Interview with Professional Model & Actress, Katey Laurel
Photo: David Mecey
Hi everyone! I am so excited to share this next interview with everyone. Katey is a Denver based model who I respect highly, and I can’t wait for you to get to know her a bit. Please check out her website and social media, too!
Model Alias: Katey Laurel
Ashlie: Signed or freelance? Both?:
Katey: I am recently signed (at the age of 37, no less!!) but most of my modeling jobs are still freelance.
Ashlie: How did you start modeling?
Katey: A girl friend of mine asked me if I had ever done any promotional modeling, and I said, “What’s that?” She had done a few jobs and gave me a few tips. A couple weeks later, I booked my first demo for Peet’s Coffee at a Kroger grocery store.
Ashlie: How long have you been modeling professionally?
Katey: I started professionally (as in, getting paid) 12 years ago when I was 27. I did my first print shoot for Smartwool at 28. I also competed at the local Miss America pageant years before in Huntington Indiana (18 years ago when I was 20), and that was my one and only runway walk.
Ashlie: Do you have a favorite photographer?
Katey: I’ve worked with a number of great photographers over the years, but a favorite shoot experience was my portfolio fitness and swim shoot in the Nevada desert outside of Las Vegas. I had the pleasure of working with David Mecey, 23-year staff Playboy photographer. He was such a sweetheart, and made me feel very comfortable in wardrobe and a setting I hadn’t worked with yet. I was also at a point in my personal life that having a successful first body-focused shoot played a big part in helping me rebuild confidence in myself. My ability to discipline myself physically in order to achieve that goal gave me a sense of empowerment when I needed it.
My ability to discipline myself physically in order to achieve that goal gave me a sense of empowerment when I needed it.
Photo: David Mecey
Ashlie: How would you best describe the traveling experience as a model?
Katey: I have had a variety of traveling opportunities in the past 10 years, mostly in the trade show modeling circuit. Since we contract, we can usually pick and choose and say yes to what we’d like to do, or what fits in our calendar. I have gotten to take jobs in places I wanted to visit (Toronto, Calgary, Canada, Nashville, California) and managed a tour for 87 days for a major auto manufacturer from Boston to Atlanta. I often build in days to take a side trip and see something, so combining my business and personal travel experience.
Ashlie: Favorite city to model in?
Katey: Outside in nature anywhere rather than the cities…outdoor lifestyle for commercial print is one of my favorite types of modeling.
Ashlie: If you had to pick one, what has been your favorite modeling job so far?
Katey: It would be a toss-up between the Cherry Creek North Holiday Shopping commercial (where I got to hang out with the cool crew from Cultivor Ads and Futuristic Films and experience the making of ash flare snowflakes) and the Keystone Resort Lifestyle Shoot (where I made new friends, got to see a moose, ride the chairlift and a wagon-ride and have happy hour on the top of the mountain and got paid for it). Tough to pick!
I have gotten to take jobs in places I wanted to visit and managed a tour for 87 days for a major auto manufacturer from Boston to Atlanta.
Photo: Tommy Collier
Ashlie: What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in the industry?
Katey: Strangely, it was being blonde and pretty. When I was 25, I was declined by the agency I submitted to because they had “too many people like me” on their roster. When I got a little older, many had dropped out, and there are less models at 38 than 28 and certainly, 18.
Ashlie: What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t in front of the camera?
Katey: I love the outdoors (hiking and biking), music (I was in the music business as a performing and recording artist), art, gardening and reading and writing. I’ve also recently really gotten in to yoga and try to do it daily (Yoga with Adriene online is really great!!!). It helps me with balance in my mind, spirit and body and has been very healing.
Ashlie: What is one piece of advice do you have for aspiring models?
Katey: While it’s very important to take care of your skin, that’s a given. Take really good care of your feet! I use Yamuna Foot Wakers almost every day to stretch my feet out and do yoga. Also, soak in Epson salts when you can and use magnesium oil on the soles of your feet. It is hard work to stand all day, sometimes in uncomfortable shoes, and your dogs will be barkin’ and your calves will be moo’in’, lol. Also, ground yourself in your value apart from your physical image, because this industry can be hard on your self-esteem, and at the end of the day, we are more valuable and purposeful as human beings because of what we build on the inside - self-love and love for others, passions, interests and hobbies aside from modeling. You’ll thank me for it. ;)
“…at the end of the day, we are more valuable and purposeful as human beings because of what we build on the inside - self-love and love for others, passions, interests and hobbies aside from modeling.”
Photo: Jason Coviello