If you knew Kasumi in middle school or even high school, you probably would never have guessed that she would be the type to be photographed. In fact, she was extremely camera shy! So how did she start modeling?
Ever since Kasumi was a little girl, she has always wanted to be a model. It didn’t help that the women in photographs looked nothing like her: they had long endless legs, extremely small physiques, and in most cases – they were not even Asian.
However, she wanted more then anything to be in front of that camera. She knew she had something to offer. Something different.
It was hard not to get discouraged. She lived with a family that did not believe modeling was a viable option and ended up hiding her dream from them for many years. Even her first photo shoot was not a fairy tale story. She was not “discovered” at a shopping mall, nor did she have any friends who were in the industry.
That did not stop her.
She started doing her own research and contacted tons of photographers with little success. It was not until she finally received her first “yes” that things started to look up for her.
On the day of the shoot, she was so nervous she could not stop trembling. She recalls, “I remember being so nervous that the photographer had to reassure me [jokingly] that he wouldn’t bite me”. However, when she was given the images from that night, she saw two things: 1.) a model with potential and 2.) he loved being in front of the camera. Although she was inexperienced, she knew that this was something she wanted to do.
Since then, she has had quite a few photo shoots, created a facebook fan page, has an official website, attended numerous promotional modeling events, and has become the LA Manager and Head of Marketing for MyEliteModels.
With the support and love from her friends and fans, and her unwavering determination, I am sure she can get her name out there.
Not: Kasumi Shimizu, model.
But Kasumi Shimizu, role model.
Kasumi says, “I really want to make a positive impact to those around me, teach that different is beautiful. That slutty is not sexy but confident is. That everyone can be successful in following their dreams without having to change who they are and that most of all, models are regular people like everyone else.”
ASIANCE: Great message Kasumi and it is inspiring to see all you have accomplished. What advice might you have for other women who might want to explore modeling?
Kasumi: Be yourself. So many people try to become what they “think” the industry wants and it takes away from the unique qualities that would actually make them stand out (and become more successful).
ASIANCE: How did being asian effect your modeling? Do you think you were treated differently in any way?
Kasumi: I think being Japanese American gives me a different look that is not common in the media (i.e. single eyelids) and because I really respect my roots, I like to incorporate my culture in many of my shoots. On the other hand, I’ve been denied photo shoot opportunities because of my ethnicity.
ASIANCE: I understand you were nervous telling your parents about your modeling work. How did they take it?
Kasumi: Surprisingly my mother was much more supportive than I would have imagined. Even until this day I am easing it in with my father… its a really a work in progress.
ASIANCE: I read you just completed school with a degree in communication studies and marketing. What is your next step?
Kasumi: I really hope to use all the tools to really promote MyEliteModels, as well as my own modeling. But there is still so much to learn. I see grad school in my future.
ASIANCE: You are also very well rounded. A dancer, basketball player and, I am told, great in an eating contest. What types of eating contests do you enter?
Kasumi: HAHA They are usually between friends. Wherever I go, I seem to acquire all these new nicknames: Pig. Endless eater. Snack master. Eating machine, etc.
ASIANCE: You are a gamer as well. What have you been playing lately?
Kasumi: Now that I’m out of school I’ve been Starcraft II and catching up on some old games: Super Smash Bros., Final Fantasy VII, Mario Kart, Chrono Trigger, 007. In fact, I worked the E3 video game convention a couple months ago for Nintendo. It was amazing!
ASIANCE: What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Kasumi: In five years.. the way things are going now its hard to predict what will happen by then! But whatever it is, I hope its good 🙂
ASIANCE: What takes up most of your time?
ASIANCE: Guilty Pleasure?
ASIANCE: Favorite de-stresser?
Kasumi: Basketball, the spa and the outdoors (ie going for a walk)
ASIANCE: Relationship Status?
Kasumi: It’s complicated =P
ASIANCE: Pet Peeve?
Kasumi: Selfish people that have NO respect for others.
ASIANCE: Your Go To Food?
Kasumi: Anything fried, sugar-y, or just unhealthy! That is usually the good stuff =P
ASIANCE: Fun Fact about you?
Kasumi: I’m a horrible singer but I always blast music and go ALL out in my car. The passing cars and pedestrians get a real kick out of my performances =P
ASIANCE: How can your fans find you?
Kasumi: “Like” me on Facebook or visit my Official website: www.kasumishimizu.com for more information!
I may not respond to you right away but I make a special effort to try to respond to as many messages as I can =)
It just takes a little bit longer because I try to make them as personal as possible.