Deep down everyone dreams that they will be spotted at a mall or in a Starbucks by an agent and be whisked off to Hollywood to begin a glamorous modeling career. Model Dylan Peterson, a senior studying renewable energy, shares his story. And yes, ladies, he is single.
Kelsey: How did you first get into modeling?
Dylan: I started here at Illinois State helping out a friend who had designed some menswear for the annual AMDA fashion show. I didn’t think it was going to be something I would enjoy, but ended up having a lot of fun and after a few people told me to pursue it further, I found myself talking with agencies in Chicago. I ended up signing a contract last August, just a week before school started.
K: What agency do you work for?
D: I am currently with Chosen Model Management, who books all of my print work, and Factor Runway for all the live and runway events. I was also offered a contract with Ford in Chicago, but decided to sign with Chosen based on the personalities of the agents and the overall atmosphere at the agency.
K: What is your favorite part of modeling?
D: The clothes and the parties. I’ve always enjoyed clothing, but my budget never really allowed me to get into the fashion I was interested in. It’s fun dressing up in coats that cost more than my car. Slightly disgusting, I’ll admit, but it’s an experience. The parties get pretty out of hand. I was asked to walk in the agency’s New Gen show where they display all the new faces, fly in agencies and casting directors and there is a huge party after. There was an open bar and I ended up chatting up one of the casting directors. When the castings came the next day, hangovers were at their peak for everyone. I walked in with full confidence that I would nail it, only to call the casting director by the wrong name.
I did not book that job.
K: How do you make time for modeling as well as school?
D: It can be rough. This semester I will be driving to Chicago almost once a week for various castings and then up to Madison, Wis. once a week to shoot as well. Luckily, I don’t have class on Fridays, so the client was willing to work around my school schedule. It has taught me a lot about time management. The worst part is all the driving alone in the car. So many cornfields.
K: What is the most interesting thing you have done with modeling?
D: Probably the SAIC Runway Show. A lot of the pieces were concepts and very out-there, but it was amazing to be a part of. For one of the outfits, I had to wear high-heeled boots, a tunic and a partial wig under a hat. It was pretty awesome. I also just did a show on Aug. 22 for the Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival, and ended up on stage with Jason Derulo and Christina Hendricks, the busty redhead from Madmen. I got a smile from her, so I mean, that was huge.
K: What is the worst part of modeling?
D: The most annoying part is the lines for the castings. It’s a lot of standing around — luckily not in heels for me. Then when it’s finally your turn, you get maybe three minutes to make an impression on people that have seen 100 people before you and will see at least another 100 after you. You walk into the room and introduce yourself, hand them your comp card, show them your walk and leave. Standing in those lines does give you a lot of time to get to know some really awesome people, though.