New Year, New life… literally!

Well, Happy belated New Year!!! How the time has gone by SO FAST! I can’t believe it is 2015…and its February! Yeah, I’ve been a bit lost in the time. Sorry y’all!

So since Kuala Lumpur, I have been home for a (too short) visit home, then I came to Guangzhou. Guangzhou is a very weird place for me… I have a very strong, up and down type of relationship with this city. It’s great for work though and at this point in my life I want to save as much money as I can because of course I won’t be able to model as successfully as I can now, forever.

Before heading home for the holidays I rescued a puppy from the streets here and named her Charlotte. The plan was supposed to be to find her a good home here. Little did I know that she already had one… with me. hehe so yes I have added an addition to my life. A little crazy puppy!!
I will write an entire post about her so you all can get to know the little monster a bit more 😛

I went home for Christmas…again it was wayyy took short of a visit. Basically we had friends promise us they could watch Charlotte while we were gone so we planned a very quick visit to get back and not have to have them watch her for too long… well, in the end they couldn’t watch her and we had to put her in a pet hotel anyways so… we could have stayed longer but oh well.

Now I am back in Guangzhou. Charlotte has all her shots and I am working on getting her papers so she can fly back to North America. In the meantime I am just working out, working, and saving, saving, saving. I have big plans for this year.

Anyways it’s been a crazy couple days and I need to get some sleep.

I will write again very soon… ( I really will, I promise!! )

Until next time,

Alyssa xoxo

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Todays Thoughts…

Hello Everyone!
Hope you are all doing well. As my time comes to an end here in KL I can’t believe how fast this year is speeding by. Seriously, it feels like I just flew to HK yesterday, yet here we are in September!! With our busy lives it’s hard to always remember to stop and appreciate the life we have and the people who surround us.
I found a really nice poem that kind of reminds to you stop and enjoy life. I’m not sure who it’s written by as I found it online with no name but I thought I would share it with you all:

It only takes a moment
To stop and take a breath
To take in all the sights, and sounds
To enjoy all life has to give

Don’t take time for granted
Because it quickly slips away
Years cannot be promised
So enjoy every single day

Time and life are precious
And we only get one chance
To live life to its fullest
To live in happiness

Live your best life
Starting with today
Make sure it’s a happy one
Every step of the way

Thank you to all my family and friends who are always there for me, supporting me, and keeping me going. The career path I have chosen is not always an easy one but your love and support really gets me through the times when I feel like giving up. I love you all so so much and can not wait to get back home to give you all a big hug!!

I am working on something a little different to showcase my time here in KL so keep your eyes peeled for that. Until then… don’t forget to take some time out of your day to just enjoy life and be thankful for everything and everyone you have!

Love Always,

Alyssa xo8

Quick Update.

So it has in fact been quite a while since my last post. I would like to say this won’t happen again but lets face it, as much as I want to write more often I find it pretty hard to do when constantly running around and working.

Also, my mac has decided to hide all of my photos somewhere. Im not entirely sure what happened but my entire iPhoto library has disappeared so I am crazily trying to figure out what has happened with that so I can get my pictures back. If I have lost them I will cry.

Anyways, we completed our 3 month contract in Jakarta. It was a crazy one for sure. I was extremely lucky and worked very well in the market. I did campaigns, magazines, billboards.. you name it! It was great.

However, during the middle of the contract I started to get extremely sick and discovered I had a stomach infection. NOT fun. But these are the risks you take when traveling the world the way we do.

I fell in love with the Indonesian people who are so friendly and welcoming and when I went to Bali… oh my goodness.. I fell even more in love with the country.

I will write much more later on, once I find my pictures because it really is hard to explain the beauty of the place without some photographic evidence.

I am currently writing this from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We have been here for 3 weeks and it is great. An extremely beautiful country. Our apartment is so nice and to be honest, I kind of feel like I am living in a resort.
I am taking the time we have here to work out like crazy and get into the best shape I possibly can so I am fully prepared for our next destination where it will be underwear season.

