Hello readers!!!! How are you? I figured it was time for an update for my loving friends and supporters. As of now, I’m still working mostly in the Chicago area and living here in an apartment with my roommate. I do this yearly for my agency here, Ford Models! I’ve gained a new client I’ve never worked for, which was Lord and Taylor , and I’m also continuing working for my typical clients. As much as I’m a country girl, I do love being in the city because everything is in walking distance, including some incredible vegan restaurants! Although I’m not vegan, knowing that nothing includes heavy dairy which makes me sick is a relief! I also love the ‘community’ feel that a city has. Don’t get me wrong- “wide-open spaces” and “blue grass” are still my preferences, and I am for sure sad about missing the Kentucky Derby for the first time ever…. , but I was ready to do another short stay since it had been a while that school and life permitted me to move somewhere temporarily.
I’m also surviving finals week…ughhhhh! Almost done! I ‘m grateful the finals and projects aren’t too bad this semester. I’m also INCREDIBLY grateful for my blog designer/creator Gary Moyers for lending me his nice macbook laptop to use while I’m out of town. This is the second time my laptop has crashed during finals. I’m not sure what the chances are of that happening, but I can tell you that it isn’t fun!!!
In the mean time, enjoy new recipes that are popping up here and there. The only other person I’ve ever met who likes to cook as much as me is my current roommate, Ashley. And she is sooooo good at it! I’m very impressed at how much her cooking skills and range of recipes have expanded since we last lived together in Miami and Chicago last summer. Recently posted : Sweet Potato Oatmeal Pillows – may sound unfamiliar to you, but I GUARANTEE that it’s worth a shot! Find it under “sweet breakfasts and desserts”
Last but not least, I’m certainly continuing prayer for this country. With yesterday being the National Day of Prayer, the following verse is about all I can think about: “If my people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
It just seems like it is one thing after another lately in the news, in one place of the country or another. And for some reason I’ve been so fully glued to the news lately compared to I’ve ever been before. I fully believe in the power of prayer, and sometimes just wish people would give it a shot. However, I also feel that we are quick to forget the importance of having faith behind the prayer it to back it up. Faith is very important to God. If we don’t have faith that He will answer our prayers, it is almost like a smack in the face in my opinion. Who are we to think he can or can’t do something? Would you help someone out if they told you you couldn’t do it? He can do all… and is our only chance of improving this world and protecting each of us.
The time has come for me to spend my annual month or longer stay in Chicago! I am back living with my roommate who is the same friend I lived with in Chicago and Miami last year. So far we are on day 3 and enjoying it very much! Ashley and I always end up cooking a ton when we live together, so do expect some new great recipes to be added soon!!! We started our stay off right with tonight cooking Vegan maccaroni and cheese with a kale salad. Instead of cheese, we used sweet potato puree and a few other ingredients and I promise it was just as tasty as the original, full dairy version!
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen my post about my flight to Chicago this past Thursday. My flight was struck by lightning! Although this is apparently an event which happens to at least one plane in each airline each year, it was definitely new for me and absolutely terrifying! I somehow did stay very calm nonetheless. We just heard a huge bang as the sky lit up shortly after taking off from the Louisville airport. We had to do an emergency landing right back at the airport as quickly as possible for precautionary measures in case the strike went all the way through the airplane’s build and could cause further loss of pressure or worse. And let me tell you, those were the longest 20 minutes or so as we waited to land since I was afraid that any minute a tiny crack could become much more and cause the alarms to go off and the flight to possibly become even more frightening.
