She’s since gone on to have roles in several television shows, including Battlestar Galactica, Suits, Ascension, Two and a Half Men, and Lucifer.
As Mode Models and founder Kelly Streit marks its 30th anniversary, Helfer tells Postmedia about her time with Mode:
Q: Do you recall the time you were ‘discovered’ by Kelly Streit? What was your reaction to his suggestion of modelling?
A: I certainly do remember, as it was a moment that changed my life. There was a gal that went to school with my older sister and she was doing some local modelling for Kelly while she was in university in Calgary, I think. She asked if she could give my number to this agent and I said no. I knew her and got goaded on by my volleyball teammates, but still didn’t think it was something that made sense. But she knew the number and passed it along anyway. Kelly called up — all optimism and passion — so I decided to go to his office next time I was in the city. He immediately took some snapshots, sent them to Ford Agency in NY, and literally a week later, I was in New York living at Eileen Ford’s house, doing test shoots for them. Whirlwind week if there ever was one.
Q: How did Kelly and Mode help you navigate the fashion industry waters?
A: Kelly and Mode love the business and the business of making models. Kelly has an innate ability to see talent, not only in the models in their prime, but also in the gangly, slightly awkward teenager years.
His eye and his passion for the business has allowed him to cultivate relationships with the top agencies around the world so you really are in good hands. He has no interest in ‘selling the model’ for a bad shoot just to make a buck. For him it’s about building a career and finding the integrity in the business.
Q: What makes Mode standout from other modelling agencies?
A: Plain and simple I would say Kelly’s insane passion for the business and his incredible eye for talent. He has an ability to see the ever-changing phases of the business and how to translate that in a long-term career for his models.
Q: What is Mode’s legacy in the Canadian fashion industry?
A: Mode’s legacy is the same as it was when I was with them. It’s an agency you can depend on for top quality, talented and hard-working models. The agency understands the business and has a passion that rivals any top agency.
Q: When you decided to retire from modelling in 2002, how supportive were they?
A: They were extremely supportive. I think they were sad to see me leave, but they knew that my focus had changed and that I had a desire to expand and explore my possibilities. I had taken acting classes in New York the last two years I was modelling and I loved it, so I wanted to really dedicate my time on exploring that new phase in my life. Mode and Kelly understood that passion and they said, “Well go for it with full gusto, girl!”
Q: What is your relationship with Mode now? How important was the agency to getting you to where you are today?
A: Kelly and I have kept in touch over the years. A year after I left Mode I was cast in Battlestar Galactica, so I went from a busy modelling career to a hectic acting one. I was definitely prepared for the career transition.
We recently had dinner in Los Angeles which was so much fun and got to chatting about the fact that perhaps our modelling relationship isn’t done just yet.
Q: What are some of your favourite memories of your time at Mode?
A: There are lots of amazing stories, but I will always remember the first time I met Kelly and watched him set up the photo shoot with (Calgary fashion photographer) Gerard Yunker. After a few test shots, Kelly noticed immediately that I had a natural sneer on one side of my smile and tried to get me to stop doing it — or use it for certain angles only. To this day, every time I have a photo taken on my right side I’m thinking, ‘Don’t sneer.’Read more at:http://www.marieprom.co.uk/prom-dresses ... -liverpool | http://www.marieprom.co.uk/short-prom-dresses-uk
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