I will write again soon, I promise. Going to get on the phone with apple Malaysia right now about my pics ( P.S. Apple, you need a store in KL!)

Until then…

xoxo

So Long Hong Kong.

3 Months has gone by so fast! What can I say, Hong Kong never ceases to amaze me. The beauty of the city, the vibe of the people, I found the time passing faster than I could have ever imagined. It was a great 3 months.

Hong Kong is one of the places that you always come back to. Whether it’s for a visa run, a short holiday, or just to catch a flight, it’s the place I have been to most and I feel so fortunate to have had the experience living here not only 1 time but 2!
I was able to meet up with old friends, make new ones, and explore new parts of the city I had never been to before.

I’m sad to leave but happy to go. Heading to new destinations and agencies is always an exciting time and I am super excited to see what Jakarta and the Indonesian people have to offer.

Thank you to my wonderful agency Quest Models, for being so amazing and keeping me happy over the past 3 months. You ladies are always little pillars of sunshine and it is always a great experience working with you.

Thank you Hong Kong, for giving me another amazing 3 months.

Jakarta…. Im coming!!!!

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(P.S.) Forgot to post this…so it’s delayed. Already in Jakarta and will post a blog about that soon!!

Taking Back Control.

I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for quite some time now. I know I usually write my posts to let everyone know what I have been up to and how my travels are going. This post will be a little different. 
Being in the fashion industry has given me so many amazing opportunities. It has given me the chance to travel the world, experience places and cultures I never would have dreamed I’d be able to see first hand, I have met so many amazing people from all over the world, all while doing a job I absolutely love. To say I am lucky is an understatement. 
However, like with everything in life, nothing is perfect. This kind of job has it’s downsides too. 

Many people think being a model is a super glamorous and easy job. I am sure when I was younger, before I got into it I probably thought it was too. I mean how hard can it be to take some pictures and walk down a runway right? 
Well, when you’re walking in 5 inch heels that are 3 sizes to big for you or trying to take a good photograph while the photographer is standing in front of you calling you fat, it’s pretty damn difficult. 

The pressure models have to deal with on a daily basis can sometimes be overwhelming. 
Imagine having to be measured every week by an agency to make sure you haven’t gained an extra kilo or cm ( yes, you read that correct, it gets down to cm’s), or having to be told to please “You need to lose weight from your hips but gain weight in your face!” and you have 2 weeks to fix this before they cancel your contract and send you home. All of this is real and it happens every single day. 

I am lucky in the sense that I started modelling at a later age. My parents made sure I had finished high school and was a bit more mature before allowing me to get into the business. I couldn’t be more grateful to them for that decision. 
It seemed like their schedule fit perfectly with what fate had in store for me anyways because as I was prom dress shopping with my friend and my mom, a scout approached me and asked me to come into the agency to meet with them.
Knowing absolutely nothing about the actual modelling world, my mom and I agreed to go into the agency for a meeting. Lucky for me, it was a very established and professional agency with a big name, so I knew they weren’t trying to scam us. 
They asked me to take pictures to see how I posed and looked on camera, all I knew at that time was to stand, smile, and try to look pretty, and that’s what I did. 

We got a call from the agency a couple days later saying they were sorry but I was not the correct fit for their agency at the time. My mom, being the one who answered the phone, asked why? They stated that I was simply too commercial, or, in their exact words “she’s too pretty.” WHAT!?!?!? How does that even make sense? Aren’t models supposed to be pretty? It was my first real dose of rejection and it left me a little hurt and feeling very confused. For some reason though, even though the agency had said no, I had decided that it was something I wanted to try anyways. I decided to take a year off from school ( I had been planning on University ) to figure out what it was I really wanted to do. 

I did some travelling on my own ( within North America ) and when I came back to Toronto I set up some photo shoots with photographers and tried to get things going on my own. It was just my luck that one photographer had a lot of connections and started sending my pictures to agencies around the city. A week later I was signed and within about 2 months I had my first overseas contract. 

