Lure of money and jobs draws European model to China

Sunday, August 22, 2010

By Todd Balazovic (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-07-09 10:06

Adrienn Zarka says Asia and Europe are polar opposites in the modeling industry. Provided to China Daily

Hungarian fox tells METRO's Todd Balazovic why she thinks Beijing is a model's paradise

While most people coming to China do so to embrace a sense of rugged adventure, Adrienn Zarka did it to find refuge - and success - from the over competitive nature of the modeling industry in Hungary.

The 19-year-old Hungarian model spent the last three years working in her home country pursuing a career in modeling, while also attending school, but she said the experience wasn't what she'd call a good one.

"At home, it's so much more stressful; everyone is always yelling," she said.

"In Beijing, everyone is very nice." One Time in one instance, while doing a photo shoot, she was forced to model for several hours in the middle of winter, wearing a very small outfit while having fans blow air into her face and a photographer yell at her. The experience left her less than impressed and slightly ill.

"The director couldn't understand anything; he was just shouting," she said and added, since spending a short time in Beijing, she's already noticed a massive difference in how she is treated.

"Here, the agency and clients are much more professional," she said.

The 178-cm slender brunette may be a bit shy on words, but her motivation for coming to China is clear - it's where the money is. She said in Beijing she has found that there is better money, more jobs for foreign models and a wider range of photos being taken.

"Asia and Europe are polar opposites. I tried modeling both back home and in Italy - but it didn't work for me," she said.

But beyond just making cash, Adrienn said it's also a good way to explore new territory.

"I really enjoy seeing new culture. China is perfect for that," she said.

Q & A

Q: Why did you choose Beijing?

A: I had an agent who was a model and she came to Beijing about five times. She told me I should come to Beijing and I said I would try. But if she had told me to go to Shanghai or Singapore, I would have agreed too. I have been here working for Ilookmodel Agency for two weeks. If I like it, I will stay.

Q: What was your first impression?

A: I was really surprised. I am from a little city in Hungary and we haven't got trains or subways, just buses. Here, the weather is much hotter and there are so many cars, so many roads and so many people.

Q: What do you want to get out of your stay in the capital?

A: I want these three months to be enough to build up new pictures, visit a few places and earn some money.

Q: Are you learning Chinese?

A: No. It's a very difficult language.

Q: Why did you get into modeling?

A: My uncle told me I should think about it. He said I was young and tall and he begged me to audition. I called a photographer and he took some photographs, then gave me an agency address. After that, I started getting jobs.

Q: What have you learned since you started?

A: To have confidence and to do things by myself.

Q: When you are in a Chinese photo shoot, are there ever problems with communication?

A: No, because Chinese people are good at showing what they mean by using their hands. They just ask me to smile.



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