For those who doubt the stories of models being discovered, here is a true story for you… Casey entered a model contest, many years ago, and was able to set herself apart from a sea of beautiful models and land a contract with one of today’s most reputable modeling agencies, Wilhelmina Models. Since then we have celebrated her flourishing career and in this months issue we get to know a little more about the model with the amazing smile.
[Maddy] We are so thrilled to have you on the cover of PLUS with one of your friends and model Bernadett. I remember when you were the winner of a modeling contest several years ago – was this how you started your modeling career?
[Casey] Yes, this was how I got started as a model!
[Maddy] Tell me about the contest, what you had to do and how you felt winning this wonderful opportunity.
[Casey] I was working in tech sales at a major telecom company in San Francisco. I found a Wilhelmina newsletter in my spam e-mail box (I used to read spam back in those days) about a plus-size model contest they were having. I submitted a picture; it was a snapshot of me sitting on a rock in Paris. I got a call telling me I was in the top 50 and they needed 5 more pictures. So I did an informal photo shoot in my living room and sent in the pics. Then I got another call and they flew me to New York along with 30 other girls. All the girls were not only beautiful, but they were smart AND nice. It was intimidating. They gave us a make-over at Cutler salon and then we met the judges in a room one by one. They looked at my pictures, had me do a runway walk, and they asked me a few questions. After meeting the judges we went to Macy’s Herald Square to do an INC runway show. They announced the winners (there were 5) after the show. We were backstage when they started calling out names – mine was the first one called! It was surreal, I couldn’t believe it! It was a moment that changed the whole course of my life. I moved to New York a few months after that day and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
[Maddy] At times, aspiring models think that after one good photo shoot that they can now consider themselves an experienced model. Can you give us some tips on how aspiring models should go about developing their skills? How long did it take you to feel comfortable in front of the camera and with clients?
[Casey] I think because of my background in musical theater, I was always comfortable being in front of the camera, but I was usually way too cheesy. I soon realized there was a lot for me to learn. For instance, learning how to smile softly without teeth – that was hard for me! It took a good 3 years or so for me to become more versatile. I still love to be super smiley with a lot of energy, but it’s important to realize not everyone wants that look. Dance and yoga classes help for poise and body awareness. The more you work and test, the more you will see what you can improve (and get better at evaluating yourself without being overly critical). When you show up on set, it’s best to be relaxed, be in the moment and enjoy the process. It also helped me when I realized that photo shoots are collaborative and the model is just one part of a team. When everyone is on the same page, you get the best results.
[Maddy] For those readers who do not recognize you – tell us where we have seen you and some of your modeling accomplishments.
[Casey] Macys.com, packaging for Playtex bras, Wacoal print ad, a few times in Glamour and Oprah magazines.
[Maddy] What are your top three Model Bag “must-have” items?
[Casey] Eyelash curler, concealer and lip gloss
Fun Facts about Casey:
My favorite color is burgundy
If I was not a model I would be an accent coach
My all time favorite movie is Memento
Club or lounge? Lounge!
Stilettos or Flip flops? Flip-flops by day, stilettos by night