Model's Diary

Anna Duritskaya – How I Became A Model

duritskaya_mainI was born Bila Tserkva in a small Ukrainian town not far from Kyiv. When I was in school, I didn’t know what modeling was or who the models are. I was a modest girl, who was shy and stood out because of her height and thinness. My classmates would often make fun of my thinness and height, which gave me a lack of confidence and complexes. Each year at our school there were beauty contests. My teacher of literature who was also the principal announced to the entire class that only one girl could represent her class. She named me.

I blushed horribly. Because I am modest, it was hard for me to imagine that she would choose me. Due to my insecurity, suspicion and indecision I was unable to answer the question for some time. She asked me if I would be participating or if she should start looking for a girl from my class. Just before the contest, I agreed. I wanted to show my classmates that I was still capable of winning and making it. Then, at the very end, I won the contest “Miss School”. I was dressed in a pink puffy dress and reciting my poetry on stage.duritskaya nemtsov

It was the first occasion I realized how nice it was when the entire audience was focused on me. Everyone applauded and recognized me when we saw each other at school. My mom wanted me as an accountant and thought it was a good education. So, after finishing high school, I studied economics at the university. After my second year, I decided that I didn’t want to be an accountant and went into something creative.

I was invited to compete in the Miss University contest. Once again, I was unsure and thought too much, but I still decided to enter. The competition was not won, but I was invited to the modeling school of a well-known modeling company by the director. She explained the process, but I refused to go because I thought it was too hard, and that I wasn’t beautiful, slim, or tall enough. I also didn’t think I had enough acting talent. My mother told me that I would be redirected from my studies if I entered the model school.Anna Duritskaya

They even offered me to join the modeling school for free or just come to the agency to see the inner world of modeling. But every time I thought about it, my fears and doubts took over and I didn’t dare look into the modeling agencies after that. The agency even offered to let me join their modeling school free of charge or to come and see what the world behind modeling is like. But every time I thought about it, my fears and doubts took over and I never dared to investigate the modeling agency again. I had the address on my business card, which was given to me during the contest. This allowed me to know where the office was — right in the heart of the city – Khreshchatyk Street. I used to go there a lot with my friend, and every time I passed by the agency I would raise my head and see the lights in the windows. This meant that the girls were practicing their model walk. They were stronger and more confident than I was. On one such evening, I gathered my courage and climbed to the top of the building in order to visit the agency.

She said, “Good evening Anna, We have been waiting for your arrival for the past two and a half years, and you finally came!” Marianne was a stylish woman who had a short fancy hairstyle and appeared to be the head of the modeling agency. She asked me to measure my height at the wall: “5’9”. Not bad. She asked, “Now step on the scale”. I tentatively stepped on the scale and noticed that it indicated 130 pounds. Marianne was looking surprised and had her eyes wide-open. “You are a beautiful face, perfect for commercial photography… but how about your body weight?” I measured my hips, and saw 38,2 inch. If you are interested in working as a model, even abroad, then you should drop 20 pounds, and your hips must be 36 inches. You can get all the modelling contacts you want from the world’s most renowned agencies by using your face.Anna Duritskaya

The word “contracts”, made me feel nervous. I realized that I was afraid to travel abroad and stay for a long period of time. It was explained to me that I would first have to gather my portfolio in Ukraine to give myself some time to gain experience. For this, I had to learn to walk on a show, how the camera worked, how act, and, of course, to shape up. The next month I began evening modeling classes. I was completely thrown into the unknown: new friends; books on my heads; wearing heels for three hours straight, photoshoots. I had to learn to express happiness, sadness, surprise and passion when shooting. All of that was really fun! I was like a fish out of water when I saw the camera. I also had to start taking nutrition classes and practicing sports. My strict Diet looked like this: Fat-free cheese or yogurt for breakfast, an apple or yogurt for lunch, and a fat-free fish salad with seaweed for dinner. I drank as much water and coffee as I liked. I took the subway from morning to night to get to castings. I carried a bag with my shoes, yogurt, water, and apples. I began to lose weight, and the more I lost the more job offers came my way.

