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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Siri Sinclaire, video model

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Siri Sinclaire splits her time between a tireless — and often thankless — routine of casting calls, rap video shoots, and slinging liquor shots at an upscale nightclub in Gwinnett County. (“If you’ve ever seen Coyote Ugly where the girls have the tubes [filled with liquor], I’m that girl,” she says.) She’s hoping that her work as a video model will open doors to other, more high-profile and lucrative opportunities.

I grew up in Springfield, Mass. It’s a small city where everybody knows everyone. Just by looking at someone’s car, you could say, ‘Oh, that’s Josh over there.’ It gets old after a while, seeing the same people not doing nothing with themselves. I went to a private school, and it was just me and my mom growing up. My mom got married when I was about 10. Siri is my real name; Sinclaire is a nickname that my friends made up in high school because I have Irish in me. So one day I decided to throw it on Facebook, and it stuck.

I moved to Atlanta in November 2008. I love Atlanta, because it is such a huge city and there are so many different types of people, and there are a lot of black people here. Where I’m from, there are so many white people; it’s definitely a drastic change.

I didn’t expect the whole modeling thing to happen at all, it kind of just took flight on its own. So far, it’s been good. I’ve done four videos and two magazines. I’ve been in Jet magazine’s “Beauty of the Week,” and I’m going to be in the September issue of Sweets. I’ve done videos for Gorilla Zoe and Yung Joc. I got started doing videos when I got casted for Gorilla Zoe’s video. I was the main girl in that video, and it wasn’t too bad. The castings are a little frustrating, I would say. But being in front of the camera is really fun. Doing videos is something I just take for what it is. I’m going to ride it as long as I can, but acting is more my thing. I like comedy or a romantic comedy. I don’t know about a scary movie; I’m not too good at screaming.

When you go to the casting, they have a million girls, and they’ll say, “We want this one, this one, and this one.” Then when you go to the shoot, they’ll say, “OK, we don’t want those girls anymore. We want different girls.” I don’t complain, because I usually end up being a feature [girl], so it’s not too bad. But it is a little frustrating when they say you’re going to be the lead, and then you get there and other girls are the lead.

The last video I did wasn’t too bad. I got paid and I got my camera time, and I was the main girl in that one. It’s not good money at all. Lately it’s been low-budget videos, so they don’t pay. You’ll be lucky if you get $100 for a whole day of work. They don’t usually end until 2 o’clock in the morning and they start at 12 in the afternoon. So it’s definitely an all-day process, just sitting there. There isn’t always food, but some video shoots will feed you. It depends on how nice they are.

The artists are cool. I’ve never met a cocky artist. The girls are usually pretty cool, but there is always that one person who’s always trying to steal the attention. There’s just that one girl who’s over there dancing, and she’s like, making her own video, all the time. It never fails.

My main motivation is that I love to be in front of the camera, but as far as being an urban model, I don’t plan to go too far with it. I’m actually getting more into fashion modeling now — you know, more clothes on. I don’t think they value video girls as much as they used to, unless your name is really big. That’s why we get treated the way we do at video shoots, because we’re not Melyssa Ford or big names like that, so they don’t really give a damn. I’ve heard a lot of negative things about myself, like I’m sleeping with the rappers just because I’m on a video set, or I’m sleeping with the photographer just because I’m getting naked in front of the camera, and it’s not like that at all. People will leave ignorant comments on MySpace and Facebook and they’ll comment on my pictures saying nasty things, but I just brush it off. It doesn’t bother me at all. I mean, I have a nice body, so if I want to show it off I’ll show it off.

My friends support me. My mom, she’s still adjusting, because, you know, me being half-naked … she’s still adjusting. She’ll get over it one way or another.

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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