This is part 2 of my acting/modelling journey and why I became a personal trainer. To get the low down from the beginning, head here first.
After 6 years of living in Sydney, I made the move to Melbourne, a city I really connected with. Sydney was fun but it was also a tough city to live in. It can be very pretentious and clicky, plus I had my heart broken there so it was definitely time to move on…
I turned 25 in my first year in Melbourne, and had a blast! I loved the cosmopolitan culture, the great bars and hidden away alley ways, the cafe culture and amazing restaurants, the coffee and how friendly people are in Melbourne. I fitted in well with the Melb lifestyle. There were only two things I didn’t like…the weather and the beaches! Can’t have everything I suppose!
I started modelling there and did some hospitality too. The cafe I worked at was called Babble, and I worked there for 2 years in my mid 20′s and had a bit of a love-hate relationship there! LOVED all the staff…we became great mates and often hung out after work and partied together. The boss was, hmm, a bit on the chauvinistic side. But he was alright at times, had a big heart even though he could be a massive pr**k . I made some beautiful friendships and had lots of fun and debauchery times…but was very glad to say “bye bye” to my hospitality days! The truth is, I loved the people but loathed the job.
Pursuing My Acting Dream…
Getting on the books of a successful acting agent was a big deal. One of my first auditions whilst being represented by Liz Ellis, was for a new regular role on Neighbours…I was incredibly nervous. I did a good audition and got a call back. I was a little more centered for the second audition and walked out of there thinking I had a good chance of getting the role. The casting director, Jan Russ (a bit of an icon in the industry and cast all the actors on Neighbours for something ridiculous like 25 years!) seemed very pleased with my audition and I left feeling very confident.
I was called back again, this time to do the scene opposite one of the actors from the show. I don’t know what happened, but something threw me and I stuffed up my lines in the first take and started to blush. The problem with blushing, is once you realise you’re going red, it gets worse before it gets better! Before I knew it, I reckon I was lookin’ like a bright red tomato…and I broke out into a sweat from the pressure! Oh dear. I did manage to do a good take by the third go at it, but I knew I’d blown it.
A few months later I had an audition for a guest lead role on Blue Heelers, another iconic Aussie show. I loved the audition piece and was so god damn prepared for the audition! I felt totally confident and in control and absolutely nailed the audition. The next day, my agent rang to tell me I got the part. I was over the moon! One of the happiest moments of my life, especially when I was told I would be acting opposite Gary Sweet and Vince Colosimo!
When all the cast got together for rehearsals and a read through of the episode, I remember thinking to myself, wow, I’m actually a professional actor now! Man, I was nervous though! The following week we filmed the episode. I played Ngaire Douglas…a victim of sexual assault. I got to cry AND die! It was so much fun, and I have to admit, I felt like a bit of a rock star as I had a chauffeur who picked me up and dropped me off at set each day!
When it was time to do my scene with Vince, I was shitting myself! Haha! I don’t know what I was more nervous about – the crying scene or acting opposite Vince! I found him to be incredibly sexy. Anyway, he must have picked up on my nerves and gave me a few pointers and was really very nice and generous. All the actors were really nice and professional…it was a fantastic experience.
A Serendipitous Email…
A few months after the Blue Heelers gig, I got a random email from a woman named Dredd…a Filipino model booker who worked for an agency in Manila called Ideal People. I could never have guessed what serendipity this email would bring to my life!
In the email Dredd basically said that she received my photos from my agency in Bangkok (I modelled in BK for 3 months the year before) and then submitted them for a skin care campaign for a company called the Facial Care Centre. Dredd went on to say that I had been “internally approved” for the job and that they wanted to fly me over for the campaign and pay me AUD$6,000 for two days work! I thought it was a hoax and didn’t get too excited about it initially. But then I got my agency in Melb to follow it up and make sure it was all legitimate, and then next thing I knew I was flying to the Philippines!
Filipinos are such lovely, hospitable people. I was picked up from the airport and taken to my hotel, and then the next day was basically jam packed full of spa treatments to make sure my skin was looking flawless! Not bad at all! The following day was the first day of shooting the campaign…and there was a pretty big hiccup!
Never in my life had I ever worn contacts, and for this shoot they needed me to wear blue and green contacts. I thought it would be relatively easy to put these things in, but because I have almond shaped eyes and “deep set” eyes, so they told me, it was nightmarish experience! I mean, it took hours of different people fiddling around trying to help me…Dredd was on the shoot with me and started to panic a bit as we both knew if I couldn’t wear these contacts, I’d be cancelled for the job! It literally got down to having 30 minutes left of trying to get the little bastards into my eyes before the client was going to book another model. I must have an angel, as I FINALLY got them in. Phew!!!!
I decided to stay on in Manila for an extra two weeks to go on castings as there was already some interest from other clients. One of the castings I went to was for AVON to be their ‘intimate apparel’ model. My booker was very excited about this casting for me as she knew it was a really big deal! I went to the casting, had fittings and they took a few photos of me. Then the next day they asked me to come back again. It was between me and a Brazilian model…I landed the campaign and was the face/body of AVON for 4 consecutive years!!! This ended up being the best modelling job of my career. AVON flew me out every 3 months to shoot their next catalogue during those 4 years. If it wasn’t for this campaign, I probably wouldn’t have been able to go to New York to study acting for a year. It truly was a blessing, and all from that one email I almost turned a blind eye to!
I’m getting closer to revealing why I suddenly made a career change into the health & fitness industry and how this career change has impacted on my life!