|I'll never live this down|
Soon I was to attend my photo shoot. I was told to bring all my clothes, so I did. Our teacher created four outfits from what clothes I'd brought. The photographers guided me through each segment. We went through several poses with each outfit, more than a dozen poses with many photos taken. The session lasted over an hour. I felt pretty absurd in some of them (picture related) but I feel I got my money worth. When the photos were printed the Shine models were gushing over how good I looked.
Over the following weeks we learned a variety of modelling skills. One week we learnt how to introduce ourselves to casting agents, another on what to do once you get a job; everything from what to bring to what not to say. Both the most interesting and hardest lesson for me was television commercials (TvC). We were told to present a reading from a short script which was as follows (it is still burned into my memory): “Are you ready to shop to your heart’s desire? Eight weeks of fabulous offers await you at thousands of stores all over Singapore! This is the Singapore Great Sale 2012. The sale worth waiting for.”. For my initial reading I wasn't very nervous. However after performing I was told I read it like a news anchor. So we were tasked with creating a scenario or situation in which to present it. For instance as a character like a football player, a Thai tourist or a guy watching TV. I was racking my brains trying to think of something interesting.
I decided to act like a homosexual/woman as a last resort. Finally when it was my turn I was extremely nervous. I don’t mind acting like a jackass in front of a small group of people, but in front of a crowd of almost fifteen, where there is an instructor who is extremely critical, it felt horrible. I performed my piece and once I got it over with, it didn't feel much better. He told me it was boring and that we’d need to repeat this segment next week to get better at it.
During these lessons I would talk to some of the other modelling ‘students’. Our class was composed of roughly ten guys. Originally there were twenty or so but we were split into two groups based on height, I ended up in the tall group. A few of the hopeful models were Chinese nationals who could barely speak English, otherwise the rest were Singaporean. I only talked to a few guys in class. Among them was Keith; kinda nervous and friendly, Reese; great actor, Matthew; ridiculously handsome and half French, Zach; short with an interesting accent and Yu En; stoic. Reese was really fantastic at TvC. He had performed as the Thai character and made everyone laugh. Another guy who stood out was a short guy named Gailin, who in our first class proclaimed “My name is Gailin, which sounds gay, just like me!”. He was often humorous, though occasionally he would try to hard, and he would be reprimanded by the director of Shine Models; Jude. Jude was a skinny, balding man who surprisingly didn't dress very fashionably, though he certainly knew how to catwalk and pose. Our teachers were a flamboyant guy called Roland and Easa; less flamboyant but still gay. As Roland soon reminded us, a repeat of the dreaded TvC was coming up...
Continued in Part 3