I’m currently going through what is, by far, the worst string of bad luck that I’ve ever had with models flaking on me. It’s nuts! N-V-T-S – NUTS! I hope it breaks soon! Man! I’m about ready to just give up. I really am.
So, let me tell you the story, Man: This past June I get a message from a model whom I’ve never worked with before — right out of the blue (it happens quite a bit). She writes to me and tells me “I LOVE your work!”, and “Your stuff is so dark and creative and it’s so hard to find photographers like that in this city. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you ever need a model for anything let me know. I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to work with you!!!” That, among other things, is what she said in her e-mail.
Now, right about the time that she contacted me, I was closing in on finally coming to a shoot-date for a project that was exceedingly complex and involved and had been a long time in development. I had A LOT on my plate because of it. I was up to my ears and beyond in taking care of preparations for the upcoming shoot. And, I told her so — I told her how busy I was and that it would likely be some time before I’d have any free time to work on another project. She wrote back and told me that she was leaving the country the second week in September and that she’d be gone until spring. She practically begged me to let her know if I had anything come up before that which I could use her for.
While I was finalizing this current project, I had already started in on the early imaginings of the one I’d be following it with. And, I had a model in mind for it — a model I’d worked with before. She had the right look for the part. This new model who had e-mailed me, however, didn’t really have the look I had envisioned for the piece, but she wasn’t all that far off. And, since she seemed so eager, I figured I could give a little on the look and offer the job to her. So, I did. And, she was overjoyed. Or, at least, she seemed to be.
The problem was that this project was no simple work itself. It wasn’t nearly as complex as the last one, but it was pretty damned complex. There was set pieces to be constructed. There was a fairly intricate, extensive and complicated costume to be designed and manufactured. Things to be located. MUAs to be worked with on makeup design, etc., etc. And, I had about two months to do it all in — this project really needed more time than that.
Ok, so, I’ll just have to absolutely destroy myself to get everything done before the model leaves in early September so we can shoot it. Which, is what I did. I worked my damned ass off. I really did. Just so I could get it done in time to shoot with this model who had practically begged me to shoot with her.
Long story almost as long but not quite: I somehow manage to pull off what was basically a miracle. I get everything done and I’m just about ready to shoot. I contact the model and we book a date a little more than a week in advance. She says to me:
“Do you think after the shoot you might be able to give me a ride downtown? I live in [Farawaytown] and it’s going to be difficult to get a bus home from your studio. It’ll be easier from downtown.”
“Sure. No problem.” I say, “I can give you a ride right to [Farawaytown] if you’d like.” (Nice of me, huh?)
“That’s great! Thank you so much!” She says, “So, do you think you could pick me up, too?”
“Uh… sure. I guess.” is my response “Just tell me exactly when and where I should be.”
“Awesome! Thanks soooo much! Sooo looking forward to the shoot!” is all I hear back from her.
I didn’t get a response about pickup time/location.
So, day of the shoot — I wake up early that morning — there’s LOTS to be done. I message her first thing, to remind her about our shoot scheduled for 8PM that night. And, in the message, I ask her exactly when and where she wants picked up. After that, I start in on the last minute preparations for the shoot. I go out and buy refreshments for the shoot — soft drinks, bottled water, fruit-tray, veggie-tray with dip, beer, chips & pretzels — and, I run around town for a few hours trying to locate certain things needed for the set. Around 2PM, I still haven’t heard from the model. I message her again and say “Hi [Modelname], it would be really helpful if I knew exactly when and where I was picking you up, so I know how much time to allow myself in leaving. Let me know as soon as you can. Thanks.” I proceed into setting up the set.
5PM — No word. I text message her. Then, I return to setting up.
6PM — Still no word. I try to call — get her voicemail.
7PM — Still no word. I text again “Sorry to be a bother [Modelname] but we’re getting down to the wire here. I really need to know where and when I’m picking you up, as I’ll have to leave fairly soon in order to be back here by 8. Let me know, thanks.”
7:30PM — Still no word. I message again… nothing. Try to call… voicemail again.
7:40-ish PM — The MUA shows up. I pay her.
7:51 PM — (exactly 9 minutes before scheduled start-time) I get a text message on my phone from the model. It reads. “Sorry! Can’t make it. My friend got really drunk at Pride. Have to take her home.”
So, I send the MUA home — with full pay, of course. Altogether, the day cost me well more than $500.00 — all of it right down the drain. And, that’s just the money I spent THAT day on the MUA + incidentals for the shoot that couldn’t be reused. $500+, all for nothing. $500+ that I’ll have to spend again when the shoot is rescheduled.
Now, I have to start looking for another model. And, as luck would have it, the model I was originally planning on offering the booking to before Flakey McFlakeface begged me to work with her has happened to move out of the city during the time we were setting up the shoot. So, she was no longer available.
Roughly a week later, however, I’m auditioning models at my studio for a part in a music video that I’m involved in the production of. One of the models auditioning sees the costume for the above discussed photo-shoot dressed on a mannequin and she tells me how much she loves it. I tell her about the project and how it’s pretty much ready to shoot; I’m just looking for a model for it. Right away, she offers her services.
Hmmm… maybe my luck is changing? Because, this model was PERFECT — beyond perfect — even more perfect than the original model. Her look was better — MUCH better — than even what I had envisioned for the piece.
“Ok! Great!” I tell her. “But, the costume will likely need some alterations, as it was designed for another model. Would you be willing and available to come in for a fitting? Then, we could book a date for the shoot once that’s taken care of?”
“Of course! No problem at all!”, she replies.
“Great! So, when might you be available for a fitting?” (This conversation was taking place on a Friday)
“Well, I’m really busy all weekend. And, I have plans on Monday that I can’t get out of. But, Tuesday would be good for me. Late afternoon would be best. How’s Tuesday at 4PM?”
