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with Andrew Stetson
The days of the kitchen table are behind him now, and along although his sights are still set beyond Toronto his office does employ a local manager. Aaron Hawco is counterweight that brings balance to NAM. Whereas the agency owner is a larger-than-life, charismatic presence, the local manager is the quiet, methodical operator.
Originally Hawco left New Brunswick to become a photographer, and ended up forming a strong bond with Anderson after settling in Ontario. "He was so passionate and complete in the way he approached his photography," recalls Anderson "I saw that passion in him. He really believed in himself.
"I remember having a conversation with him about how he was frustrated because he was trying to do something different when nobody's understanding. And I said to him 'If you want to learn who you are as an artist, you need to step out of this city.' 90% of the people in this city never go anywhere and they only ever see what this city has to offer. They learn from what they see elsewhere, but they never really experience it."
Hawco spent two years working as a photographer in London, England before returning to Toronto, and starting at NAM in 2003. "Thank God he's on my side today, because having Aaron here really helps develop the agency even more. While I'm occupied with what's going on in New York City, he's handling the local scene for me."
Here's a typical day for Hawco now (if any day could be considered typical). He's at the office before sunrise, while the European agencies are in full swing, checking on the models abroad. This is what he describes as "me doing my own thing, in my own time." Then bang, it hits 9:00 a.m. and "it's clients phoning and I have to deal with it." At 5:00 p.m. he's usually still in the office. He says the "Glam factor" of working in a modelling agency wore off after about two weeks.
So why stick with a job that entails such long days? "Because I'm not required to be in here during those hours. I have a passion for the industry... like Norwayne, we love what we do. I could be at home watching crappy television, or I could be at the agency dealing with clients overseas because of the time zone differences, and getting things started. It's what I love doing.
"At NAM we always laugh. When we go off, we go off. We scream, we throw things, but we always laugh. It's a very frustrating industry, and it's an industry everybody feels they have the right to comment on. There's a lot of good in this industry, but people never see the good side of it. The good days far outnumber the bad days."