MB EXPO 2013: part 1

In November 2013, I attended the Model and Talent Expo, presented by Mike Beaty. Words cannot describe how wonderful this experience was, but I’m going to try. I’ll split up the posts so I don’t overwhelm anyone with my raptures of delight.

This all started with an ad in the paper for an open casting call for a film to be made in the area. I knew I had to have an agent to audition for anything, and I didn’t have an agent, so open calls were all I could hope for. Living in a non-movie-making-mecca meant I had no chance of getting an agent or finding an open call. This was a God-send.

I put on some makeup, brushed my hair and teeth, pulled something reasonably fashionable out of my rather dated closet, and drove over to the audition location. It was a mad house, I tell you. The agency office is a converted little house, and there must have been 100 people crammed into it. My audition went well, I got an immediate callback*, and the agency owner, Sheryl Anderson, saw more in me than I’d ever seen in myself.

Getting to the Expo was both very easy and very difficult. Sheryl saw my potential and insisted I attend. However, huge seminars and events like this aren’t cheap, and for a poor writer trying to get by on charity and part-time work, coming up with the money wasn’t easy. But God made a way, and I’m so incredibly grateful He did.

I attended classes at Anderson Agency twice a month to prepare myself. I had no idea how to walk when modeling clothing. It’s not as simple as it seems, and it’s only slightly less dorky-feeling than it looks. But that walk is important because it can make the outfit one wears look great or not great. I also had lessons with acting coaches, which I really appreciated. I’ve never had acting lessons before, and that always bothered me.

Why, you may ask, didn’t I just go get acting lessons, if I wanted them so badly? I took voice lessons for years and years, after all. Well, that’s part of what made going to the Expo difficult: I didn’t really believe in my acting ability.

Sure, I’ve had some kind reviews for roles I’ve played in the past, but I didn’t put much weight into them. I performed with mostly local troupes, in community theaters, small-town opera houses, and at university. That’s not “real”, or so I thought. I grew up with the teaching that it’s fine and dandy to do performing arts on the side, but it’s not a “real” job, and it’s not something I could ever make a living at.

As a result, I never took acting classes, I wasn’t an official student of that field of study, and of course I didn’t get the major roles; those who were officially focused on acting got the best parts. But my little mind told me it was because I wasn’t good enough, so why bother? I stuck with the bit characters and gratefully accepted what I was given. The few main roles I got seemed to come because there literally wasn’t anyone else, let alone someone better. Hardly a confidence-builder.

Since I had the mindset that I wasn’t really that good, I was shocked when Sheryl demanded I go to the Expo as one of her signed talents. Me? Audition for movies and modeling and stuff? Me, the fat one, the never-quite-good-enough one, the not-pretty-enough one, the pity-casting one? For the first time in my life, someone believed in my acting and pushed me to go after it.

As the Expo drew near, I grew nervous. How would I afford the gas to drive to Dallas? How would I afford the hotel? Food for my allergen-restricted diet? And what made me think that I could actually succeed if I did go?

This, friends and neighbors, is where faith meets the pavement. I prayed a LOT about this. I talked with others whose opinions and insights I valued. Most importantly, I listened to what God had to say.

Logically, I should not have gone. I’m broke. I don’t have the “look” to be on TV or in movies or model. I’m untrained, little better than a bumpkin. It made no sense for me to attempt something like this.

But. However. God’s ways are not our ways, and what makes sense to us rarely fits in with His plans. As Graham Cooke likes to say, God is too clever to be logical. Everything I heard from human wisdom was “Don’t go.” Everything I heard from God was, “Don’t look with your eyes.”

If you read my previous posts here on the Ink Well, you’ll know about the hardships and setbacks I endured in the month leading up to the Expo. If I looked at my circumstances, life was incredibly bleak. I had no hope and no future in anything I was trying to do.

But. However. It is in our weaknesses that we can see the strength of God, it is in our hard times that we can see His provision. In the last days before the Expo, I found ladies to carpool with and share gas money, roommates to split hotel costs, and enough pocket money to feed myself for the weekend. It worked out, and I drove down on Wednesday morning with three wonderfully awesome ladies.

I had the most incredible weekend of my life, better than I could ever have dreamed. Better than I let myself hope for. Better than I had any right to expect.

More details in the next post. 🙂


*The movie I auditioned for is on hold; no idea when/if it will actually get made.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michelle
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 16:09:15

    Hi, very cool to read about your experience. Question, other than your transportation, lodging, and meals – did you have to pay to attend the expo?

    Good luck in the future!


    • Rose's Ink Well
      Apr 09, 2014 @ 12:32:28

      Yes, I did have to pay to attend. Some will argue that this invalidates the experience, that a potential employee should not have to pay for an interview. You’ll have to determine if the opportunity is worth your investment.

      Talk with your agent about the exact pricing.


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