I have been in the modeling industry for 12 years no and there have been quite a number of shoots that I have done over the years.
There's nothing quite like the feeling I get when I see my work- whether it be on TV, print or digital.
The sum of all the hours on set, all the work that was put in and many strange things I had been asked to do, all coming together to look absolutely wonderful.
It pretty much happens that every time I shoot, I come away with weird and wonderful stories. There is so much more to modelling than standing and looking pretty and I thought the shoot that I did before the end of 2014 would be a prime example.
It was for a hospital insurance advert. And this one in particular began with odd encounters from the get go.
As a model booker, I had already booked one of our agency’s models for a separate role.
After speaking to the cast coordinator and finalising all details on the phone- he then called me back to ask me if I was coloured. Possibly one of the weirder things I have been asked on the phone.
I later discovered that upon hearing me speak, he set out to find out what I looked like and it had just so happened that the client had changed their mind for the race of the woman they wanted for the role. There was another woman on standby but she was in Cape Town and I think that there was a chance that she might not be able to make it.
So somehow, everything came together and I was selected to for the role of the sexy nurse.
Though not the Animaniacs Helloooooo nurse kind.
At the wardrobe I was presented with green hospital scrubs and Crocs.
It’s not ALWAYS glamorous being a model…
My call time for the shoot was 5:30am in Kyalami which meant I had to be up before 5am so that I could get beautified and have them chase away the black rings under my eyes with some artful application. My hair was also curled nicely but which also took some time. Wrapping small sections of curls around the wand to make them bigger and more controlled- that was the reason that I had to be on set so early.
The problem was that the wardrobe stylist only came much later which meant that I would have to try on my outfits in full makeup. I cannot explain what a mission it was trying to squeeze into that top without messing up their masterpiece.
Speaking of squeezing.
The art director then came in and told me that my boobs needed to be higher and more cleavage needed to be showing.
It was intense.
I was already wearing a pushup bra.
Having lost a little weight since the fitting, it didn’t really help my cause.
Also- scrubs aren’t exactly designed to be flattering. Medical professionals wear them when they cut into other human beings and other gross stuff.
But I was a sexy nurse and I had to do whatever it took.
That included trying to fit the stylist’s bra on because it was a smooth pushup (mine had all ribbons and diamante on)
Not only did that happen, but I also had to do it all WITH THE SCRUBS STILL ON!!!
Unfortunately that bra wasn’t enough.
I then had to return to my own, with a second on top of it.
The art director was still left wanting.
The stylist then took a paid of scissors to the front v of the top and taped the little bits down.
Still not satisfied.
Then they brought out the chicken cutlets.
And he was finally happy.
Two bras, padded, with cleavage enhancers and the top cut open- I looked like this
Padded and sexy nurse
Finally ready to shoot- we were only allowed to wear our Crocs on the infinity curve on set and nowhere else. Thank goodness.
Waiting for the camera to start rolling
From that moment on it was go go go.
We were on set for 14 hours in total.
Longest shoot I have ever done.
My back eventually grew so tired from sticking my chest out and trying to look sexy the whole time, that I thought I may actually faint from the pain.
One of the other guys had to stay in the hospital bed for the ENTIRE shoot.
Sounds ok but the huge sweat patch behind him said otherwise
The poor actor had to lie in bed all day
I must say that the catering was incredible- one thing that is pretty cool about sets is all the food is paid for.
As it wore on into the late afternoon, the majority of other performers were relieved of their roles. I had to remain behind- even though I didn’t have a speaking role.
I watched with sad eyes as one by one they turned in their wardrobes and I stayed
That’s one thing about this industry- they call it the hurry up and wait game
I had to sit through a few hours of other people shooting.
Hurry up and wait
Filming with the client on set
There was even a little girl who played the role of a daughter. It was interesting to see how everyone on set changed and became more polite and kind – trying to hide their utter panic as kids are only allowed on set for a short amount of hours and we were already running behind.
She was fantastic though and once she left- we broke for supper and only THEN did I get to shoot.
I had to kind of pretend to be a magician’s assistant, smiling and handing the doctor his money while he looked all snazzy in his suit.
So eventually I left close on 9pm after having wrapped my scene. Happy but relieved too.
It turns out that there is a giant block of text over me in the final scene of the ad.
It wouldn’t have mattered if it was me or the sound guy handing him the cash!
But that’s how it goes I guess. They shoot as much footage as they need, use you as much as they can as they are paying for your time, and make it all as perfect as possible so that there is never a need to reshoot. Ever. Even if it takes all night.
Still – I had fun, I became a fully qualified nurse in a single day and had a beautiful hairstyle for work the next day too!