Beauty, Fashion & War Show Interview (transcribed episode 37)
ph: Chad Davis
CLEO CABAN: Take a minute and tell us about yourself, and give us an overview to your business.
LUCIE BEATRIX: I am a model I have been a model for about a decade. I live in New York City, which is where I am based. I’ve traveled all over the world working, and I’ve been in basically almost every American magazine, as well as on the cover of many national magazines. I’m also the host of a podcast, A Real Model, which is the only podcast there is about modeling where I talk about what it means to be a real model.
Before we get too deep into the journey you’ve been on this past decade, is there a song right now that absolutely has you bumping as you move forward in your day?
OH MY GOD, yes. My friend Carson Kelley, who is also a model at New York Models, is in this band called the STRNGRS. He has a song called, “Don’t.” I listen to it every morning when I’m getting ready. It’s amazing.
Oh is it like, “Don’t make mistakes…” or “Don’t fall for tricks…?” What is the ‘Don’t?’”
More about like, love, and this riff between a guy and a girl. But the story isn’t as relevant to me and rather the mood of the song. It’s really upbeat and gets you going.
We’ve had people on the show that have aspired to do things you have done with modeling, but you are the inside expert in regards to fashion and modeling. Why did you get involved with this wonderful industry that has so many people going cray cray?
I kind of fell into it without realizing. I was working in a little boutique in St. Louis, where I’m from. I was 15 years old and someone came in and scouted me to start modeling. Even though I didn’t think I couldn’t do it, I didn’t realize it was a possibility to actually make a living that way. It kind of fell into my lap, but I was also really interested in fashion, so it made sense for me to do something that I was also enthusiastic about. Once somebody scouted me and said, “You could be a model, and these are the steps you can take to find an agency,” then I was like “Oh I’m gonna do this! And, this is interesting to me!” Before I knew it, I realized this was something I actually really loved. 10 years into it, I still love the fashion industry, and I feel like this is the place that I want to be working. That’s how it started though, it was kind of haphazard getting into it.
It sort of fell in your lap, okay. Now share with us— there’s obviously ups and downs in life, we have moments of strife, but was there a time where you failed or came across a really interesting obstacle where you thought, “Is this going to be the end?” Take us there, and share the lessons you learned.
I have “failed” so-to-speak, a lot. But as a model, you go on so many castings and it is such a low rate of actually booking a job. You go on ten castings and book maybe, one job— or you’ll go on twenty. So there have been many failures. If anything, I have probably failed more than I have succeeded— but since the actual successes have been so great, like say the cover of a magazine or a national ad campaign, it kind of counteracts the failures. I’ve definitely been through some hard times. I’d book a big job, and I’d get so afraid. I’d feel like I wasn’t good enough, and then I’d fail— because I couldn’t be the fun, upbeat girl that I know that I am. Those failures though, when I’d feel insecure, were towards the beginning of my career. I just didn’t know that this was right for me. Once I grew into it and thought, “This is my JAM,” then I started to feel more and more confident, and I could bring that to my jobs and feel good about myself. I’ve definitely had a lot of times where I said the wrong thing on set, or I wasn’t the best version of myself and wasn’t a pleasure to be around. That was hard for other people. As a model, you have to bring that good energy to set. I consider any of the times when I didn’t bring that as failing a little bit. That’s just part of the job. Now I really try to harbor that, and bring it to every job that I get.
Are there any techniques you’ve learned along the way for when you feel yourself gearing towards that negative mindset that you can actually take yourself a step back… like 5 deep breaths?
Absolutely. A couple years ago, I became a yoga teacher. I had been doing yoga a lot and then one of my teachers actually approached me and asked if I wanted to do a teacher training. I jumped on it. I learned a lot about yoga but then that transitioned into a lot more about meditation. I meditate every single day. I don’t start my day right unless I meditate. I feel like something is missing if I don’t do it. I really encourage anyone, in any job, to just take that 15 minutes in the morning to sit, and be still, and focus on your breathing. It makes everything more organized and better. It almost makes everything make sense, in a weird way. You can see things happen in your life that you see as unfolding in the way that it should because I started my day with a mindset that you can recognize things for what they are, instead of being caught up in the moment and overstimulated throughout the day. Yes, meditation is a definitely a big part of my life.
You have obviously had some amazing success. Is there someone or some people who you admire who mentored you to create the success you’ve had?
