Aug 2016

By Lily Lawson

Posted in

Coping with the Unpredictability that comes with being a Model in India

I am someone who likes to plan my time. Down to the second. I like to know what I will be doing, when I will be doing it and where I need to be when… In advance. In fact, those close to me know me for being super organised, and I take great joy in organising.
Unfortunately though, being a model doesn’t always allow this, especially in India. Time is a relative concept here and the fashion industry is full of unpredictability. One of the most challenging things on each of my trips to India as a model, has been the last minute nature of the job. As it is, models rarely know when they will be working or how much they will be making each month; that’s just the nature of the industry. This, combined with India’s lackadaisical attitude toward time, can make life a little difficult for a control freak like myself.  However, it is this combination that I am so grateful for, as with each trip back to India I grow so much as a person.
My first tip for first time models in India, is to relax. Yes you were told to be ready for castings at 1:00pm and it’s now 1:30pm with no sign of the driver, or you’re bang on time for your shoot with no sign of anyone else; but don’t let this make you stressed. If you do, you will live in a constant state of stress. Just know that eventually you will get to your casting, and if the clients are late they too will eventually get there — everything will get done. There is no point in worrying about the time, as that’s just how things are here, and you are in another country where things are done differently, after all.  Saying that, not everyone will be late, so make your best effort to be on time and keep a book with you at all times so that you have something to do if you do have to wait.
As a model, I hardly ever know when I am going to have work or castings until the last minute. This means that I can’t make any plans in advance. It also means that I have learnt to make the most of every minute until I am booked or summoned for a casting. In order to meet the deadlines for my other work, I have to use every free moment I have, often finishing my work days before it’s due; because I just never know if I’m suddenly going to be booked and unable to complete it.  In the same light, I’ve learnt to make the most of the time that I’m not working, by doing the things that make me happy. This can be something as simple as having a nap, to going on an adventure and seeing as much as I can of this magical country.
In sum, although it is stressful living such an unpredictable life, if you learn to relax into it and trust that everything will work out, you can only grow from the experience. Just make sure that you always have something with you to keep you occupied, and fill the time that you are not working with the things that make you smile.  And lastly, be grateful for every job that you do book when you book it, even if it is only the night before.