Where Do We Fit In?
Our generation is trying to figure out where we fit in, what our place in the world is, as we are probably going to be around and healthy for a considerably longer period than we had planned. This often means some soul searching, and often considerable anxiety about how we can stay relevant and useful.
This update on Jocelyne, who we originally profiled in 2016, shows her extraordinarily unexpected career turns. If we are open, curious and keep saying yes, surprising opportunities often open up.
AGEIST: When we last spoke, you were doing on-set prop styling and musing on what your next move was going to be.
JB: I was worried that my job description was becoming obsolete, but actually, I created a niche for myself doing tabletop for cosmetics and jewelry. I also do special effects with water and product textures. I found areas that are still in demand, and for which few people are qualified. I’m actually very busy now.
AGEIST: We understand you now have a booming modeling career. How did that happen?
JB: It sort of happened organically: One of my assistants suggested me for the Rachel Comey F/W 2017 fashion show during fashion week. Rachel then decided to put me in her e-comm roster. From that I got a Milk Makeup ad, and from that I was signed with Muse Models in NYC. I still don’t quite believe it all, but I am enjoying it.
AGEIST: What is it like to be a model?
JB: It’s much harder work than it seems; but to me, it’s all fresh and fun still. One of the hard things is that there is often a lot of waiting around and then you suddenly have to be “on” and give it your all without showing that you were half asleep 2 minutes ago. Add jet lag to the mix and it becomes a real effort.
AGEIST: Was there some learning that you had to do?
JB: I have been working in this industry for decades, so it is a matter of stepping in front of the camera rather than being behind it. One big thing is to not let myself become self-conscious. It is easier to do that if I don’t know anyone on set, but that is rarely the case. I have to put myself in a ‘glow’ zone. Most jobs nowadays have video components, so there is almost always talking involved, learning lines, answering questions point blank. I have become much better at this, but at first it was terrifying. The other things to learn are sort of practical things; like, wear clothes that are easy-on easy-off and that you don’t care if they end up in a pile on the floor mixed with other models’ clothes, have the correct underwear, remove all my jewelry before leaving home, etc…
AGEIST: Are you traveling for that job?
JB: Yes! I have been to London several times to work on the launch of the new John Lewis [department store] fashion line. I have been to Los Angeles and San Francisco a few times. Still, most of the work is in New York.
AGEIST: What is going on with your new interior design business? How did that start and where do you see it going?
JB: Three years ago, while searching for other work options, I was offered the opportunity to work on decorating an apartment for an out-of-town client. The job was supposed to be a quick furnishing job, but it turned into a 2.5-year gut renovation. I learned a lot, doing it, about building codes and protocols. It was the ‘real’ version of what I had been doing for years as a set designer for film, advertising and photography.
AGEIST: Are you still doing your set styling?
JB: Yes I am. I have specialized a bit, as I mentioned earlier, and I pick and choose my clients now.
AGEIST: This all seems like a lot to balance. How do you do that?
JB: It is a lot to balance, but I have an amazing team that provides continuity, especially my studio manager who has embraced all these ventures with gusto. I couldn’t handle all this without her. I also have amazing agents who all work really well together. It is sometimes a real tour de force to get my schedule to flow smoothly, but they are dedicated to making it work.
AGEIST: You were home visiting Montréal. Are you able to take much time off?
JB: Very little, but family is very important to me. I was there for my father’s 89th birthday.
AGEIST: How old are you?
JB: 61 tomorrow 🙂
AGEIST: Any thoughts for other women who may be going through the thoughts you went though, thinking they may want to change careers but not sure where to turn?
JB: I speak to a lot of people about how your concerns and your desires — you never know who might have a suggestion that might trigger a thought that might open a door. Also, be very open to trying new things even if they seem a bit far-fetched. If you had told me 3 years ago that I would now be a working model, I would have laughed in your face! But I said yes to walking in a fashion show… I didn’t dismiss the idea even if it seemed like a lark at the time.
Read Jocelyne’s original profile here
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