giovedì 24 ottobre 2013

artsy fartsy

buona sera!

i moved out of my apartment! and i'm soooo glad about it!
this new place is also a model apartment owned by the agency, in another part of town. i live with 6 other girls (!!) and it's totally different from anything i'm used to. i've actually never lived with girls, except my mother and sister. for the past year, i've been living with five guys. couldn't be more opposite in any way.
the rent is significantly cheaper (but is still super expensive by montreal standards) but is quite nicer. it's on two floors, and my favorite aspect of it is all the skylights and angled ceilings. i have a huge skylight right above my bed :) i share a room with yulia from russia, there is another double room on the second floor next to ours, and downstairs three girls, including elise from vancouver (yay canada!).

after moving this morning, i settled in and unpacked everything (at the last place, i hadn't undone my suitcase, since i knew i wanted to leave soon) so i already feel better here. none of us had any castings today, i don't know why this week is so slow :( but! it gave me the chance to walk around the neighborhood to see what's close, camera in hand. i walked all the way to the brera area, which is super cute and filled with students, because the fine arts school is located there (dream!). in the same building is an art museum, and i hadn't been to that one in particular last time i was in milan, so today i went!
the pinacoteca di brera was great. it's really vast and i spent a whole two hours admiring the paintings and a couple sculpures. they mostly have twentieth-century classics (lots of jesus') in classic styles. i got to see some paintings by moroni, which was funny because my last apartment was on a street by the same name. in the third room i entered, a french from france group has having a guided tour, so i stayed close to them to have a hear at it, hihihi. i got to see some bellini (no, not the drink. the famour venezian painter) and i always enjoy seeing in person paintings i studied in my art history classes in cegep.
i always love the sound in museums. yeah you'll tell me but-museums-are-silent but it's the echoes that get to me. the echoes of people trying to speak softly and the echoes of past times, through the art.
aside from the traditional style, there was also a smaller room dedicated to a collection of more modern art. in front of my eyes was some braque, picasso, modigliani, and boccioni, mmmm.
i also saw for the second time some caravaggio, and 'il bacio' by hayez.
there was also the coolest room i have ever seen. it was dedicated to art restauration, the job i think i'd really love to do. it was closed-in, air-tight, filled with bottles of solutions, little tools, air vacuum shafts and only three paintings. some were being fixed and another was being cleaned. just makes me want to fast forward through school and get working there asap!
then, as if my tour of the pinacoteca wasn't enough art for a day, while walking down brera towards the metro, a small gallery had some original warhol hung in the window.


back at the apartment, two of my roommates, monika from i'm not sure where and veronika from ukraine were about to leave for the gym and invited me to tag along. i went and got my gym card done (free for a month simply because i'm a model? cooooool!) and we worked out together.

tomorrow i've got two castings, one for a shoe designer's lookbook, and the second for... armani! yéééeahhh boiiiii!

buona notte,

m.c.d.

lunedì 21 ottobre 2013

c'est une chanson qui nous ressemble

buon giorno!

milan has transport strikes pretty much every second friday. at least they're a little bit nice about it, and have a three-hour window where all transportation is running. during that time, on friday, i had a casting at vogue. after walking through the sempione park to get there, i reallt felt like going back afterwards. i did, and spend a nice long while reading while the sun was slowly making it's way down.
during that time, i got a call from kate, who was also doing the casting along with alayna. they were going to grab a late lunch, and also being hungry i joined them.
right during we were eating, i got a call form the agency telling me i had a test shoot (a non-paying shoot whose pictures will be unpublished, that are simply for the portfolio) on sunday. nina, one of my bookers told me that she had booked train tickets for me and danni, another girl from the agency, to get to brescia to do the shoot. i chowed down my meal in half time, hopped on the tram and made my way to cadorna station, where the ticket agency was. the place looked closed, so i was a little worried, but nina told me not to and to just knock on the door, which i did, and a lady opened for me asking ''major modella?'' and there i was tickets for me and danni in hand.

i took saturday to sleep in like crazy, and only went out of the apartment for a drink with kate, since her birthday was the following day. since i did have a shoot, i had the skip the party.

