REAL LIFE

How this stunning pensioner went from teacher to model at 62

She's had hundreds of castings in the last four years
Me, posing at the pool
Penguin Australia

Faezeh Parkes, 65, Melbourne, Vic

– Teacher, Faezeh, longed to be in front of the camera

– Just two weeks after deciding to pursue her dream, she was being flown across the world to her first shoot

– The mum-of-three has now appeared in hundreds of campaigns

Getting home after a busy day at work, I sighed. At 62, I was living alone and my kids were fully grown. I liked my job as a substitute teacher, but I couldn’t help feeling like there was more to life.

My real dream had always been acting. I longed to be in front of the camera, but I never considered myself pretty enough.

My nose is too big for that, I thought. And at 160cm tall, I was definitely too short for Hollywood.

Me (Credit: Faezeh Parkes)

But I knew if I didn’t try, I’d always regret it. What did I have to lose? So four years ago I joined an online talent agency.

I posted some pictures and a bit of information, not expecting much to happen.

Even if I just get to go to a casting, that’d be fun, I thought. Just two weeks later though, the phone rang.

‘Can you come to Copenhagen for a photo shoot?’ the man asked. It took a moment to sink in. He wanted me to model – on the other side of the world!

‘Of course,’ I said, trying to hide my excitement.

The job was for a medical leaflet. The company paid for my flights and hotel and soon I was in a studio getting my hair and make-up done.

Is this how my life’s going to be from now on? I wondered, feeling giddy. The very next day, I got a booking for a TV ad. It might not have been a speaking part, but I was finally in front of the camera.

After that, the offers flooded in. For one, I had to lounge around a pool reading a book. The whole shoot took only 15 minutes and I got paid $1500!

Me, posing at the pool (Credit: Penguin Australia)

Another time, I had to pose on a train. A beautiful young model sat in the seat in front of me and my heart sank.

I’ll never make the final cut, I thought, disappointed. But when I saw the poster in bus shelters around Melbourne I couldn’t believe it – they had used me!

‘You’re everywhere,’ my friends laughed when they saw my face in magazines and on brochures.

I’ve even done music videos. In one, I played an old lady who could barely walk. Then they cut to me rocking out on a guitar in the desert. Hilarious!

Rocking out in the desert! (Credit: Faezeh Parkes)

I’m now 65 and have had hundreds of castings. I even had four in one day! I’m thrilled every time I get the chance to live my dream.

I might have started late, but I’m proof modelling is ageless.

This story was originally published in that’s life! Issue 24, 16 June 2016.

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