I recently had the opportunity to work with NFL cheerleader, turned wife and mother, turned fitness talent Heather Vines-Bright. In the interview below we discuss we re-entry into the talent industry after nearly two decades, what she has seen changed in the business and how she now approaches her goals with a new and more holistic view.
James Patrick: What spurred your interest to get back into the talent industry?
Heather Vines-Bright: I’ve had it in the back of my mind for a while as I did some commercial and stock work as a model when I was younger. Unfortunately a lot of the industry turned me off because it was difficult to navigate between what were scam and what were real opportunities. Then when I was 23 I got into cheerleading for the Arizona Cardinals for five years. Shortly after that I got married and had a kid.
Then at the age of 37 I got into weight training and decided to do my first fitness show. I felt like I was in the best shape of my life and I wanted to capture that so I scheduled a photo shoot during that time. Once I saw the results of the shoot it gave me the confidence and interest to reinvest myself into that opportunity of working as a talent.
JP: How have your views on the industry shifted in the past two decades?
HVB: Now there is a lot more opportunity for a talent to self-promote. Back then you had to find an agency for any hopes of getting work. We now have more avenues to get our names out there through channels such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I also think now that I’m older it is easier for me to gauge the true intentions of those I interact with. When I was younger I was a bit naive and would often jump at every opportunity I came across. Lastly, I can better articulate my goals for what specifically I want to achieve – particularly within the health and fitness industry.
JP: Now that you have a more holistic view of your goals as well as the industry itself, what are you looking to achieve?
HVB: My interests right now are both within the fitness as well as the general commercial industries. Right now I’m in the process of rebuilding my portfolio to include images of the genres that I am interested in doing. From there I will be connecting with different agencies that might be looking to sign someone with my look.
JP: What sort of self-promotion techniques are you in the process of doing.
HVB: I’ve been creating channels such as an Instagram and Facebook account to host my portfolio as well as to connect with some target clients. However I am putting a lot of energy into a blog I am creating to document my fitness journey as well as my progress as a talent in their late 30s. Another goal of the blog is to connect with others like myself, potentially mothers, who are looking to reinvent themselves. But at the end of the day, I want to be a great role model for my son so that when he is older he feels that he can achieve whatever he sets his mind to.
JP: How do you define success for yourself and your efforts?
HVB: I start by defining my goals and setting ones that are attainable. From there I am checking in on them periodically to make sure that I am working towards achieving them. Also I define success as staying true to myself and not doing something that goes against what I believe in or putting my reputation in jeopardy.
JP: What would the 38-year-old Heather tell the 19 year-old Heather about modeling and the talent industry?
HVB: I would honestly tell myself to find a mentor that you can trust and network with other talents who have had success within the industry. When I was younger I was super shy and would try to figure out everything on my own. There isn’t necessarily a need to reinvent the wheel as you can learn so much from others. I would also say again that I shouldn’t jump at every opportunity. If someone is presenting something to you – it doesn’t always mean it fits within your goals.
Thanks so much to Heather for being a part of this feature!