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Trudi Tapscott

Page TWO

Now 48, Tapscott approaches things differently. "When I started in the business in my twenties, I wasn't much older than the models I was working with. It's all fun and great, it was the 1980s and everything was fun, but things change, and now I look at it in a much different way.

"Although we all say it's not about the money, at the end of the day when a model retires and wants to do something else - get married or have children - you want to make darn sure you have the money. You want to make sure that all that hard work, and torture and all those bruised egos that they had to deal with... you want to make sure that it ends up with, 'hey, I own a house.'"

Despite a more mature outlook, she certainly hasn't lost her enthusiasm for the industry. In fact she becomes downright animated when asked if she still gets a charge out of booking models. "Totally! Are you kidding? Totally, totally a rush. It's funny because after so much time you would think you would lose it, but for me it's like falling in love every time.

"You would think that after a while a beautiful girl would walk in and you would say 'enough!' But you don't. You say 'Oh my God, this is it!' My personality has always been about the new & exciting, and I still get that same feeling when I book a girl for Vogue - I still have that same feeling of enthusiasm. That's my barometer. I think that when I lose that feeling, then it's time to do something else. I'm sure I could arrange flowers, or something."

She could also fall back on something she considered during her Model Search America days. "I did seminars and got involved in doing as much education as I could with parents. I thought my career was going to go that way - as an industry professional."

On the day I met with Tapscott she had made a special trip to Toronto see Elmer Olsen's Grace, winner of the 2005 Elle Canada Model Search. It was a rare trip north for Tapscott whose role is no longer that of a scout, but who was happy to share her opinion - as an industry professional - of Toronto's place in the world of modelling. "Toronto is a total, complete market. It might be on a smaller scale, but you have everything. You have a show week so models can learn to walk for designers. You have magazines, you have photographers. And the fact that we're in such close proximity makes it easier for models to come to New York for a quick visit."

"It's so much better for a girl to come from Edmonton, to Toronto, to New York, than to come from Edmonton straight to New York. You don't know anything about the business, you've never worked with clients... maybe you've done a couple things in Edmonton, but not that much. It's never going to be on the same level as it is here where there's retail and commerce and everything that goes on in a major city, where you can work and get better and refine your skills.

"It's not because you're pretty that you're good. It's because you're pretty - and you're good at it - that you're good. The more practice you have before you get to the big leagues the better prepared you'll be.