Archive | July, 2012

My Big Break

8 Jul

My parents were big into going downtown on a whim.  Like when King Tut came to Chicago and my mom saw on the 10pm news that people were camped out in line, she rallied the family to go get in line too.  Folding chairs and blankets, we were “sleeping” on the Field Museum steps by 11:30pm.  The night they told me to get dressed in a hurry because we were going downtown was much the same impulse that drove them to adventure.  We were going to a model search-for me.

John Casablanca, founder of Elite Model Management, was in from New York and scouting for new talent.  In collaboration with the Oprah show, they hosted a model search at the popular night club The Limelight.  I know I was more excited to get inside a night club as a teenager than I was at the remote, impossible, improbable, and unlikely outcome of being chosen to model for Elite.  Parking took forever because the streets around the club were blocked off.  The mass of people formed  a line four abreast and wrapped around the entire building. My dad, who loved to estimate crowds, counted thousands.   I was a kid….with her parents…… surrounded by older girls with an air pheromones that attracted the right kind of attention. I had a pimple.

A few hours later, still in a long braided line of beauties, I could see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.  Inside a secluded room was a long table with people seated in a straight line behind it flooded in bright, white lights.  Each agent reaching out to shake the wanna be’s hand, seeming interested and cordial.   What was I doing here?  I shook hands, introduced myself, and at the end of the table, I met John Casablanca.  He was gorgeous, I had a pimple, and it was over.

Days later, my mom took a call.  “Hi, this is so and so, producer for the Oprah show.  Your daughter was one of 60 chosen from the model search.  She will be on the Oprah show…….”

I miss my mom’s spontaneity, spirit for adventure, and boundless energy.  In life, it’s not about getting a chance, it’s about taking a chance.  Thanks mom and dad.