I look up to my parents. They always told me to be creative and go after what I want. But also, my friends. The friends I have in New York are like a family to me. They are the people that I’ve met along the way. I feel like they are pursuing what they want, and they are living life exactly as they wanna live it, and I look up to them. I admire them. My friend Roger, works in a coffee shop by day and plays in a rock band by night. Every day is the craziest story, he always has something to talk about, and tell me something that has happened. That’s the kind of lifestyle that I wanna have because I wanna have something to tell people. I try to see everything as a possible story and that makes everything more fun.
In regards to the fashion industry itself, we’ve all been hearing stories about certain parties that happen. How were you able to veer away from narcotics, drugs, and over-excessive debauchery and stay focused and level-headed for almost a decade?
I saw people getting wrapped up in it. I have a lot of close friends who got into drinking a bit too much, or going out to the clubs every night, but that never appealed to me because I had such a strong foundation. I have such a close relationship with my four little sisters. The drugs and parties were always there but it was just not for me, and I never needed that kind of escape. I could always find my escape in some other way. Coming from a strong place of knowing who I am made it so I was less likely to fall into that.
What is your BHAG: Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal of 2014 that has you excited about life?
OH MY GOSH! My goal is to finally play a show- and hopefully a lot. I’m also a musician, and it’s a new artistic endeavor for me where I’d always played guitar but now I’m actually in a band. We’ve written 10 songs so we’re ready to go.
What’s the name of the band?
Um, right now, it’s BEATRIX… but that’s a working title. Beatrix is my middle name but we’re still on the fence about the name.
On our show we like to ask a question that normally isn’t asked in the fashion industry. Are you a human being having a spiritual experience or a spiritual being having a human experience? Why?
I’m a spiritual being having a human experience. While I was raised in a religion that I don’t identify with so much anymore we were taught not to talk so much about our spirituality, imposing our believes onto anyone. I always believed in that part, to avoid making someone feel like because I believe one way that they have to believe the same. But, I do feel like I am a spiritual being and that this experience on this earth is just temporary, and the human body is a vessel. You can make the most of it and do things that enrich your life, but you don’t have to feel confined to it, or feel like you’re trapped.
Technology these days plays an amazing role in the course of our daily lives, do you have a current technology or internet resource that you use that the audience has to know about?
Yes, my show host on my podcast, Armi Legge, showed me this thing called Basecamp. You can share ideas, make creative idea boards and come up with concepts for projects. Even if you don’t even know exactly what you want your project to be, you can put a word up there and the person that shares it with you can see that, and maybe add on to it, by tacking some ideas to it. It’s a cool outlet and has been helpful for us with the podcast because we can go back and forth even though we don’t live in the same city. We can see what each other is thinking or working on.
Is there a book out there you’d recommend to aspiring models or an aspiring entrepreneur?
“The Prophet,” by Kahlil Ghibran. I read that in my yoga teacher training a few years ago. I’m obsessed with it. I have it by my bed. It’s really, really valuable stuff. It’s easy to read, not too long. Anything by Kahlil Gibran like, “The Poetic Essay on Work,” is something that I go back to almost daily. It’s so helpful for getting back to the basics of why you do what you do every day. If it’s something that doesn’t fulfill you— you shouldn’t do it. That has always lead me, and helped me with my work. You waste so much time if you’re not doing something that you love.
Looking at this experience as a fashion model in the industry, do you have a time you can share with the BFW audience where you were able to uplift someone from a negative mindset to a positive mindset? Take us there and share that story.
I’ve worked with younger girls who were just breaking into the industry who would get stressed out about what they’re supposed to do with diet. They’d think, “I’m modeling, I’m making all kinds of money, and I’ve got all these people counting on me.” Their agents, bookers, managers. They’d think, “What am I supposed to be eating to stay slim?” and I would tell them what I tell every body: Stick to the basics and eat wholesome food. Don’t go too crazy with restrictions. Let yourself have treats 20% of the time. That’s so important especially with the younger girls because they’re so impressionable and they don’t know what they’re supposed to do. Young models get mixed signals. They have a makeup artist or someone on set talking about a juice fast that they are on and to a 16-year-old girl sitting in the makeup chair thoughts come like, “Am I supposed to be doing that too?” I try to tell the younger models what has worked for me, and lead by that example with nutrition stuff.
Do you see a trend decreasing or increasing with regards to having eating disorders in the industry?
