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Model Life | What's in Your Model Bag

Greetings All,

I meet a cool guy named Ray this summer. Just to give you a bit of background information Lawrence Ray Concepts (LRC) is a Healthy Hair Product and Education Company created by celebrity hairstylist and make-up artist Lawrence Ray Parker II and Steve Marston. Since the conception of the company Steve has passed away but his legacy lives on and Ray continues to further develop techniques, products and productions that inspire faith, encourage self-confidence and promote healthy hair growth. To say the least Ray, his team and his product is nothing short of amazing and his products, productions and clients can now be found around the world.

Not too long ago I was contacted and had an opportunity to work with Lawrence Ray Concepts for TD Jakes MegaFest in Dallas, Texas. He was the opening act for MegaFest’s first hair show and battle and Hip Hop Icon and Living Legend DJ Spinderella was apart of the production. For this event it just so happens that I had to wear some multiple hats and hair. I was made-up and wrapped in sequence to perform a tribute to the Clark Sisters that also honored people who battle different forms of cancers and illnesses that cause hair loss. Prior to them learning that I model and that I am no stranger to the stage I worked as a scout to find them the hair models and dancers needed to help bring his vision to life. I also handled their communications with talent and upon arrival I worked to ensure models made it into hair and makeup, that we stayed on time and acted as an intermediary between LRC and the Mega Fest venue operators to help ensure we had a seamless evening.

When working for different productions and projects there are often 6 different model types that are sought out. I’ve said it before it doesn’t matter if you male, female, slender, voluptuous, young, old, healthy, disabled, ill, recovering or displaced there is a place for anyone and everybody in the Entertainment and Fashion Industry. You just have to have the desire, be willing to consistently put in the effort necessary to be success and have some key KNOWLEDGE so you can best navigate the industry. If you are an aspiring model its critical that you begin to learn your strengths and that you know at the present moment what model type(s) you fit into.

I’ll keep it very simple. In a nutshell here are The 6 Basic Model Look Types:

1. Tween – These models are young or they look very young. They have the ability to easily exude innocence. In my mind I think of school age children. Examples of this look can be found on your younger Disney Channel Shows and Girls Life Magazine.

2. Junior – Fun. Fun. Fun. These models are a little older. They exude unsophisticated fun. When I think of Junior models depending on the set I think of upper grade High School or College Students. Examples of this look can be found in Seventeen Magazine.

3. Commercial – Some people tend to think that Commercial mo

JC Penny's 2015 Black Friday Ad featuring Hadassah McGrew.

4. High Fashion – This model type is often what is thought of when people mention models. They tend to be at least 5’8’’ often they are taller. They are often coveted for their exotic, unique and sophisticated looks. Examples of these models can be seen gracing the covers of Vogue.

5. Character - Many of these models are seen in advertisements. A good example of these models can be found in any advertisements found on billboards or in magazines. Often times Character models are portrayed by Actors and Actresses.

6. Fitness – Ahhh last but not least… these models are very healthy, toned and proportioned. Good examples of Fitness models can be found in Shape Magazine.

There are other types but we’ll go over them in greater detail in another blog on another day. Its important to know that in this industry you have to stay ready and that includes keeping your model bag packed and ready to go – I can tell you from experience that I have been able to take advantage of a lot of unique opportunities and I haven’t been able to take advantage of some opportunities due to the fact of staying ready… Also there will be times when you arrive on set and you may need what’s in your model bag to ensure that you look and perform your best. I’ve walked in fashion shows were girls have had to do their own hair and make-up. There may be a situation where the hair stylist runs out of hair pins or a style assistant brings a size 6 shoe when you actually wear a size 9. Apart of staying ready is having a model bag packed that is either always ready to go or can be assembled at a moments notice.

For my model bag I actually use a small suitcase. I’ve been known to be a “little extra” but hey I am also not your typical talent. Due to my experience in the industry as a Plus Model and Be

Photo credits :  Photographer - Krystal Hills - K. Rene Photography. MUA -  Crystal Chism. On Set Coordinator - LaToya Shavers, United Enterprises. ​Artistic Director / Stylist - Porsha Strong. Accessories - Aisha Simone Molden - NY City Styles.  Pants -  Custom by Vinson Smalls

Here are some basics for your model bag:

• Directions. I’m directionally challenged so for myself in addition to the location address, email and directions that I need to follow for the job I also need to be able to get to the venue. I need my cell phone (shout out to you GPS). Needless to say my cellphone has GPS and its what I use to navigate the streets. - With your cell phone don’t forget an additional charger and or a charge bank. If this is a production or a shoot there is a good chance that you may need it as the days on set can be very long and there can be a lot of waiting. Be mindful of your ringtones and keep it off when you are working.

• Your portfolio, resume, comp cards or head shots. The ideal situation is that you have all of these but I’ve booked gigs with just a headshot and a resume.

• Your make-up (Concealer, Foundation, Powder, Basic Eye Shadow, Blush. Lipstick or Gloss) It wouldn’t hurt to have an eyebrow pencil, eyeliner and some eyelashes. If you pack eyelashes don’t forget your eyelash glue.

• Black Undergarments, Flesh Toned or Nude Undergarments. He’s a Plus Tip – Ladies should bring different styles/cuts of bras i.e., Tube, halter, full cup, plunge. I’m not saying go out and break the bank or bring everything that you have but just be prepared – also be mindful of the fabrics and lace. It could be seen through clothes and if that is the case have a slip or something that can help minimize that-

• Support garments (only if needed). For those persons who don’t know what a support garment is…. Spanx, Body Magic, Lipo in a Box.

• Shoes. Pay attention to what your casting director ask of you. When in doubt always bring a pair black and or nude heels.

• I have learned that its also a good idea either come in or bring a extra pair of dark jeans or black pants as well as a black or white tank top or fitted t-shirt.

• Hair Products. This includes your brush, comb, bobby pins, gels, hair spray, clips and for those that need or use them HAIR! You never know what you may need or how your look could evolve and be enhanced by having extra hairpieces (i.e., ponytail, wig, clip in hair extensions, needle, thread, glue, wig caps etc…).

• Toiletries. You never know what you or what another model may need. It doesn’t hurt to be nice. Toiletries include lotion/moisturizer, makeup remover/makeup wipes, sanitizer, mouthwash, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, sewing kit, etc…

• Water and Healthy Snacks. Nothing that can get messy. NEVER EVER EVER eat around or in clothes that you could be wearing. Clean up after yourself…trust me they know if you didn’t.

• A book, magazine or something to keep you occupied. There could be a lot of waiting.

Should you ever have any questions or concerns always feel free to ask your booking agent, manager or there person that refereed you for the gig. I do know that Clients like it when you follow directions, are on time and are prepared. In my opinion it’s just better to have too much than not enough. Can you think of anything I left out? I’m interested - please let me know what’s in your model bag?

The Journey of a Million Miles Begins With the 1st Step. Keep things in Proper Perspective. GOOD LUCK!