Monday, January 25, 2016

A Deaf Man's Experience in Modeling in the 70's


(blond woman wearing a black Harley Davidson shirt) Hello! I want to share with all of you that had happened back in 1970. From that time to now, things have changed so much! So different from the old days and to compare the events are amazing. Why? When looking back, my husband worked in New York at the World Trade Center (WTC). Twin towers were being built at the time, remember? Here are the pictures.

Picture #1 showing the construction of WTC (the sign said: The World Trade Center New Headquarters for International commerce under construction by the port of New York Authority to be completed in stages 1970 – 1972). Picture #2 Sam Savino sitting on a buggy Picture #3: Sam Savino sitting and working.

Narrator: Sam had been working with many different men. A businessman came in to look around and my husband, who was Deaf, saw him and didn’t think anything of it. He continued to work and managed his buggy that handled the cement job. He was muscle-built and big. The businessman picked him and there were plenty of others who would be quality for this type of job but he picked my husband.  My husband was clueless and when he was called, he was given a note that said, ”You are selected to be a model.” My husband responded, “Nah, (giving the card back) I can’t hear”. The businessman persuaded him to come and that did not matter for him to not to hear.  So, Sam decided to give it a try and wondered why him out of all men? After he was dong working, he went to a modeling agency and gave the card to the attendant.  He led Sam to walk in to the studio and the cameras were flashing then he was ordered to take off his clothes. He felt awkward and didn’t feel he knew exactly what to do because there was a lack of communication and there was no interpreter. Anyway, he was slathered with baby oil on his chest and his arms making his skin shiny. It was a blue jeans modeling agency, perhaps a Levi or Wrangler company, I am not sure. Sam was asked to put on the blue jeans and it was too big. The fitter stapled the jeans making the pants so tight. Sam was not comfortable and he had to tolerate the tight pants during the photography session. It was successful after two hours and he was given $50.  They told him to come back again tomorrow.  Sam went to work at the modeling agency on the next day and he was wondering where he was going with this. After a few days, he received the pictures and he showed his co-workers. They laughed at him as they called him a "sissy" and a "fag". They mocked at him and he felt lousy about it.  It was good to get the money but to be continued to be mocked and made fun of by his co-workers was not worth it. After a few days, he decided to resign from modeling that he said, “I no longer want to be a model and I was ridiculed and I felt shallow". Today, Nyle DiMarco made it though as a winner of the America’s Top Model and I congratulate him! If my husband were alive to see this, he would be so proud of him.  Shucks! (narrator crossed her arms) Showing a picture of her husband when he was young from head to chest; Sam was standing crossing his arms).

Narrator: Deaf can do it! There you go!

(end of transcript)

Additional information: Sam Savino knew Nyle's grandfather as they were friends. Small world!