Friday, April 3, 2020

Cape Town: The Low Down

 I’ve recently returned back to London from my second model season out in sunny Cape Town, South Africa and I’m here to give you the low down on what the model scene there is really like! So grab a cuppa, put your feet up and listen (well read) closely!    

Now firstly, I have to admit it wasn’t the work scene that drew me to Cape Town initially. It was the hot climate escape during our winter, sandy beaches and the endless hiking trails- I just love to travel! When I found out they had a commercial model industry there... well I was sold! I applied for a 3 month working Visa (cost about £80) and booked my own plane ticket (I know that some agencies pay model flight tickets but not all, and if so, will claim it back from your first job.) Regardless, 3 weeks later- myself and 2 other model friends had arrived in paradise. Side note- It is important to know that you can’t get a Visa without signing to a Cape Town model agency first. You can apply like any normal application and the lovely Sandra Reynolds team stepped in to be my mother agency to oversee the experience. I felt totally looked after at all times!  

Touchdown- Cape Town. So we arrived and checked in to our apartment just outside of Gardens. I’ve been in a fortunate situation that both times I’ve travelled, I’ve been with friends however around 80% of the models in Cape Town travel alone- there are plenty of model houses all over the city which seem social and fun! Personal opinion: avoid living in the town centre. Areas like Gardens, Kloof Street, Green Point and Sea Point are great for living- and a little safer to! Again, the living situation is a negotiation had with your individual agency; sometimes they provide accommodation but me being the ‘organiser’ that I am, I sorted it myself.  

Ok- the castings! It’s all similar to what you are used to- you get the request, brief and time slot the day before. Only difference is… be prepared to maybe wait around a while. The Capetonian way of life is very relaxed and slow compared to the fast pace of London- this is something I definitely had to adjust to! Your castings might run an hour behind and your coffee might take 15 minutes to arrive- so millennial of me (I know) but I wanted to share the home truths as well with you guys. We know as models it isn’t always as glam as it seems! However the beauty of the city and heat of the sun made all my troubles go away; knowing you are hitting the beach after a 2 hour casting certainly takes the edge of a bit doesn’t it?!  

Cape Town is cheap- and not in a tacky way! The cost of living is roughly half of what it is in London. Eating out for £3/4 a meal becomes the new staying in and Uber practically becomes your personal driver- an average journey is roughly £2.50! It is brilliant and a real life saver for the bank balance as well. Side note: with the cost of living being low, the payment for model jobs is lower also. It might not always be the rate you are used to London- so just prepare for that.  

The best things in Life (and Cape Town) are free! I made the most by doing weekly hikes up Table Mountain and exploring all the different trails on offer. I also made sure to watch the sunset as often I as I could- it is absolutely stunning and not one to be missed. The food/ market scene is incredible and on my first visit- I was blown away. I totally didn’t expect to be eating avo on toast and macadamia flat whites on the daily! I made such a good group of friends during both of my seasons- if you are looking to improve your social life, it’s definitely the place! I wouldn’t change a thing!  

Safety first! A question I always get asked about Cape Town is how safe it really is. Personally, it’s no different to London. I wouldn’t go out alone at night in London and same rules apply for Cape Town. You just have to be sensible and vigilant and keep your phone tucked away. Something you should prepare yourself for is sadly the amount of homeless people you’ll see. I did join a volunteer group whilst there to help the community and do my bit; it felt really good to give something back!  

To summarise the experience, it’s safe to say you don’t just go for work. There simply isn’t enough jobs to go around all the models that flood there each season. In truth, any work becomes a bonus- to the best extended holiday you could have! That being said, Cape Town is the perfect place to test and work on your book; so even when you aren’t working, you can still be productive! I also took acting classes whilst I was there to stay focused amongst all the fun! I came back with a brand new portfolio and couldn’t be happier! It was the most incredible start to my year, giving me energy and a fresh mindset to return to London with. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

How Did I Get Here?