I felt much better once I could see the ground and the familiar Louisville airport, but as soon as it was in sight the plane went right back up! For some reason the pilot had to circle around a couple of times to avoid bad weather or to aim for the correct runway or something. I had never wanted to be on the ground so bad! Upon landing I was explaining to a fellow flyer in the airport why we were exiting the plane and rescheduling all of our flights. He joked that I should buy a Lotery ticket since the chances of being struck by lightning are so low. Another man on the flight said it was actually the second time it had happened to him! He said the time before the lightning hit the engine and therefore disabled the plane causing a quick drop. Thank God the pilot was able to initiate the backup engine on his flight and therefore the plane didn’t crash. Considering my flight was struck by lightning, it was incredibly uneventful. We were so blessed. It is crazy that on my flight the lightning hit the door to not cause a crazy amount of turbulence. I don’t doubt it was God’s protection. To add more irony to it, before we ever took off from Louisville, the lady sitting behind me actually asked to be let off the plane. The flight attendant had to bring back the jet bridge and re-open the door. I’m not sure if this was the flyer’s first flight or why she was scared… but that’s just creepy that she left the flight that actually got struck! After this flight I was hesitant to reboard another flight to get to work in Chicago for the day, but I did. I was definitely shook up upon the realization that yes, it can “happen to you.”
In addition to this drama, and on a much lighter note, my photos have arrived from my shoot with Beth Studenberg in Miami. These shots were taken in Beth’s studio and also downtown Miami in the art district. Visiting the Miami area sparked many memories of when I lived there from last year. It was also a great time to escape the cold of winter and experience some sunlight! If you notice, I typically visit Miami when it is cold in Chicago and Kentucky…which is not by chance! I absolutely love these photos because they are a combination of simple and fun. My agency, FORD Models, sent me on this shoot to update my portfolio. It is important for models to do this at least once a year so that their portfolios stay updated to what they look like and so their portfolios don’t get boring. Hope you enjoy!
Wait…. what? It’s 2013?!?! Let’s celebrate turning a new leaf of a beginning of a new year and just the gift of seeing another year come with family and friends. There is just something purifying about a new start isn’t there? I celebrated with my friends and boyfriend near home. We kept it low key, but it did give me an excuse to make healthy treats! I chose my fruit & cilantro salsa and a fluffy pudding and berry dessert. Soon after the celebration was over, my vacation was over and it was back to traveling for me! I was thrilled to begin the year heading to Orlando for the AMTC-SHINE Convention for which I was invited to be a guest speaker. This is the convention I competed in back in 2010 to be scouted by FORD Models. Since then, my life has been forever changed.
AMTC stands for Actors Models and Talent for Christ. The non-profit convention consists of several seminars to teach young and aspiring actors and models about ways to keep their faith while pursuing their dreams in the entertainment industry. My job was to speak as someone who competed and is now working in the industry. I spoke in two different seminars where the students were allowed to ask various questions. I HIGHLY recommend this convention for anyone interested in modeling, acting, singling, dancing, or any type of job in the entertainment industry. Other people who are AMTC alums include the country singer Chris Young, Ben Davies of Courageous, Army Wives’ Noree Victoria, Megan Fox, and many more! Visit www.AMTCWORLD.com to find out more.
Some of the questions I was asked included:
“What are you daily rituals to stay close to God? “ – I answered by describing my daily devotional – Jesus Calling (highly recommended!!!) which is tattered and torn from carrying it with me as I travel each week. However, I purposely bring it with me when I travel not to make myself look good, but in hopes of starting a conversation with a stranger in order to introduce them to Jesus. It has happened several times and gives me an easy opening on a subject that isn’t always easy to bring up. Another question was…
“Have you ever witnessed to other people you know became Christians?” – my response to this question was my story about a girl who was from another country who didn’t know about Jesus or Christianity very well at all. I met her while I was shooting for Kohls one day. She described how she didn’t like the rules it requires us to follow. I get very nervous when needing to witness to someone simply because I know my words could have a major impact on them. It is a lot of responsibility representing the Christian heart around people who have been turned off from God. I tried my hardest to explain that Christianity isn’t about just about “the rules,” but it’s about the relationship with Jesus and accepting his ultimate sacrifice. This reminds me of the song titled “The motions” which refers to Christians who get so caught up in the act of do this don’t do that that they forget the most important factor – do they know Jesus? For Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:21-23.
So yes! It is important do do his will, but he must also KNOW US as your best friend knows you. It’s important to have the relationship with him as you do anyone you care for and put effort into maintaining a relationship with in your life.
