CH 8 A MODEL ARTIST (Jiro)
When he was 12, Jiro’s mother took him to the Central Mall in Fort Smith, Arkansas for a “model scouting” event.
“He’s too short,” the scout said, giving him a cursory glance.
“So are you,” his mother retorted under her breath. “Short-sighted! It’s not as if you’ve stopped growing,” his mother said to Jiro, her green-blue eyes flashing. “Maybe I should have sent you with your father or one of your brothers.” They were all over six foot.
Jiro had shrugged. His being “too short” had nothing to do with anything important. He wasn’t too short to play guitar, or play baseball or slay in street hockey, for instance. Those were the things that really mattered. Besides, the door had been slammed shut by someone he didn’t even know.
When Jiro was in Nashville, pursuing a college degree in music performance, a model scout approached him at Fido, his favorite coffee spot of the moment. Hanako said the baristas had attitude. Jiro said they were “discerning.” Hanako would roll her eyes. “Their coffee is just ‘too good’ for me.” She preferred Portland Brew.
Jiro thought the scout looked cool. He had street style and swagger. “So, have you thought about it?” he urged.
As Jiro’s mother had predicted, Jiro had indeed continued to grow. He was six one now and had been coined “forbidden fruit” by some of the girls at school.
“Not really,” Jiro had said, not knowing there was so very much to think about.
“You could make some good income as a model, travel the world, use it to fund your music projects.” Jiro had not been listening intently until that last part. “It could help me with music?”
The scout’s eyes gleamed. Here was where he could make the hard sell.
With graduation looming and no clear-cut music path, Jiro knew he would be doing what many of his peers did upon graduation. If he wasn't lucky enough to be on tour with someone, or on tour himself, he would be valeting those lucky people’s cars, serving their dinners, or selling them the clothes they’d be wearing when they made their big, lucky, break.
And now, this scout was painting a picture of a more glamourous life--less drudgery, more adventure--income above his expectations--and more time to do the things he loved most. Every job would take him to a new city, each new city would have a new stage, a new audience to reach.
“Where do I sign?”