Going abroad as a model – a constant theme for many models, both New Comers and professionals. With a stay abroad, some plans come your way, you will be rewarded with plenty of experiences – no matter where in the world you are. Many young models are concerned about whether they can cope independently abroad, what exactly awaits them and which country or city is the right choice. Johanna von CM Models is currently on the road as a model in Athens. I spoke to her about her stay abroad in the Greek capital.
Model Johanna – modeling in relaxed Athens
CM: Johanna, you are a model in Athens until the end of February, how did you get there?
I was already working here in November 2014 for one month, now my agency asked if I am available again and I came back. My agency in Cologne has put me in touch with the agency here in Athens.
CM: Why Athens of all places? What attracted you to Athens as a model?
I didn’t choose Athens directly, it turned out rather like this. But it is a beautiful city with a relaxed working atmosphere & the weather is wonderful.
CM: Would you recommend Athens as a model city?
I would recommend Athens as a model city so far away that you can get good pictures here. Most models come to Athens to take good pictures and gain experience, not to earn the big money, because the payment is rather meagre. But to make contacts and get good pictures Athens is absolutely recommendable.
Modeling Experience Athens – Preparations & Experiences
CM: How did you prepare for your trip there?
Actually one does not have to prepare oneself really great, the hotel is booked before by the agency for the model and one must actually only book his flight and fly off. It is important to plan your meals on site before your trip, as not all apartments have kitchens and you are often on the road the whole day. I always take a few plastic cans and plastic cutlery with me so that I can cook my food on the spot and take it with me during the day.
CM: What are your experiences as a model in Athens so far?
Firstly, the people in Athens are mostly very friendly. Everything is very relaxed! On the other hand, there is always work here. There are many good photographers in Athens and clients are loyal and book you back when they are satisfied with you.
CM: How would you describe the model target group in Greece, which model types are in demand?
Blond and brown-haired models are the absolute favorite here, Asian and dark-skinned models have it rather hard here. Besides, the Greeks don’t like “too skinny” girls that much. One of my friends was even cheated a few centimetres more on her hip for her sedcard.
CM: Which castings should you attend and which jobs did you get during your time in Greece?
There are castings every day for the most different jobs, there is everything. You go to castings for fashion shows, TV commercials, online shops, magazines, editorials or campaigns. Anything you can imagine. I did some shootings for online shops, for example for sunglasses or clothes, such shootings are enough for every model here, two campaigns +TV spot, web campaigns, editorial for a magazine and more.
Johanna between Castings & Jobs – Breakfast, Coffee, Castings
CM: What is your daily modeling life in Athens like?
Get up, make breakfast, then on the way to the castings or bookings get a coffee, which is super cheap here, then it goes with the metro, the bus, the trolley or on foot to the casting. There you are usually five to 10 minutes and then you go on to the next casting. Bookings, on the other hand, are more relaxed. The model has a given arrival time, as a model you are usually on time and then wait an hour for the client or the make-up artists. Then, on average, eight hours or more are worked.
CM: How did you live and how did you get it?
Each agency has its own apartments/hotels for the models, in which you are automatically accommodated. I stayed at the hotel last time, too. There you share the room with another girl and if you are lucky you will find the bathroom in the room, otherwise you have to share the bathroom in the hallway with the other hotel occupants. There is also a small kitchen where you can make yourself something to eat. Accommodation in a hotel costs 17 Euro per night and will be deducted from the money you receive. But this time I live with friends, it’s cheaper and you have more space.
CM: How did you spend your time in Athens away from modeling?
In the evenings you often go out, have fun and have a drink. Otherwise you can of course visit the Acropolis and other sights. I also spend a lot of time in the shopping streets and when I have a day off I go to the sea.
Athens – Highlights & Recommendations
CM: What are your personal Athens highlights?
The Acropolis in any case, one should go up there once, alone to enjoy the view! This is completely free of charge for European students. Another highlight are of course the new friends and the hours together. An insider tip: The spinach feta pie which you can buy here in all bakeries is great and should be plastered on every visit to Athens.
CM: What do you recommend to other models who go to Athens for a while?
Calmness! Even if you are a young model who is a little panicked for the first few days, you are never too late in Greece. Furthermore, I can only recommend a good contact to the local agency. I have seen that if you visit the agency more often and maintain a good relationship, you get a lot of help and the agency gives you some opportunities. Always take sunscreen with you, because I even got a little sunburn in February!
CM: What does the modeling industry in Athens and Greece look like?
She’s definitely big! There are many jobs, albeit for less money. Due to Greece’s financial situation, one can certainly imagine how people have to struggle with it to pay enough. Nevertheless, there is work for every willing to work! I haven’t met anyone here who hasn’t worked. Nevertheless, the market for Male Models is very narrow, because there are enough Greek boys on site.
CM: Is a stay in Athens worthwhile for models?
Not necessarily to make big money, but for good pictures and a lot of experiences that really take you further. You can also earn money, but it may well be that in the end there is not so much jumping around when I look at the payment here.
CM: What did you notice positively in Athens, what rather negatively?
The friendly people are positive! Absolutely negative is chronic lateness.
CM: Are there any cultural differences that a German visitor should take into account?
One thing is very unusual: You can order coffee at the bakeries and it will be delivered to you wherever you want! this is super practical! Another big difference and for many probably a big change: Smoking is going on everywhere inside, whether at the shooting, in the restaurant, in the club or at the casting.
Johanna: “Now I’m a pro in posing”
CM: What do you take with you to Germany from your time as a model in Athens?
Many new friends and experiences. Also some pictures, which I can use for my book and fortunately also my earned money. I also take many new contacts with me, which I will certainly be able to use when I come back. One thing I can say for sure: After your stay in Athens you will be a professional in posing for online shop shootings! That’s something every model here takes with them.
CM: For which models with what ambitions do you recommend Athens?
I think Athens is something for models with experience as well as for newcomers. Of course you should have a reasonably good book, but you don’t have to work so much to get a foothold here. You shouldn’t be shy either, because you are rather small for a model, because there are rather less fashion shows taking place here.
CM: Dear Johanna, thank you for your interview!