One of our lovely models, Cyd, popped into our London office this week, we took the opportunity to ask her about how modelling in London compared to life in the States.
So Cyd, how long have you been here in the UK:
"I've been in the UK for almost six years, but I've only been back to modelling/acting for a little over two. I took a long break from the business to use my degree. I worked as a copywriter, but found the 9 - 5 world a bit too stifling so decided to give it another go as an actress & model in London. I think it’s actually easier as you get older and a lot of other people drop out, but also because you’re just so much more comfortable in your own skin”
So, you moved to London and that must of been a bit of a culture shock, where in the States did you move from and how does it compare with working in London?
"I started modelling and acting in the US (New Orleans to be exact), which was a much easier and more forgiving place. The competition wasn't as fierce and the simplest things like getting to castings were such much easier. For example, in New Orleans I just hopped in the car and drove to my audition, which was generally about 20 minutes away. Now, compare this to my casting today which required a mile walk in the snow to the tube station, followed by 40 minutes on the tube, then another ten minute walk on the other side. Once I got to the casting I had to remove the multiple layers of clothing I had to wear to stay warm on my journey, change shoes and try and fix my hair after its hour of being plastered under a wooly hat. This may seem whiny, but when you’re trekking around London, always dragging a change of clothes and shoes with you, things like how close you live to a tube station make a huge difference to your quality of life”
I agree, I think most people think that everything in London is potentially a 10 minute tube ride, in reality it can take just as long to get to a casting as it does to get to Birmingham on the train!
How do you find the cost of living and commuting Cyd?
“London is VERY expensive and the work as a London female model can be like being on a roller coaster ride - sometimes very high, other times very low - so you really have to be prepared for how costly it is to live here, and conversely, if you live farther out, how expensive your travel will be”
And finally, how do you find the work in this fabulous city?
"The good side is that there are so many more opportunities here than when I lived in a smaller market. I go on multiple castings a week now, whereas when I was in New Orleans I generally went on about that many a month. The economy in London is booming, which means more work for everyone, including us model/actor types. There are also lots more opportunities for networking.
The flip side is of course there is also a lot more competition than in a smaller city. There are tens of thousands of people trying to do exactly what you are, but if you're good and resilient you will work. London was a slow burn for me, but now I can't imagine living anywhere else. Business aside, it’s amazing to live in one of the world’s great cities"
(All images courtesy of the Model Camp)