Tales from the Casting Couch

Model’s Apartment, real stories, from one who lived to tell about it

Setting: Manhattan, early 90’s

Models: Grey, Paula, Angel, Katrina, and me.

Agent: Douglas Asch

Ages: 17-20

I was considered a lucky one. I was chosen to live with my modeling agent, along with 4 other girls, in his upper west side penthouse in
Manhattan. We had the doorman, a few stars in the building, the whole nine yards.

As far as NY living space goes, this place was plush. There were 3 bedrooms total – one for our agent Douglas Asch, one with two sets of bunk beds allowing for 4 girls to share, and the last for Paula, a prominent model whose success in modeling earned her the rights to her own room.

At night, I would usually work out like a manic, make popcorn for dinner, and hang out in our room, since the others would usually watch TV in the family room. On this night, I decided to not be totally antisocial and watch the Simpson’s with the girls in living room, so I sprawled out on one of the couches to relax – big mistake.

Doug, our greaseball agent, comes out of nowhere, and hops on the couch behind me. Before I knew it, he was snuggled up with me, staring at the TV like we were some sort of couple.

He was quite touchy feely with the others, but I was kind of a tough ass, I thought he clearly knew this was not an option with me. I thought wrong.

He had never made a move like this before, so I was totally caught off guard. I am ashamed to say it, but I froze. The next thought that entered my head – escape plan. I decided I would leisurely get up to go to the bathroom, but before I knew it, I felt his hard on pushing into my back.

Needless to say it was grosser than gross.

Now I really froze, for about 10 seconds, then I jumped up and went into my room. I immediately started doing sit ups, who the hell knows why, just seemed natural at the time. I was so pissed off in my head, and at that moment I started planning how I was going to get out of that privileged apartment.

Within two minutes the door opens, it’s him. He looks at me in this perturbed way and says “Where did you go?”

I say “I’m doing sit ups.” I know I looked scared.

Damn, if I could go back in time I would have said “Go get your cheap thrills somewhere else asshole.”(I can dream can’t I? I wish I had the balls to say it). How dare he do that to me? I thought he respected me more then the rest of them.

I was Heather. The smart one. The one that was above it all morally, physically, and mentally. I was the one he always came to when one of the girls needed a motivational speech on how to behave, or needed a helping hand getting around the city for castings, or needed to be pushed into the gym.

Well, no one is above it all in the modeling industry. If you choose this profession, watch yourself at all times, because no one will do it for you. The males that are in this industry are in it for a reason – quick access to young ass. Crude, but true.

At least this story ends on a good note. There were no other “boner in the back” incidences. I finagled my way into a different flat in the same building, with another model named Grey who was ready to get away from Greaseball.

To this day, I think about what I would say if I ever saw Douglas. I travel on business to NY quite often, and I plan on paying him a visit one of these days (I was just there last week but was too chicken to do it). It would just be soooo satisfying to look him in the eye, as an adult, successful mother, and respectable woman, and tell him what a sick impression he left on me as a young girl.

Wanna bet little Dougie boy would be scared?
Would he blush with embarrassment or shame?
Hell yeah.

Confronting your past. Priceless.

-mamaVISION

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5 Responses to Tales from the Casting Couch

  1. catherineneal2006 says:

    Thanks for speaking out about the disgusting things that men do in the industry. I’m not a model myself but I have worked with male photographers before. All they talked about was how they saw flesh and more flesh and wanted more flesh.

    I agree with you. If your trying to get into the industry or work in the industry, keep your wits and morals in tack.

  2. hollydior says:

    I totally know how you feel.
    I was once a model myself, you know? For UK Models. I started at the tender age of 14. Just when I moved to the US. I’m still open for shoots, but I stopped modeling for UK Models last year.
    Men can be pigs, sometimes :/
    Anyway, you inspired me to reflect on my modeling career.
    Check out Holly Dior – Model – Parts 1+2
    There’s a little “thanks” in there, going to you, for inspiring me to reflect on my past.

  3. David Raho says:

    I love photography but have never wanted to do so called ‘glamour’ photography and I have never joined a camera club because I don’t really feel I have much in common with the kind of sleazy people who use photography as an excuse to get near to unclothed women. I have also felt that newspapers in countries where it is legal to show nude pictures of girls as young as 16 were grossly hypocritical as they are usually the same papers advocating radical treatment of pedophiles. This undoubtedly sends out confused messages. No doubt the industry described attracts those who prey upon the young and vulnerable. I read somewhere else that some agencies deliberately employ young attractive male chaperones who ‘look after’ the young models. This involves taking them to clubs and introducing them to drugs and other activities and making sure they don’t eat. If this is the case some vitriol needs to be directed at the agencies who are knowingly corrupting /abusing young girls in this way.

  4. houkhouse says:

    I found your blog by accident and I am so glad I did. Both your courage in opening up and the shot of reality you offer us all are refreshing and appreciated. I looked at the other sections on your site and the info about you and find you and what you are doing inspiring. I am a mom of 4 and at just 12 and 8, my daughters have already been focused on appearance much, much more than I am comfortable with. I’ve looked for resources and loved your link to the Dove program. I will share your site with other moms and I look forward to coming back. Thank you!

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