[The Brazil Times nameplate] Overcast ~ 53°F  
High: 61°F ~ Low: 48°F
Monday, May 2, 2016

Child gets early start in modeling

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Ralph Lauren, Vogue, Ford Modeling Agency. While most of us have only heard of them, 5-year-old Alexandrea Gaskill of Brazil is working for them.

Alex started her career by entering pageants at age 2. She won dozens of pageants including Sunburst, Dream Girls, Cover Miss, Glamour Modeling, Fabulous Faces and a National Title at the 2000 All-Star Kids Pageant in Texas. Awards from the pageants include Runner-up Runway Model, and first place in the Swimsuit, Photogenic and Spokesmodel categories. Alex says that her favorite thing about pageants is the talent competition because her talent is dancing and she loves to dance.

In June of 2002 Alex attended the Millie Lewis Modeling Convention in Orlando, Fla. She was one of hundreds of girls who attended the convention where top modeling agents from all over the world go to scout new models of all ages. The former pageant winner prepared for the week-long convention for six months by training with an agent in the areas of runway modeling, commercial taping and being a spokesmodel. She also had professional photos taken by the highly acclaimed children's photographer, Heidi Lane Mendez of Miami, Fla. In these photos she wore designs made from her personal stylist, her grandma Paulette, a dynamic combination used to build a portfolio in order to place Alex's best face forward to the talent-hungry agents.

The hard work paid off because Alex received a 100 percent call back rate from the children's modeling agencies. Jet Set Kids in La Jolla, Calif., signed Alex with her first job in New Jersey with Ralph Lauren's Christmas 2002 edition of Internet advertisements. These ads landed her on the page of the prestigious children's magazine, Vogue Bambini, for the story of toile material (a country French print that has recently made a resurgence in the fashion world). She is currently signed with Ford Modeling Agency in Chicago where she will be returning for her next job in a Claire's Boutique photoshoot. Alex believes this upcoming job will be the most fun of all her jobs because she will be working with a puppy.

Alex's mom, Tanya, says that they had been scammed by modeling agencies in Indianapolis before and she had reservations about the convention in Orlando until they arrived. Tanya was relieved when she realized she had heard of the majority of the companies and saw the involvement needed for the convention. After returning home from Florida, the Gaskills had an e-mail from Jet Set Kids waiting for them, proof that this was indeed the real deal and all the more proof that Tanya needed to decide that's what she wanted her daughter to do.

Although both Tanya and Alex enjoy the modeling scene, Tanya does not regret ever putting Alex in pageants. She believes that the pageants served as a self-confidence booster for Alex that later provided her with the skills she needed to be such a dynamic model.

Her career benefits the entire family with numerous trips to Chicago where they stay in the 5-star W Hotel plus trips to New York, New Jersey., California, Florida and Texas. She also brings home a hefty paycheck because depending on the size of the campaign ad Alex earns anywhere between $75 per hour to $1,000. Instead of paying to be in pageants like she used to, Alex is getting paid to model and everything the youngster makes goes into her own personal account so she can start saving for her future endeavors.

Tanya says, "Her career has been a good experience for all of us. We'll keep going and doing this as long as they want her, however long she keeps getting calls."

While Alex seems to be very busy for a 5-year-old, she maintains an ordinary lifestyle outside of modeling. Alex will be attending Kindergarten at East Side Elementary this year. Her hobbies include spending time with her grandma and her dad at Gaskills Barbershop, riding her bike, playing with friends, doing one pageant a year and having her nails done. She is active at Cindy's Studio One where she takes part in competitions. Alex is also a member of The North Lightning Baby Bolts Cheer Team, a traveling and competitive cheer squad. Some of her favorite things about modeling include staying in fancy motels, making new friends and seeing herself in magazines.

Alex is the daughter of Jeff and Tanya Gaskill of Brazil and the granddaughter of Dale and Judy West of Brazil, Paulette Gaskill and Steve Snyder of Brazil and Jim Gaskill formerly of Brazil.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: