Interview with Model & Performer, Allie Sparks
Hey guys! I am so, so excited to publish this interview for you. Allie and I worked a large trade show together in January and I had no idea who she was until she popped up in my "suggested" people on Facebook. I want to bring you the best interviews with the best freelance models, and Allie truly is one of the best. Enjoy, and check out her website and social media!
Ashlie: How did you start modeling? What was the motivation?
Allie: Ever since I was a little girl, I have always had a love for fashion, magazines, and being in front of the camera. I was so obsessed with the industry that I became a magazine hoarder! My mom actually still has the hundreds of magazines I had collected. The fashion industry is just such a beautiful world to me. It allows you to express yourself through a photo in so many artistic ways.
When I was 12 years old, I realized that I could be a model just like the girls in the magazines. So I had my mom take some photos of me to submit to agencies, but unfortunately all of the agencies in my area had a height requirement that I did not meet. I didn't exactly give up because of this; I just put it off until I graduated while watching every season of America's Next Top Model (ANTM) to learn as much as I can. Shortly after high school, I made friends with a photographer who was willing to do a photoshoot with me. I used those photos to start up a Model Mayhem account, and that is when modeling finally became a part of my life. I spent every week building my portfolio and submitting to castings. Eventually it brought me to the point where people were reaching out to me for bookings instead of the other way around. I still have a long way to go to reach my goal, but I am loving the journey.
Ashlie: You do such a mix of everything. What is your favorite style/activity to shoot and why?
Allie: My favorite is definitely high fashion! It's actually what I'm best at shooting (probably because of my ANTM binge). Shooting high fashion is just so much fun and full of endless creativity. I never have to think about a new pose, I can wear crazy things and make them look good, and it allows me to become a new character with their own story that's told through their eyes.
Ashlie: How do you keep your energy up while doing so much?
Allie: Honestly, there have been several times of my life where I become completely burnt out. I become depressed and confused with my path, and I lose the motivation to do anything. I used to constantly do 3-4 bookings a day, and I never made any time for myself. I have learned the importance of not taking on too much, and always finding a time to recharge my energy. I now set aside 1-2 days a month where I do absolutely nothing but little hobbies, go to the spa, etc. I also meditate every morning and say out loud positive affirmations and what I'm grateful for. This has really helped me find balance and keep myself sane through the chaos of being a multi-talented freelancer.
Ashlie: Tell us a little about your magic show!
Allie: I perform in a magic show called "Xavier Mortimer- Magical Dream" every night at Planet Hollywood. It's definitely not your typical magic show with the same illusions you've seen everywhere, and a magician talking in between each trick. We offer much more than that! Our show is based on the story line of being inside of Xavier's dream, and I play his "dream girl," Belle. Belle is very quirky, bubbly, and loves to play hard to get with Xavier. Before I joined the show, there was another Belle, and her character was nothing like mine. I changed lines and scenes to make the character completely my own...she's basically an exaggerated version of my own personality. The show is seriously so much fun! It's comedic, poetic, inspiring, and not only does it have never before seen illusions that are insanely creative, but Xavier also plays a few live instruments with his magic. I was also given the chance to have my very own act in the show involving contortion! That's something you definitely won't see in the average magic show.
Ashlie: What is it like getting to perform with your significant other every day?
Allie: It's almost like a fairytale, and I'm always wondering how I got so lucky to live the coolest life ever. During our meet and greet after the show, people are always asking us if we're actually together because our chemistry on stage is so noticeable. I have become so passionate with the show that it now feels like our dream rather than his dream. We make such a great team and I'm having so much fun with it! It used to be weird having my boyfriend as a boss, but I've gotten used to it. We keep things very professional when we're at the theater, and that's how we make it work with our relationship. Of course I've had my slip ups where I bring drama from home to the theater....but I'm just a girl, haha!
"Always be confident."
Ashlie: Being a performer and having to be in front of so many people for a living, do you ever struggle with body image?
Allie: I don't struggle with my body image, but I do criticize myself when I see cellulite or a body part that isn't toned. Stage lights show everything, so it makes me very conscious of myself. I always love my body image, but I try to also be realistic with what I see. I think health and fitness are very important, and when I am being real with myself about something that needs to be fixed, it's a good reminder that I need to stop slacking and get back in the gym. To me, that is real self love.
Ashlie: Any big plans (or secret big plans) for the rest of this year?
Allie: I do have a couple of big projects I'm working on that I hope to launch by the end of the year, but those are a secret :). I've learned that it's better not to give away your plans because if you do, you're tricking your mind into thinking you've already accomplished those plans and then you lose the drive to actually finish them. Aside from that, I recently started my own blog and youtube channel which will be my big focus. I also will be doing a lot of traveling by the end of the year. My boyfriend and I are going to Spain, Rome, and France next month, and then later on we will be performing at the Magic Castle in LA and then a couple of cruise ships.
"I have learned the importance of not taking on too much, and always finding a time to recharge my energy.
Ashlie: You just started your own blog- what can aspiring models find on there?
Allie: My blog will consist of a variety of things, but one of the categories is dedicated to modeling. I recently posted about getting started as a model, and for future posts I plan to talk about posing, getting sponsors, the dangers of modeling, etc.
Ashlie: What is your best piece of advice for anyone who wants to be a professional model?
Allie: Do as much research as you can, maintain the image you expect of yourself, take care of your hair, skin, and body, and always be confident!
"I've learned that it's better not to give away your plans because if you do, you're tricking your mind into thinking you've already accomplished those plans and then you lose the drive to actually finish them."