Although I haven’t seen that girl I witnessed to since, I just hope I made a difference. I am working on not getting nervous as I witness to others because God says to let him talk through you. He also says to let your actions speak the loud.
Another question someone asked me in the seminar was: “How do you stay pure in this industry when people push you so far?” – I described the importance of letting your agents know how far you will go and what you won’t do when it comes to shoots, acting, and anything else. I also spoke about having that one person you trust to guide you in the right path when sticky situations arise– because they will. I described my story of doing just this when I called my mother agent Nise Davies from Tennessee. After speaking with her I have had a clear understanding since about what I consider okay and what I don’t when it comes to work. (Any aspiring models/actors wanting further advise on where to draw the lines in such gray industry – find me on modeledbymaria FB page and message me! I’d be happy to help and supply further details of my story!) Overall, I have been truly blessed with FORD who totally understands me, and puts me as a person opposed to a source of income, first. I will never forget when I was competing at AMTC and the FORD scout – Shannon – said herself in a seminar “don’t let this industry become WHO you are, it is just what you DO.” I strive to never forget that, and I honestly think that is the reason why I have any success that I do have today.
I was supposed to be teaching aspiring actors and models about God and this industry, and I sure hope I did. However, I left the sunshine state being so inspired myself from all of them. My eyes were opened to how blessed I am to be working in this industry and having the job that I do have. I also was reminded of the importance of shining God’s light on other people in the industry, and to not take that lightly. “For who knows that you have not come to a royal position for such a time as this?”-Esther 4:14.
The new year continued on wonderfully from AMTC with several flight changes in order to go directly from Orlando to Dallas to shoot for JCP (JcPenny). I shoot swimsuits for their website. Although it may seem like the dead of winter to you, swim season is in full force here in the modeling world to prepare Spring ads. I love shooting there because the studio has the southern hospitality just like home back in KY, yet it still has the big city feel. I had to take a picture when I saw water served in Mason glass jars . From Dallas I went back north, bypassing home, to Chicago to shoot for one of my favorite and most family-like clients of all time – Sears. It is never a boring day in that studio due to how much the stylists, photographers, and hair/makeup artists make me feel at home. Finally, I flew back to KY after several days on the road in order to have a few more days at home before hitting the road again. Although many people would complain about days on the road, I simply love traveling and truly enjoyed starting the year off this busy. My hope is that it continues strong and that this is the best year yet!!
Lastly – just so you can hold me accountable… my new year resolutions:
1. Blog MORE!!!!! (I haven’t decreased my traveling or photo-shoots… just let holidays and finals get the best of me and my time!)
2. Live slower – allowing more time before having to leave the house to not rush so much. I’m also only taking 2 classed for my online grad school this semester in order to keep my sanity with traveling. This increased tie included increased time before passing out in bed in order to get my personal-God & me & maintaining the relationship time in.
3. Be on time more – okay…see? I admitted it…. it isn’t always traffic’s fault
4. Attempt doing more yoga and eating more organically – going along wit my overall goal of slower/more relaxed living
5. Don’t let traveling be an excuse to not be more actively involved at church opposed to just attending Sunday services.
6. Never take a day for granted and remember life is all about relationships with those around me – it’s important to nourish them adequately!
For help meeting ay health related new years goals you have click on the sub-categories of entrees, desserts, and snacks to find indulgent recipes made healthy etc at http://www.modeledbymaria.com/health-and-fitness-2/
With a request from my mother agency – Advantage Model and Talent in Nashville, I was able to be submitted for an acting role in an upcoming music video. I was overjoyed with the fact that I was actually going to be available to be submitted for a music video! It seems like any request I’ve gotten for them from my agency, I’ve been previous booked or occupied in some other way and unable to audition.Even more… it was a video for the one and only, 3 time Grammy winner – TIM MCGRAW!!! He has always been one of the most classy and talented of all country artists in my opinion for years. I’ve been a huge fan – especially of songs “She’s my kind of rain,” “Where the green grass grows,” “Something Like That” and much more. I first had to submit numerous videos of myself from photo shoots, videos of me speaking, unprofessional videos of me such as one taken on a cell phone, and photos of me in everyday attire. So, with help of Gary Moyers, I quickly pulled out some old videos of me interviewing some of the UK athletes that we create for vaughtsviews.com. Nobody was at home to record me in the the home-made videos, and they needed it quick. I opted to go to my mom during her break from work since she kindly offered to record me, despite how awkward that was to do during her break at her work!
