Memories of JRP

When I was a child on the verge of becoming a teenager, I envisioned having a life altering experience that would be set to RuPaul's Supermodel.

Yes, I was to become a model. A SUPER model.

My dreams were finally coming to fruition when my cousin invited me to her runway show at her modeling school, the prestigious John Robert Powers. (snicker)

As she strutted down the runway in the latest early 90's fashions of triple tube socks and shoulder pads, I pictured myself turning to the left, turning to the right. Now work.  Sashay. Shante.

As luck would have it, a drawing was held and my name was chosen to win a FREE PROFESSIONAL photo shoot with JRP. I knew it: I was being catapulted into stardom.

After the runway show was completed and the Who's Who of the fashion world were sipping on Hawaiian Punch discussing portfolios, I was lead into the manager’s office to discuss my future at JRP. As we sat there listening to her drone on and on about lessons and practice and "total costs", I was envisioning my FIRST outfit for the shoot that would make me a star. While daydreaming I was abruptly interrupted and asked, "So, where do you see your career at JRP?"

"Well," I began, crossing my legs, "I was thinking I would like to start off doing some catalogue work and then I would like to go straight into runway."

Manager woman gave my Mother a pleading look. A look that said, "seriously?"

She couldn't contain herself and abruptly blurted out, "sweetie, you're just too short."

<blink blink>

My heart died.

Too short? Even though I wasn't considered "statuesque" at four foot two I had the personality of someone six foot (such a lame metaphor). 

I had personality! I had drive! I HAD A MOTHER WITH A CHECKBOOK!

Pay, woman. PAY!!!

I don't remember much of the conversation after that, I was too consumed with my dreams being crushed. I'd never share a smoke with Kate Moss. I'd never talk Milan with Christy Turlington and I'd most certainly never be able to tell people I became SOMEBODY at John Robert Powers.

The photo shoot took place a few weeks later, after my heart mended. We were at the train tracks downtown and I was told to wear black and white.  I froze in front of the camera. I didn't know what to do, where to put my arms. I tried thinking, What would Christy do? So I started stepping back and forth in a lame dance of sorts.

After four of the most painfully awkward minutes of my life it was over. I got the proof sheet two weeks later and was told to pick my favorite photo. To be honest, they were ALL crap. I didn't have the heart to circle one and have it blown up to a 16 x 20 that would go over the mantle.

I still have the proofs. And when I need a good heart crushing memory, I cry and think back to when my dreams were shattered at JRP.

But wait a second, plot twist, I do model now.  Eat it JRP.