Friday, November 1, 2013

Modeling in Japan

So... if you didn't already know, my kid is a model. (Words I never thought would come out of my mouth.) I wish I had some fancy story of "how she got discovered," but it's quite boring actually. Twice a year, the military bases hold modeling fairs. Many different modeling agencies come down from Tokyo and spend a chunk of the day taking pictures of kids and signing them on. I had heard a lot about these fairs and didn't have anything else to do, so I decided to take my girls. We signed up with maybe four or five agencies and went home.

We got some job offers within a couple of weeks. However, when we signed up, we had yet to go to Tokyo, my husband was gone on a ship, and I found out that jobs can be VERY last minute. For example, you might find you have an audition in Tokyo (1 to 1.5 hours away by train) at 8pm the night before... and since I had never been to Tokyo and had never done any modeling jobs, I won't lie. I was nervous. So I put it off for MONTHS. I kept declining jobs, making up some excuse as to why we weren't available. Part of the reason I also kept putting it off was simply because I wasn't sure if I wanted the modeling lifestyle I kept hearing about. We like our simple, school-at-home, routine and I knew modeling could get busy. You could have several trips to Tokyo in a week, last-minute auditions that disrupt your schedule, and calendars that are booked with possible jobs that might never happen.

But last March, I got an email about a job offer with a picture selection only. Jobs are either picture selection only (they send in your kid's picture, and either they are picked for the job or not) or picture selection AND audition. I told our agency that we were available and I waited to get the "sorry, she wasn't chosen" email. However, a few days later, I got an email that my oldest had gotten a job! It was for a magazine and she would be the only child featured. Since then, we've done about 10 additional jobs.

I know some families who are HARDCORE about modeling and I know some families who just do a job every now and then. Our family is somewhere in the middle. Turns out, my daughter LOVES modeling (and really, what 5-year-old girl doesn't like getting their hair and makeup done, and dressing up in fancy clothes?), so when I get job offers, I ask her if she wants to do another job and... she usually does. We don't accept EVERY job because back-to-back trips to Tokyo tire my kids and too many trips during the week cut back on the activities (like Girl Scouts, Japanese lessons or yoga) my girls like to participate in, as well as our school time at home.

Overall, modeling in Japan has been fabulous and I feel like I need to pinch myself each time we travel to Tokyo for a job. I still can't believe I LIVE in Japan, much less that my children are models in Tokyo. And despite my concerns about the possible effect of modeling on my daughter's self-esteem and ego, I can't help but believe that it has been a wonderful experience for her. She is such a professional! She calls modeling her "job," and wants to work hard to earn more money. She has learned to follow directions, to be comfortable meeting new people, to navigate the train system in Tokyo, and to stay focused and attentive during jobs. When she gets paid, she gets a bit of spending money and the rest is put in a bank account for her. She is quickly learning that spending all your money can happen before you know it, and you're left with nothing (it was sweet, however, that she spent a lot of her money on her sister). And she is getting some AMAZING photographs that she will love when she's older.

I don't plan on her continuing a modeling career when we move back to the states in a couple of years... it would depend SO MUCH on where you live. So right now, we're just having fun and we're creating some fabulous memories. Like I said, I often pinch myself. I have been so blessed.

Be sure to check all the posts labeled "Modeling in Japan." I plan on adding some photos and tidbits from her jobs every time she has a new one. And, her sister just had her first job the other day... lord help me if I have two kids with modeling careers in Tokyo!

No comments:

Post a Comment