baby,
and it was the
coolest of the cool things to have in 2004. Her friend Jenny was more
hung up with cell phones that had a camera built into them. Cameron was
less than impressed with camera phones, and considered them to be gimmicks.
The resolution sucked. Besides, lots of perverts liked the camera phones
and seemed to make a lot of phone calls in places like locker rooms. While
there were also perverts with expensive cameras who called themselves
modeling photographers, at least they had cameras that worked well, and
you could figure them out long before you were around their cameras. Cameron
had become a camera fanatic over the years, as in her career she had been
exposed to lots of expensive digital SLR's that cost thousands. When a
girl was used to professional cameras, a gimmicky cell phone camera just
didn't interest her. Jenny wasn't a pervert, but she was like a lot of
typical American consumers- easily impressed and manipulated by marketing.
Hmmmmmm..... Cameron..... Camera...... it had to be a coincidence. She
smiled. Maybe she really was born into the business. Modeling was in her
genes, after all. Something about her career just felt more right than
everything else in her life right now, and she wasn't sure if that was
a good or a bad thing. The jury was still out.
After a few rings Ryan's voice mail picked up. Damn.
The voice mail message ended. His voice sounded stoned. She spoke again.
"Hey, sweetheart, it's Cammy. I'm meeting Jenny and some friends
for dinner. Call me. If you have time, we can get together tonight. If
not, I'd love to stop by and see you later tonight. Kiss kiss."
She tapped the button and disconnected. She hoped that her music didn't
drown out her message. Ryan and her really needed to talk. This was getting
The song transitioned to another dance mix, and she turned down the volume.
She tapped her head set again.
The phone barely rang.
"We're already here, Cammy! Where the hell are you?"
"Really? Five minutes from Rocky Point. Why are you already there?
"I am your best friend. What kind of stupid question is that? I just
know you. I figured that you'd be in the area in the next few hours."
"Lucky guess." Cameron suggested. Sometimes, Jenny managed to
"Get your model ass over here. I got us a table, and Jack just got
here. Want us to order for you?"
"Want to read the menu for me?"
"Smart ass. See you in a few."
The rest of the night didn't nearly have the fast pace as the rest of
the day. Everything seemed to slow down. Sure, it was fun having dinner
with her friends Jenny and Jack. They talked and ate, and Cameron interjected
enough into the conversation that the couple were having to make them
feel like she was into it. Jack was looking for a job. Nothing strange
about that. Cameron could relate, as modeling was like eternal unemployment
full of endless job interviews and one day jobs that didn't last and were
supposed to lead to other jobs from other companies. Job security was
a luxury that models did not have and could not afford to have. If a model
was locked into a forty hour work week, the number of go see's that they
could attend would drop, their schedule would be limited, and with that
they would be stuck in a rut with regular paychecks and, if they were
lucky, benefits and a 401K, but low pay. Everything had trade offs, and
the corporate world that Jack existed in would drive her bonkers. Modeling
required discipline and the ability to budget money, and those attributes
got Cameron through the lean times.
Cameron looked at the lights of the Howard Franklin bridge far in the
distance. The moon seemed to dance on the water. It didn't tire like she
seemed to at the end of every day, and she was always inspired by the
view here. Too bad Ryan was AWOL again. She came to expect his absence.
"Well, did you?"
Jack's voice pulled her out of her trance.
"Oh, excuse me?"
"He asked you a question! Haven't you been listening?" Jenny
quipped with ten times the energy that Cameron possessed at that moment.
"Did you get the job?" Jack asked.
"Oh, I don't know. They told me that they would be in touch."
Cameron was now in tune with her friends. Jenny sat there tight against
Jack, pretty as could be with her short blond hair and model quality bone
structure. She was petite compared to Jack, and he towered above her.
Jack had sandy brown hair and a ripped physique that was apparent even
though a suit and tie. As opposite as their sizes were, they were the
perfect picture of a couple in love. Love. What in the hell was that?