“That’s fine.” I say. “I’ll see you here on Tuesday at 4PM!”
“Perfect!” She says. “I’ll be here!”
We messaged back and forth the next day, the Saturday, with discussion pertaining to the shoot and the costume. Sunday goes by. Monday goes by. Tuesday arrives and, first thing in the morning, I message her a reminder about the afternoon’s appointment. I hear nothing back for awhile. About 3PM, an hour before her scheduled arrival, I get a text message: “Ah, shit! I’m so sorry! I completely forgot. I’m in Montreal right now. I can’t make it.”
FUCK YOU! YOU SLIMY CHUNK OF EXCREMENT!!! I HOPE YOU GET A GUINEA WORM INFESTATION IN YOUR EYES!!! (is what I reactively wanted to text back. I didn’t, however. I took a minute to gather my sensibilities. Then I texted back:)
“Do you want to reschedule?”
She responded: “Yes! But I don’t know when I can right now. Don’t know how long I’m going to be in Montreal for. It might be two days, or it might be two weeks. I’ll let you know when I know more.”
“Sorry. Two weeks is too long to hold it for you.” I replied “I’m going to have to look for another model for this shoot.”
“If you have to, I understand.”, she replied “But, I’d really like to do it. I should be back much sooner than two weeks. I’m sure I will. I’ll keep you posted. Maybe we can still do it?”
“Yes, keep me posted. I’d really like to do this shoot with you. So, I’ll hold off on finding another model for now. Please, let me know as soon as you get an idea as to when you might be back and available to work on this.”
“Sounds good. I’ll be sure to let you know the moment I know something.”
Three days go by. It’s now Friday.
Now, here’s an odd the thing: When this model applied to audition for the music video, she suggested we also consider a friend of hers who is also a model. I told her to have her friend contact me — which, she did. But, not only did her friend contact me about auditioning for the video, but she also friended me on Facebook at the same time. So, the other day, I was surprised to see a post update from this model’s friend about how she’s excited to be going to some event in Ottawa with her friend (Her friend being the model who’s supposed to be in Montreal) tomorrow night. ?!?! So much for letting me know as soon as possible, I guess!?!?!
So, Saturday comes and goes. I still haven’t heard anything from the model. On Sunday, I decide to message her again: “Sorry to be a bother, but any word on when you might be available, yet?”
She responds: “I’m so sorry! I could have sworn I sent you a message. I’m back in Ottawa now.”
“Great!” I write back. “So, do you want to schedule that fitting now?”
“Sure!” She says. “I’m free pretty much all week.”
“Perfect!” I say. “So, how’s tomorrow evening? Monday? Say, around 7PM-ish?”
“Oh. I’m not sure. I left my bus pass in a friend’s car. I can’t really get around without it. I’ll have to see when I can get it back.”
“Ok. Well, let me know as soon as you can.”
I don’t hear anything for the rest of the day. The next morning, I message her again: “Any word yet?”
She responds: “I’m kind of fucked. I broke my phone.”
“Ok. What does that mean? Are you saying you’d like to call the whole thing off?”
“Probably would be best.” She writes back.
So, again, I have no model.
And, that’s how that went.
Here’s a couple of more things that went on concurrently with all of this: That music video I mentioned earlier? Well, this past Friday was to be the last night of auditions for models for that video. They were all supposed to be over last week, actually. But, one model had problems with her day-job work schedule. So, just for this one model, we extended the whole thing by a week and set-up a date for her, alone, to come in and audition — special, just for her. So, just because of her, I had to contact each of the other models we were considering and tell them it was going to be an extra week before they hear from us regarding a decision. Myself and another member of the production also had to take an extra day out of our schedules, just for her — just to accommodate her. So, the audition was supposed to take place at 7PM last Friday. I got a message from her at exactly 5:20 PM. She can’t make it. ‘Stuck at work’, was the only reason given. Meanwhile… there’s a post on her Facebook page posted a couple of minutes after 7PM wherein she’s complaining about how she was trying to pluck her eyebrows and dance at the same time and she messed up her eyebrows doing it. She called it a “major emergency”. …really? You were dancing and plucking your eyebrows at work, were you? Call me crazy, but it doesn’t sound to me like she was ‘stuck at work’. Sounds to me more like maybe, perhaps, possibly, she was getting herself ready because someone asked her to go clubbing, or some shit, that Friday night and she thought that sounded like a better time than showing up for the appointment she’d already committed to?
Along with that: Back in July, I got an e-mail, entirely out of the blue, from a model I hadn’t seen nor heard from in three years. The last time I saw her, three years ago, she completely flaked on me on a shoot. Seriously. So, this past early July I get an e-mail from her, entirely out of nowhere, asking if I want to shoot with her.
What the hell… let’s give her another chance. I did have one successful shoot with her prior to her flake incident. So, maybe the flake was fluke? I email her back and tell her that I’m involved in working on another project at the moment. But, if she just wants to bring some wardrobe to my studio and set-up a quick, informal shoot, I could make time for it in my schedule. And, possibly, when I get done this project I’m working on, we might be able to work together on something a little more structured.
I don’t hear from her again for a month. So, a month after her initial, out-of-the-blue, e-mail to me, I e-mail her back and just say “So, I take it that’s ‘no’, then?”
She writes back and says “Oh my god! I’m a horrible person! I can’t believe I took this long to get back to you! Yes. I’d love to come to your studio for a shoot!”
I write back and say “Great. Let me know what day/time would work best for you and we’ll do it.”
That last e-mail was sent over a week ago. I haven’t heard back from her yet.