Hello guys. What. Is. Up! It might have been a hot minute since I last wrote on here but honestly... where is the time going? Cliché I know- but I’m really feeling it! Well anyway, Michael Bublé has defrosted and Christmas is around the corner but here’s what I’ve been up to during the festive period and my reflections on this year! 

London! I love it. It’s been my playground for almost 6 years now and I can honestly say it’s where I feel most at home. Even when I’m squished into someone’s armpit on the Central line at 8am, I’m not mad. It could always be worse. It never disappoints; somewhere is always open and someone is always free for a good time. I’ve recently discovered some amazing musts that I want to share (another beauty of living somewhere for 6 years and still getting to explore new things!) First up is the Cove Spa, Chiswick. Now I’ve seen my fair share of salons but Cove Spa is top of the range. I’ve had several treatments there including the CACI Non- Surgical Face Lift and it’s done wonders for my skin. Secondly, I’ve found a new love for the spin studio- Psycle. Now I’m not cheating on F45 (would I ever!) but I think it’s good to change up your work out routine. I teamed up with Sure earlier this month to check out their new advanced anti-perspirant deodorant. This must-try is Sure’s ultimate 72-hour sweat and body odour hero, offering up to 50% more powerful protection. It’s the best I’ve found! I work out a lot and it really has made a huge difference to my confidence in any studio. Lastly, it’s taken a while but I'm finally in a position where I enjoy the comfort of my own home. I’ve had my fair share of HIDEOUS flats and moving in London isn't easy but I've succeeded and feel really settled! Recently, it has been made even better with regular visits from Fantastic Services. They are a service based dream team who transformed my carpets in one session. We also have a domestic cleaner who now visits us regularly and makes the place spotless every time- I couldn’t be happier with the service! 

I’m so excited for the new DECADE and what it has in store (hopefully no more dating disasters but I’ll save that for another day!) I'll be spending time in Norfolk for Christmas, Ireland for NYE and Cape Town in January ready for round 2!
Wishing you all the best Christmas and merry times with loved ones! I'm hoping to be offline for the festive period and remind myself to make the most of NOW! 

Monday, August 5, 2019

What's Your Job?

I don't know why but if there was one question that fills me with dread every time someone asks, it would be "what do you do for work then?" Maybe it's because I don't have just the 1 job: I have several (I'll explain that later) but the reality is, I've never really known where to place myself or found where I totally fit in. Don't get me wrong, I love all that I do and certainly enjoy the freedom of being my own boss, but strangely I'm often left to feel like I have to explain my life a little more than most: a justification to myself as well as everyone else.   

The term "influencer" is weird. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it but Social Media, aside from all it's controversy, has become a big part of my career, all for positive reasons. What isn't seen on instagram is the behind the scenes 'hustle.' I spend my days researching brands, scouting shoot locations, planning my captions, emailing, editing, negotiating rates, sending invoices, the list goes on. It's a mad world: only yesterday I was lying across someone's front doorstep in Kensington (in minimal clothing) with my best friend taking pictures of me hoping the home owner wouldn't pop their head out and question what on earth we were doing. I really love what I do: I get to work with my closest friends and feel such validation when things happen that we created for ourselves. 90% of what I receive gifted or brands I work for don't reach out to me. I have to promote myself constantly- on email this isn't so bad but in person, being your own hype man is sometimes an awkward task. That being said, it is all worth it; some of my greatest travel adventures have come through instagram collaborations and I don't want this dream to ever end. 

With both modelling and influencing being such unpredictable careers, I have always found myself needing a bit more of a steady income to maintain my lifestyle (no secret that I do love a holiday!) 2 months ago, I qualified to be a trainer at F45- no regrets since! I've been an ambassador for the brand for 15 months now and have loved the style of training since I first started. The hours are flexi and coming from a very self centred industry, I love the feeling it gives me to help others. F45 was a life changing choice that changed my diet, taught me discipline and gave me a new circle of great friends. It's a global brand and I hope to continue working for them/ taking part in the classes wherever I go.