He was in Miami catching a connecting flight on his way to New York, and the airlines delayed the flight by a couple of hours. I'm not sure what made him decide to visit the agency that afternoon, but I'm sure glad he did. My agent woke me from a nice deep sleep and said, "There is someone I want you to meet - the art director for Cosmo!" Was I dreaming? Nope. At first all I could think was hopefully I didn't have too bad of bed head, or in this case couch head. But like every good model I turned on the charm through sleepy eyes and started telling him stories about each of the shots on my comp card. He must have like them, because a few weeks later my agent got the exciting news that Cosmo was sending a team to Miami to shoot an editorial promo spread with me as the model! (What, what?!)
The shoot was held at an ocean side hotel on South Beach in the pool area, and for me arriving on set was pretty nerve-wracking. After all this was Cosmo! Once I was introduced to everyone, they led me to a cabana where hair and makeup artists were waiting. While the hairstyle was kept pretty natural, makeup included false eyelashes, bright lips and cheeks, right on target with my expectations for a Cosmo shoot. Things were going great so far.
Next came wardrobe, which consisted of jeans in a stars and stripes pattern, and a bustier with lots of beads and sequins, definitely an All-American look, and of course a little over the top. Again, right in line with what a model could expect at a Cosmo shoot. Then came the unexpected addition to my costume, as the stylist handed me falsies for stuffing my top. "Look," he said, "this is Cosmo, we don't care if you're Dolly Parton, you're getting stuffed." Although it was a little overwhelming, I thought it was the perfect finishing touch to my ultra-glamorous Cosmo preparation experience. At that point I couldn't have been more ready for the shoot.
Through what seemed to be an endless series of hurricane-like wind gusts, balancing on high heels, battles of will with the giant American flag, light sprinkles of rain waiting to happen, and a continuous prayer inside my head that the whole thing would not turn into a huge disaster, I somehow held my ground. Thanks to super firm hold hair spray and my super firm grip around that flag pole, we were able to get enough shots in between wind gusts to pull it off! The resulting photo was almost too perfect, and no one would ever be able to tell the harrowing experience behind what looks like a rather simple pose. The art director of Cosmopolitan must have been pleased with my bravery in the face of the elements, since subsequently I was booked for two more shoots in the Cosmo Tells All section of the magazine.
On the third shoot I got to work with a good friend of mine, photographer Mark Wilderman, ironically since I've always believed it was the story behind his cover shot of me for Palm Beach Illustrated magazine told on that sleepy afternoon back at the agency that got me the gig in the first place. Although the other shoots were not as eventful as the first, they were still fun and each time I was just as nervous and excited. After all, it was Cosmo!
So when it comes to the secret of how to get booked for Cosmo magazine, or any other modeling job, the answer is simple. Be alert and be yourself. When opportunity knocks, be prepared to answer the door with a smile and a great story. And you just may get noticed.