I went to a casting the other day for runway. I was measured to make sure I met the requirement of being exactly 5' 9 1/2". (I always thought I was 5'10" until I moved to New York. They always bring out the measuring tape. There is no lying about your sizes here!)
Then, a woman who I assume was the designer, asked for my comp card, flipped open my portfolio to the first page, and as she was turning to the second, abrubtly closed it shut and said, "Thank you!"
And this is why I appreciate New York.
In Los Angeles, I received constant flattery and ego boosts. "You're gorgeous. Your photos are beautiful. Your walk is perfect. We will definitely be booking you. Blah blah blah."
I always knew when they started talking like that I stood no chance. In New York, if I'm not what they're looking for, they usually at least give me the courtesy of flipping through my portfolio without saying a word, hand it back and say, "Thanks." Every single agency I walked into, except for the one who signed me and the others that were interested, did exactly that. Some gave me some helpful critiques. Others looked as if their day was being wasted on a bunch of wanna be hopeful models.
This may sound harsh to some, but I am thankful for it. And when I do get a compliment it actually means something to me. Or when they do express interest in booking me, it seems like they usually do, even if it is for a different job several months later. Another designer recently took the time to tell me I was leaning to the right when I walked (must be from carrying my heavy bag all around the city!) I would never have caught that myself. In fact, he told me since he liked my look so much, to adjust it, come to his next casting and he would book me. So we'll see.
And as I'm leaving my casting, I see a cab with smoke coming out of the windows. Then suddenly it burst into flames! And that was my excitement for the day.