I didn’t know exactly what they were looking for – whether it be a girl for a sad role, a girlfriend role, or an energetic role. So I decided to personalize the video as much as possible, play Tim McGraw music in the background, and just walk, smile, and of course add a few moments of my goofy personality. It seems like the auditions that I think about the least, or the auditions I mess up in, are the ones I get selected for (for the Josh Groban music video-I completely messed it up and left the audition thinking I totally wasted a trip to Nashville!)
Almost immediately my agent called and said as soon as I submitted the home-made videos, that they chose me for the job! I was ecstatic! Music videos are my most favorite type of jobs to do. I absolutely love acting, and what better ways to get to do it than for one of my all-time favorite musicians. The video was for Tim McGraw – who’s “Where the Green Grass Grows” song has been my ringtone for some time now. Needless to say, I was almost speechless that I was going to get to be a small part of a product of his work.
The video was shot across 2 days in Tennessee. I left around 5 am in the morning to make it there in time to have hair and makeup and be ready to shoot. I was cast as the “lead-girl” and honestly had no idea what exactly I would be doing until I was ready and placed on set. I tried my hardest to follow the producer’s instructions. I was having the time of my life because throughout my previous jobs, I haven’t ever been assigned a country-rock character. The first scene was what appeared to be like a field party with a lot of people standing around their trucks. Tim was placed on a tailgate along with Garrett Hedlund (who co-starred with Mr. McGraw in movies such as The Blind Side and country strong). I was instructed to drive up Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s personal truck to the party. When I stepped out, it was the cue for the approximately 100 extras to part down the middle. As they did, all eyes turned my way as I walked toward Tim on the truck. It took me a few takes to really get into this role because it was the very first one of the entire shoot. I hadn’t met any extras yet, Tim, or Garrett. After a few takes, I was warmed up and feeling better about my role. At one point between takes, I simply walked over to Tim and Garret to introduce myself and have small talk. I figured that was the best way to break the ice!
We did this scene several times and eventually moved on to other scenes. I was shot sitting on the front of the truck, walking beside the truck, leaning on the truck, and of course driving the truck! And yes!! That is really me driving the truck in the video. Most of the smiles were also very genuine because I loved it! After the director asked me to be more aggressive, I dropped all of my guards and drove it like I stole it ! I laughed as we hit bit bumps as I bounced the videographer who sat in the seat beside me around. I was trying to control this major truck (thank goodness it was automatic transition), while avoiding the other truck which literally had another videographer strapped to the front to record the external views of me driving. Wow… definitely the most dangerous, but most fun shoot I’ve ever had! I felt like I really got in the role after Time told me that “I handle that thing well!”
We wrapped the shoot with some amazingly artistic and mysterious film of me walking through smoke in the barn. Although we shot backup, GORGEOUS girls sitting on their trucks, choreographed backup dancers, and scene of me walking through the party, it wasn’t included in the final cut. However, the way the video ended up being edited made it appropriately match the song since it is all about trucks and just simply loving the country life. Those girls nonetheless were the sweetest people and really became good friends of mine over the 2 days of shooting. They couldn’t have done a better job and I’m sure the company leaving them out wasn’t personal, just a change of storyline for the video. Thank you all for you endless support and excitement through this blessing. I can’t help but to smile when I hear each of your comments!
Please watch for Truck Yeah on CMT and vote for it to keep climbing up the ladders! I believe the video and song can also be purchased on Itunes. For more on what Tim McGraw is up to, check out timmcgraw.com, follow him on Twitter as TheTimMcGraw, or catch more videos on his YouTube channel under “Official Tim McGraw YouTube Channel.”