This is where I really started to learn and see that being a model is much harder than what most people think. As soon as I stepped off the plane I was taken to the agency for them to see how I looked and to have my measurements taken. After 14 hours of flying and going through extreme jet lag, I was definitely not at my best. 
I was lucky in my first contract though and did extremely well for myself, I even decided to extend my time and stay for an extra 2 months. During the last 2 months, even though I was working extremely well, the agency decided to tell me I had to lose weight. They had asked me to lose an amount that would have left me weighing in at about 98 lbs. 
I was shocked. I knew there was absolutely NO WAY I was going to do that, I loved my time there but I was not going to put my health at risk to please them. 98 lbs was just insane. I booked my ticket and flew back home immediately. Since then, I have worked with that agency many times and have always had a positive experience. They never asked me to lose that kind of weight again. 

I was lucky, I was old enough to know better. I knew there was no way I could get down to that weight without harming my body and health. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. The girls usually start at around 15 years old, and they do not know better. They feel they have to do whatever the agency says because if they don’t they will be sent home, or have their weekly pocket money cut.
I have seen girls going to such extremes that they try to survive on only eating an apple a day. One girl I knew in Japan would spend all her pocket money ( Money the agency advances on a weekly basis for us to survive) on coke zero and zero calorie jellies. She would then try to give them all away so she wouldn’t eat them all. She got so thin the agency had to actually send her home because they were worried for her life. This is the real side of the fashion industry. 

It’s not just about weight issues either, and it’s not just the agencies. I was sent to a casting a couple of weeks ago here and my booker had told me it was for a movie trailer. They would want us in a bikini and for the actual job, only our backs would be shown. When I had arrived at the casting what I saw was something completely different. They were asking the girls to get in their bikinis, do extremely “sexy” poses, and dance. I was put in the position of not knowing if I should do this casting or not. I admit, I was afraid my bookers would be mad at me. Plus, I was already in my bikini so maybe I could just do the casting but do it my way, and if they didn’t like it well, then that was okay. 

It was my turn and I first had to take some simple pictures just to show my body type. I immediately felt disrespected as the person taking the pictures asked me to turn around, put my hand on the wall and “stick out your ass.” All while looking at me like they were a starving dog and I was a piece of meat. I immediately stopped and asked them to provide me more details of what this job was all about. It ended up they were asking the girls to dance like strippers and for the actual job, you would only see your backside, however you’d be dancing, wearing a g-string, topless. NO WAY! There was absolutely no way I was doing this, I got my clothes changed and left that casting as fast as I could.

On my way home I became so overcome with emotion I didn’t know if I wanted to cry or scream. What made them think it was okay to do that? What’s worse is they were actually getting away with it! I couldn’t believe the number of models who actually stayed behind to do that casting, and what made it even more sad was that most of them stayed because they were too scared of what the agency would say or do to them if they didn’t do it. If I was younger would I have had the courage to pack up my things and walk out like I did?!? 
It’s at times like those I really do not like this industry at all. 

That kind of thing happens all the time. Models don’t know they can say no. They are too afraid the photographer or client or agency will try to punish them for not doing something. They don’t know they have the right to stand up for themselves and have a voice. 
Luckily, this issue is being brought to light more and more. Recently with efforts by some top models, groups such as The Model Alliance, have started and are helping to protect models and their rights. 

These kinds of situations have really opened my eyes. My experience over the past 6 years travelling and working in this industry has given me the realization that I want to be a part of the change. I want to help protect the models. Most times, we have “mother agencies” agencies who scout us or who are in our hometowns, who “sell us” to different markets around the world for 2-3 month contracts.

They act as our “mother” when we are overseas and they are supposed to be the ones to protect us. The only problem with that is, half the time the mother agency has never been to that market, they have never met with that agency. They don’t really know what the models are going through. 

