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MODELING & TALENT barbizon2012 By Ashley Burns For the winners of the titles of Ms. and Mr. Barbizon at IMTA, the reward is always far greater than they ever expected Creating New Connections ne of the most positive aspects that the hundreds of boys and girls, men and women who attend IMTA in Los Angeles and New York each year always shares with us, is the ability to make new connec- tions. This isn’t just about meeting agents and scouts, as much as it’s simply about making friends with their peers who are there to compete for the same spotlight and attention. It’s truly an experience that consistently transcends the expectations of young models and actors, and it flies in the face of the stereotype that these industries are cutthroat and competitive. Even with the prestige and respect that come with the titles of Ms. and Mr. Barbizon, the aspiring models that receive this honor and recognition always care more about setting an example and earning the respect of their friends than they do about the reward. Granted, the reward—and the subsequent opportunity to appear in the Pageantry and PromTime Fashion Showcase—is amazing, but when this year’s Mr. Barbizon Donny Hughes and Ms. Barbi- zon Jennifer Dau spoke with us about their experiences at IMTA, they were more thankful for the experience than anything. Pageantry magazine: What interested you in becoming a model? Jennifer Dau: There were a lot of things that interested me in becoming a model. First, all my life I had been tall, I thought to myself that I should put that to use. Also, growing up there were a lot of models that I looked up to, Tyra Banks being one of them. I remember I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. I just knew this was the career for me. My family and everyone around me also encouraged me to pur- sue my dreams. They said that if I wanted to become a model then go for it. They supported me throughout my whole life, and they O 98 PAGEANTRY said they were behind me 100% when I said I wanted to become a model. It was that push they gave me that helped me become who I am today. Donny Hughes: I became interested in becoming a model mainly because of the opportunity and the growing industry. The modeling industry as a whole is just gushing with opportunity, so I felt this was a really good time to take advantage of all of it. Also, the people that I am able to work with are the best someone could ever ask for; they are just plain good people. All of the di- rectors and the photographers are always willing to work with someone no matter how experienced a model is. This is great be- cause it really keeps someone striving to be his best when others around them are encouraging. PM: How has your training with Barbizon helped in your un- derstanding of the modeling business? JD: It taught me not only how to be a model, but the basics be- hind it. I learned that modeling isn’t just fun and glam. It takes a lot of effort and work. For example, there is a lot that goes on be- hind the scenes to put on one fashion show. The same goes for photo shoots, too. I learned that models need to be prepared. Barbizon helped me understand that if I really wanted to become a model I would have to work for it. I needed to be on top of my poses, know my walk, and be confident. DH: Barbizon has helped me exponentially, from the understand- ing of how to model to how to act on and off the set. Barbizon has helped teach me how to be a model from the ground up. I’ve learned the normal process of the modeling business and was able to wrap my head around all of the ins and outs of the business.