Model of the Month, Brooke Hall!
Q. How did you get started in the modeling industry and what types of clients have you worked for?
A. From a very early age, I have loved the camera – if you follow me on Instagram, you know this-and with my sons, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! ;) My mom recognized this and after seeing a modeling class advertised in the paper, she signed me up. It was like a summer camp where I learned how to pose, walk the runway, put on makeup and most of all- have a good time. My teacher ended up signing me to his agency when I was 14, braces and all! He really took a chance on me…picture braces and a “blossom hat” – awkward! I started as soon as I got my braces off that year and have been working steadily ever since.
23 years later and I have worked all over the world, including Japan when I was 17, Greece at 22, South Africa at 23, Miami, Chicago, and lived in New York for the summer when I was 15 and again for 5.5 years after college. I have worked for designer labels, done numerous runway shows, appeared in TV commercials, magazine spreads and modeled showroom and fit as well.
Q. What type of shoots are your favorite?
A. My favorite shoots are the ones where I get the opportunity to work with friends – that could be the models or the clients! After moving back to NC in 2008, I have had some of the same clients for years. I LOVE my job. I have FUN when I work. The clients and models that I consistently work for and with have become like family to me. I feel very lucky to have made some special friendships over the years from this business.
Q. What do you do to keep in model shape?
A. When I began modeling at 14, I treated it as a business – and that meant staying in shape. I have been working out now for many years and feel stronger the older I get. I do a mix of athletic conditioning, barre, hot yoga and walking/running. Working out for me is an outlet – it takes me away for an hour to sweat and do something for myself. It clears my head and is sometimes the very best part of my day!
Q. What are some things you are passionate about outside of modeling?
A. My boys!! I have two very busy boys – Lawton (7) and Wyatt (5). They keep me on my toes and when I am not working, I am carting them to basketball, soccer, karate, football and trying to volunteer when I can at their schools. My son Wyatt was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate…I took 2 years off from work to care for his needs…he had a very difficult time eating and was to have two surgeries before he turned 2. At Wyatt’s first birthday, I raised over $12,000 for his surgeon to go to Jordan to perform these surgeries for children who don’t have the opportunities of healthcare that we do here. I want to one day take my boys to another country to help out in some way with these surgeries. I have been in touch with over 8 moms who have come to me by word of mouth about having their own child with a cleft lip/palate. I feel so thankful that I can be a resource for them because I did feel very alone at times. We all have our stories and I believe that everything happens for a reason – this journey is a blessing. Being a mom of a cleft lip and palate child is something that I was meant for and something that I will be passionate about for the rest of my life.
Q. Has modeling given you the opportunity to travel anywhere that has impacted you?
A. Yes! Big time. When I was 17, I flew to Japan by myself. I had spent the summer in NYC when I was 15 and Chicago when I was 16. We had heard that Japan was the safest place to go and I was ready. Looking back, I can’t believe I did it! As soon as I got to Japan, I started working. I worked 6 days a week and after working, you went on castings until late in the evening. I lived with a 15 year old girl and I grew up VERY fast. Early on in my trip, I ate or drank something that gave me a parasite. Back then, there wasn’t facetime or emails or cell phones, so anytime I wanted to talk to my parents, I had to go to my agency and call or fax them. These days, things seem so much easier! Anyway, with the parasite and working nonstop, I whittled down to 96 pounds. When I got home, I will never forget the look on my mom’s face….we didn’t know what was wrong with me. I went to doctor after doctor, getting tested for everything under the sun. Finally after spending months of my senior year of High School in bed, I went to get tested for chronic fatigue and he found that I had a parasite. Directions wouldn’t let me work in the meantime because I was so thin. Japan loved it, NC, not so much! I remember getting better and Directions asking me – what do you want to do? Travel the world or go to college? I chose college….not knowing that I would/could ever model again because back then, your career was done in your 20s.
I ended up attending NC State and had the time of my life. After school, I had no clue what I wanted to do and thought I would try modeling full time and not just during the summers. Directions then helped me get to Greece and then sign with an agent in NYC, where I spent the next 5.5 years of my life working consistently. I am still with my NYC agency to this day!
Q. If you could give yourself advice when you first started, what would it be? What advice would you give younger models?
A. EASE UP, GIRLFRIEND!! That Hershey bar isn’t going to hurt you! When I was younger I was so strict on myself with food and working out that I didn’t enjoy it. Now, I eat what I want (I love healthy food but also chocolate!) and I work out for myself, not anyone else.
Another thing would be to not take stuff people say seriously (potential clients/casting directors) – I have heard it all – your nose looks broken, take the mole off your lip, workout more, workout less, your arms are too long, you have this and that yadda yadda. I used to compare myself to other models and think I was in “competition” with them. Once I moved to NYC, I met some of my very best friends in the business and we were so HAPPY for one another when someone booked a job that you also went to the casting on – be happy for your friends. They are NOT in competition with you – it is whatever the client wants at the time. It has NOTHING to do with you. Do your best and take care of yourself….show up on TIME or early and have FUN. I learned at 14, that if you are on time, you are LATE. I have lived my life this way. I am always on time or early and my husband, not so much I love working – modeling has been my ONLY job. It is how I have paid my bills since I was on my own. It is my career and you need to treat it like one. This isn’t just a hobby. You can go to beautiful places and meet wonderful lifelong friends in this business. YOU make your business what it is.
23 years later and I am truly blessed to have been given this opportunity to work for so many years in this industry. I am thankful for every job that I book. Thank you Directions for all of the opportunities you have given me over the years and continue to give me! I plan on working for another 23 years!! ;)