the shoot was so. much. fun! me and danni left central station in milan towards brescia in the morning, a small city eastward halfway to verona (shakespeare city!). the photographer's name was tiziano, and seemed quite young. i had looked up his work beforehand, and alayna had already shot with him and enjoyed it.
he picked us up at the station in his four-place smart car (my mom's two seater is cuter!) and we spoke about the ideas for the looks. danni shot in the field in a nice dress, being decontextualized, and did another one outdoors with the neighbor's horse! and two more different outfits in studio.
as for my part, we did one beauty, natural shot, another leather-rocker-badass one outdoors, a different leather-rocker-badass one indoors, the same outfit with a friend's royal python snake matilda, and a last one in a cosmic patterned dress with lotsa bling bling necklace action. between the snake, the horse, the photographer's cat and his dog, it was quite a zoo day! (see some pictures on my instagram, link in the previous post).
i need to write more about the cat cause i'm a legit cat lady. the kitten's name was rino, because he was all white, and white-out in italian is some word i don't remember that finishes with -rino. he had these adorable but a little stupid looking blue crossed eyes, but that's what made him even more adorable. he kept coming to me to me loved, and to purr, which he did a whole lot.

today i only had one casting and took it really easy. i watched the movie beginners, which is a favorite of mine and juliette's (see her blogspot at http://julesperiers.blogspot.it/ or .com for you guys at home) and did some groceries and apartment research. i'm currently writing this with a glass of wine from a two-euro bottle, and things are feeling fine.

so far tomorrow i have one on request casting (where they make a pre-selection of models they want to see) at the agency. but it's the type of work where things change or are added or gone unpredictably at the last second. yay adaptation!?




on an ending note, a song i adore, first because it was sang to me by my grand mother with her amazing soulful blues voice. second, because the words are a jacques prévert poem
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo1C6E7jbPw&feature=related

but i miss you most of all my darling, when autumn leaves start to fall



m.c.d

giovedì 17 ottobre 2013

'round town

well hello again

where i left off.
tuseday was buuuuusy. i had a total of five castings, which is usually very ok, but the problem was four of them were in a two hour time limit.
the first casting was for a commercial for cookies... yeah cookies. they made me eat one on camera and everything. the wait was super long but Sophie was also there.
after that i had an hour and a half of free time in the porta ticinese area, which i adore! i got lunch at a fish kiosk i had already been to before, and got a bit of calamari with lots of lemon. i walked down the street to one of my fave spots, right by the roman columns. i also got some gelato from my favourite place called frozen. i got lemon because it's my go-to delicious pick, and got fior di latte to go with. now that felt like a real welcome back to milano.
i sat at the base of the columns for a while doing some people watching. i also walked around a little taking pictures. (if you want to see what i took on instagram, since film takes a while, it's http://instagram.com/maia_celeste).
the next casting was right across the street for cosmopolitan magazine, and i knew it was always a casting where many many models show up, so i decided to go earlier than scheduled to beat the crowd. three girls had the same idea and where already there, and so it happens it was three girls also from major. caroline is 23 and from norway, kate is turning 19 sunday and is from seattle, and alayna is also 18 and from seattle. after waiting a while and nobody was showing up, we figured there was something wrong. the client's daughter, whom we all recognized because it isn't our first time in milan and at this client's casting, came to the gate and opened for us. after a couple minutes of waiting outside their (cute, cluttered, but pouring with light) apartment, she asked us if we were sure the casting was today... and then we got worried. we called the agency and they said 'sis si' it's today. she invited us to sit inside as a couple of other girls, also with major, walked in. the daughter, whom is i'd guess between 10 and 12, made it her missing to figure out what was going on since her mother wasn't present for the casting. she was running back in forth in the apartment, making calls to her father, speaking with her grandmother and trying to get a hold of her mom. real little booker in the making this one! it was crazy to see her being so helpful and professional for her cute little age.
after all this, while we were busy thanking her and complimenting her on her managing skills, she tells us the actual adress of the casting. way the heck up corso sempione, messing up my schedule for the day.
after asking the other girls, we realized we had all the same castings in that little amount of time, so we stuck together. another one we had to go to was two streets away, so we hit that one first. for me it went very well, the client made me try one some clothing and took pictures. it was funny since the model right before me was also named Maia!
by then we had been worried we couldn't make all of the castings, since they were so far away. we called the magency again, asking them which castings were most important for us to attend.
following instructions, we make out way up sempione to the actual location of the cosmo casting. luckly there were few girls there and it went fast.
we go back towards downtown to another casting, this time there was a crazy wait and a line of girls spiraling down the stairs to the floor below.
we didn't make it to the last casting, since it was already too late and was at the other end of town.
no worries since we got to see them the next day!