God, if Jenny were taller than 5' 1'' and weighed more than 98 pounds,
she would make a great model. Jenny, though, was a dance instructor, and
Jack, well, was unemployed at the moment, but had worked in Insurance
"Ouch." Jenny winced.
"What do you mean Ouch?" Jack asked, "I think she got it!"
"In model speak, 'We'll be in touch' usually means that they aren't
going to get it." Jenny explained, "Sorry, Cammy."
"Well, no, I don't know if I got it or not. The whole go see was
weird. Maybe they meant what they said instead of what it would normally
"Maybe." Jenny shrugged, "You do seem to make more than
"I think that you got it, Cammy. You're beautiful. Why wouldn't you
Jenny ribbed Jack. "HEY!"
"Maybe because I'm a bitch. I wish I could make things easier on
people. I wish I could make it simple for people to book me."
"Why don't you tell me I'm beautiful, eh?" Jenny turned from
Jack and looked at Cameron, "You're not a bitch, Cammy. You are a
professional, and that professionalism earns you respect. If you went
into those auditions all wishy washy and eager to please like the other
models, then it would be harder for them to consider you. All those jobs
that you get are proof! Maybe it actually is simpler to book you, but
you don't see it that way because you don't want to."
"Those other models let the bookers give them their go see leads.
The agencies deal with all of the nasty things that could happen."
"You don't believe that, Cammy." Jack interrupted, "We've
known you too long. You make your own gigs happen, and you've been doing
it for a long time. You've made a believer out of me! As a matter of fact,
I was going to ask you to look over my resume and help me fix it. You're
better polishing resumes and writing cover letters than I'll ever be!"
Cameron raised her eyebrows. "Thanks..... I think."
"I know that you don't doubt what you're doing, too. It must be something
else." Jenny looked over Cameron carefully, inquisitively. "What
is it? What's wrong?"
"Nothing. Nothing at all." Cameron looked out the window again,
Maybe. Maybe Ryan wouldn't seem like such an asshole tomorrow. Maybe she'd
feel better after a good night of sleep.
The sunlight lit up the white
curtain like a sheet of flowing mist. A broad beam of diffused, golden
light warmed her face. She blinked awake, and brought a pillow over her
face. She groaned. The song of a loud bird serenaded her through the window.
The melody of the bird song seemed to coax her up. She got up and walked
to the window. It was her unofficial pet, a bright red Cardinal that she
had named Petie. She didn't have time for pets, and had to take what she
could get in her crowded life. He really was an attractive addition to
her morning life, too. Petie lived in her back yard, and since he seemed
to sing around her window the same time every morning, she didn't need
to use her alarm clock much anymore.
"Good morning, Petie!" she sang back, "How are you, buddy?!?!?"
The bird saw her and flew away. So much for unofficial pets. He landed
in a tree next to a neighbors window and started singing again. Two-timing
slut bird. He'd be back in the morning, of course, just like a clock.
Her little red alarm clock.
Cameron yawned and stretched, the silk nightgown flowing over her curves.
She was in great shape, with a toned body that made a swimsuit look good.
She walked by her desk and pressed her computer power button in with her
big toe. She then proceeded to her bathroom for a long shower. She really
felt so much better this morning. Yesterday seemed like such a long time
ago, and she had to admit that it seemed to be a much better day after
she had got some rest. She started singing "take me away" as
the shower steamed the bathroom mirrors. It seemed to wake her up the
rest of the way.
Her bedroom door opened. She was dressed and sitting in front of the computer,
reading something on the Internet.
"Hi, sweetheart. I thought I heard you up!"
"Good morning, mom!" She sighed, her eyes staying locked on
"Did you call the agency and see if you booked that catalog yet?"
"No. The art director will call me if they are going to book me."
"What?" Her mother came in the rest of the way and sat down
on her bed,
"That's nonsense. I'll call the booker right now and find out for
Which agency did you get the go see through?"
