Peckinpah, Bergman, Hitchcock -- and Smith?
martha's modeling career was easy; fulfilling her moviemaking dream may not be
Martha Smith is trying to sort things out: Should she go to school and take classes in film? Should she simply show up in California and try to get a sense of the best way to begin? Would it be better to stay in Detroit and look for a job in the media department of some advertising agency or to show a documentary director the 16mm stuff she's already shot? Though she hasn't yet imposed any order on her ambition, Martha knows she wants to be a film maker and figures that, at the age of 20, there's still time to consider the many ways to go about it. "I've talked to a lot of people, and they all give me different advice. My dream is to do it all, write the script, direct, be totally involved with the production of a film. That's a very large dream, I know, but I want to do it anyway. For now, I'm writing script outlines and, with a few friends, shooting some small productions around Detroit." The rest of Martha's schedule is devoted to modeling; from her parents' home in suburban Farmington, it's only a half hour's drive to her jobs in the city, where she most often promotes the newest cars at auto shows and in commercials. Her modeling career was really unplanned -- the suggestion of a college friend who asked her to join him on a summer-long tour of Mexico and help show a line of clothing. The trip sounded fine, but Martha first had to register herself with a modeling agency, so she called the agency where her older sister was employed, and that's how she fell into what's become a busy career. Naturally, some of her jobs are more memorable than others, but she recalls one vividly. "My agency told me to put on a bikini and go to Olympia Stadium, where I was to assist in a car presentation. I didn't know until I arrived that I was supposed to hop out of the car onto an ice-hockey rink between periods of a Red Wings game. When I jumped out of the car, the people started whistling and screaming at the top of their lungs. The announcer was talking about all the car's features and I was supposed to be pointing them out as he spoke, but the crowd noise was so loud I couldn't hear a word he was saying and I was pointing at a tire while he was describing the windshield. At the same time, I was slipping all over the ice, because I was wearing hard-soled sandals and couldn't keep my balance." Eventually, Martha wants to turn all modeling jobs into a memory, but she's making no hasty decisions; she'd like to begin her next career on as sure a footing as possible.
Photography by Pompeo Posar