Below are links from Tim McGraw’s website that show the video and behind the scenes:
Truck Yeah Music Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf7GfUORHtw&feature=bf_prev&list=FL2mK990tp7umnN6Y-DEGpDg
Behind the scenes of the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tyYSziKtPg&feature=bf_prev&list=FL2mK990tp7umnN6Y-DEGpDg
Upon my dad telling me one of his coworkers asked him if a photo was of me in Elle Magazine, I darted to Walmart to pick up my own copy. The ad that he mentioned – Cordova jewelery – was in fact a campaign I had shot for. I just didn’t know where it was going to be printed. I was sooo excited to hear it was in a major magazine such as this. I flipped through the pages, and sure enough… it was me!! This is a job I drove to Nashville to audition for, got very lost and frustrated, and then realized the place I couldn’t find was a studio I had been to before when I shot a Covergirl / Taylor Swift short film for Comcast… so I was even more frustrated that I was lost going some place I should have known. Regardless, I suppose the audition went well since I was accepted for the job! It was a fun one to shoot. The guy in the photo was from LA and is actually the stand-in for Ashton Kutcher in “Two and a Half Men”. So, his stories kept us all entertained! Thank you Advantage Model and Talent – my mother agency in Nashville who also got me the lead role in 2 music videos and was who placed me with FORD Models – for this outstanding job. You all have been a wonderful outlet for me and a major inspiration to teach me how to keep morals and values while working in this industry!
Besides finding this campaign, I’m still in Chicago spending my month here and enjoying it while living with Ashley Durham – my good friend/Miss USA sister/ and previous southern roommate from Miami. We are staying pretty busy with work, so this trip isn’t allowing as much casual social concepts as our Miami trip. Nonetheless, the local malls and outlets are keeping us busy for sure!
I only have about another week here in Chicago and then I plan to come home for about a week – although I anticipate having to go out of town at least some of those days to work in Chicago or Milwaukee as I typically do once a week. Plus, the only time I have to be on campus for my online graduate degree is coming up along with the start of my summer course. So… it seems like I don’t have much of a summer as far as free time. But, that’s okay… I’m learning I don’t do very well with free time anyway. It seems like when I have a rest that I only use it to feel guilty that I should be doing something else productive! Please stay tuned and follow me on twitter at MariaKY09 to see my next few productivity projects
AND DON’T FORGET!!!! Miss USA 2012 is TONIGHT!!!! Be sure to cheer on our own Amanda Mertz, Miss Kentucky USA 2012!! She is a girl with an amazing combination of spunk and sweetness who could honestly bring home the crown to KY! She did OUTSTANDING in preliminaries, and via our text messages, I’m finding out her interview went great as well. She is a hard worker and could do great things during a year as Miss USA.
I have to admit watching the girls and simply hearing how Amanda is feeling is bringing back an overwhelming amount of memories that I felt when I was announced in the top 5 of Miss USA in 2009. It is hard to believe that just the year before I competed for the KY title, as I watched the Miss USA telecast, how I held each state representative as inhuman super-stars because of how much I looked up to them! Now, I use watching the pageant annually as a time to sympathize what they are feeling as they are all just simple girls as I was too – in extraordinary positions. What happens tonight can not only positively change their lives forever, but can change the impacts they have on other people’s lives as well!
Please tune in tonight at 8 central time on NBC to watch the most exciting pageant of the year and to see who’s life will be changed forever overnight – by getting that Diamond Nexus crown placed on her head!
Am I in Spain??? Madrid??? What do you think??? Maybe I’m in Nashville with a great photographer and technical skills to make us look like we are anywhere in the world??? (Hint: The last guess is your best guess!) This advertisement was emailed to me by my booker Misty from Advantage Model and Talent in Nashville. This is a advertisement for Cordova – a wonderful jewelry company. The shoot took place in Nashville with a crew that was just as talented as they were hospitable. The makeup artist and studio location was familiar from shooting the Taylor Swift Comcast TV Segment for Covergirl advertising. This should have paid off while driving to the casting – but due to my lack of directional abilities…. I still managed to get lost! However, once I was confirmed for the job, I got to hear stories from the other model in the photo about his new lifestyle in LA was also interesting – he is Ashton Kutcher’s stand in for the show Two and a Half Men – so you could imagine the humorous stories! These stories, great food, and the kind crew made the day very fun! Plus…The jewelry was stunning!! No technical skills needed in that department! They sparkled and shinned naturally! If only I got to keep them as my payment!!!
