Party Girls at Gatsby’s, or: Avoid a Modeling Career

Wrong number email and text messages are a joy. I’ve had email addresses with just a first name or simple word and received everything from a detailed thank your for a weekend-o-sex to a nauseating consumer complaint about a yeast infection remedy.

Sometimes it’s just Kismet, though.

Years ago I got a mistaken invitation to an actor’s birthday party. He’s a B level guy who’s been in two good movies.

It was a decade birthday and they’d gone all out. The venue was an estate in a rural but aristocratic setting.

The invitation presented necessary information: location, parking instructions, notes about food and pets for those with allergies, etc. Directions were given for those driving, arriving by airline, or flying in on private or chartered planes to the closer local airport. Hotels were listed for those staying multiple days in the area.

And then the kicker. The last set of “resources” was a list of local escort agencies, followed by modeling agencies including the nearest local branch of probably the world’s best-known modeling agency.

I’ll set aside for now my opinion on someone who puts prostitution options in his birthday invitation. Plus, for a call girl in Nowheresville, a gig at B-level celebrity’s big shindig is at way better than the usual.

But let us pause to consider the life of those on the roster of BigModelingAgency in a town that isn’t even Sacramento, much less New York. Young and driven, aiming for the bright lights and adoration of high fashion, always the most dazzling kid in school, and pumped with excitement at this new opportunity to move up with the reknowned agency… …and you get those phone calls. What the hell do you do? What happens if you do, or if you don’t? Is this job explicit, or do you just find out at the party, or afterwards? What’s the role of the agency here? What are the stories, and what do they sound like from each of the parties involved? Holy crap!

So that’s the wrong number email I remember the most, not because of the weird celebrity connection, but because of that window into the world of an aspiring fashion model out in the sticks. It is, to paraphrase David Foster Wallace, a double-handed forehead clutcher.

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