"I didn't. I got it on my own."
"How?!" Her mother demanded.
"Through the Internet. I also got a tip from a friend that they were
looking for catalog models."
"Cameron, you know that this Internet modeling is not real. It's
dangerous. You have to book the work through a modeling agency. That's
what they are there for."
"When I was a model, we had to call our bookers every day. Our careers
depended on regular communication with the agencies."
Cameron turned toward her mother. Her eyes flashed with fire.
"You know, you could still be a model, mom. You look every bit as
good as you did when you modeled. You don't need an agency, either!"
"Don't be silly. You have to have an agency to get work."
"I disagree. Haven't you ever tried to be your own self-contained
"Of course not. I wouldn't have any idea what to do. Models shouldn't
have to worry about agency jobs, anyway. They should focus on being good
models. Being an agency is the agency's job. They work for you!"
"It was that way years ago, but things have changed." Cameron
sighed, returning to her computer and scrolling down on a lengthy screen
"Baby, hasn't Barnes been good to you? They've been booking you into
work constantly for the last year!"
"Boy, mom, you sure pay a lot of attention. I haven't talked to Dawn
and the bookers for six months. When I do get called for go see's, I've
already scheduled it in myself. They finally stopped calling."
Her mother paused. She seemed surprised.
"Those go see's that I've been going on with you weren't from Barnes
or the other agencies? How did you know that they were legitimate?"
"I did my homework, like today's model should. Some of the jobs were
from agencies, but a lot were not. I'm beating the bookers to the punch
and don't have to pay them a chunk of money anymore. Neither does the
company that books me. I still work with agencies if they give me go see's
that I can't get on my own, but I get a lot on my own."
Her mother stood to her feet.
"How long have you been doing this?"
"Long enough that I am comfortable getting work on my own."
"Where in the hell did you learn how to do this? You're too young
to be doing that kind of work! The industry is not safe when you take
it on without the proper guidance and with the people behind you with
the experience to manage your career!"
"Listen, mother, you're as old and as mature as your mind enables
you to be. There are a lot of books out on the subject and plenty of web
sites. Web sites like this one!"
Cameron motioned to the screen. It was a tutorial on the Independent Modeling
"Independent Modeling?" Her mother looked at the screen, "Honey,
that's not how the modeling industry works."
"It works for me. Think outside of the box, mom."
"They are filling your head with this nonsense, aren't they?"
"Well, the Independent Modeling web site has been the best source
of information on modeling that I could find. They taught me how to think
for myself and have enabled me to apply myself to my career."
"The agency is supposed to do your thinking for you and get you jobs.
That always worked for me."
Cameron looked over at her mother again. Her mother looked a lot like
Cameron, and resembled what an older sister would have looked like. She
was extremely beautiful. God, what a bone structure- the woman was born
to model. She, too, had been born beautiful. What a waste. She realized
that it wasn't really her mothers fault, and she was only thinking like
she had been taught to by the years she had working in the old industry.
The rules of the game had changed, and if she could open her mothers eyes
to what models were doing and the possibilities that thinking for themselves
and career empowerment presented, her mother could comprehend that the
were eroding away.
"Tell me, mom, why did you quit modeling?"
Her mother looked away.
"I went off to college and started another career."
"A career as a homemaker? That's a step up. Well, that's what happens
when you put your career in the hands of so-called professionals!"
"Cameron- I don't regret anything that I have done in my life. Modeling
is not everything. When I found out that I was going to have you, modeling
became less important to me. I couldn't do it anymore. I was more concerned
about getting married and raising you and your brother."
"I'm sorry that I ruined your career, then!" Cameron fired back.
She jabbed a key on her keyboard. It hurt her finger a little, but it
made her feel better. "Have you told Kyle about this?!?!?!?"
"You're twisting it all around. Don't do that. I decided to quit
modeling. It had nothing to do with you."