I thankfully now have time to post a bit more since I have my first year of grad school behind me. It was truly the hardest semester EVER!!!! I honestly don’t know how I will make it through the fall semester with the same amount of credit hours, externships, and traveling for work…whew! Traveling and online grad school classes was enough to handle! It will take a miracle! But, this semester ended with a miracle… All A’s!!! That rounds off my current 4.0 so far for my first year of grad school… I expect you guys to keep me accountable to maintain these grades as my schedule only gets more busy in the next little bit!
Now that finals are behind me, another new chapter of my life is starting! Many of you may remember reading of my adventures in Miami with one of my best friends – Ashley Durham – as we both work for FORD Models. We decided to make our next short stay be in Chicago! I spent a month here last year and this is overall where I am based out of, so this stay is more familiar for me as I know what more to expect. But this time is a little different, and more fun, having Ashley here. It is crazy looking back to where I was this time last year with my stay – just trying to build clients after having graduated with my undergraduate degree in Early May. I was so excited to finally have the time to model after putting it on the back burner for a year of school (FORD signed me on Aug. 2010 right at the beginning of my last year of college. I am so grateful they were patient with me only being able to take a few jobs here and there during that year so that I can be where I am today!!). It is hard to imagine it has almost been 2 years that I’ve signed with FORD Models. Time really flies!
These short stays near where the agencies have offices are often requested in order to gain new clients, go on castings, and simply stay current with your portfolio and etc. Thankfully we have my cousin’s home open and welcome for us to stay in during our stay – You’re the best Peggy!!!! Having this home is really very comforting and keeps us feeling like we’re at home. The area is perfect - the right mixture of farm land with various outlet mall distributed throughout Best of both worlds! The consistent homemade wheat bread is obviously an even better bonus!
Our schedules have so far seemed packed to the max, but we’ve only been here 2 full days! It has consisted of driving the 7 hour trip from KY on Monday and then going in the office to introduce Ashley to everyone on Tuesday (this was the first time she met them as she was with the Miami office prior to signing with the Chicago office). I have to admit I really like showing Ashley around Chicago. She was the one familiar with the agency the Miami area before I got there. So this time our positions have switched!
I can already tell it isn’t going to be a boring trip. Today is a perfect example – I stopped in the office today to do ‘Polaroids’ which arephotos taken by the agents without special lighting or backdrops to have in my file to show clients what you look like on a typical bases. During the shoot (which was surprisingly in the stairway – which actually turned out to have great lighting – great job calling that location Steph ) another one of the bookers (David – one great guy who always keeps me laughing as we work together to manage bookings) poked his head around the corner to ask if I could work for Carsons Pirie Scott today. So of course I said yes! To my benefit, a girl from NYC missed her flight to the studio so they needed someone to fill in last minute. It wasn’t that big of a deal as they are a consistent client of mine which you may recognize from my posts with their commercials and print ads that I do. Therefore, it wasn’t like learning what a new client is like and etc. Before you knew it, Ashley and I were headed North to Milwaukee for a minor road trip to shoot for the day. It was a quick day with only three outfit changes as they were simply testing new backdrop and lighting ideas they may use for back to school ads. I was grateful and more than willing to take the opportunity.
