I’m sure we would all agree that certain jobs and occupations seem to carry an aura of glamour and, I guess, the way my life and the lives of my children are unfolding, that a lot of people would perceive that we are kind of a part of those lifestyles.
This got me thinking after watching Kacie, a fashion designer, agonising over the cutting of a skirt pattern this morning. Knee deep in tissue paper and patterns, scoring wheels, pencils and miscellaneous sewing accessories, I think the last thing I would call her endeavours is glamorous! Stress levels through the roof and desperately trying to get her head round where the alterations needed to be made to achieve the look she wanted. I felt for her.
Jamie, Lorie, Mirie and Nikita (and very likely Pippa) have all followed my ancestors and Paul’s footsteps and are pursuing careers in the Performing Arts, another often perceived ‘glamorous’ occupation. If anyone had seen Nikita this morning though, about to give her first major performance in Aladdin (she’s the Genie!) to a school, and witnessed her throwing up with nerves might form a different opinion!
Nikita on the set of Aladdin. Good luck and Happy Birthday darling!!
I’ve watched all of of them over the years agonising over learning lines, wearing costumes and shoes that physically hurt, coming home after performances and collapsing with exhaustion from the stress and exertion. Filming is even less glamorous, as I know only too well. Hours of make up and hair and then re-take after re-take because the most minuscule thing has gone wrong or someone has made a glaring mistake in the continuity or lighting.
And modelling! I was a model for years in the days before Photoshop, where all ills can be removed at the click of a button. Back then, what you saw was what you got! Woe betide you if you arrived with a spot on your chin, the hours of retouching with actual paint was enough to send the photographer into an instant hissy fit of monumental proportions!
Oh yes, and the horror stories of running through Hyde Park for Adidas wearing only a vest top and shorts with 3 inches of snow on the ground and the shoot I did for a Swiss watch company in August in an enormous studio made of metal. The temperature outside was 25c but inside it was way over 35c, add to that the close proximity (I’m talking inches!) of numerous lights and the fact I was wearing a fur coat, and after 6 hours (when the £130,000 watch broke!) I don’t mind admitting I was more than ready to quit. 4 more hours for Securicor to bring another watch from the Bond Street store out to Reading, and then another 6 hours to actually get the perfect shot……..You get my drift….
There is nothing glamorous about modelling at all, shooting in the opposite season to one you’re in means freezing in summer dresses and fainting from heat fatigue in fur coats and boots! I could go on for hours with the stories but I won’t bore you.
My point is that all is not what it appears to be sometimes. The grass isn’t always greener and what appears to be an enviable career choice may not be what you think it is. Add in to this all of the people who are more than happy to take your money with empty promises of making you a model, film star, famous designer etc…..and it’s also a minefield. Without someone in the know to guide you, the opportunities to make terrible mistakes are boundless.
Having said all of that, if you have a dream you feel compelled to pursue then do it with all of your heart and soul and never, ever, give up.