Meet Janet Mayer, a 24 year old British-born model and dancer. She is 5 feet 9 inches tall and has been in the modeling industry for 5 years now. Based in London, UK, Janet has been booked for many jobs around the world and was part of the UK TV seriesThe FACE on sky Living in 2013.
A couple of weeks ago she had a shoot for Diversity now in association with i-D Magazine and last week she signed with Frame Perfect Management. Scaling high in the market, Janet has an editorial coming up for RISE Magazine which she is really excited about.
I managed to have a chat with her and feature her in our programme “I am A Model” . Below is an insight of how she has managed to reach to this point despite of all the challenges life has to offer.
“The ability to protect myself is a valuable asset as a woman.” – Janet Mayer
Q. What’s your story? When and where did it all start for you as a model?
I stumbled across modelling 5 years ago when I graduated from dance college. At the time I was training to become a professional dancer and I was just looking for head shots and dance pictures to enter the world of work with.
It was actually my sister who referred me to now one of my very good friends and today an incredible photographer, Nesta Lloyd. You could say we were both in the same position. She was coming out of college as a photographer and me a dancer and both of us were looking for shots to create a portfolio .
We got together and spent a whole day shooting on an old airfield in Shropshire, England and ended up having the most incredible day running around with my sister and wing woman carrying a pair of wellies around for me to change into when I wasn’t in my pointe shoes.
From double Decker buses, land rovers, army planes to the local mere on the way home, I literally finished the shoot dancing in the water. The whole day was liberating. That evening the pictures came through and I think both of us were pretty overwhelmed of the outcome, it was beautiful and impressive.
Q. Complete this sentence; Being a model to me is
Being a model to me is just another way of expressing myself. My world is all based around art on stage and off. When I walk onto set and am given the brief, the clothes then the subject of my job is to play that role and sell the clothes. For me that’s the best part, getting lost in it all. It is like forgetting yourself just like with music, on the stage, behind the lens.
Q. Briefly tell me about your dancing career.
I started dancing at the age of 4 and trained as a professional dancer at 16 after receiving a scholarship at The Hammond School Chester. In 2010 I graduated with a National Diploma in professional dance and later gained a BA Honors in Professional Practice of the Arts at Middlesex. I got my first job as a professional dancer at the age of 19.
Since then I have performed all over the world, Cruise Ships, Casinos, festivals, live theatrical performances, TV and trade/ corporate events. My first job was a luxury 6 star liner, Silversea Cruises with Jean Ann Ryan Productions. Eight months later I completed a 10 month land contract for Solverde Casinos. Holi One Festival, The Devere Awards and a also a World Tour in 2013 on-board the Costa Deliziosa just to name a few.
I recently came back from a 15 month contract performing at the legendary Crazy Paris show in Macau and am currently on the books for the Moulin Rouge in Paris.
Q. As a dancer, what typeof dance are you good at?
Well, I was classically trained at a professional dance school and the course taught me many styles of dance such as Jazz, contemporary, tap and of course ballet.
These days in the industry and through my experience,I am seen as the tall leggy showgirl so I try to channel that to my advantage and now go for more cabaret shows.
Q. What did you do to break through as a model?
My break through was entering the UK TV series of The FACE on Sky Living.
I entered the competition as a dancer and made it all the way down to final 24. I did a raw photo shoot where we were told to wear no make up in front of Naomi Campbell, Erin O’connor and Caroline O winburg.
When I stood in front of the judges and met Naomi Campbell it was probably one of the most craziest/ surreal and nerve racking moments of my life. Entering that show with little experience and standing there totally stripped back. When she told me “you have the whole package” it hit me to hear a global supermodel and iconic woman think I had potential. After that show I was like I can do this and started hitting the agencies. The Face was a great platform for me.
Q. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Expressing gratitude is a pretty important part of my day to day life , normally when I wake up, I grab a cup of coffee, check my emails and then usually spend just a few moments thinking about the people, places and opportunities that I am grateful for in my life. Positive vibes set me up for my day. I whack my headphones on and I am good to go.
