Drea's Overseas Journal
December 5, 2021
Drea is a Chantale Nadeau model, currently in Shenzhen, China with Glamour Women.
Guess which one is Drea
Ni hao (nee-Ha-OW) from beautiful Shenzhen China!
I can't believe I have been here for almost three weeks...
It feels like I was lost in the Vancouver airport yesterday calling Chantale and crying to every airport official because I was lost and thought my flight had left without me.
Luckily I'm used to getting lost and getting a lot of attention when it happens - I had a little golf cart of worried airport staff take me to the right terminal (I was sitting beside a really old lady and it was really embarrassing).
I made it in one piece and was greeted with a big sign that said DREA. I couldn't believe how sweet all the people were - the sign lady, my driver - everyone! I felt so welcome and safe!
My agents picked me up and took me to the model apartment - where I was reunited with my friend Lauren (one of Chantale's wonderful models) and two strangers/models I would be living with...They were not as welcoming, but it all changed within in a few days. One of the models is from Poland and the other from the Ukraine.
Before I knew it, it was morning and time to get the day started.
I had a little tour of the markets and streets around our home - I was experiencing a bit of culture shock. Actually, I'm not going to lie. I was missing home and I was scared and I hated every step I was taking and I wanted to go home. But that changed after a few days as well.
It's so important to remember to give things a chance and be patient.
My agency, Glamour Women, is tres amazing. They are so kind, understanding and at our doorstep the second we need something. I spent a whole afternoon being taught about the Chinese culture, fashion market and clientele.
My first day of castings began and I had no idea what to expect, even though I learned so much - it's different when you're actually there.
One of our bookers takes us to our castings all the time (we are treated like complete royalty here) and tells us what the clients want. Cool pose! Smile pose! Big pose! No pose!
I had no idea what I was doing!! We actually try on all the clothes at the casting. Everyone is there - clients, photographer, the big boss! I just had fun. I jumped around laughing - I did the funniest poses with the cheesiest smiles - and guess what? I booked the job!
I've had a few jobs already - catalogue work (but better known as look books to us Canadians!).
One job was really intense - over 200 outfits in four hours and another one out by the seaside - that was a full day. I was mesmerized by the scenery. I got very muddy and had very painful mosquito bites (that are still on me and itchier than ever) but it was worth it! I would do it all over again!
I also got the chance to spend time near a farm, with locals who prepared a beautiful meal for all of us on break.
I can't describe how happy and how lucky I feel to be here. It makes me tear up... OK DREA get yourself together and write!
The work is hard and tiring but very fulfilling.
The biggest issue has to be language barriers. You are very fortunate if at least one person on set knows a few words in English. It can be frustrating at times, but if you listen and pay attention to body language it's not much of a big deal:)
...when ordering food - paying attention and body language come to no use.
One night I ordered something that looked nice in a picture menu, but tasted not so nice in my mouth.
After this interesting experience and seeing skinned animals of all kinds in restaurant windows I thought it was time to become a vegetarian. And it has been wonderful ever since (a whole 2.5 weeks!)!
Lauren & Drea
Lauren and I went out a few nights after to a restaurant in Guangzhou (where we are represented by Dawn Models) and attempted to order tofu! Haha I just laugh thinking about it.
Our order came through, but it was no easy task. Half of the restaurant staff came over to watch us try and order TOFU and vegetables. We looked at each other and Lauren started what would be an unforgettable night.
She pushed her nose up and started snorting like a pig saying "NO *snort sound effect*!" And then I said "No moooooo!" and so on. We must have imitated every animal we could think of haha!
The key is to have fun and never get mad because the Chinese are very patient hosts and will put up with barn yard noises in their restaurants to make you happy!
In short (I'm trying to keep this as short as possible!) I am having the time of my life!
I am hoping to do some more sight-seeing - Lauren and I have walks everyday after castings where we explore and get lost, and find our way back home (the Di Wang Tower is our land point to home and happens to be one of the tallest buildings in the world)!
In shorter short, I miss you all very much! And my time on the computer is up - I'm being yelled at in Polish! Hehe:)
I will be off to Shanghai at the end of the month... but my adventures here are far from over!
Until next time...