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Modeling in Shanghai

Some Thoughts
April 26, 2007
Putuoshan 普陀山 | Mount Putuo
May 30, 2007

Take a Chance

Since I’ve been in China, I have been fortunate enough to be able to try my luck at two professions that always have interested me: those being, modeling and DJ’ing. When people find this out, some are surprised and happy and some seem to think it’s a waste of time. I say this; take a lesson from the sports manufacturers,

  • life is short, play hard
  • just do it
  • impossible is nothing

I’d like to live the rest of my life with as few regrets as possible. So here’s how it happened... I spoke about the DJ’ing before, so here’s the history of the modeling experience. During my research on the city, before coming to Shanghai, I found that there were a lot of posts on a few sites looking for western models and sometimes black models in particular. After arriving and getting acclimated to the city. I started doing research on this market, and met a few people who had done model work, or have had extra roles in the many movies that have been filmed here.


I approached an agency, took some pictures for my portfolio, and hoped to be able to land a job before I leave China. The pictures were taken I think sometime in November. I was called in January to go to a casting for a Karl Kani photo shoot.

I arrive at a highrise, get to the office. We spoke for a little while. I was then asked to try on some clothes, which by the way were all too small. They took a couple pictures, we spoke a little while more and that was it. I was notified the next day that I was chosen.

Momma, I made it!

The shoot took place on a Saturday morning. I arrived at the same office around 6:30am. Here I met the shoot staff, the other model (a Russian Girl), and had my first professional makeup job. (Very weird, could've gone without that part.) From there we traveled about an hour to the first shooting location. Ironically we were still in Shanghai (this is a huge city).

We arrived the Shanghai Film Studio, where some parts looked like 1800’s Shanghai, some traditional Chinese villages and buildings, what seemed to be an area that looked like the US. Also walking around were guys dressed in wu shu (kung fu) clothing. We took pictures there until about 2pm. From there we came back into the city and took more pictures in an empty apartment that was turned into a photography studio. The day was fun, but changing clothes every 10 minutes for 8 hours was annoying.

This all took place in late January/early February. A couple weeks ago, a student of mine showed me a small newspaper article about Karl Kani where one of the pictures was included. A week or so later, I walked into the classroom to find a student holding up a full page picture of me in a magazine from the same shoot. This past week I was shown another picture of me in a third publication, and was also informed that I have been spotted in a 4th magazine. It's true, and now I have copies of 3 of the 4 sightings.


Yesterday, I went to a mall that sells Karl Kani, and saw that I am featured heavily in the spring catalog. I’m working on a copy of that also.

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