Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Outsider on the Inside - Introducing Courtney

Hi there,

My name is Courtney, and Sarah asked me to guest blog about Dayton Fashion Week from an “inside”/backstage perspective. I’m one of the models for DFW, and I will give you my view of all the goings on.

First of all, it still feels a little weird to call myself a ‘model.’ Prior to DFW I had not really done much modeling (unless you count taking pictures of myself posing, and practicing in front of the mirror). I went to the casting on a whim, and through a series of events, here I am!

Back in April, one of my best friends, Shannon, told me about a casting call she read about for local models. It was two days prior to the event, and I would have to walk in heels (something I was not very skilled at, I will admit). I figured “why not!” and set out practicing in the heels. Day of the casting, it was very rainy and cold. Due to the weather, there were some changes in venue for the casting, and I ended up being late. I was one of the last few people there, and by the time it was my turn to walk, I think my nerves really got the better of me. I knew my ‘walk’ wasn’t that great, but I figured I gave it a try. Plus, I was shocked that there were so many real models there. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I certainly didn’t expect people who had professional experience and portfolios and stuff! Surrounded by models, I felt pretty out of my element…until someone said to me “you look familiar…did we do a show together?” then another person said “yeah, did I do a show with you, too?” I was pretty floored, my best response was something along the lines of “ummm…no.” I couldn’t believe anyone thought I was an actual model!

Courtney at April Model Casting
A few days went by, and I kept checking up on the DFW news on Facebook (I had friended/liked a few people on there to keep up with things). Well, I didn’t get picked to be a model. I will admit I was a little bummed, but not really surprised. I decided that I tried it out and that didn’t mean I couldn’t go from there. I kept checking in on the DFW updates, and even contacted a photographer about prices for a headshot/portfolio shoot. It was during this time, things really started to fall into place for me. First, the photographer I had contacted me asked if I wanted to be in a photo he wanted to create (I jumped at the opportunity), and then I made a decision that would change the course of my fashion history.

About a month or so after the casting, I started thinking about the show, and decided to write Caressa Brown (Director of Operations for DFW) on Facebook, asking for pointers and tips for me to improve. Since I didn’t hear back from her right away, I thought ‘oh well, you tried’ and went about my life. A little while later, I did hear back from her. She said that they discussed me for a long time and went back and forth. The deciding factor had been my walk (curse you heels!), but they did want me to participate in DFW!!! I just needed to practice in the heels. I was so excited! I did not expect that response at all. So, I put on those heels and didn’t look back!

The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of excitement. I have gotten so much great experience and exposure, plus I have met so many great people. DFW is going on RIGHT NOW, and I can’t wait for all of the events. I’ll keep you all updated on all the experiences of my insider/outsider perspective!

Styrch’s Note:  I got my first glimpse of Courtney at the Model Casting when I was asked to be a judge. I remembered her, her face. I remember my notes about her and her walk. I remember her “friending” me on Facebook and she has been a presence on my pages (both personal and blog) ever since.  I’ve seen her involvement with DFW over the months since the casting and when I got a chance to sit down with her at the Fashion for a Cause show last night I realized her perspective reminded me a lot of my own. The two of us are both women who are new to this whole arena and are both excited about Dayton Fashion Week. I admire her persistence and passion, and I wanted to give this little blog a model’s touch. I thought her perspective would be a wonderful compliment to everything I write. I sincerely hope you will agree.

Images are from Bob Coyle Photography and Lamar Pacley of Shutter Eye Photography