in the evening, i went just a floor below of the apartment building where i'm currently staying to where alayna and kate live. caroline has the place right across the hall. we had beer and listened to music, and spent a pretty chill evening together.
i have friends! yay!

the next day was great because kate's boyfriend, an italian she met on her last trip here, drove us to our castings all day. almost felt like having a driver in tokyo!
it wasn't stressful at all and we made it to all of our auditions.
we had one for a lookbook, the second was the one we had missed the day before (for a hair and makeup magazine), then another one for cosmopolitan magazine, an editorial, and finally a very, very long casting where i guess about 200 models were present. we were there a veeeeery long time.

that was yesterday, and we felt like going for aperitivo. that's where a restaurant-bar type place offers drinks for a fixed price, and lets you eat as much as you please of the little buffet they provide. we went with boy models kate and alayna knew from the u.s., and had a good time chatting about work and movies and photography and stuff. when we were done there, we walked back around the park (since it was closed by that time) to another little bar where we had cheap beer before going back home.
in the craziest taxi drive of my life.
at first, i didn't even know if the driver was a man or a woman. he-she was a short, old human being with a loud, loud voice. making jokes in italian we didn't understand. we were glad it was a short ride.

today i only had two castings, and they started in the early afternoon. after that, i went to the agency to take a couple of polaroids, or digitals. those are the pictures the agency takes, not professionally, but just to give an idea to clients of what models look like naturally. we did some clothed and in a bikini. i always find these a little terrifying since i'm not the stick-skinny type model, and last time i was here my booker wasn't shy to tell me i needed to lose a little weight. i guess even though it's never fun to hear, i've grown older and more comfortable in the skin i'm in. i've got my hips and they are what they are.

tomorrow the metro and buses and trams are all on strike, as it happens so often in milan. so far it doesn't seem like i have a single casting, it's perhaps because of the strike. anyway, it's supposed to be sunny and nice, i'll probably just spend some time at the park reading and enjoying the sun (it's mostly been grey and chilly since i got here).

kate and alayna are also tired of spending so much on our not-so-great apartment, so we're looking for a place all three of us together.

oh! just got an email from my booker telling me i do have one casting tomorrow for vogue. it's right beside the park anyway. how perfect.

my dad sent me and my little sister this quote the other day, i feel like it's pertinent i share this

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover."- Mark Twain

 keep on exploring on

m.c.d.

lunedì 14 ottobre 2013

back at it

the day started off by heading to the agency to sign my contract. i got to see Giorgio again, my agent from last time i was here with Joy. he's the sweetest! i got all my papers done and dealt with, and then without time for taking a break, off to castings they sent me.
i wasn't totally planning for it so i wasn't wearing to right shoes to walk around all day in, so my feet already hurt a little. i haven't found a good deal on a bicycle yet (if you know where to score a bike in Milan by chance, please do let me know (and yes, kijiji.it does exist!)).

first off i was sent to a casting for an editorial beauty shoot on corso magenta, the street on which the church in which 'the last supper' by Da Vinci resides. walking by it again for an art lover was a great start to the day!
a dozen of flights of stairs later, i'm up on the fifth floor with a lithuanian model just as out of breath as i am, since we were running last minute for this casting. through the door, we realize we're on the roof of the building, and enjoy the view for a minute as we find our breaths and change into our heels. the casting was a classic in-and-out, ciao-grazie-arrivederci, a-minute-long thing.
next up i made my way to corso sempione, right above the beautiful sempione park, a spot i really like. there are the bureaus of condé nast, the publishers that own vogue and vanity fair, just to name a couple. my casting was for vogue sposa (sposa = bride), and there are always tons of models at the condé nast castings. so i waited and made conversation with other models, and even sticking with Isabella a girl from sweden for getting to the next casting we had in common. i make one friend and she has to be leaving tomorrow!
we headed together to corso s. euseubio, where i had been many times before, for a casting for a u.s. polo gig in florence. a bunch of models were also there, so we waited quite the while. we also met up with a friend of hers, Sophie, who is a young quirky-faced blonde from denmark. one of the clients at that gig seemed to like me and wanted me to try something on, while the other said 'capelli troppo corti' (hair too short). sometimes it's a huge bonus and a quirk to have hair as short as i do, and sometimes it's in the way.

