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My First Time: What It’s Really Like to Be a Promo Model

We’ve all seen them — those pretty girls handing out free samples and goodie bags at events; those girls stationed on red carpets for the sole purpose of looking good and posing for photo opps. Well a few weeks ago, I got the chance to be one of them. 

A major artist was having a concert near my campus, and an exclusive VIP party needed hostesses. In my mind, I thought it would be a great opportunity to network, make a little money, and best of all — meet The Weeknd! Little did I know how different the actual experience would be.

Wear comfy shoes, it’s a lot of standing

For this event, the dress code was fairly simple. Red dresses were all that was required. But then that always brings on the dilemma of appropriate footwear. Heels always look better with cocktail dresses, that’s just a fact. But with all the mingling, walking and greeting required of working an event, heels or even wedges end up being murder on your feet. For me, though, I toughed it out and wore heels for those 4+ hours. I got a lot of compliments on my outfit in the end, so you know what they say: beauty is pain.


Don’t expect any perks, you’re there to work

Of course for a VIP party, there are going to be some pretty nice benefits. Open bar, gourmet food, goodie bags, the works. But those things are only to be expected when you’re an actual guest paying to be there, not when you’re there on a job. My wishful thinking, though, got my hopes up that this would be a glamorous, all-access experience with all those same benefits with minimal actual work. Don’t get me wrong, the event was super fun and I got to meet some really cool people, including The Weeknd’s bass player (he was skate boarding up and down the halls, such an OG)! But mind you, it was work! I didn’t get to sit down once in the 4 hours, although I was able to eat some of the food — after the event ended. 


Enjoy the Cinderella moment, and don’t be sad when the clock strikes 12:00

I learned some valuable lessons from my first promo modeling experience. While I didn’t end up getting free tickets into The Weeknd’s concert (despite how hard I tried), what I did get was a small taste of what it’s like to be on the A-list. Albeit from a removed, fairly distant position. But this may be even better than actually being in the spotlight. You get to step back, look around, and enjoy the moment without the pressure of having all eyes on you. 


I am an avid fan of the entertainment industry and pop culture. And don’t get me wrong, promo modeling is a fun way to escape from your normal day-to-day and get a sneak peek into the glam life. But ultimately, I love my life and appreciate the normalcy of it. The A-list world can be very tiring. I felt that way at the end of the night and I wasn’t even on the guestlist! All in all, I had a fantastic time experiencing life on the other side as a promo model. Here’s to what other fun opportunities lie ahead!



Chisom is a current senior at Stanford University pursuing a B.S. in Science, Technology & Society. Her academic pursuits focus on the social and cultural conditions that foster technological and scientific innovation. She hopes to work in the media/entertainment industry after undergrad as a broadcast journalist. Chisom's past work experience includes a production internship at Good Morning America in New York City, where she assisted in booking guests for the show and pitched and helped produce her own original fashion segment idea. During the end of her senior year Chisom plans to intern at KRON4 -- a San Francisco news station -- on their assignment desk, assisting with story research and day-to-day operations. After graduation, Chisom hopes to work in either New York or Los Angeles. Check out her work at chisomoraedu.com and vimeo.com/chisomoraedu
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