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Anna Okorokov

May 27, 2008

Anna Okorokov
Sutherland's Anna Okorokov
Models may just indeed possess more intellect than your average Joe. How else is it that we are indubitably expected to arrive on time at every casting, in whatever city we happen to land in, as early as the day after landing? Any tourist on any given continent is expected to be utterly lost and is kindly shown the way, much like a demented patient.

As in Toronto, casting information in Singapore is given as a time and address, though via text messaging rather than email, and often on the day of the casting itself. I learned the horror of this when my agent texted a Pantene casting to me an hour and a half prior, and requested that I go with clean hair.

As Murphy's Law would have it, that was the day I thought I'd 'stretch it.' In intense heat and with humidity beyond recordable levels, I was forced to rush home, wash, dry and straighten my hair after jabbing a non-compatible plug into the socket. Prior to this day, I relied only on the good advice of Modelresource, and naively assumed Singaporean taxis are dirt cheap and plentiful. After performing a number of retarded dances in front of oncoming service vehicles, only to discover that they all display inconspicuous 'in use' signs, I finally managed to flag one down. And was hastily waved aside once the driver decided the direction I was heading was not to his fancy. Perhaps happy hour was the other way...

When not in a mad dash, I use the superb MRT to get around town. It could be compared to the TTC, though if I did that I would have no excuse to continue avoiding the Toronto public transit. The MRT is a state of the art machine. It is impeccably clean, well lit, equipped with LCD monitors displaying travel information and ads, and most exciting of all it is accessed by key cards rather than the prehistoric coin and token exchanges Torontorians engage in.

Singaporean clients possess excellent knowledge of English and like to be entertained at castings. A few jokes and stories about your book will go a long way as I've learnt, and once you have one job, word spreads and the bookings come rolling. Any impressive jobs present in your portfolio will also further your career, as I witnessed today when booked on the spot due to my recent cosmetics campaign. My agent was very concerned that I be ok with doing the job - a story about teenage drinking - and called twice to verify my stance on the subject. So naturally, I became slightly tempted to insist on the presence of an open bar.

Not that alcohol is scarce. As with most Asian markets, there are several clubs and restaurants in town that offer models free dinners and drinks. This is where I suspect my Mongolian roommate disappears to every night. I can only guess, as the girl refuses to communicate unless absolutely necessary, and only then in short utterances.

My other roommate is a crazy, six foot Ukrainian that has stalked me on the street and made repeated close cut passes, only to linger somewhere ahead in order to repeat the procedure. Thus, for the purpose of self preservation, I tend to spend my free time outside of the apartment, touring the city.

Singapore is a magnificently well kept jungle. Lustrous vegetation and giant trees line every street, producing scenes from some forgotten past when human constructions were absent.

But underneath all the greenery are the hidden vices of Singapore; malls. They are constructed one upon another, in every possible free space, in every little cranny and when they cannot be built on the ground, they are extended to the subterranean world. All people do in their spare time here is shop. It is a shopper's paradise and I arrived during hell season; the annual Great Singapore Sale. Whereas business deals in North America are made on golf courses, I imagine here they are conducted over the 50%-70% sale racks that burst out of every store in sight. It is enough to make Sophie Kinsella sick.

Doubtless, many readers at this point will condemn my existence, but nevertheless I intend to maintain my daily purchases strictly to venti green teas from Starbucks (along with the necessary nutritional goodies).

Until next time,

Anna



Anna Okorokov is a Chantale Nadeau model, currently in Singapore.

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