after that i head back to my apartment to grab my passport to go back to the agency and finalize my papers. i also find a cell phone store and get my own italian phone number and sim card (if you have imessage or whatsapp, we can still write). plans are so much cheaper here! i got 200 minutes, 200 text messages and 1G of data for 10 euros a month. and if 1G isn't enough, i can add another for a little 2 euros extra. viva italia!

the agency then sends me to another casting, not too far, to another studio i has already been to. it was for a beauty magazine called Estetica, for whom i've already had a job. it went really well! and i was the last one to show up, which is always a good thing, since the first and the last are usually the most remembered.

on the way back to the apartment, i stop at a grocery store for avocados (cannot live without them) and juice and wine, all for a tiny 5 euros. really, the only expensive thing in europe is rent. rent. is. bad.

i'm waiting for an answer from a lady i could rent a room from, cheaper and better than here. fingers tightly crossed.

tomorrow i have five different castings, that take me just like today to places i've mostly been to. including right past my favorite gelateria on porta ticinese! and right in front of a row of second century roman colums that are beautiful. the only thing is that four of those castings are all within two hours of one another. gonna run! already back at it.

speaking of running : run by daughter is a real good song.

alla prossima,

m.c.d.


domenica 13 ottobre 2013

adventure time

when i spoke about leaving, my dad always spoke of it as my 'next great adventure.' 
he's right because simply making my way here was an adventure in itself.

after heart wrenching goodbyes at the montreal airport, i set off for paris on air transat. there was a huge orange half-moon on the horizon when we were taking off.
 i don't know if any of you have flown with them before but nobody mentioned that it was party lighting in there. ok it ain't that bad but the lights in the cabin change slowly through all the colours of the rainbow. the only thing missing was lounge music. the overpriced drinks were present. 
i was surprised to see that the plane was equipped with personal tv-movie-audio screen, i didn't think it would be! i'm totally incapable of sleeping during flights, so that came in handy. i watched 'the place beyond the pines' for the second time because i really enjoyed it, and i also watched the third hangover movie. it's a hangover movie eh. not as funny as the first one in my opinion. i also read, wrote a little and listened to lost of music. 
the plane had lifted off a little late, and we arrived in paris about 45 minutes after schedule. that alone made me super stressed because i only had two hours in paris to make my connection, and i had never been to the charles-de-gaulle airport. furthermore, i didn't book my flights together so i had to retrieve my suitcase, leave the terminal, and get to the departure terminal. and that, if you must someday do, leave yourself lots of time. 
getting luggage in itself takes it's sweet long deal of time. after that, it was a long walk (run for me, with my 40lbs suitcase and 25lbs backpack) to where a train shuttle departs to the other terminals. once in the departures terminal, it's a zoo of airlines and gates, and mine is, of course, waaaaay at the other end. run run run through the people being confused between where i'm going where i'm from and where i'm going alternating between 'mi scusi!' and 'sorry'! and 'pardon!' being an annoying late traveler. 
aaaand i didn't make it. 
75 euros later, more than what i paid for the original paris-milan ticket, i got switched to a flight two hours later. by that time i'm extra tired, my shoulders have those bruises that occur when your skin is pinched, and i'm kind of discouraged. i spend time in charles-de-gaulle sitting on a bench close to a nice red piano, available for all to bust out a tune. some were children hitting on it mercilessly and others were good enough to lull me to sleep. which i did for about half an hour before it was time to board my next flight.

finally, in milan, i thought the journey was close to over. but noooo, to take the train into central milan, i had to once again go to another terminal, which was a good bus ride away. once there, i buy my train ticket, only to see the train roll away in the distance right before my eyes. i waited 20 minutes for the next one. 
by that time i was already very late for the hour i had told my roommate i'd be at the apartment, and i had no way of contacting her. wi-fi in paris you had to pay for, and my cellphone did not want to tap into any local carriers, it just 'no service'd me all along. i figured i'd find a pay phone at a metro station in milan.
the train arrived at cadorna station, where i try to call my roommate, no answer. i take the metro for five stops to get to the apartment, when i realize the last time i looked at a map to know how to walk from the station to there was two days ago. 
i make my way through the streets at dark with my luggage, only taking a wrong turn once. addresses on doors in milan are often hard to spot, and of course, mine was. i get to the end of the street without seeing my address and stumble across a grocery store. i figured i could try calling my roommate again, but the lady at the cash tells me i can't use their phone but a payphone is nearby. 
my roommate answers! she tells me that the number is indeed hard to see, on a further wall and behind a tree, but that it's right beside the number 33 (we are 35). she tells me that she isn't there anymore but that another one of the girls (the agency owns the building and a lot of us stay in it) is there, and that she'll call her for her to come open the door for me. i get my keys, walk in, and throw myself on the sofa. the place is of an ok size, the living room and kitchen are in one, the bathroom is fine except that the shower head isn't attached to the wall and you have to hold it while washing. and the best part (insert heavy sarcasm here) is that we share a bedroom. two beds, but one bedroom. woup-di-freaking-do. 
for the exorbitant price, it really isn't all that great.
oh, internet also is really on and off, it's a crappy signal. 

