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LIVING MY GAP YEAR

Chic, or Chick?

Zuzu Tadeushuk

It’s a grey, chilly November day nearing Thanksgiving and I am huddled over a heat lamp on a hill surrounded by a menagerie of photo equipment. It’s been six months since I set foot in a Green Meadow classroom, and in that time I’ve been living a life quite contradictory to the Waldorf environment I grew up in. But at this moment I am feeling rather at home, for I am standing on a farm in Cold Springs, NY, that’s similar to the Duryea farm where I went to Kindergarten and was cared for along with the calves and chicks— similar... with just one trifling difference: this farm is currently the site of a photoshoot for French Vogue. I am huddled here feeling nostalgic for my warm woolly Kindergarten years and waiting for someone to summon me before the camera (if they can first persuade me to leave my heat lamp). This is my first semester out of High School. This is my gap year.

You might not imagine that Green Meadow could have prepared me much for my present career as a high fashion model. For starters, they never even gave us runway classes (I envision Mr. Wulsin demonstrating a catwalk strut to the musical accompaniment of amped recorders and wonder why this was never part of the curriculum?). It could be said that my 13 years of Eurythmy have helped me in my current work, but there’s a limit to how much Threefold Walking can teach you about stomping down a catwalk in ankle-hazarding heels before a sea of blinding cameras. And yet, I feel that the school did equip me with the element most crucial to this industry: the quiet faculty of resilience. The competition for modeling jobs can be harsh and the disappointments frequent, but, being a typical Waldorf graduate with more fascinations than I can count on two hands (I’m starting to study French, for example, while simultaneously writing a blog and attempting to paint a portrait series), I place less importance on the getting or losing of jobs and can weather my business with little injury. I also find that I can bring more to my jobs than just my pretty face—like the opening canto of Dante’s Inferno in Italian, which I taught to my Roman hairdresser the other day at Max Mara. It’s my ability to contribute and adapt to the world with openness and interest, to enter my experiences with a mindfulness of life’s bigger picture and other offerings, that I most appreciate in this first semester out of the fold. Because the difference, after all, between a Vogue farm and a Waldorf farm lies only in years and peculiar circumstance: what remains the same wherever I go is the joy of human connection.