"When you got knocked up with me, those bookers stopped booking you
"That's not the case at all. True, I was limited as to what kind
of modeling I could do, but there were other reasons."
"Well, what were they?"
"Nothing that I am ready to talk about with you yet. You're not old
"You're acting like an eight year old right now."
"Thank you. I started my career when I was eight, remember? I was
good then, too."
"Don't remind me. This career of yours is starting to worry me- you
"Why is it worrying you? I can take care of myself."
"Really? You're still at home. You have no idea how hard the real
world is yet. Stop acting like you're on your own when you're not. Delusion
is a dangerous thing."
"I might be living here, but I am a responsible professional with
a thriving career! Why can't you see that?"
"That's why I'm worried. You take your modeling career as seriously
as your dad took- well, takes his entertainment career."
"Is that why you left him and married bonehead?!?!"
"I loved your dad very much. He was just so obsessive about entertainment
and his career. He was so into what he was doing that he didn't have time
for us and for a family."
"Why do you always blame him? That's not true. He always had time
for me! Maybe he never had time for you."
"You don't mean that. Your dad was there for you when he was here
in Tampa. He's not here now. It wasn't me. It was us. I'm sure that he
didn't mean to hurt his family. He chose his career over us, and I'm afraid
that you are going the same way."
"Whatever. Staying here was a decision that I made for me."
"You could have went with him. Why did you stay with me?"
"I don't know. I had a life here. Plus, I do love you. I also love
dad, and I wish he could have stayed here."
"Sometimes I wonder if you love me."
"You're my mom. You should know."
"Your father loves you, too."
"Bonehead? He's not my father!"
"Oh, your stepfather loves you."
"Who knows- who cares. He didn't raise me. You and dad did."
"You certainly are a Passinault. You're thick headed and stubborn."
"You're damn right. You forgot to say talented and smart. That's
what being a Passinault is, too." Cameron laughed.
"You're a smart alek, too!"
She leaned over and kissed her daughter on the forehead.
"I do love you. Don't think that my concern for you means that I
don't. I love both you and your brother Kyle very much."
"I understand. Can you promise me something?"
"Keep an open mind about what I am doing. You can start by reading
what's on this web site."
"Well, I might not have the time to......"
"You can make the time. Ignorance of a changing industry is not bliss
at all. Isn't learning and knowing better than worrying all of the time
about the unknown? I know you are concerned, but I know what I'm doing.
It's not the same modeling industry that it was when you were a model.
If I get in over my head with any of this, I'll come to you. I promise."
"You'd better. I'll read it when I get the chance. Now, my little
rebel, are you ready for breakfast? Your Father is almost done with it."
"Mom..... Don't go there."
"That's fair. I have faith that you will accept him one day, though."
"Well, he did get me the car for my birthday. He might not be that
smart, but I appreciate what he did."
"He's smart in his own way, just like you are in your way."
"I'm smart in every way. Don't forget that!"
"The smartest part of you is that mouth of yours, and I worry that
it's going to get you in trouble one day. As long as you keep talking,
I won't forget it."
Her mother got up and walked toward the bedroom door. Cameron smiled at
her and winked.
"Come and eat with us. We don't see enough of you anymore. We do
hear and awful lot of you, though."
"Whatever you say, mother."
Cameron got up to follow her mother, and was interrupted by her home phone
ringing in the corner.
"I'll be right there, mom!"
She leaped over her bed and grabbed the handset. It was the art director
from last night. They had decided to book her into the catalog job, and
would need her on location first thing on Monday morning.
Cameron lay on her back and stared at the popcorned ceiling above her.
She smiled. It was the start of another great day, and she'd be sure to
remind her mother of that right now and herself tonight when she was on
her way to another go see- a go see that she was sure that she would book
It was all in the life of a working independent model. Things always seemed
to work out in the end.
MODELING ADVENTURE EPISODE