Well, I can hardly believe it is December! The year has flown by. It has been a year of mixed fortunes for me, some disappointments and some pleasant surprises. Some of you will know that as well as modelling, I am also a professional singer. There are times in my life when I am predominantly a singer earning a living, and others when I am mainly a model. Both are creative outlets for me, and part of who I am.
For the past few years leading up to 2010, I had been making a good living as a successful singer, and loving every minute of it. I still modelled on the side and kept my portfolio updated, but mostly I was enjoying my lifestyle as a singer and actress. I worked solidly for several years, lining up one contract after another, and was in work right up until Christmas last year... And then the clock struck midnight marking a new decade, and suddenly musical theatre died a death. At least, it did for me.
Having enjoyed several prosperous years previously, in 2010 I just haven't had a look in. There have been a few auditions, but they really have been few and far between! I've been offered roles which I've had to turn down because I feel that after a decade in the industry, I deserve to be paid a decent wage for what I do, not making a loss for the privilege of performing. Several shows fell through, and somehow I've just been unlucky lining up work. Don't get me wrong, I have worked this year, and my professional CV is still pretty healthy. But it has been frustrating, and I just haven't quite reached my full potential in 2010.
The latest blow, to add insult to injury, is that I was due to be performing panto again this Christmas. I worked for the same company last year, and I love doing panto - it makes it feel festive! This has been planned for months, and I've duly been telling all photographers who enquired about my availability that I would be unavailable throughout December. I found out the day before I was due to start rehearsals that the show has been cancelled. I'm not only disappointed, but this leaves me with a month of no work and no wage! It is too late in the day to line up something else, and the run up to Christmas is a notoriously difficult time to fill!
On a more positive note, I have had an amazing year in terms of my modelling work! This time last year, I was wondering whether or not to continue, because inevitably as time passes, I am getting older (aren't we all?). Soon into the new year, I rediscovered my passion for modelling. It had never really left me, I'd just been busy doing other things. I've loved every shoot I've done, and it has become for me the creative outlet that I need. I am one of those people who has to be doing something creative. If I can't do it one way, then I'll find another way to release my creative energy! My two careers are not so far apart from one another really. I've always said that 'modelling is a static form of acting,' and for me this has been particularly true over the last twelve months.
Next year, I'm considering taking a break from singing. I will never give up, it is too much ingrained in me as part of who I am. But I am feeling frustrated with the industry and it's hard not to feel resentful and bitter. I don't want to walk into auditions feeling that way, so I may take some time to re-focus, and work consistently on modelling work. The musical theatre industry is so impenetrable at the moment due to the recession, that I doubt I will be losing out if I take a while to rediscover my passion. In the meantime, this will allow me the ability to plan shoots further ahead (as I have always been reluctant to book too far in advance due to the possibility of auditions or potential singing work). It will also mean that I can concentrate on having 'one identity' for a while (I never mix my singing and modelling work), so hopefully, something good may come of re-prioritising for a while. It will also hopefully lead to more modelling work, and some great shoots with fabulous photos!
We've had snow here (perhaps you've noticed!), lots of it! I do love Christmas and all things Christmassy, and I am childishly excited by the snow. There is currently around a foot and a half settled here in Chesterfield, with 2-3 foot drifts in places. (To be honest, I would really struggle to get to panto rehearsals anyway, if it had gone ahead). I went for a wander through the town today with Dave Davies, and we both took our cameras with us. You can see the results of my own photos on my new facebook page (I've joined facebook as a model for networking - feel free to add me). I haven't seen snow like this since my childhood, so couldn't resist shooting on both sides of the camera. Here are the photos taken today in the snow by Dave (couldn't resist a quick nude in the back garden - sitting smiling in the snow!).
Photos by and copyright of Dave Davies