One of the models said she had flown to Moscow for the entire week to work on the runway show. She signed a contract and has been invited to participate in various fashion shows, photoshoots, and fashion weeks ever since. The girl from Moscow gave me her phone number and said she was sure that I would be accepted, as my height, weight, and other parameters were suitable for the agency. I was surprised to learn that the model requirements were very high. I had never traveled abroad and wanted to see the country. I also wanted to take part in fashion week in a big city like Moscow. I was looking forward to the event and excited!Anna Duritskaya

After returning home, I began to measure my hips. I was pleasantly surprised by the results: 34 inches and about 103 pounds. I immediately called the manager of a model agency in Moscow to make a deal. I would create new photos, and then send them. They said that after seeing my photos I would be a good fit for the agency. I could then head to Moscow on the weekend to attend a runway show by renowned Russian designers. If I pass the casting for the designer, I can stay the next day and participate in two more runway shows. The next morning, they sent me the train tickets. I was in Moscow on Saturday with a mixture of excitement and fear.

Thank God, I found another model on the train. I recognized her by her slim figure and impressive height. As none of us were familiar with the foreign culture, we barely slept. The driver of the modeling agency picked us up from the train station in the morning. We then waited in a bus with 10 other girls. As we got to know one another, I was relieved. Their speech was inspiring, and they had been working at the agency for many years. Since then, I’ve become good friends with a few of the girls. After a while, I started to feel less worried. I finally felt relaxed when I saw that there were friendly and nice girls from Russia staying in my room. They were used to taking part in photoshoots, castings and runway shows. The following day, when the show started, it was a whole new experience. The catwalk was longer, the camera flashes brighter, and backstage was wider.Anna Duritskaya

As promised, I attended two more fashion shows the next day after I had passed the casting. Moscow, my job and my progress as a model astonished and impressed me. I participated in runway shows by the most popular Russian designers. A model agency then signed a contract and this led to me being offered new contracts for fashion shows, photoshoots and exhibitions. Moscow, with its traffic jams and skyscrapers as well as the beauty of its night city, its majesty, and the noise it creates, has left a lasting impression on me.

After a while, I went to Italy and modeled there. I can tell that modeling is hard work and you need to put in a lot of effort to be noticed and wanted. Because models usually share a room, those who wake up early or return late can interfere with your sleep. Early birds are required because hairstyling, make-up and rehearsals may start and end early. After standing in line for hours for another casting, I would get stressed out when I was told that my “modeling type” wasn’t suitable. Models work in extreme temperatures, and they must look happy without showing any signs of fatigue.Anna Duritskaya

I had the funniest experience in Florence when, with three other models and myself, we had to participate in a photoshoot for 40 wedding dresses over two days. We were cruising the city in a bus, searching for locations in temperatures of 95degF or more above zero. The bus was not allowed into the park, so we went to the castle. Florence is a beautiful city but I will always remember it because of a Sunstroke that nearly caused me to lose consciousness. We had to wear long wedding dresses and heavy veils in the scorching heat to shoot half the photos per day. These days were “hot!”

But one at a time. After a fresh hairstyle, and a make-up change, I was ready for work at 7 am. We suddenly noticed that our bus driver was gone. We would not be able get to our destination without his keys, nor could we grab the wedding dresses that were locked in the bus. The photographer and makeup artist were able to enter the bus using the trunk as an entrance. I and the other models then had to carry all the heavy dresses ourselves to the location, walking the entire way in heels. Our driver showed up out of nowhere after midday and told us that he got lost in the city the day before the photoshoot. He stayed at a local pub, as he couldn’t find his way back. He slept there until the afternoon and then found the model apartments.Anna Duritskaya

Working as a Model can be very inspirational and gives you the chance to travel the world and see new cities, counties, and the lifestyles of others. You will also have the opportunity to visit famous places around the world and make great friends.

On one of these trips, I met someone on a beach in Turkey with whom I began a romance. My first love was killed in Moscow, in February 2015, while I was standing next to him. At that moment, I felt intense fear and shock. I was terrified that someone might kill me.

I was in a deep depression for many years after this. If I hadn’t experienced this grief, perhaps I would have continued working in the modeling industry. Fashion is still an important part of my life, and I’m grateful to the fashion industry for opening its doors.Anna Duritskaya

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