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Akbar Muhammad (ArtbyAkbar.com)

 

Dance Mogul: What inspired you to start modeling?

Tas Aleeah: I believe all girls grow up looking at magazines, tv commercials and even in-store ads wanting to see someone that resembles their beauty represented before them. For me, being a mixed child: native black mommy and eastern Indian father, I always wanted to see women that looked like me in magazines. In fact, I remember when I was very young I had such a huge crush on Michael Jackson. I would watch his music videos and tell myself, “one day I will be one of those women in a video!” Ha ha funny thinking back on it, the only reason I wanted to be in a music video was because I felt a part of me would live with art forever. No one can erase a video, right? Lol weird I know.

Dance Mogul: How did you develop your craft?

Tas Aleeah: There really is no short answer when it comes to developing myself to evolve and grow. I will say that having a theater background allowed me to be able to use my body in a way that I am not self-conscious.  I try to take as many different types of dance classes that I can, yoga, Pilates, even pole sculpting lol. I feel classes that allow u to get in touch with ur appendages gives you a better understanding as to HOW your body moves and works. Which helps when you are posing.

Another thing I do a lot is play in front of the mirror. I will turn on one light source and play some music and make body movements or facial expressions to see how my face and body parts look in various lighting. To me, it’s important to work fluently with an understanding of light so you can have a married relationship with the photographer. I find photographers appreciate subjects that have a bit of knowledge with their face, body and even lighting.

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Akbar Muhammad (ArtbyAkbar.com)

Dance Mogul: When did you decide to take modeling seriously and what was your breakthrough moment?

Tas Aleeah: I’ll answer the second part first, I don’t think I’ve had a “breakthrough moment” as of yet. I say this because I am forever evolving and growing as a creative. Every job, every opportunity offered to me is another push toward being better. So in a way, every opportunity that is afforded to me that propels me, in a way, is a “breakthrough moment”.

Why did I decide to take modeling seriously? Eh, I kind of fell back into it. After working in the financial sector for over a decade, I developed a bit of disdain for big business. Long story short, I had a nervous breakdown and quit my job. A photographer friend of mine asked me to shoot with him just for fun. Those images then started securing my fashion and beauty work. So I decided to take a chance and pursue modeling with a focus on smaller businesses. And once I saw I was truly helping people bring their business to life in a marketing way I fell in love with modeling all over again.

Dance Mogul: How do you maintain with all the ups and downs that come with the profession?

Tas Aleeah: For me, the only ups and downs I have are over bookings or lulls of no gigs. Lol, really that’s it!  Either I am working and making money or I’m using the money I make to make it to the next job. I will say it’s very hard. Especially because I am a mother of a growing boy, every time I turn around his clothes are too small or sneakers too tight. The way I combat the dramatic downturn in income due to my switch in occupation is simply to try and be frugal. I’ve never been a fashion hip person so my clothes are not brand names. My shoes are mostly chucks lol. I’m a homebody do my hobbies also bring in some income. I paint and I also make beaded energy based jewelry.

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Akbar Muhammad (ArtbyAkbar.com)

Dance Mogul: How would you describe your unique look?

Tas Aleeah: I would describe my unique look just as such — unique!!  Because of my deeply mixed DNA makeup, I find that my face is easily transformable. Eastern Indian undertones can be highlighted, native features come through, I even sometimes get the occasional “wow are u Russian?”   My features I believe are combinations that create the perfect canvas for cosmetic application when it comes to transformation or storytelling.

I am not a size 2 or zero. I have stretch marks on my body. I’m not perfectly curvy nor am I slinky slender. I believe I represent the everyday woman who isn’t recognized as “skinny” or “curvy and thick”. I’m just average ol body type me — but I’m still beautiful! So many women think that you have to conform to others idea of beauty when in reality they don’t! Even models are made up and altered to appear perfect in an attempt to sell a product. We all have a unique beauty in us that begs to be highlighted.

Dance Mogul: What have been some of your favorite moments thus far?

Tas Aleeah: For sure my favorite moments have been servicing small clients who never thought they would be able to afford marketing material that my team and I provide. To see the looks on their faces when their clothing designs or makeup products get materialized into an art form for selling is a truly amazing feeling. It makes me feel like I have injected a propelling force behind their enthusiasm for growth.

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Aderon Mothersill  @aderonmothersill

Dance Mogul: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Tas Aleeah: Ha! THIS question! One can never escape it I guess.  To be honest, I have no clue where I will be in five years. I am hopeful to be able to wake up and submerge myself into creative energy.  It’s not that I don’t have goals that I want to see come to fruition, it’s just that I’ve learned, as much as you plan, project, predict where you want to be in the future — life has a way of reminding you-you are merely a child of this universe.

You are susceptible to ebbs and flows and life-changing courses along your road to your future goals. In five years, I hope to continue living creatively, I hope to continue to be kind to other humans, I hope I am in a financially sound place where I can help others manifest their desires to color the world with kindness and empathy. In five years I simply hope to have grown as a human and learn that success is more than monetary and recognition from others. In five years I hope I have impacted another human for the better.

Dance Mogul: What advice do you have for other young women that want to pursue modeling?

Tas Aleeah: Only two types of advice I would give: learn your body and face & be morally clean when doing business. It’s very easy to get caught up in vapid energies that live in this industry which is heavily based on materialism and physical beauty. I find that when you are sound morally you sleep better at night.

You don’t worry about not getting certain jobs you understand that your energy spent is spent in a productive way that doesn’t leave you up at night wondering if you did something wrong. Worrying is one of the best ways to beat yourself to the ground. Eliminate worry by eliminating negative influences, which will allow you to pour your energy out in a productive way, a way that allows you to focus on YOU.

Knowing your body and face helps you execute better on camera. You will feel comfortable and sexy in the most hideous threads or in the most abstract makeup. Confidence is key when it comes to being a model. The more you know your face the more comfortable you are in front of the camera.

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Akbar Muhammad (ArtbyAkbar.com)

Dance Mogul: What’s next for you in 2016?

Tas Aleeah: 2016 is a year of growth for me. This year I am focusing on getting signed by an agent (something I’ve avoided because I’m scared of my creativity being limited/capped). I really would like to be in a position to be more expressive in an acting capacity. I strongly believe in my acting chops and ability to capture the audience attention, finding the gigs to execute this has proven to be more difficult working on my own. So, my 2016 focus HAS to be to find help to secure more jobs so I can continue living as a creative. Ha ha easy right?

Dance Mogul: Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping you?

Tas Aleeah: Yes!!!! Honestly, I would not be able to be as great as I am if it were not for the unwavering support of Akbar Muhammad (ArtbyAkbar.com) & Aderon Mothersill ( @aderonmothersill). So thank you to them for believing in my talents!  Lastly, I want to thank my Cavey. He’s helped push me to find a place of comfort when it comes to my beauty and invigorates me to step beyond the boundaries of my own creativity to produce work I commit my entire body and soul to. Without these three humans, I would not have been able to pull out the confidence needed to execute as fluently as I do in front of the camera.

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Aderon Mothersill  @aderonmothersill

 

Dance Mogul
Dance Mogul

Dance Mogul Magazine seeks to inspire our readers with our articles and real-world experience.

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