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Peggi Lepage's Rebecca Dunham
photo: Daniela Majic; makeup: Jenn Aqui

Rebecca Dunham

April 27, 2021

A Love Letter To Shanghai

Tomorrow is my two-month anniversary with Shanghai and let me just say I know it's early, but, baby I love you. I feel like my modelling dreams will all come true in Shanghai, like I'm Charlie and it's my chocolate factory - and this isn't so far from the truth as I'm currently obsessed with some Chinese candy. So much has changed since I've last written; for example, I live in a new apartment with all English speakers. We are a motley crew consisting mostly of boys and, except for Frank and me, everyone is from a different country. I've also been so busy. Shanghai fashion week recently ended, which kept us models busy with perpetual fittings, never ending rehearsals and - oh yeah - the actual shows! Just as fashion week was coming to an end I learned that I had a photo shoot for a magazine I've dreamed about being part of since I was a little pig tailed girl.

A few weeks ago I walked into my agency to pick up my pocket money and to chat with my bookers before the day of castings began. I had just gotten over being sick and a cold was still lurking in my nose and throat. I felt happy to be getting better but still not great or excited to spend the day doing castings. We walked to our first casting. We must have looked pretty exotic to passers-by; a group of tall, beautiful, foreign people strutting down the street. Our booker told us on the walk over that the casting was for Vogue. My heart stopped. Waves of excitement, disbelief and fear simultaneously washed over me. I felt like puking and peeing my pants all at the same time. I wished I had known that I had a casting for Vogue before I left the house that morning and I cursed the flu in every language I could. I got hold of myself and realized that there wasn't anything I could change or do differently. Even if I had known about this casting, all I could do was go in there smiling and show them why I was the best girl for the job.

When I saw Condé Naste my excitement level shot through the roof. I was in Vogue China's office. Next thing I knew I was showing my book to the editor and smiling as big as a ventriloquist dummy. She nodded her head a lot as she chatted with my booker and they turned and looked at me at the same time. My booker's face went blank and he fumbled around for my comp card and nervously read out “re..be..cca”. I was just as confused as he was until I realized my booker had forgotten my name! I was mortified! This was my dream job and what if I just lost my chance because my booker forgot my name?

Ryan isn't just any booker either; he is one of my favorite bookers. I'm constantly teasing him and joking around with him. He has even made me lunch before. When we were walking back from the agency I asked him how on earth he could forget my name and he told me that he got so excited that the client liked me that he froze. His excuse was so sweet and innocent that I had to forgive him. But that didn't stop me from teasing him for the next few days quizzing him on my name and other people's names in our agency. Oh, but wait... the client liked me?!?!? I was so elated that Vogue liked me that I could have died happy right then and there. It was justification of everything I do. If the people at Vogue liked me than all my hard work is really paying off. Even if it's just being optioned for my dream job.

A kiss for each check,

Rebecca


Rebecca is a Peggi Lepage model, currently in Shanghai.

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