Blue Balls

L'Oreal Matrix 2011

I spent last week going to castings and callbacks for a huge client. I did a job for them last year which could afford me a small shitty house in the northern peninsula of Michigan. In hindsight I probably should have moved there and married an ice fisherman. Sigh. I met with a bunch of people who took photos, looked at my hair, and scoured my portfolio. I was certain this one was in the bag. Sure enough, I get a call from my agent:

“Melissa you booked the hair dye boxes! We’re so excited for you! Hair prep is tomorrow and the shoot is Thursday. It’s a flat rate and depending on what countries they use the packaging in you could make a lot of money.’


I was feeling shitty the past few weeks because I’ve been taking off lots of time from work for vacation and my sister’s bachelorette party in Napa, so it was good to have a killer job lined up. I started to not hate modeling and was in a genuinely happy mood (this never happens by the way). I would make enough money to put off being an actual adult for a few more months. I texted my sister and Lizzy about the job because I was excited to be the “Chestnut Brown” box girl.

Well, as the title of this blog ensues, I get an email forwarded from my agent at 8pm (the night before the shoot):

“The client has changed the number of boxes they’re doing and Melissa may be cancelled tomorrow. We’re so sorry to do this but please stand by until the morning.”

I’m not a man, I don’t have a penis, but the feeling I got reading that email could be compared to a guy playing just the tip with Miranda Kerr and then she explodes and disappears into thin air. My face started to hurt, I almost puked the anxiety out of my brain. I was angry, and the only way I know how to deal with anger is by throwing my phone at the wall. Thank god for those iPhone bumper things. I started crying because that’s what girls do. I was just about to eat tomato rice soup but I threw it in the sink. It felt like someone stabbed me in the heart with an AIDS needle (ok I’m overreacting). I was angry, but this wasn’t normal angry, this was “I will kill your pets” angry. Not kitties though, never kitties. I was bummed about the money at first, but then I kept crying, and crying, and crying. Something more was going on in my brain. If I had been fired from an office job for fucking the mailman on my desk I would understand, but I had no idea what the hell went wrong with this job. Maybe my eyes were too far apart or my teeth weren’t straight enough. It’s a factor that I have absolutely NO control over, and that frustrates me the most.

I’m at the mercy of my agents who make a living off of me making a living. After booking that job I was getting emails like “congrats! xoxo” and “Good job!” Yay for me! I’m awesome! Ugh. Last night after a few hours of texting a friend about how I hate everything I thought, well the email said “might be cancelled” so who knows. I woke up at 8am this morning awaiting the final verdict, and it is now 3:11pm and I haven’t received one phone call or email. Nothing from my agent to check up on me after booking and then un-booking me the best job I’ve had all year. I’m thrown back into the herd.

15 thoughts on “Blue Balls”

  1. I couldn’t stop reading and this is comming from a happily married man with no delusions of one day nailing you..
    Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re not your job and you’re not the people you work with. I’m not going to pretend to know who you are but from the small glimpse I get of you from Twitter and now the this blog you seen to be a sweet and funny gal.

  2. Melissa,
    I love your wit, your writing style, and your firm grasp on reality. Some of us understand that what some may mistake for pessimism, is actually the sometimes unpleasant burden of intelligence.
    Sales is a bitch. Professional Salespeople experience extreme highs and lows on the reg. You happen to be selling your own youth, beauty and marketability, so rejection is especially hard. Just remember what all. pro Salespeople know – there will always be people who don’t get it, no matter how phenomenal the product. Keep your head up and move on.
    Stay awesome!

  3. Melissa,
    I think you are neat-o and funny. Modeling is hard. People are fickle and weird. I like throwing tomato rice soup at the wall. Being in the U.P. is fun and relaxing. I hunt bears up there.
    Chin up – chest out. You seem very nice. Reality, not so much.

    Best wishes…Fred.

  4. I found my way here from Angela Trimbur’s twitter: her laundromat dance video is the most inspirational thing I’ve seen in months, for reasons I’m not even sure I completely understand. Doing any kind of creative work includes all the soul-killing stuff you have no control over. Modeling must be one of the toughest just because it seems like it’s about who you are rather than what you do. But if you love doing it, then do it. Seven times down, eight times up. Life isn’t about who we are, it’s about what we do. So we have to do what you love.*

    *yeah, it’s possible this note is written more to myself than to you: writers are narcissists who have to externalize our shit to figure it out. but you seem cool and destined to be more than some cold-handed yooper’s wife. good luck.

  5. Wow…that sucks.
    I love your blog, your honesty and your writing style. I hope that people in your life value your brains and wit as much as your beauty. Thank you for sharing your highs and lows with us. You are keeping this middle aged mom of two amused….gosh bet that almost made up for to being Ms. Chestnut brown…..not.

  6. You should realize that this has nothing to do with you. It could be budgets, someone’s who related to the shoot has a relative who’s a chestnut brown model, etc.

    What can you do? Stand out for other reasons. Send hand written thank you notes to your clients — not the bookers but the nice people you meet on the shoots. Collect business cards and start a LinkedIn account. Use social media to promote your blog and therefore your “model persona”.

    You are a brand … Erin Watson does this well. Capitalize on your 15 minutes of fame.

    p.s. Start a novel. Think Lauren from The Hills and write a novel about the modeling life. She wrote that Candy series.

    I’m going to do this. You should try it to. Camp NaNoWriMo … write a novel in a month. You do this on your own. 1500 words a day and in one month, you have a (shitty) first draft.

    The camp is for those of us who weren’t able to do it during national write a novel in a month which i think is in june.

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