When I applied for the runway walk, I knew nothing about it. I knew nothing about how it’s all pulled off and I knew nothing about what actually happens during the show. We had to view various videos about rules, protocols, hair, makeup, the schedule, how to walk, etc. So a few days prior to the event, I was given my designer assignment, Visions of Drama. Our designer was also doing our hair. So I contact her and we agree to meet on the morning of September 17, 2021. You have recently read about the other activities on this day and the accompanying outfit.
Kayla’s studio is in Cleveland, in a multipurpose building. She is African-American. One of the other models, Tori, was also there. Tori and I immediately bonded, she is a transwoman and also African-American. I come to find out that I am one of nine models walking for Kayla, all African-American except you know who. And I fit in perfectly! Somehow I have been gifted with the ability or more likely, good fortune, to rise above gender and race and just connect with people at their core. I wish I could actually do something with that….
I spent about two hours there and really got to know both of them and we became friends very quickly, so I now knew at least a few people walking in.
On September 18, 2021 I reported to the hotel, roughly 10:30 AM, where the event was held for hair and makeup. Kayla had a hotel room and many of the other girls were in there. Stuff everywhere, outfits, makeup, you know, for me a little bit of Heaven. We went over our outfits and got our hair and makeup done. I never felt out of place for a moment and I certainly could have, given who I am and the fact that I was the only Caucasian in the group. Everyone was so sweet to me! The show had an Asian theme, so we all had to wear chopsticks in our hair, with a bun, and Asian influenced makeup. Here I am in the chair and the finished product.
Once hair and makeup was finished, there was the business of getting fitted and photographed in every outfit you were walking. Well, coming in I was only walking once. But by show time, I was walking three times!
Ego Maserati was the runway coach. I did the walk exactly as we were instructed in the video prior to the event. “Boring!” I was told. So I loosened up a bit and did so during the show. Believe me, walking the runway is not as easy as it looks! Yes, it’s not splitting an atom, but often you get put into an outfit and/or a pair of shoes and the first time you move in them is on stage.
You will see videos of each walk and I will tell you, some of my more animated stuff will not be seen in the videos. In my opinion, I look very stiff. Given the chance to do this again, I will learn from this and get better. After the show Ego high-fived me and asked me to keep in touch, so I must have done alright. I do believe he was just being kind. I do know my joy came through to everyone there, despite the fact that we had to walk in masks.
So how did I get this opportunity? Who in their right mind would have me model anything?
I have a friend who mentioned Cleveland Photo Fest to me (you may remember posts about that this past spring). I volunteered to work there. I often sat in the gallery and no one came in to look at anything. You may also recall my first day working there I had to get on the phone to help make the decision to stop treatment on my then-dying father.
Jackie Bertolette was one of the photographers there. We met. She mentioned this show and her magazine. I applied and I was accepted! All because I worked this photo show. Now what comes of that, only time will tell.
Check out the DC Photo Shoot!!