i'm actually already looking at other apartment or rooms i can rent in town, i'm quite sure i can find better for cheaper. sorry, agency!

i'm also looking for a bicycle to get around town on. last time i was here, i took the metro or trams or buses to get around, but i figured a bike would be more fun, i'd get to see more, and get a little exercise in. and kijiji.it actually is a thing. it exists! 
today i got a bit of groceries, and im shopping for that bike and a different apartment. i also really need to get a local sim card for my phone, but most stores are closed on sundays out here and they are quite a ways away. 
my roommate didn't come in last night, and it's 4pm and she hasn't shown up. ain't so bad considering we share a room. all mine muahah!

that's where i'm at for now.

'till next time, keep on adventuring on

m.c.d.

lunedì 7 ottobre 2013

jeez, life

i haven't written on here in almost a full year. say, it is a travel blog, and i've spent most of my time in montreal. i finished my cegep (barely), i broke up with Phil (it was the best thing to do, and no, you won't read about us getting back together again), i spent the summer by the lake in Mulgrave-et-Derry to take time off, and i also am with a new totally marvellous boy since june. as for travels: he took me for a week in Gaspésie. will write about it further on.
and, on friday, i leave for Milan. yeah, Milan again. the story may resume!
i  gotta say it has been a totally insane past year. i've never been so stressed in my entire life. and it has taken a toll on me. i was always the time to handle being extra busy really well, i never doubted in it, and i was confident in every adventure i threw myself into.
i bet a lot of you have heard about the strike that went on withing montreal and it's students about the rising schooling fees: i was part of them. as much as the cause rung true to me, and as uplifting the ambiance of revolt that was floating around the town, and participating in the manifestations has taught me just as much as sitting in calss did. perhaps more.
this being said, it did have it's numerous downsides. we missed close to five full months of school, so we did have to make it up. that's why this past school year, we basically did three semesters. it was out of this world stressful, busy, and demanding. somewhere along that time it became too much, and i lost my confidence and assurance about what i could achieve.
it's kind of followed me along until this time, and i worried my friends, parents, and even my agents. i sought out for help, and i'm really grateful that my boyfriend is such a positive influence to my mood. i can't thank you enough, Gab.

as for our trip in Gaspésie, it was beautiful. i could go on and on about all the various things we saw an did, but all in all, i only have a few things i need to mention: go to the Sea Shack. you will be drunk, and you will cook in the community kitchen with other young travelers, maybe pick up some hitchhikers like we did, plant your tent on the beach, see a million stars and auroras, and not want to leave.
hike up a couple mountains. the view is worth the hours trekking up, and the satisfaction is immense. sit at the summit and have a snack.
also, most importantly, go with someone you love.
and take a zillion pictures.



these are taken at the summing and during the hike up mount Xalibu





i also really fed my love for lighthouses. 



these are from the emerald river, totally worth a stop.


i also spent a weekend with my parents up in Val d'Or, where my mother is from. we spent most of the time sitting on a old friend's back porch, drinking beer and reliving high school stories. it was their high school reunion, and in the evening at events while my mother was reuniting with buddies, me and my dad took it upon ourselves to photobomb as many pictures as possible. we did succeed. lots. 


hihihihihi

friday is coming up real soon and i'm taking off for Milan again. this time you won't read about hilarious stories with my mom since i'll be by my own little self. i'll try to have just as many good stories to write about :) i'll be for three months, living with another girl from the agency.
afterwards, i'll se where life floats ma boat, i might take up another contract in another city, and sometime come back to montreal for university, i think. for now, i kind of have my mind set on cordordia; with a major in drawing and painting with a minor in print media. we'll see.

ciao for now,
see you on the other side of the pond

m.c.d.

ps: i put up a tumblr with only analog pictures i take
www.illunee.tumblr.com