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Mia Crowe:
The Woman Behind Those Unforgettable Hands

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GS: What's the toughest thing about being a hand and foot model?
MC: The toughest thing about doing what I do is working in millimeters when moving on camera. I often do very close-up product shots so even breathing can cause the smallest movement in your hands. So I have to hold my breathe and of course do my job under hot lights, lights all around me, sometimes placed so that I can't even see my hands because the lights are blocking my eyes.

GS: How does the pay compare with the usual type of modeling?
MC: I make very good money as a hand model. I make an extremely good living making any where from $1000 to $25,000 and up for a job depending on where it is running, for how long, if it is for billboards, international use, website use…etc.

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GS: Tell us some unique details from your early life.
MC: I grew up all over the world in some very diverse places from Seoul Korea to Tokyo, from Paris France to different cities in Washington State, Louisiana, Texas and California. I have lived in big cities and the smallest one-horse towns. I was tested at an early age with a genius IQ, but I was never told until I was an adult and finished with my schooling. I love sushi and carne asada burritos and I'm always looking for the best restaurants in every city I travel to. I am a huge sci-fi nut and horror movie fan I think I've probably seen every horror movie and sci-fi movie every made and I'd love to be starring in them! I love to read and I'm constantly buying books. cookies

GS: Are there a disproportionate number of Asian women among hand/foot models?
MC: I have actually never met an Asian hand and foot model in the USA, but I'm sure there must be Asian women who are hand models somewhere right? …Especially in Asian countries. Then again I do a lot of hand modeling for Japanese and Korean companies so who knows? Maybe I'm the only one!
      There has only been one time in my entire career when I arrived on the set and the production did not know that I was ethnic. I don't often audition or interview for jobs so they hired me without meeting me in person only over the phone. Productions usually book me directly off of a referral or my reputation. So when I showed up for this job, the woman producer looked at me and said, "Oh no! You are supposed to be the hands for an American girl!" She meant Caucasian girl! So I very sweetly held out my hands so she could see them and I told her about myself …and then very politely I said,“Don't worry, my hands are not slanted like my eyes". She was so embarrassed and uncomfortable she did not know what to say. I had to laugh. What do Asian hands look like in her mind? Who knows?

GS: What other parts of the body are you particularly proud of?
MC: Proud? I don't ever look in the mirror and think "pride" or "wow!". I'm actually not a very visual person and I have a unique idea of what beauty is…I truly believe God is in the imperfections and Beauty comes from within yourself. Being funny, unique, educated, compassionate, and interested in the world is what makes someone attractive. I think that "perfect" is a myth perpetuated by retouching and plastic surgery shows! So I would say that when I look in the mirror, I'm proud that I'm an independent woman who has found a way to make a living while pursuing my art as an actress.

GS: What's your favorite thing about your career?
MC: I enjoy getting to work with the top photographers and directors in the business from all over the world. I do more commercials in a year than most people probably do in their entire career as an actor so I get to experience working with the best people in the business including famous directors of photography, make up artists, and of course celebrities.

GS: What's the worst thing about your career?
MC: The worst thing about my career?? I think hand modeling is a great career and I feel blessed and very lucky to have found this "paper route" to my acting career and to have become the best at what I do. Most people complain about the long hours…so I would say that it is sometimes difficult to wait around for 10 hours on the set and then be the last person to work with everyone relying on you to hurry up since they are in overtime and every minute is costing thousands of dollars. The crazy long hours are something that most people in commercial production can complain about.

GS: Have other parts of your body been seen in commercials or movies?
MC: One of the biggest misconceptions about hand modeling is that it only has to do with modeling your hands. Since your hands are connected to the rest of your body it is inevitable that other parts of your body end up in photos. I have held products up to my lips and mouth, I've put food into my mouth so that my teeth showed, I've tied shoe laces and shown my feet and legs, I often hold products in front of my torso, stomach, and lap. I have shown my ears when putting on earrings, my neck when putting on necklaces, I've held my hands behind my back, shown the side of my face and hair, shown my arms and eyes. It's important to have all your parts in top shape even if you are a "hand model". When I hand model for high fashion models, I have to put on their clothes so I have to be able to fit into their clothes since production often forgets about this and doesn't think to ask my sizes for the wardrobe person.

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“It's important to have all your parts in top shape even if you are a "hand model".”


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