I’ll keep you updated as I continue my stay in Chicago by various blogs on here – but the most up to the minute posts are on Twitter under MariaKY09 or on the FB Fan Page- ModeledByMaria. I would expect new recipes on here as well since whenever Ashley and I get together, a lot of cooking and good eating goes on!! I thought I’d share how my updated comp cards that FORD selected and ordered for me upon my arrival. These have been updated which was needed since my old ones still had photos from my very first shoot with Ford back in Fall 2010! These are like model’s business cards to pass out to clients on castings. On the front side you have one large photo, and the back are a few small photos and you stats to make sure the client knows your measurements in order to have the right clothing sizes selected. I’m grateful for attending the shoot very last minute in Miami which is where the front photo came from. You may remember my early EARLY tweets about this shoot – I didn’t mind one bit to be at the beach that early… I wouldn’t trad watching that sunrise over South Beach for anything!
Although my original plan was to only stay in Miami for the month of January and maybe some of February, events kept coming up to keep me there longer. I was grateful to get to experience my first Mercedes Benz International Fashion Week towards the end of March. ‘Mecedes Benz Fashion Weeks’ happen across the country in various cities. The one you’ve probably heard most about is the Fashion Week in NYC. In Miami was the same concept, but ‘Miamized.’ There were days and days of castings, rehearsals, and then of course the shows. Some of the shows had around 200 models from all around the world auditioning! At times I honestly felt Americans were the minority, so it was extra fun to bring some southern hospitality to the mix as I learned about other cultures and tried my best to represent the South appropriately. There was one show my best friend Ashley (and roommate) both auditioned for. When they called out both of our numbers for the cut, I was overwhelmed with excitement! What a blessing to get to walk in my first series of shows for a MBIFW with my best friend! I had participated in numerous runway shows prior, but none quite the same as this. I hope you enjoy the photos below!
Other than that, I am finally back home in Kentucky!!! I am grateful to have had the opportunity that I had to spend some time in Miami, and not only under sunshine, but along with one of my best friends! Many memories were made and I learned a lot! I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. I’m happy with the success I had there with the agency and working. Although I still had to travel out of town almost once a week for my regular clients in Milwaukee and Chicago, I was able to build my portfolio for FORD-Miami with numerous test shoots. Some of the photos that are now included in my portfolio are in the various galleries and slideshows here at www.modeledbymaria.com. Scroll through the older posts and they will be there! I also am happy with a few new clients there who I hope to be sent down to work for here and there. As of now, I’m going to continue doing ‘direct bookings’ from my home in KY as I did before going to Miami.
I have already had 2 since coming home Tuesday of last week. The first one was a weekend job shooting a commercial for the University of Alabama. This job came through my ‘Mother Agency’ called Advantage Model and Talent out of Nashville. I was ecstatic to see one of my old friends on the list of actors. She is Chanley Painter, who was Miss Arkansas USA the year I competed. Not only did we get close during the 2 1/2 weeks of competing for the title of Miss USA, but we got even closer when we were chosen as counselors for the Miss Teen Fantasy Camp that went along with Miss Teen USA in the Bahamas during our years of our titles. It was great to catch up with her. It was also fun to have my mom along for the ride. She was a trooper and helped me make the 7 hour trip so I could do some homework as she drove. Chanley’s mom came too and we all watched the UK game vs. Louisville after shooting. I love my entire state…. but I can’t hide that I’m a true UK fan, which therefore means no Louisville. I was very nervous when finding out we were playing each other during the Final 4 just because I knew how tense of a game it could be and I hoped that the motivation UofL had from losing our previous game could work in their favor. Regardless, I’m happy to say we came out on top!!!!!! And no worries, although I was forced to wear a type of red on the Louisville game day (crimson to be exact… ) I feel confident that I let everyone at the shoot know I was a true UK fan!
Besides that I got back home yesterday from Milwaukee where I shot a commercial for Bon-Ton/Carsons-Scott. The previous commercials I’ve shot for them can be found on a few posts back.
Other than that….. WHAT ABOUT THEM CATS!!! NATIONAL CHAMPS!!!!! Congrats to the boys of the UK team, Coach Cal, and everyone else involved behind the scenes. Since interviews at UK media day earlier this year, I could tell you were a special group of boys. We are very blessed to not only live in one of the best places in the country, but in a place that knows how to bring home the championships!! Congrats also to UK Baseball who is also ranked #1 ! UK All the way! Big Blue Nation!!