Q. What is your idea of beauty?
Well to me the expression “beauty comes from within” is totally my thing! A beautiful person to me is someone who sparkles and lights up when they talk about something they love. Beautiful enough to make other people smile or laugh and radiates energy and soul.
On the outside I am quite often drawn to people who look a little different. This makes me want to talk to them and know their story thus finding a little bit about their place on this planet.
Q. How do you market yourself as a model?
I have a lot of amazing agents who pretty much take care of that, but in general I would not put myself in a specific category of modelling. I am all rounded and love trying new things, I keep an open mind on a day to day basis and try to put myself out there for everything.
Q. What do you consider as good pay for a model?
All depends on what you are doing, who its for, how long, travel etc. I would say 1,000 to 10,000(British Pounds) is good pay.
Q. How are you like when there are no cameras or many people watching you?
Haha, my friends think I am a bit of a wild one! I am a Leo and a natural red, I love to grasp life and feel alive! I am basically a work-hard play-hard woman so I am always trying to push myself and beat myself without beating myself up if that makes sense!
Hobby wise, you will always find me in the gym or the studio and I have recently taken up kickboxing which I TOTALLY LOVE. My whole industry is about having a strong mind and body, kickboxing is great for that and having the ability to protect yourself is a valuable asset as a woman. Also I feel totally bad ass when I am doing it.
Q. Is there anyone who manages you or handles your finances?
My dad haha! Yeah its a bit crazy being self employed and most of the time I don’t work in the UK so that can be tricky at times, my dad is pretty good on the financial side of things. I always give him a buzz and he gives me a hand.
Q. Who/what inspires you?
My parents definitely inspire me, they support me in this crazy industry which I am grateful for because at times it can be really tough, my mum watched me grow up doing what I love so she is normally my biggest critic and I love her for it.
In terms of other people, I grew up watching the Irish phenomenem Michael Flately. I was never much of an Irish dancer but the way he spoke about going after a dream and fighting for what you want always stuck with me. I love the fighter in people, the gutysy, driven passionate kind.
Q. What are some of the challenges you have faced as a model?
Sometimes on a set I move too quickly between frames and that’s the dancer side coming out in me, normally when people ask me to move I sometimes get carried away and have to slow it right down, also I get excited very easily.
I also broke out in acne a few years ago and that was really hard, I found an amazing dermatologist who helped me through it but at the time it did knock my confidence.
Q. How do you handle hard times?
I am quite an impatient person and have got ill before by pushing myself too much with work load. Every time I return to London I feel like a kid in candy shop with all the opportunity around me, so it can be hard to sometimes step back and chill. I am getting better at it though.
Q. Apart from dance and modeling, is there any other profession you are pursuing?
Yes ! Me and my best mate, met in my last contract in China where we actually set up a fashion brand,Room of Bamboo. We are both total fashionistas and travel junkies so its really cool to throw our adventures and creative ideas into our clothes line. Definitely make sure you check it out !!! Our last collection resulted in us running around the streets of Hong Kong spraying a bottle of champagne it was CRAZY !!
Q. What are some of the things you do to be happy?
I keep working. My job makes me very happy, it makes me tick and buzz which is half the reason why I find it hard to stop and chill. Other than that I love working on our brand Room Of Bamboo with my best mate and business partner, sitting on my warehouse roof talking absolute non-sense and coming up with some form of scandalous outfit to hit the night out ! That normally takes serious planning and has before included glitter, wigs and plastic skirts!
Q. Where do you see yourself in the next 4 years as a model?
As a model, I am always aiming to work with bigger names in fashion, international runways and I continue to grow in every area and of course as a person.
Q. Whats your best moment as a model?
There are so many but definitely 2 would be meeting my biggest idols in the industry, Naomi Campbell on the TV series of The Face and also meeting Kate Moss on a night out in London. I will never forget how she cleared the dance floor and asked me to show her my walk in the middle of the club! Haha it was mental, shes such a cool chick I love her!
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