November 3, 2010
Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger. This is what I kept telling myself
Wednesday. By 2:00 pm (which felt like 9:00 pm because I was so tired) I both believed it and felt it.
Have you ever done two castings and three test shoots/creatives in one day? All in different
ends of Paris? It's normal! Quite honestly, I ended up doing only two tests and two castings today.
For the first test I was late by more than an hour because there is no Wi-Fi in this
city and I can't Google where I have to go. I got off at the wrong metro station and had to
walk because I didn't know how close the place I needed would be. I made it over an hour later
and could not stop apologizing because I have never been that late! The photographer was kind
enough to give me some water and told me to go and not be late anywhere else, then called the
agency and rescheduled the test. I thanked him and promised to not be late again.
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Elite's Ksenia Mezenina
I arrived to my next casting and next creative on time. This second test finished at 4:30
pm and I had to be at the next creative at 5:00 pm on the other end of Paris. Of course I was late,
but not drastically. In fact the last creative was really cool – Very simple makeup and hair,
beautiful lighting, a fun makeup artist and a fun photographer who spoke little English.
We tried to practice his English and my French. We were shooting in the studio but for one shot
he brought me outside on the terrace – TOPLESS! I have to mention how cold it was (+10 C) but
it was so worth it because we got a shot with Paris and the Eiffel Tower in the background!!!
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When I was late to the first creative I looked at the map and realized that I would have to
travel A LOT this particular day. I was so extremely hungry, sleepy, thirsty, and tired; I simply
had no time to stop by a café and buy a baguette and a bottle of water! Forget sitting down
somewhere and enjoying myself. I decided the following: regardless of how many baguettes,
macaroons and crepes I eat here, I will never gain weight in Paris! I just told myself 'Isn't this
what you wanted? Didn't you ask the agency to keep you busy with castings, tests,
jobs? So, shut up and smile!' And so, I did! It's true that this is what I wanted, this is what I
got and I am very lucky to be where I am. These thoughts made me realize that I am becoming
stronger and stronger.
On Monday there was a National Holiday in France, so no one was
working. Because of this, everyone was very laid back on Friday as well. If nothing was planned
beforehand there would be nothing happening. As I had nothing for Friday, I knew we would most likely
go for another long walk around Paris! My feet are killing me! It is not even because of the
high heels; I have been wearing flats. Even when I lie down or sitting, they still ache.
On Thursday I had a few castings and they all weren't that far. All went well until the
last one. The last casting was out of Paris, as many of them are. Before going there, I specifically
checked the internet at the agency, to find out where I had to go. I came to the right place on time and
started looking for the number that I needed. I needed building number 36-40, however there
were buildings 42 and 32 and nothing between them! I walked around, I asked people, then some
guys gathered around and started helping me. I knocked on someone's apartment building to ask
whether they knew where 36-40 was. Nothing! Everyone thought that it didn't exist. PLUS all
of this was happening in French. In about 30 minutes, I called the agency which told me that I
was in the wrong place! I started arguing that it could not happen. They promised to send me the
details on how to get to the right place. When I got the details, I realized that they wanted me to
travel around Paris, switch train 3 times and make it to the other metro station that seemed to be
close to where I was on the map. Suddenly, I saw another model coming up to where I was. It
turned out she was also looking for the same casting and her map also showed this place! Which
one of us was crazy? We decided to not take a bunch of trains and go where the agency told us
by foot. This wasn't the best choice for our poor feet but it definitely saved us time. The problem
was that we were on the right street but it ran to two different directions starting from a main
street. It went both directions starting from number 1. We finally made it to the casting, where
we also had a coffee and afterwards we asked how far the metro station was that was convenient
for us. The casting director said it was only a ten minute walk. We walked and walked
and walked and finally made it there, forty minutes later. The other model turned out to be from
my native city in Russia before coming to Canada!
Since I did not have anything else after the castings I decided to visit Champs Élysée
again. I went in to a few shops and got some great things at good prices; some presents for me,
my fiancé and my friends. It was very exciting! Afterwards, when I started seriously losing
feeling in my feet I decided to sit down in Ladurée and enjoy some desert! What a treat that
was! I sat down on a closed terrace, ordered caramel tea, macaroons and an éclair, turned
French music on my iPod and opened a book. It was so great to sit there and enjoy myself. At
this moment I thought again how blessed and lucky I was to be doing what I was doing and
thanked God and everyone who made it happen for me again and again. I also thought how
inspiring Paris was because here I constantly feel so motivated to do things. I get some great
ideas and I am always excited to be doing things!
Oui, Merci Beaucoup pour ça, Paris! :)
Ksenia Mezenina is an Elite model, currently with City in Paris.