Hey Models and misses! I had another runway run in with a great role model in the modeling industry! Mrs. Shahidi is about her and her family’s business and life! This nice but no non-sense lady can help shape and make you great! Read the interview to hear her story! Its awesome!
AMM: How did you get your start in modeling?
Well I had a really stereotypical start in modeling. I was 26 years old, walking down street with my boyfriend (now husband) and a guy walked up to me and mentioned I should model. He thought I was younger which we laughed about! Eventually he told me to call him. We did a test shoot and hooked up with an agency. At first they thought I was short but could do something with me in the industry. The rest is history!
My educational background, is that I have a Masters in Business and Education. I was working full time as a Program Director for adult education. Wasn’t really happy in my career and I challenged myself to know what it is I desire. If it weren’t for this man stopping me on the street, I may not have started to research the modeling industry. I always thank him for that!
AMM: Did your children inquire about modeling or did you encourage them at a young age?
Since I was working full time and modeling part time, I had flexibility in my schedule. Once my first child was born, after 6 weeks I took her to my agency, and within 24 hours she got a booking! The agency sent polaroids to clients that same day that I brought her in. In her first year we did mommy daughter stuff, then eventually my first and second child started progressing with print work, (such as Target, Best Buy, etc). Our Third child started out in LA doing commercials and hit it big!
AMM: Seems like this is all in the family! Everyone is in the industry! Does that include your husband?
My Husbands a photographer! I pulled him into commercial work and has begun to enjoy it!
AMM: What is your objective behind the Commercial Mommy blog?
The reason for starting the blog was because it seemed like I was getting stopped every 10 minutes with questions and inquiries! I wanted to create a platform for people to reach out to me, and I don’t mind because its all I do! I eat, sleep drink this business. Since creating relationships with clients, and friends in the industry, why not share experiences that I’ve learned with others? It was also important to share with people of color on how to get in business and establish themselves so we get called back. Within the last couple of years things have transitioned into consulting by word of mouth.
AMM: Are you still an active model or more of a manager to your children now? (What keeps you motivated to continue in the industry?)
Yes I am still active in modeling. My oldest (daughter) has her own manager, my Son doesn’t have a manager. We have our publicist, so I’m just mommy, a really smart mommy (laughs)!!!! I don’t take any cuts of there money, however I do involved my self in the conversations with my childrens managers and publicists. I have turned down some work and given up money to commit to something bigger, which is my childrens’ career.
AMM: Name some ways that you keep your life normal while working in an industry that is generally chaotic?
I would say keep your life interest alive. Although you may not be able to plan activities with your family/friends months out, you can plan at least a week out. Eating healthy, is also important in my family, we work hard and play harder. Realize that you are not living life for work, but living your LIVES! Remember, every audition is different they will remember you based off some of your skills and your personality.
AMM: What advice would you give anyone trying to make modeling/acting a long term career?
- Be aware of marketing trends. ( i.e 2 or 3 years ago there was a strike in the writers guild, which changed the industry tremendously.)
- Manifest what you want.. “I want this role, that role etc”. keep it in your wallet to remind you of what it is you can do. Let your agents know you can be the roles you believe you can do!
- Have a back up plan to help you keep eating. Be smart!
AMM: Keri you have shed a wealth of knowledge and information with us and there is so much more you can offer, how can the public contact you for advice/help?
I can be contacted by any of the below means:
My website: www.kerishahidi.com
My blog, Commercial Mommy: http://www.commercialmommy.com/
My facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/CommercialMommy
My twitter: @commercialmommy
Well there you have it folks! This woman is definitely someone I will be talking to when i need assistance. Hope you enjoyed!