We all know that our children are beautiful. We look at them and see the love in their heart and goodness in their eyes. I see this in my son every time that I look at him. It is one of the hardest things to do when I have to leave him to pursue his sister’s career. People often think that the modeling industry is about conventional beauty. They think that this industry is a luxury afforded to those who are beautiful and do not want to work hard. They underestimate what this industry really is and those that are a part of it. In this industry it is not about just about conventional beauty. It is about having confidence and that confidence showing through your every feature. It is about determination to work tirelessly. It is about the courage to stand there while the whole world looks upon you. Cassidy is one of those rare jewels.
When this first started I had no idea how it would take off. Even after the first trip, I didn’t know what was in store for us.
Before I even had a chance to catch my breathe, Nina was already ready for us to come back to the city and do out first shoot. It was for Nordstrom, and we were excited to have such a big name pick her up so soon. Nina was always very understanding about the distance, but no matter how understanding she was, there was no way to get around the very little notice from the castings. Often we would drive there and immediately turn around and head home. With my family living a few hours from the city, it was usually my only place of rest on this cross country commute.
This particular trip was a rough one. It was the dead of winter and there was a terrible snowstorm brewing. I had brought my grandfather who lives with me in Tennessee on this trip. Unfortunately, he is elderly and was unable to help with the driving, but it was nice to have some company during the difficult drive. By the time that we got there the weather had turned for the worse. Once again, we were late to the shoot and we were blind sided by the difficulty of the city in the extreme weather. Luckily, I had Nina Lubarda there to help make it work. She gave me the support to gather my courage and make this happen. Often I had to tell myself that this is what we signed up for, and this was such an amazing opportunity.
This particular booking was unique. It was actually a paid fitting and then the shoot would follow immediately , if you were chosen. When we walked in to the studio, a lady welcomed us with a warm smile and directed Cassidy in to the fitting area. The studio was a big open room. I had never seen anything like it and was anxious about the fitting. We had come so far, and there was a chance that she wouldn’t even be a part of the shoot. I was sitting next to a model mom who was explaining to me that they had been waiting for hours. She explained that this was not normal, but the weather was throwing everything off. She asked me who my daughter was and who represented her. I told her that it was Future Faces of NYC and told her about Nina. She proceeded to ask me about my contract, it made me a little uncomfortable to talk about such a personal thing, but being the outgoing person that I am, I was more forth coming than I should have been. When she started to get inquisitive about the details, I just told her that I didn’t want to discuss the specifics of my contract. I gave her the excuse that my husband was the one who read it and that I was not very familiar with the specifics. Shortly after that, her daughter was released because she was not chosen for the campaign. Later, I had called another model’s mom to ask her if this was normal for people to ask about contracts. Her advice was to focus on Cassidy and not to bother with any one else.
This was my first dose of reality. At this point, I realized that our lives would never be the same and that we were going to have to adapt to The City quickly, before it was able to swallow us whole.
The first shoot last three hours. When we were done with the shoot, we went back to the hotel room that we had rented out of necessity due to the cold. As we were leaving I asked Cassidy what her thoughts were about her very first modeling job. I knew that something was up because her little face was beet red. She informed us that it was “awkward” because she had to “hold hands with a boy,” and she felt guilty because her father told her that she was not allowed to hold a boy’s hand. I had to stop myself from laughing and let her know that it was okay, as long as it was for a shoot.
That evening at the room, we didn’t want to leave after the long day and deal with the cold, so we ordered pizza to our room. When I called the pizza place to order the food, I was told to go and wait for the delivery boy. When I walked downstairs, I was shocked to find that this kid was riding a bike to deliver pizzas in a snowstorm. It was rather strange, amusing and I couldn’t help but feel bad for him.
The next morning we woke up bright and early to get on the road before the street parking was no longer allowed near the hotel. Luckily they did let us get away with taking a little longer because of the snow.
On the way back I had nineteen hours to think about everything. It really began to set in what exactly I had gotten myself into. I realized that this was not only a challenging industry, but also fast paced. I also realized how different the culture was and began to prepare myself for the journey to come. Now with over a dozen campaigns (booked by Nina Lubarda’s knowledge, and dedication and Cassidy’s representation by Nina Lubarda Model Management & Future Faces NYC) under our belt such as Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, H&M, Old Navy, Little Miss Matched, Ruum, Joe Fresh, several editorials, and a Google commercial, it is still a constant struggle to adjust and to make it work, but this is her dream, and I am proud to make it possible for her.