Confession number three
The agency I signed with in Beijing was called Unique Model Management. Apparently it was regarded with high esteem, only topped by one other agency out of the numerous that existed; the only major magazine I ever did in my short career was because of them, and I’m thankful to have had that opportunity.
I wish I could say I was thankful for every job I had there.
My first job was 16 hours long (in heels), and involved being told to suck in my “gut” (I had a 25 inch waist) with little concern for my well-being and not once offering me a break. When the makeup artist offered me a glass of water, I burst into tears; it was the only kind gesture from the crew for the duration of the day.
My last job was worse. A week before I was scheduled to return to Canada, two of my roommates and I were packed into a bus with 25 other foreign models. Long story short, we ended up in Mongolia after a sixteen hour drive (on a bus without a bathroom) and four of the models were arrested for not having their passports with them. We didn’t do the job and turned back around as soon as we collected the ladies from the police station. It was a nightmare.
Sadly, since all of the models working there are on tourist visas, they essentially surrender their rights and are often treated poorly. My mother agent told me Beijing wasn’t an easy market to work in, but wanderlust got the better of me and I went anyway.
Do I regret going? Not at all. Would I go back? Probably not.