The fame, the money, and the glamorous life are a few things that are probably fantasized about when they randomly think about what it would be like to be a model or an actor. As I’ve shared throughout my blog, a few years ago I felt God leading me into the path of the entertainment industry to be a light upon others, but I was scared to go. I ran away from what could be my calling, because I was scared. After about 2 years of running, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me and told me to do what I was supposed to do and the door is have been opening ever since then. While there have been many doors opened, many have been closed as well. Out of everything that I’ve learned through this wild Journey, I believe my character and determination have growing in tremendous ways.
I became apart of AMTC, in Spring of 2017. I did not know that direction that I was supposed to go in, and so on a whim, I auditioned to be an actress, singer, and model. I had less than one day to prepare for anything for my audition and so I prepared the best I could and tried my best to perform as if I had more time to prepare. When I auditioned, although there were many people in the room, I had a sense of God’s peace. I felt comfortable and that’s not a feeling I was used to at the time. I did a cold read, I sang a song from Jungle Book, and did the walk that I learned when I was showing dogs. The next day, a scout from the organization called me to share that I had received callbacks in every area that I auditioned for. I had peace about everything and I came in that afternoon and signed the paperwork. Once I committed myself, I was required to attend classes and training. While I was training, I was able to instill some self-discipline that has helped take me towards the places that I hope to go.
Every few weeks my friend Amanda and I would drive to Denver and back in about a span of 24 hours. I would leave the Wichita at 4 a.m Saturday morning, drive to Salina which is a few hours East of where I live, meet up with my friend, hit the road for Colorado be at the hotel where the class would be held with an hour or two to spare, learn from and grow from the professionals in the afternoon, be back on the road for home by 6 p.m, and be home by the middle of the night on Sunday morning. Sound kind of crazy? Well it was. Slightly dangerous as well but we would stock up on energy drinks and sugar for the commute to home.
Those weekends were exhausting but held so much value. When I said, “Okay I am ready to go to Nineveh” I knew it would not be easy. After a few of these crazy weekends, I began doing a little bit of modeling back home. I started to make it a point to schedule a photo shoot or an event that would help me grow as a performer on Sunday afternoons. The same Sunday afternoons that were followed by the insane Saturdays. Not because those were a fun time to schedule photo shoots, but I desired to keep the momentum going. They were not always pleasant times to push myself. On the way home from almost every Sunday photoshoot, I would have to stop on the way home for coffee or to walk around in an area, to simply wake myself up. But I want to change those weekends for the world because I learned so much about how you have to keep going, even when it is not pleasant if you want to see results.
A few weeks ago, I auditioned for a show that I have dreamed of being in, even before I desired to be a model. Kansas City Fashion Week. When I found out that there were no official height requirements, and that the auditions were open calls, I was excited. But then reality hit that I am tiny and do not have a body for a fashion model. I knew I probably had no chance of being hired so I passed on this opportunity. The afternoon before open calls, I received a random boost of confidence, and very last minute, drove out to Kansas City to audition. All I could think was, “What if I could actually get a callback? What if I wowed the judges? What if I could show them that a commercial model could walk a runway?”
I put on my skinny jeans, put on the black heels that I have walked miles in, arrived early enough to be the third model in line to audition, and just went for it. I was by far the shortest girls in line. I was not the prettiest, my skin decided to randomly breakout that day, I looked chunky, but I walked into the audition acting like I was a model.
I recently received the rejection email. Was disappointed? For sure. Was my self-confidence injured? Not really. Going in, I knew my chances of getting and call back would be slim because of my measurements. But to me, it was never truly about booking the job. It was about finding the courage and the “Umph” to try to achieve the impossible.
Every few weeks I received a message on social media or speak to someone in person and the conversation usually turns into something similar to the following: “Leah I have been following you on social media and it is super cool what you are doing. I always have secretly wanted to do what you were doing, and I’m excited to see where you will continue to go.”
While I don’t see what is special about me, I genuinely appreciate the messages that I received. From what I have discovered, everyone wants the dream but only if you are willing to actually go get it.
I may never book a big fashion Show or sign with a large agency. But I am determined not to live a life of, “What If?” What if I had actually gone to that go see that I was scared to go to because of my height? What if I had responded to the proposition I received on Instagram? What if I had lived everyday believing that on this day, my life could change for the better or for the worst? What if I trusted in the process, and embraced the small steps?
My challenge for you is to begin following your dream with an all or nothing attitude. Find ways to push yourself to keep the momentum going. Be okay with staining out. Believe in yourself, no matter how big or small your dream is. I believe in you. But do you live in yourself?