Since I started it’s gotten a lot better. When I first started, yes, there were a lot of restrictions. You had be a certain size, and you could not fluctuate. I’ve been the working 100 lb. model as well as the 140 lb. model. I’ve definitely fluctuated a lot in my career. When I was heavier, I was still on the cover of a national magazine. I was still working, and making money. Agencies have embraced more of the plus-size modeling aesthetic and that has been really, really positive. There have been more girls like me who are not necessarily always straight-size or quite plus-size, but somewhere in between. There have been jobs for girls like that. It’s changed, and hasn’t been as bad, but that’s not talking about fashion week. Fashion week is a whole other animal and that’s a way more slender aesthetic. I think a lot of times if the model just finds her right category, or she says, “Okay, I don’t ever want to have to pressure myself to be sooo small,” and she only takes the jobs for her body type— she is naturally— then she is better off. There’s more opportunity for that, nowadays.
Is it important to maintain business contacts with the people you meet especially as you book gigs? Or is it more a matter of your booker and your agent fostering those contacts and you just go by what they say?
It’s so important to stay in touch with everyone that you work with. I become friends with people I’m on set with. I’ll meet a makeup artist and think we’ve got so much in common and we’ll exchange information. It’s not so much “networking” as much as it’s just— we’re friends. We want to work together again because we are efficient at getting things done. We understand each other’s pace, and we feel more comfortable, so we get more done. A lot of my friends are in the industry. We’ve met on jobs and that’s helped me get more jobs in the future because we know each other. It’s important to establish that kind of relationship but not be too aggressive about it. Not like, “Oh my gosh, I need to know who you are so we can always work together!” Let it be organic. Keeping in touch with people I’ve worked with has been important for me and my career.
For a newbie coming on the scene, say she just signed on to an agency, what is the number one Eff up that you hear people do that you’d say DO NOT DO THIS?
To new models, don’t go into modeling with an ego thinking that you are better than what’s presented to you. Yes, it’s good to have confidence and be strong, but a lot of people think that models are supposed to be fierce and sassy and aren’t supposed to do certain kinds of jobs because of their image or whatever. When you first start, you have to be humble and a pleasure to be around. Don’t be so sure that you know everything— That was a mistake that I made when I first started. I thought that I knew everything already when I didn’t know ANYTHING. I was questioning my bookers who had been doing it for a really long time way too much. Now, I know. I’ve learned about the kinds of jobs that I want to do or not do. But, if you’re first starting out, and you’re with a reputable agency, trust the people who you signed on with. Don’t be too sure that you know everything.
In the world of beauty and fashion, there are so many naysayers that say what we are doing— exploring beauty and fashion, helping to foster the minds, that this is a creative art— is superfluous nonsense. Lucie, What do you say to naysayers who say what we are doing right now has no value?
People say it all the time. “Oh it’s so superficial,” etc. It IS art. It is truly art. To create something that is beautiful is something that man has been doing since… Since the beginning of man. Making art is something we’ve been doing forever. Now some of it can be kind of superficial and it is image-based, but I don’t think it’s automatically negative. If you don’t like it, then don’t be part of it. The people I’ve met who are into it, that work in fashion, are there for a reason. They are the ones reading the magazine and buying the stuff so that’s who I care about. I don’t spend too much time thinking about the people who don’t have anything nice to say about it. I don’t have time to worry about the naysayers.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
I don’t know if this would be possible but I would change the height standards for models. I’ve met so many beautiful girls and the only reason that they couldn’t model was because they were too short. I don’t think that nowadays we need there to be the same standards because I think it used to be about only runway and really standing out in person. I think there could be more wiggle room with that. I’ve met some girls where I wish I could help get signed with a reputable agency but the height is the only thing holding them back. That seems like the one thing, height, that is why so many girls can’t get signed. I wish it could change but don’t even know if that’s a possibility. I’d like to see more people that I think could be models be able to model but… I don’t make the rules.
Turning around affirmative height requirements… Welcome to Lucie Beatrix Modeling!
HA! I wish I could have my own agency and have it be all shapes and sizes!
In the end, give our BFW audience a parting piece of advice.
Stay organized with what you are going after. Keep yourself clean of toxic people. Eat, a lot. Stay fueled. That’s so important for your mental and physical well-being.
Listen to the Interview here http://ec.libsyn.com/p/8/3/c/83cf51408512f466/EP37.Lucie.Beatrix.BFAWAR.mp3?d13a76d516d9dec20c3d276ce028ed5089ab1ce3dae902ea1d06c88531d8cf5e86e7&c_id=7242961