Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Best Models Apartment EVER!!

I have waxed and wanted poetic in the past about how bad the conditions of models' apartments usually are....but once in a while you hit the jackpot and Names in Milan gave me my pot of gold. Names had several apartment suites reserved in pensiones around Milan. Mine happened to be in the Pension Garden.

Whereas most models' apartments lacked in square footage and furnishings, this one had a really nice lounge area, that led to the bathroom (with a proper shower!!) and then the bedroom. The kitchen was in what I assumed was a closet in the living room, but it proved to be adequate enough for the two of us. After all, in Milan the food is aplenty and a trip across the street to the Bar Cafe was always perfect to satiate our hunger. We also were privy to free lunches at different spots around town...a model perk in Milan. :) The apartment also had large windows that sung open over a pleasant courtyard and the building had a concierge and secured entry. I was in model heaven.

Being that this was an apartment-suite we also had all of the amenities that we could want...a washer and DRYER....and the dryer part is exciting because those are not de rigeur in Europe or Asia. We had a great assortment of pots, pans, plates, and matching silverware! It may not have been sterling silver flatware and the plates were plastic rather than Pfaltzgraff dinner sets but they matched, were unbroken and abundant. Up until that point I was used to using chipped bowls for every meal and plastic utensils...or rusted and bent ones. I guess the agencies assumed that models wouldn't be eating anyways! lol!

The few times we stayed home and cooked with our actual pans and tableware...(my favorite was pasta with sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella)...our meals looked like something worthy of a Food Television close-up. Life was good....and this would be just the start of an amazing, amazing, amazing season in Milan.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Zit Explosions

I have to make a slight detour and talk a little about models and their complexions while traveling. There are a select few who suffer from nothing more than a slight case of chapped lips or an oily forehead...but the rest of us do go through some skin trauma every time we travel.

Due to pollution, water conditions, changes in diet, lack of sleep, dehydration from long plane trips, most models will end up with a random explosion of zits during the first few weeks in a new city with nary an English speaking Dermatologist to be found. This, of course, is horrible because you want to make a great first impression on your agents and the new clients and photographers you'll be meeting. Walking around with a few prime goiters on your face is not exactly worthy of great self-esteemage.

I was mostly lucky in that I would get some minor break-outs that I could cover with some concealer and that would clear up in a day or two, but once in a while I would develop a nice crop of cystic acne somewhere painfully obvious like my chin that would make me cringe at the thought of leaving my apartment to face the hypercritical world I worked in. Hell, I probably would've cringed to go work at a burger joint when my breakouts were that bad. Luckily, the more I traveled and worked, the more I found out that models having skin issues while traveling was as common as finding out that people get boob jobs and laser hair removal in Los Angeles. Also, the more I traveled, the less my skin would was starting to get used to the "abuse". ;)

I had make-up artists sympathize and tell me that they are always working with girls who get bad skin...especially in the bigger, dirtier cities like Milan, Athens, Paris and Taipei. They would suggest washing my face with bottled water, but the cost and pain in the assness of doing that was always daunting and eventually my zits would leave of their own accord and not return so it was all good. I also finally discovered tea tree oil soaps and astringents and that, to this day, has kept my pores clear.

Having had a Smartphone or real internet access during those times of skin crisis would've been nice. When I was traveling for work we all still pretty much depended on obscure internet cafes that charged up the wazoo for an hour of slooooow internet connections. I know that being able to hit up a site like Celibre or even WebMd would have helped me figure out how to prevent skin scares in the first place.

I remember out of sheer desperation, I ended up burning a little patch on my left cheek. Not burning as in "with fire", but a week before I was to be in Asia for a contract, I developed a stress zit smack dab on the middle of my cheek that had its own heartbeat and looked like Vesuvius. Painful and I knew I couldn't hide that thing. So I kept dabbing it day and night with Benzoyl Peroxide and rubbing alchohol and lo and behold a few days later the bump was gone but my skin was black in that spot. BLACK AND CRISPY. The burnt skin finally peeled off the day I was supposed to fly out, thank God. But still...gross.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Crazy in Milan

Ok, where was I...this Swine Flu fried my brain.....ah yes....Milan.

So, there I was living in an overloaded models apartment, not being able to shower or sleep or keep food in the kitchen. I had made my agency a lot of money the season before and felt that I deserved better living conditions. Why not, right? I mean, I know that models apartments are pretty much crap no matter where you go, but this was ridiculous.

After a few days I decided to go in to talk to the owner of my agency about moving me to another apartment. I knew that there was room for one more girl at the apartment that I had lived in the season before and I wanted to move over there. The owner, Patti, freaked out on me and told me that I couldn't live at the apartment on Paolo Sarpi because I had let an Italian man move in there after I had left and gone back to the States. WTF?!?!?!?! She said that a month after I had left, the cleaning lady had walked into the apartment and there was a guy living there who threw the keys at her when confronted and told her that I had sublet the apartment to him. Ummmm...WHAT?

The thing is, when I left, there was a Swedish model moving in...she was in the apartment for a few days before my departure and during that time she had another female model move in as well who had been kicked out of her agency and was therefore pretty much homeless. The Swede was a BITCH. She was an older catalog model and patronized me to no end for the few days she was there. I hated her and I'm sure the energy was apparent. I'll always believe that she was the one who handed my apartment keys (which I had left on the coffee table and asked her to return to the which the bitchnazz agreed) to one of her Italian friends with an aside that it was me who gave him the keys should he get caught in there. Aaaah...just thinking about it makes me so mad still!!

So, there I am trying to relate the story to Patti about Swedish C**nt and her key trickery, but she would have none of it. I didn't even have any male Italian friends the entire time I was there.....we models hung out together and didn't have much to do with the locals. Just how it was. So, Patti insisted that I stay at the apartment I was in and that was that.

I decided to take things into my own hands....I moved out and in with my make-up artist friend, Derek, from Miami who was in Milan for the season. I stayed there for a few days, and then when my friend, Marcus, from Taipei found out that I had nowhere to stay he booked me a room in a nice hotel for a week so that I could get my bearings and figure out what I wanted to do. I've since lost touch with him, but that was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.....I'll never forget it.

After moving into the hotel, I found out that my booker from last season had moved on to Names Agency so I gave her a call and went in to meet with the bookers. Names signed me right away and found me a gorgeous...and I mean NICE apartment with a sweet Bolivian roommate....yes, just ONE move into right away. They faxed Patti at Eye for I and told her I was moving on....Patti got mad...oops....but that was that.

Names ended up being an even more top notch agency and they really housed the models in the best apartments of any I've seen. You cannot imagine how happy I was! The caliber of my castings went up too and I was seeing Armani, Conde Nast, Byblos (for whom I booked showroom for a month), Diesel, RePlay and was great. My roomie was amazing, we got to speak in Spanish all the time, and so my new season in Milan began.....

Sunday, December 06, 2009


I got the Swine Flu. H1N1...whatever you want to call it. Let me get back to feeling human and less undead and I'll resume my posting.

Thanks and stay healthy!!!