I was contracted to work in Taiwan for 3 months. The whole experience left me with both positive and negative feelings toward the modeling industry. The work ethic was very different to what I was accustomed too. Castings were set from 8 -14 a day, meaning, work hours were 12hrs+. The idea was " the more work , the more money" , it wasn't uncommon to work 2 jobs per day. The clients would also make sure they were getting their monies worth, so it was time to "model your little heart out." I had a modeling companion on this trip and we kept each other as sane as possible, we were young and unexperienced, it was our first time away from home working in a foreign country , we couldn't speak the language and we didn't know how to protect ourselves when it came down to the "business" side of the modeling industry.
Katie and I would stay up late at nights and find ways to entertain ourselves. We watched MTV (in Chinese) most of the time, however some nights when we were tired and moody from our day we would just go bat crazy. I remember one night at the apartment which also doubled as the modeling agency, Katie and I had just had enough! We had made ourselves pumpkin soup and started a food fight , honestly I have never seen such a mess, in the midst of it all we decided to make pumpkin soup bombs and throw them on people in the street . We thought it was pretty funny, fortunately for the passers by, it was raining so their umbrellas saved them from the massive splurges of pumpkin being hurled at them from the apartment above. When it came to our realization that we had to clean up, it took us a couple of hours of scrubbing every nook and cranny in that place. The next day I remember the agent talking to me in the kitchen/dinning room about my castings for the day and I looked up and spied pumpkin soup in the cracks on the sealing, I was desperately praying it wouldn't land on her head.(but sort of wishing it would)
Large posters/billboards throughout local shopping centres .
Another way we kept entertained were nights at the Hard Rock Cafe. In many Asian countries, you can be sure to have english speaking customers and make some friends at an international bar. I had just turned 18 , Katie was still under age but we were always served at the bar. Because we were some of the only westerners in the place we were constantly asked for autographs, I always signed the name "Sharon Stone".
One weekend Katie and I had 3 days off, We went to a friend of her families house out in the country. When we returned to the apartment/modeling agency everything was gone! The bookers, the furniture, the desks, the computers everything! A telephone was left on the floor, fortunately we still had our beds and our clothes were still there, sadly they'd also left the little dog Kiki behind.
Obviously our time on Taiwan had come to an end.
All this admittedly was one of the hardest learning curves for me, however I took from this a new and positive experience. I learnt to work with the language barrier, I had become professional enough to keep working hard, even though I could've screamed from exhaustion. And I can safely say, I learnt how to "pose" for the camera due to the amount of images required for each and every catalogue. This would later become one of my best assets, I also learnt one of my greatest lessons, always have your contract checked by a lawyer before entering into anything.
Me and Kiki cruising back streets near our apartment .