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Saturday, 26 April 2014

Rebecah Dunstan : Model Interview

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Bolushe Fashion had the pleasure of interviewing renowned female model Rebecah Dunstan.  Commencing her career at the age of 13 when her grandmother won a family photo shoot. She is now 17 and with a number talented abilities including singing, piano, acting and modelling… her career is thriving. Personally here at Bolushe we find Rebecah an inspiration because as you could imagine starting her career at 13 the difficulties which can arise from balancing career and education but Rebecah does it flawlessly with putting her education first and even receiving Academic Achievement Awards. Rather than me discussing with Rebecah’s experience and advice in the industry here is what she had to say....

Bolushe: How would you describe what you do? You are a singer, model, actress and pianist? Which area do you find yourself focusing towards?
Rebecah: In 2013 my focus shifted to predominately modelling with singing, piano and acting becoming leisure activities. I still have vocal training and piano lessons every week but have not publicly performed in quite some time. I am very passionate about music but I would now describe myself as a full-time student who models.

Bolushe: How did you get involved with modelling?

Rebecah: My grandmother won a family photo shoot and when the final images became available the photographer offered to send them to Bettina Management where I was offered my first contract, a year later on the suggestion of another photographer I applied to Scene Model Management and have been with their “Commercial Face” division for approximately 3 years.
Bolushe: What type of modelling do you mainly do and which is your preference?
Rebecah: I would say I predominately do promo modelling, working at events and representing various companies like Masters Milk, Telstra and Fitness First. I love conceptual projects, working as a team to bring an idea to life and creating a piece of art. Photography workshops bring the best of both worlds, an hourly rate and the fun of seeing how your image is captured.
Bolushe: You started modelling at the young age of 13 and clearly there are a couple of creeps out there. How have you and your family managed who you work for? And has there ever been a safety issues?
Rebecah: Every booking I take whether it be via Scene, Model Mayhem, Facebook or word of mouth is thoroughly background checked and researched. I never work in private residences unless a previous relationship has been established and I always have my mother with me at all times.
Before every booking photographers, hair and makeup artist, stylist and assistants are made aware that I am underage and will be accompanied by a parent and that I have a Christian ethos and therefore want to be portrait in a wholesome, age appropriate manner. I also ask for a mood board which gives me a guide of the expectations of the creative team.
I have never had a safety issue and have always been treated as a respected professional. If a booking sounds too good to be true, people are evasive with details, they don’t have references or their previous work is towards a style I do not want to do, then I don’t take the booking.
Bolushe: You started modelling at a young age how do you manage school and keep a balance between your career and education requirements?
Rebecah: School first :( I am a very organised person and I do work very well to time limits and planning which helps me juggle my commitments. For the past four years I have received the Swan Christian College Academic Achievement Award for my year group, to maintain this standard I limit my work commitments, usually only 4 days during Term and I try to work as much as I can during holiday periods. Photos can take months to be processed and I really only use those to keep my Facebook and portfolio current as well as honing my techniques. My school peers generally work a full day a week for less financial remuneration then I earn in one day a month, so I actually have more time for school than most.
Bolushe: People generally speculate that models just get up and have their hair, makeup done. Could you please tell us a bit more of behind the scene of what you generally have to do before and during a shoot?
Rebecah: Modelling is a lifestyle. I work out every day and often target areas which will be highlighted in the next shoot. I wear hardly any makeup to school, to ensure my skin stays as blemish free as possible. Eat healthy and avoid heavy foods for a few days before a booking especially if the clothes are fitted. Regular hair trimming, treatments and colours. Pre-shoot, usually the day  before if possible, I have any waxing done, shampoo my hair so it is clean without products, trim and file nails, remove any old nail polish and then I pack. Packing requires making sure I have correct underwear to match garments, food, water, addresses, contact details, car fuelled, alarms set, soooo much to do!! If I am working on a concept piece we often have the car filled with garments, jewellery, shoes, props, change tent and my kit. My kit contains spare everything- bobby pins, hairspray, lashes, powder, deodorant, makeup, brush, stockings, band aids, insect repellent, needle and threat, safety pins…..
Shoot day is arriving on time and relaxed, lots of loud music in the car, I find a shoot exhausting as makeup and particularly my hair, takes hours of sitting still and straight to let artists work.  The best shots are usually the most awkward, holding positions for long periods of time, usually in large heels and clothes that don’t match the season is hard work. On a shoot, I sit in ants, climb walls and trees, venture into garden beds and waterways, get poked and prodded and posed!! Always an adventure, always fun.
Bolushe: From your years of experience what advice would you give to people wanting to get into a modelling career? Any mistakes you have done along your journey?
Rebecah: Don’t do it!! I personally have found the industry to be fantastic, love the people I have met and worked with. Love constantly striving for the next level, self-improvement, constructive criticism, goal setting and achieving.
Unfortunately, modelling comes with a stereotype which I feel is unfair and has bought some undue bullying into my life. Most women lack confidence particularly in their body and therefore find it necessary to be nasty and undermine others but this would also be true if you were succeeding in another area. The tall poppy syndrome.
Bolushe: What are some memorable moments in your career?
Rebecah: Winning the Damsel In this Dress competition and travelling to Brisbane to work with Melina Hollway and her amazing team and beautiful gowns. The added bonus was a mini whirlwind holiday with my mum :)
Bolushe: Where would you like to take your career in the future?
Rebecah:I am hoping to further my education at University and therefore will keep modelling to help support myself financially whilst studying. I am current signed I am currently with Scene Commercial Faces and I have been well supported and receive adequate work, so I hope they will continue to resign me in the future.  I do not have the height to be signed by an agency which is focused on catwalk and meeting the specifics of ‘agency standard’ but with a bit more growing time up my sleeve I may get close!!!
Models are people, they come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, strengths, abilities and weaknesses. This is my life and my journey and so far I am pretty proud of my story.

If you want to keep up to date with Rebecahs journey make sure to like her facebook page where you can view her work:


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