#1399 Reflections of a former male model

Photo: Scallywag and Vagabond

To quote Derek Zoolander, “A male model’s life is a precious, precious commodity.” Comic, but apt. A couple of days after I wrote about the tragic death of French male model Tom Nicon, I received an email from a guy who blogs under the handle Scallywag & Vagabond. He sent me the link to a story he’d written about his experiences as a model in Milan and Paris. The decade isn’t mentioned, but if I was to hazard a guess I’d say it was the mid-90s (he mentions ‘Linda and Naomi’). Not much seems to have changed. Like just about everybody else I’ve ever talked to, he recalled that time of his life cynically, and with few fond memories. It’s a good read with plenty of killer lines, my only criticism being that it’s far too short – I wanted more anecdotes.

Quotes below.

“It’s fast approaching eight p.m and that only means one thing – free pizza at Deco. This is what you get when you’re an expatriate of the supposed photogenic kind. I look into the mirror pump on the gel and strut out onto the street to get my first meal of the day… We sit there, line up for our drink tickets, margarita pizza, watch some imbecilic movie before the club opens to the general public and a bunch of Guido’s start swarming the place.”

“We now make it to the next place- Hollywood, some glitz of a place with miles and miles of people begging to get in. We just walk in, because we are suppose to be the glam, even if I am just some skinny rut living in a broken down pensione with tin foil for furniture.”

“By now I am back in Paris, still skinny, okay a few gigs, shows under my belt but who really cares and trying to figure out where I am going to stay. I am hauling my suitcase from one hotel to the other. It’s a drag, the agency really cant do much for me and probably wont until I book a few of the collections. I know it’s nothing personal, just work. I finally find something with Scott a Canadian male model.

Scott is the biggest drinker my naïve ass has ever seen in my life. What do I know about dysfunctional people? I come from a beach city, twenty hours by plane away where my childhood was idyllic and sunburn carefree. “Go to Milan,” they said, go, “you’ll kill it. What have you to lose, you’ll make it!”

So there I am a year and a half later, still surprised I am alive and making it day to day. Scott on the other hand wants to give it all away. He can’t stand it. He doesn’t know what to do, and whether if he’ll ever work again. The truth is Scott will end up becoming a major male top model, three years later, but not before first becoming a seasoned alcoholic.”

“We finally make it through our heavy casting load, have dinner (half a baguette with ham- breakfast on the other hand is the first half of the same baguette with strawberry jam and milk and if you want lunch that’s just wishful thinking), and finally make it on our way to Bandush, a glamorous night club where the likes of Linda and Naomi hang every night. We never say anything to them, just stand there looking for some promoter to give us free drink tickets.”

“Fortunately for me my bookers in Paris have just told me that they found me an agency in London that would like to work with me. I kind of understand they want to get rid of me so I don’t begrudge them. I say good bye to Scott, get on the ferry at Calais, vomit my heart out on the way over to Dover before immediately booking my first editorial in a while the next morning.”

Full story here.


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  1. infamousdesigners.com says

    The second half was an extension of the first, but commenting on the ridiculous glamorama of his life..

    The protagonist has no real control of his life – by ascribing to every marketed lifestyle fad he kills a part of himself and his own reality, and by prescribing it he is killing others..

    A great satire on life as a capitalist. I keep seeing it contrasted in your posts.. love it!

    “the better you look, the more you see” Isaac.

  2. says

    ohhh, tough life. well, nothing in this world is easy so its only natural. being paid for one’s looks can only go so far. but im glad you shared this!

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