This is why I have recently decided I want to try to change that. I have decided I am going to try to start helping models. I have decided to open my own agency and help place models with safe agencies. With people I personally know or have worked with. I want the models to know they have the right, within reason, to say no. To stand up for themselves in those times when they are asked to dance around like strippers half naked, and to know I will be there backing them up. 

I think the industry needs more people to promote this and I am determined to do my absolute best to ensure that models don’t look back one day and regret that nude shoot they did one day because they were too scared to say no.

I want them to have just as much of an amazing experience in this industry as I have.

Until next time,

Alyssa xo

P.S. It’s not finished yet but here is my new website. http://www.apmodelmanagement.com 
Check it out and let me know what you think! Hopefully this is the beginning to something great!

Climbing The Peak

It’s been a while since I lasted posted ( sorry! ) We have been kind of busy here with castings and just trying to be more “touristy”. We FINALLY climbed the peak and I thought I would share a quick video of that for you all to see.

Promise to do another update soon.

Love Always,

Alyssa xo

1 Month… 2 more to go!

The title says it all! It has officially been 1 month since we left “The Sunshine State” and made our way to Hong Kong. The past month has been… well, relaxing?

We knew coming here we wouldn’t be working like crazy or have 12 castings a day like China. I guess we just didn’t realize, or we forgot, that if we have 2 castings in a week here we are lucky. Since being here I have had 1 job, I am on option for quite a few more so I am hoping those come through and I can add some work in to keep me a little bit busier and a little less crazy 😛

The nice thing with having so much free time is that means I have A LOT more time to hit the gym. I have been working out every day for at least 1-2 hours and after the gym Paulo and I spend at least an hour walking around the city. This week I believe we will do some more “touristy” things so that should be fun.

Since my last blog post I have also turned another year older! February 9th I celebrated my birthday. It was fun. Saturday night Paulo and I got a huge pizza from an amazing pizza place here called Paisanos. They have THE BEST pizza. Seriously, it’s AMAZING. So we got that and ate a whole medium sized pizza to ourselves. We went out that night and at midnight I was surprised by everyone wishing me a Happy Birthday and presenting me with a bottle of Tequila Rose. It was nice.

Sunday ( my actual Birthday) We spent just hanging out at home, watching movies. Paulo surprised me with Starbucks for breakfast, a rose, and my very own minion! It was sweet. The next day we went to dinner at The Outback which was also very nice. Oh, and did I forget there were CUPCAKES?!?!?!? Yep, I got cupcakes… so happy! hahah so Basically my birthday was a food fest which left me feeling a bit sick for a few days after. But it was totally worth it!

Valentines day has also just passed. It’s a weird holiday for me. I personally don’t exactly LOVE valentines day. It’s one of my least favourite holidays, if not my least favourite. Paulo is Brazilian so his valentines day is in June. Usually we don’t do anything and I expected this year to be the same.
I was wrong.
I went to a casting and then Paulo met me for lunch and when I came home I was surprised to find a rose and a card waiting for me. The card was all hand written with the most lovely letter I have ever received. I cried. Paulo can be extremely sweet when he wants to be haha.

So that’s been my month here in HK so far. Not exactly super exciting but, it’s giving me a lot of time to work on myself and to prepare myself for the upcoming markets I hope to work in.

I’ll write again soon!

Until next time,

Alyssa xoxo

Chinese New Year flower market.

Chinese New Year flower market.

So colourful and pretty!

So colourful and pretty!

Chinese New Year Fireworks in TST

Chinese New Year Fireworks in TST

Amazing Pizza! mmmmm

Amazing Pizza! mmmmm

Midnight! Officially February 9th...my birthday!

Midnight! Officially February 9th…my birthday!

Birthday Breakfast <3

Birthday Breakfast ❤

My Minion!!!!

My Minion!!!!

The Outback.. Bday Dinner :)

The Outback.. Bday Dinner 🙂

No Birthday is complete without Cake... in my case Cupcakes!!! So good :D

No Birthday is complete without Cake… in my case Cupcakes!!! So good 😀

My Valentine <3

My Valentine ❤