The Fashion Show
I've always wanted to strut down a runway as a model. Standing tall at 5'3, this bucket list item wasn't something I thought I'd ever mark off. However, small pond offers are different than ocean offers and sometimes, you get to pretend to be a supermodel for two short minutes even if it's not exactly what you pictured.I participated in a fashion show at a popular art filled weekend event. I was asked by a lovely woman who knew me from the job I had started (and then left) to model as she had heard I was a performer. It seemed like little commitment and a lot of fun. The weekend event was something I had been looking forward to as I wanted to network and see what creations were coming out of Burlington. I had taken the day of the show off and assumed I'd have time to wander before it started that evening. Assuming is something I'm learning not to do in this city.This was not a normal fashion show. My outfit was bright, creative, and themed. The entire line the designer put together was incredibly imaginative. The dress fit perfectly and I was going to get to wear a neon wig and have my makeup done; two of my favorite things. Once I researched the fashion show event from past years, I saw that elaborate costumes are common so I got excited to see what other designers were making and to be participating in an event that usually sells out.I received a call time of 8 hours prior to the first show. I don't remember the last time I was called so early for a performance, even for the professional period miniseries I did. After professionally and calmly discussing with the designer, my call time was pushed to a few hours later but still taking up the majority of my day. I had committed to this event, I couldn't be ungrateful, so I took a breath and had my husband drive me over to a house to get ready.I walked into a kitchen of women of varying ages. My designer was there as well as my old coworker who was also modeling alongside me. A young girl and a middle aged woman were doing makeup on two other women about the same age as the latter. Ok, I thought, this is different than I expected. It turned out the girl was a 14 year old aspiring makeup artist (who was VERY talented) and the other was a woman who just liked to do makeup. I had to repeat to myself I was not in New York any more and this was normal.As I sat and took it all in sitting in a stranger's kitchen, I realized this was all out of passion. It wasn't out of necessity or to prove something. It was because it sounded fun to design a line for a fashion show and all these women were there for the same reason I was: because it was a bucket list item to be a model for a day. I took my New York attitude and put it back in it's box and watched slight chaos unfold as everyone struggled to get ready to leave for the run thru at the tent a few minutes away.We arrived with an ample amount of time. We were one of the few groups fully dressed. I glanced around to see if I knew any one. I didn't. Almost every single person there was either 14 years old or 60. I am certain the entire female side of the junior class of the local high school was there. Again, the confusion set in. A few naked girls in body paint arrived (they looked incredible) and I felt slightly more at ease as they were clearly in their twenties.We ran thru our line and rehearsed a little more as ours was slightly choreographed. We had our photos professionally taken and then we sat. And sat. Snacks from earlier that morning had been brought for us but I was hungrier for more than cheese and crackers. Dressed in our outfits, we couldn't walk around the art fair especially in the constant rain that was happening. I would miss all other events.It seemed like years later the first show was about to begin. It went well for everyone. I watched as the high schoolers strutted down the runway; some smizing hardcore, others absolutely terrified. I smiled as I realized how remarkable it was that these teenagers designed several items of clothing and made them and are getting to show them publicly in a fashion show. How many kids get to do that growing up? Sure, this was incredibly awkward for me in a lot of ways, having expected something entirely different but for them, this was the shit. And their designs were good! As were the other women who had created lines and were actually old enough to drink alcohol legally.Our team was interviewed for the live feed that was streaming online and I found out later that my parents had even watched it because they are the best and most supportive human beings alive.My husband and best friend and her boyfriend came to the second show. Our crew walked second so I had warned them all that the show was filled with teens. I could almost picture them sitting in the audience awkwardly after paying 15 bucks to watch the high school soccer team's midriffs on display. They were supportive and complimented our bit. We vacated the premise quickly as my hanger was getting to code black and I was going to kill a screaming teenager soon. Also when did kids become so rude? We were all like that?Overall, the event was nothing like I had imagined. But when the designer thank me and my friend for helping with it and I saw how proud and happy she was, it made the entire day worth it. The energy backstage was viral and electric. It had been a long time since I had worked on something fueled only by passion and not competition or getting noticed or making money. It felt good.And I got to walk down a runaway. I count that as a check on the bucket list.