Hi-Fi's Joe MacMillan
November 30, 2021
It's been some time since my last entry as I've been enjoying my second trip to Shanghai
My agency absolutely loves Canadians (for obvious reasons!) so
I'm surrounded for the first time in my trip with many Canadian friends. There is also a
huge population of Canadian models with other Shanghai agencies. I find myself actually
understanding and joining the conversations that are taking place at castings, instead of trying to
decode conversations from Portuguese and Russian, and failing miserably. It's almost like being
at home. Well, sort of... It IS still China!
Of course, some things haven't changed here: Chinese-style poses are still going strong. I've
done a few of the overly complicated shows, which I wrote about in an earlier entry. Early
wakeup times, waiting around in traffic, waiting around for clients. Actually, I've actually never
cared enough to complain about these things, but now that I've been in the Asian market more
than a year without going home my patience can be stretched only so much further. I'm just not
finding myself 'laughing it off' when things don't go exactly as planned, which I would usually
do. It's not difficult to notice a trend in the way work is done in the Chinese market, but after
enough time it has begun to rub me the wrong way. While last time I just thought it was funny,
this time it's become a little annoying. I booked my flight home for Christmas and I'm going to
stay in Canada for two months to readjust to the world, see my friends/family and then come
back with a renewed sense of humour. It's about time to end my 'First Trip' and undoubtedly start
thinking about my next one in no time whatsoever.
I've been busier with work than I was last time in Shanghai. The first time I was here, I had
a lot of downtime due to the holidays. This time I know to avoid the first ten days of October,
because a Communism holiday wipes the casting schedule clear. Also, I now know not to be here during Chinese New Year which begins February 3rd this year. Everything
starts to slow down a week before. For the two week duration of Chinese
New Year, castings stop completely, work stops completely and then one week after it ends,
things start to slowly pick up again.
It was really beautiful during Chinese New Year, last year.
It started on Valentine's Day, and snowed while fireworks were going off all around the city.
Everybody was on vacation and relaxed. By the end of the month however, it felt like
we were in a warzone. Nothing was open and the sounds of bombs being lit surrounded you.
The fireworks never stopped! They are set off relentlessly for the duration of February. During the night, early in the morning, no matter what time of day. It starts to get old
really quickly. That's another reason I'm staying in Canada for two months. I'll return
to Shanghai when the effects of Chinese New Year have worn off.
So here's a bit of a tip for the reader: Avoid Chinese New Year in affected areas if you
A) Like to work, or
B) Like to do castings and keep busy during the day.
It's a month of reduced/no modelling work.
Thanks for reading!
Joe MacMillan is an Hi-Fi model, currently in China.