A Day In the Life of a Career Super Model – Tempest Hennesy
(this may seem an exact copy of the article found in May 08’s Altamoda Magazine, but they had to cut, I guess, one part that was very important to me. They had to cut the credit to the people who helped make all my accomplishments possible. Here, I’d like to do that.)
I think the myth of the model sleeping till 3pm, waking to the sound of his or her manager calling for another show, then going to sip on some sugarless tea and a tic-tac have long since been dispelled; both in Second Life and, through those experienced in it, real life. Here is a peek into a day with me, Tempest Hennesy. I won’t dare say typical, average or normal because there is nothing about my second life, professional or otherwise, that can be called any of those things. Welcome to my world. Like anyone else, there are days that are busier, or more relaxed, than most but on the average my days swing like a pendulum from one moment to the next.
4:30am slt – Though fully aware that RL will pull me briefly away in about 15 minutes, I wake enough to collect my thoughts and begin to put my day in order; including reading through offline IM’s, company and group notices, and invitations.
5:45am slt – Sort through the odd gift from one generous designer or another to figure out what to wear for the day. Everything is a conscious forethought when it comes to appearance; from the hair piece to the shoes on my feet. What a lot of people, models, don’t get is that one becomes a public figure when you set onto this career choice in any amount of seriousness. Sure, I could wear any old pair of jeans, slap on a shirt and some miss formed shoes but my co-workers, trainees, peers, agent, blogarazzi and any designers that see me are expecting a certain amount of style; a personification of the ability to go, easily, from hood to, especially, haute in the change of a shirt or the swing of a hip. I try to represent the best of my agency and my industry.
In some of the morning catch-up, I do manage to look at the fashion emergency blogs. While I’ll never admit to falling under some of them… I do have to say that, on occasion, I’d toyed with an idea or two for an outfit only to find someone else featured, and blasted, for it by some blogarazzi or another…. and they weren’t public figures. I can just imagine the fallout of myself being caught with my virtual pants down. In this industry, appearance matters. Sometimes, perhaps, too much so.
On a side note, blogarazzi was a term that I had coined in reference to those of the (sometimes honored) profession of SL-journalism. Since, in SL, it’s near impossible to call them paparazzi; they don’t chase us with cars, or prevent us from leaving venues, etc, but make no mistake that reporters and photo-journalists do exist… sometimes sitting where you least expect it until you see your name, or photograph, in an article that you know you didn’t give an interview for. Make no mistake, very little flies under the radar.
8:00am slt – Meet with any European time zone people for interviews; whether it be show ideas, looking for a spokes model, or to arrange to make an appearance at their venues. On this particular day, I take the opportunity to meet with a European designer, then agency director-friend. Because SL is made up of various time zones, sometimes one has take opportunity where one can get it and it’s only considerate to try to at some sort of middle ground. Today, I meet with one, in particular, who was starting to do great things after a bit of a hiatus. A fantastic learning experience and an honorable show of faith.
11:00am slt – Saying pleasant goodbyes as my last appointments head off to their own To Do list, I collect myself for something I, surprisingly, dread. I take myself on an animation hunt. I hate shopping with a passion. Yes, I said that out loud for all to see, but my routine needs to remain fresh. I’m constantly pushing my limit, or trying to. That’s why, when I see people with unusual animations or runway poses, I’m dieing to find out where they get it… not to copy them, but to add my own swing to it. There is no such thing as a new mousetrap; you can only endeavor to create a better one.
1:15am slt – if I’m not instructing the up and coming, professional grade, models of SL at EFA Training, I’ll hit a runway, myself… whether it be the mock up in the school, the official EFA runway or I drop a holodeck over my house or in a sandbox.
On that runway, I’ll either create a routine, based solely on walk and timing, or practice whatever routine I need for a show… I work on my keystroke manipulation, my mouse manipulation, my Huddles, Zhao II and walk replacer manipulation so that, by the time I do hit the runway, it all looks smooth, natural and effortless; even in lag. I’ll also put together a few outfits into my ‘wardrobe/clothing rack’ folder and incorporate quick changes into my practice routine. This industry is as vicious in SL as it is in RL. There is no such thing as too much practice.
3:00pm slt – As a model, a career model or any other level, the path does not consist only of photo shoots, runway shows, rehearsals and shopping. Sometimes we need to sit back and be the spectator, as well. After, at least, a week’s notice (which is always welcome and preferable for those having to balance an agenda), the time has arrived for a rather high profile show. I’m not walking in it, though it would be an awesome opportunity, but I was fortunate enough to have my invitation given to me, in my ‘hand’.
Having been to quite a few of these shows, and others of equal high stature, I know full well that the venue will fill long before show time, creating lag enough to set the hardiest soul weeping. That being the case, I made sure to show up early; early being my M.O. (modus operandi). I don’t like late, I’ll avoid it if I can. It was a beautiful show, for what I was able to see of it. Not due to bad planning, or lag. Lag was no greater than expected and the planning was impeccable. What usually has me distracted are the multitude of IM’s from those wishing information, or looking for an in, or just wanting to say hello. The latter I like best of all.
6:00pm slt – After a short break for RL, I’m back again and looking over my calendar or hand-dropped invitations for the evening’s direction. Even going to a club, sometimes, is not just for the pleasure of it though I do have a few that I will frequent ‘just because’ or where who I am, or what I do, isn’t a big deal. Tonight isn’t one of these nights, though, as I change clothing, again, and make my way to the next venue. There will be no introductions, no shout outs, though the request was sent by the owner and my agency tag is firmly in place. In truth, no more than that will be needed to draw attention to myself; that and a thank you from the DJ for the good tip. The point of this? To show the clientèle that the club is good enough that a statured public figure will attend, standing in whatever area is set aside for the VIP, and partying with the likes of the owner and their friends. This, though, is usually one stop of many such in an evening.
11:00pm slt – Finally, I make my way back to my little hide away, security system on, window blinds shut and exhausted. By this point, it’s not a matter of falling asleep or tumbling into bed. By now, it truly is a matter of getting to bed (yes, I do go through the motions), and falling asleep before I lose consciousness completely.
One thing is certain, though; all of this is not something I could manage on my own, no matter how minute, or effortlessly, it seems. No man, or model, is an island and the best of them have a smooth running support system. Mine ranges from my personal assistant, to my partner in PR (who looks out for me, gets my name out, and makes sure that I have as much exposure as possible… as much as I try to do the same for him), my best friend and fellow model, my team of coworkers, my agent and SL-‘family’. Keeping me sane, and the rest of the world safe, when the stresses become too much, my companion is most definitely an equally important part of my team. I could probably have pushed on my own but I would have never have gotten this far without any of them.
It might seem an easy day, to some, but to me it’s just an example of many different variations; each different, each equally exhausting both physically and mentally. Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow, it begins again. Perhaps it will go as smoothly, perhaps there will be a few bumps along the way.
Whichever the case… It’s my love, my passion, my spark. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.