Photographer: Grey Blackstone/Rodd Weiler
Assistant: Rodd Weiler
MUA/ Hair Stylist: Hannah Gill
Model: Sandy Do
Sandy is a fresh face in the modelling industry, hailing from just outside Manchester. A fairly chatty, friendly and positive person, she has been modelling for just a few months but exudes confidence and charm. We are making the most of the springtime sun by sitting in the beer garden of a quirky backstreet pub in the city.
You’re pretty new to modelling, so do you have a plan on how you’re going to make a mark on the industry?
I don’t really have a specific plan; I think the main aim is to just try out everything I can. Work with different looks, different styles see what works for me and just experiment with everything that’s available. I mean there’s no point setting limits right?
So based on that, are there any specific types of modelling you want to try?
Hmm, there’s plenty. I’d like to carry on with alternative fashion, but I’d also like to try catalogue, commercial, body parts, glamour, implied nude even, maybe fetish…
You’ve done studio and location shoots already, which of these do you prefer and why?
You know what? From my experience, I’m perfectly comfortable with both. Obviously they both have their pros and cons; being on location means you’re out there getting more of a natural feel with the chosen theme, and in the studio it’s comfortable, it’s warm –usually- but from my experience it’s the photographer that determines how you really feel. You could be in a really nice studio, but if you’ve got a deadbeat photographer you’re not going to enjoy yourself are you? I’d rather be out in the cold, doing a shoot in the mud, if I’ve got a good photographer…so it doesn’t matter where I am really! It’s about the people, if I connect with them, if I feel comfortable around them I don’t mind where they take me.
How do you like to wind down after a shoot?
I’ve only done a few proper shoots yet, so for example after our location shoot with you [GR Studios] when I got home it’d been a really long day, I was exhausted and it was cold, but I just couldn’t wind down! I was on such a high when I got back I just went back out, told my friends all about it and got drunk! If I had a shoot the next day it’d be quite different…I’d want to have a long bath, get an early night… get my makeup off, tie my hair back, watch some TV, but who cares about the sensible nights?
What attracted you to the alternative modelling scene?
I like the whole moody, dark, slightly haunting vibe it sends out, especially gothic modelling. I find it quite sexy in a way, and because I’m of Oriental descent it would be interesting to see how I would look in this niche. It’s not so often that people from my background do this sort of modelling, so I thought I could bring something different to it.
What’s been the most enjoyable part of modelling so far?
The most enjoyable part for me is once you’ve had your makeup done, your hair styled, costume on…when you step in front of that camera and you’re ready to rock it. You’re ready to express all your emotions and let everything out…that’s the best part. It’s showtime.
Do you find it a bit of a drag having all your makeup done, or do you like that part too?
I embrace that part!
Is there much of an alternative scene where you live?
Well in Manchester there’s loads isn’t there, really? There’s loads of rock clubs like Satan’s Hollow, Back from Hell clubnights which started after Jilly’s closed, pubs like Grand Central and The Salisbury, of course we’ve got the various tattoo parlours, there’s hundreds…And then there’s Affleck’s Palace, our own retail emporium specialising in alternative, gothic, punk clothing, set over four floors. I used to shop a lot there, for bracelets and things like that mainly. You can just spend hours in there can’t you? (Thoughtful pause) I didn’t realise there was so much until you asked me this question! I don’t know if the Urbis [now the National Football Museum] counts, every weekend, only on a Saturday all the local goths, rockers and emos gather on the grass outside…no, of course it counts!
You have a pretty athletic physique. How do you stay in shape?
I do pole fitness/ pole dancing, I’ve done that for over a year and that really helps with upper body strength, hmm, prior to that I did Wing Tsun Kung Fu for a few years, now and again I do Women’s Boxing, and I go to the gym twice a week in between all that as well.
So you won’t have much trouble if you get a dodgy photographer then?
(laughs) I’d snap their collarbone!
Well that’s one way to answer! Moving swiftly on…do you enjoy other performance arts? You sound as though you like to be out there in front of people!
Yeah, I’ve always wanted to try acting, purely because I like the thought of putting myself into someone else’s shoes. Actually I’ve recently started taking classes. I really, really love it, I just wish I’d started sooner!
Is there any type of acting you’d like to do, any characters you want to play?
I’d do it all, I’ll do everything. I’d like to play the serious type, no-nonsense woman, and I’d like to play perhaps a slutty character as well! I think that’d be pretty fun!
Well the last question, looking at the photos you seem pretty comfortable holding a sword. Have you had any training?
I’ve never, no! That’s the first time I’ve held a sword! I’ve used nunchakus before, but not an actual sword. If I look comfortable it’s from good directions on the shoot day, that’s why! I’d love to try it though. I know there’s a place in Stockport that does longsword fighting and that sort of thing but I don’t drive so it’s a bit far!
Maybe in the future eh?
Well thanks for coming out today and giving us a little insight into your world.
We toast our glasses and finish the interview.