From time to time I have the opportunity to interview folks that catch my eye and have connected the dots between their talent and business development. Celeste Thorson is one such person. From Film and TV to a fashion career, Celeste is rapidly becoming a name to reckon with as her international career blossoms. Below is an interview I conducted with Celeste. If you want to connect here’s her web site: http://www.celestethorson.com/
I love art and studied at a classical art school in Mexico. I enjoy creative collaborations so when I discovered the camera as a medium, I was hooked. I started collaborating with friends and photographers and before I knew it I had a portfolio.
Q: You’ve done modeling for some of the top photographers in fashion. Can you tell me about some of them and if there is a difference in the way they approach you as a model?
I have been blessed to work with some wonderful artists and they all seem to have their signature style. Some photographers shoot each look very quickly and in 5-10 minutes they have a great shot. Some photographers spend more time experimenting and can shoot for an hour for every look. Some photographers are talkers and coach you through the shoot frame by frame. Some just let you do your thing and hardly say a word. I always think it’s adorable when they demonstrate a pose they want you to do. Everyone has a different personality.
Q: What are some of the challenges you have when working as a model. I bet you see a lot of strange things happening!
Like most industries, I think the main challenges are collaborating with individuals with strong egos or attitudes. I always try to work with people I like, and make an effort to treat everyone respectfully. Sometimes you can come across a bad apple and it really can effect the outcome of the photos. I’ve also worked with some pretty eccentric photographers that have some strange traits, but as long as they are positive I leave a lot of room for eccentricity in art.
Q: I know this is a hard question – just how do you show true feelings and personality?
I like letting my personality shine through in whatever positive way I can. Even when I’m doing a moody photoshoot I try to retain a little twinkle in my eye. I love to create images that embody hope or aspiration. Sometimes, makeup and hairstylist can change you into a completely different character and it’s fun to explore that personality type. I think as long as I’m having fun the emotions flow freely.
Q: With agents and Hollywood parties and a tight schedule. What is the Hollywood lifestyle REALLY like?
Hollywood is really a hustle, there are a lot of really cool people and a lot of nutjobs. You always seem to run into megalomaniacs with bloated egos and attitudes that believe the world revolves around Hollywood. I love swanky parties, but sometimes you just have to put things in perspective. There are way more important things in life, so I think it’s great to enjoy the moment, but try not to let it go to your head.
Q: Tell me about some of the funny characters Hollywood is made up of!
LOL there are quite a few, Hollywood is rich in funny characters. I love flamboyant personalities where people aren’t afraid to have fun or be themselves. Some people that take themselves too seriously are funny for a different reason. You never know who you are going to run into, there are a lot of really nice people and a lot of fame mongers than will do anything to be the center of attention.
Q: You are also working as an author, director and producer of TV shows. How do you manage to that fit into your life also and what gives you the most joy?
I follow my bliss and creative spirit. When there’s a will there’s a way, and I try to find time to pursue many mediums for my creativity. Writing is definitely one of the most fun and fulfilling things for me because I can slip into an imaginary world almost anywhere or anytime and start creating.
Q: What exciting projects are you working on right now?
I just released my latest project YOGAPHILES which is a second screen series about students from a studio in LA that take life, love and yoga too seriously. It’s a fun parody on stereotypes and yoga. It was super fun to work with that cast and crew they are all such talented and amazing people. You can check that out at yogaphiles.com. I was also just attached to Muse Productions’ new feature film Tranzloco, which is written and directed by Will De Los Santos who also wrote Spun. That is a drama about brotherhood, forgiveness and acceptance.
Q: Can you name some tips for those who want to start in the fashion/beauty modelling business?
I’d love to, these are my best pieces of advice. Research artists at your level, so if you’re just starting out try to collaborate with students and people developing their portfolio so you can get your feet wet and start building your book. As you create more amazing work you can work your way up the ladder and find artists that will take you more seriously once you have a strong body of work to show them. A common mistake is to have no professional photographs, but approach famous photographers and they don’t take you seriously as a professional. There are exceptions, but I think it helps to get some practice before putting yourself in that position. Be objective and honest with yourself, some people are meant for runway, some are meant for commercial modeling. If you are 5’2 it’s not very realistic to expect to be walking the big runways, but you might find an amazing commercial agency that can book you for print all day long. For example I’m best suited for beauty and commercial photography. Most importantly have a positive attitude and when you encounter negativity don’t take it personally or internalize it, transform it into passion and let it fuel your ambition.