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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My 15 Years Of Fame....Or How I Could Have Been On Top Model

Ok, so I actually had a pretty interesting life when I was younger. I kind of "fell" into an acting/modeling career after my first daughter, Hailey, was born. I was working as a singing waitress at a Dinner Theatre in Salt Lake City, when someone came up to me after the evening was over and gave me a card.

"Have you ever thought of doing commercials?" she asked.

Well, I hadn't really thought of it, as I had had a whirlwind marriage and then got pregnant right away. (Can you say, nine months later?) I was also very young, had done musical theatre in high school, and minored in music and theatre in college, but hadn't done much with it since getting married.

But I thought, "Why not---what have I got to lose?"

So, that is how I got my start. I started doing commercials first and lots of voice work. I was the voice of "Connie Cougar" and got a Lincoln Mercury for that year. I was the voice of the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio, and did about every department store voice ad in SLC. I also started doing commercials and took some amazing commercial acting classes that changed the way that I did acting forever after.

Then I moved to Denver. That is when my career started taking off. I got with an agency that really liked me. Trust me, that helps in this business. The woman that ran this agency pulled me in one day, after I had tried out for a commercial. "How tall are you?" she said. "About 5 foot, 6 3/4 inches", I replied." "Well," she said, "You look pretty put together----you'll be 5 foot, 7 inches from now on and how would you like to model?"

So, that is how I started. I went to the next casting and got the job. I was the first from that agency to shoot with this particular store, so the agency was very impressed. That also helps in this business.

I started getting sent out for everything, and was working a lot...getting national commercials, national ads, billboards, boxes, national catalogs, and going strong. I got an offer to go to Milan and model, but I had one problem. I had just had my second child, Brinna, and she was very young. I had already started back working when she was just 6 weeks old, so I just couldn't see myself leaving her or Hailey for three months while I went to make it big in Milan.

So, I chose my children over my career.

There were many times over the years that I felt very blessed to be able to do what I did. I never complained about the business, because I always was so grateful for every job that I was able to do. I turned down several big jobs that were big bucks because of my beliefs., though.
I was asked to do a big cigarette campaign (when they still advertised regularly) with billboards and big money involved, but I turned it down, as I didn't agree with supporting what I was against. I also turned down a movie once because of the bad language that I was required to say. I didn't ever want to do something that my kids couldn't come and see. I also would not do lingerie unless it was a full slip---no bra and panties for this girl! And I would only do one piece swimsuits as I didn't feel comfortable doing bikini's----I was lucky to have agencies that respected my wishes and still sent me on go-see's, etc. Well, I made money for them still, so it worked out.

I actually continued modeling and doing commercials for 20 years---give or take a few years---I'm not telling! I worked in the Texas market---Houston and Dallas, the Denver market, the Chicago market, the LA market (this one was the WORST!) and then I worked in Boston until I had my little guy, Aydan.

I am not bragging about what I did----I still feel very humbled by the fact that I was able to have my 15 years of fame. It taught me a lot about life and people and stupid choices that people make (most of the photo shoots that I did---there were drugs available) and most of all, it taught me to be strong. I can pretty much stand up for anything that I believe in and can handle most situations in the world, so I see my modeling as a plus.

All of my kids modeled at one time or another----I would be doing a catalog and they would rather have kids that are already comfortable with the "Mom" in the catalog----so they asked what sizes my kids were and could they use one or the other... Sometimes my kids went on the auditions, but didn't make it. But I did. Did I ever tell them that I did the commercial? Actually no, if they didn't ask, as it made them feel like they didn't do well---when it was probably because another child looked more like mine. (Several of my children look alot like their father---blonde, fair skinned, and I was brunette as you can see).

All in all, its kind of fun to look back and see these pictures. I loved doing this, and sometimes miss it, I will admit. I can do it again someday, if I ever lose that dang 15 pounds that I have hanging over my head----it seems that even if you are a "classic" (another word for old) model, they like you to be slender. Oh, well, we'll see...

I'm not giving up yet.

One of my first shots during testing for my "comp." card

And here's the vampy one...

One of my many brochures---I'm the attendant/agent.

This was on the packaging for this product----great money if you get these!

My first clothing catalog.

Cover of a magazine...during my "high school phase" (I was really in my late 20's)

Loved to shoot for this store---more high fashion---I was pregnant with my second child here--
four months, I believe----I had strong stomach muscles!

I just thought that this was crazy, because I always had really short nails and they put these on me after the picture was taken---freaky!

For a store in Aspen---gag, I was skinny!

One of my "Mom" looks for yet another baby product catalog.

Fun shoot---rolling around in the hay for jean ad.

Just had to show this one----its actually for a French catalog---hilarious!

Catalog nighties---woo-hoo!

Another fun shoot for a store in Aspen---I actually styled this shot---hair and makeup.
I would be a stylist whenever I was too pregnant to work---here I did it as a favor for the photographer...

Skiwear catalog---did tons of those!

I was a bit green on this shoot---I was barely pregnant with my second child and kept fainting....they gave me gum and kept shooting as I was passing out---thats the models life!

Another store ad for an Aspen store.

Ski wear again----of course, it was Denver!

This was a national poster that dentists all over the country would hang in their offices...

Ok,....wait for it...wait for it, guys....yes---its a swimsuit shot for a store in Denver---after I had already had two kids----sick, huh?

Another catalog shoot

I had to jump about 100 times to get this shot perfect between the backdrops!

National skiwear ad.

Can you believe this hair? They had to pin it forward on both sides to get this look! Heh, Heh.

Don't I look like someone famous here? Who do you think?

The same head tilt for a national ad that was on the back of Ski Magazine!

I lost a ton of weight after a few kids---crazy!

Hilarious pics of my several years of doing western wear catalogs. Yee Haw!!

Clothing ad for The Buccaneer, a store.

This was one of my billboard/taxi/bus ads that ran for about a year.

OK!!! This is it! The ad that made it into Playboy!! Pretty ris-kay, huh?

....And yes, you have it again---another ad from Playboy as well as several other fashion magazines.

A headshot for my composite.

Golden Bear jewelry catalog from Aspen and Vail----I always had about $80,000.00 worth of jewelry on me!

Gerry Baby catalog.

Golden Bear again...

....and again---I was their "muse" for about 6 years, so I worked with them a lot!

You guessed it, Golden Bear again...

Then there was work in Phoenix...hey wait a minute...that is the hotel that I stayed at just a few weeks ago in Phoenix---small world...

Say no more, say no more...

You guessed it!

Another store ad in Denver.

Magazine write-up for a store owner and his clothes.

Golden Bear.

Fun editorial shot.

Oh no, not western wear again---this time, I got the cover!

Back in Arizona...

They used all my own kids for this commercial ad for a cable company---Brinna, Clayton, and Hailey!

Then I moved to Chicago and cut my hair!

Another store ad with that new haircut.
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