Emily Egan is a model, presenter, and communications officer. She’s also a proud mental health ambassador, running workshops in schools for young teenage girls. She was initially scouted in a shopping centre when a photographer approached her after struggling to find red-haired models for a project of hers. After shooting numerous times with that photographer and working independently, the photographer recommended her to her first-ever modelling agency and that was where her career and confidence really started to grow.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Emily to discuss her journey to the modelling industry and here’s what went down:
How did you get started with modelling?
After being “scouted”, I worked as a freelance model for two years honing my skills and working hard to network. I did posing and catwalk training and spent many hours in the studio to practice my skills.
What do you like most about the modelling industry?
I love the creative industry! I think it provides the most incredible opportunity to work with talented artists and creatives all over the world. Modelling is my passion and is so rewarding in many ways, I love being a part of the creative process and seeing someone’s vision come to fruition! The modelling industry provides many people with life-changing opportunities for travel, growth, and confidence and can be an incredible pathway for people who are passionate, determined, and love what they do!
The downside to being a model?
Like many other fields, modelling can be competitive, demanding, and sometimes harsh. It is important as a model to have an incredibly supportive team behind you and to remember the amazing qualities you bring to the table. Modelling has taught me valuable skills about rejection, resilience, and self-belief.
What has been the most memorable experience of your life as a model so far?
I have been extremely lucky to have some incredible experiences with modelling including magazine covers, travel opportunities, working with unbelievable brands and so much more. However, I still consider some of my favourite experiences with modelling to relate to my pageantry journey. In 2020, I placed in the top three in a National Pageant, which is one of my proudest achievements to date. This involved months of hard work, community appearances, fundraising, and more. More importantly, pageantry and modelling, in general, has given me the opportunity to make friendships that I will cherish for life.
I’m guessing you’ve been in the industry for a few years now, what has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned. This can be about the industry or about yourself. Or both!
Modelling teaches you incredible life skills both professionally and personally. In a professional sense, freelance modelling taught me how to build my own personal brand, business and reputation as well as how to network and market myself effectively.
In a personal sense, modelling has taught me resilience, growth, and self-love. I have learned to not take rejection personally, if you do not book a job it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you, it can simply be that you are not the “look” etc. that the client is after. In terms of confidence and growth, I know my strengths and uniqueness, what qualities I bring to the table, and who I am. This is so valuable to learn and what I am trying to instill in girls from a young age, to embrace your uniqueness and love yourself flaws and all.
Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?
I think in regards to this question, it really comes down to your morals and how you view the industry. Firstly, I am generally a very relaxed individual who doesn’t take myself too seriously. I also truly value qualities in others of open-mindedness, kindness, and integrity- so I do my absolute best to show these at all times. Secondly, I am someone who really considers modelling as a profession like any other and thus I view it as such. I turn up, work my day on set or at an event and provide my services and time, and get paid accordingly. Finally, I have two very supportive and loving parents who showed me that “it’s not about what you have, but about what you give”.
Is your family supportive of your career?
My family is unbelievably supportive, my parents love to attend my fashion shows, charity events, or pageants (where possible) and are always cheering me on in the stands. I have a vivid memory of when I was featured in my first magazine, my Dad brought home ten copies and made me sign one especially for him, he was so proud.
What are your favourite downtime activities?
I really love all things sport and fitness. I spend the majority of my time boxing, in the gym, or playing footy. I am also writing my first novel so am spending a lot of time writing and reading. Finally, just spending time with my family and friends and getting hooked on a new series on Netflix- currently loving Bridgerton.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
I have so many goals in the next few years I am hoping to accomplish. I will be publishing my first book, continuing in my pageantry journey, and taking modelling opportunities as they come. I am hoping to be spending more time presenting and MC’ing, utilising my communications degree as much as possible.
The’LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
1. Last good movie I’ve seen
Last week I watched the movie “Just Mercy” starring Michael B, Jordan. It is based on a true story and I highly recommend watching it.
2. What do you consider beautiful and why?
It sounds cliché, but true beauty for me has nothing to do with looks. Beauty is in the humble of heart, the goodness of others, and the kindness of giving with no expectations. I really love random acts of kindness, seeing people help those less fortunate than themselves, and people who are willing to spread joy. I think gratitude is a really beautiful quality and something I always look for in others. The people who I consider the most beautiful are those who are able to recognise it is not how you treat the most powerful in the room, but the least powerful.
3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could?
At the moment it’s all about travel for me. I am hoping with the easing of restrictions I will one day be able to commit to more international travel. I am a big believer of the phrase “travel is the one thing you spend your money on that makes you richer!”
4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d be…”
FEARLESS. Interestingly, this was the first word I thought of when I thought of 2021. I really resonated with the word and am hoping this means I am ready for new experiences and good things! I think 2020, was about finding comfort and practising gratitude, and 2021 will be about kicking goals and stepping out of my comfort zone!
5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself?
Growing up, my red hair was my point of difference. Everyone had an opinion about the colour of my hair and I experienced bullying for the way I looked as a teenager. Once I finished school I truly realised that my red hair was my asset, it was what made me unique and helped me book jobs! I don’t think I will ever dye my hair and it’s an everyday reminder for me that you can overcome the weight of others’ opinions and your uniqueness and “flaws” make you who you are and are beautiful!