What It’s Like To Be A Clinique “Happy” Model
By Dave Lackie
At age 56 Maye Musk is hitting her stride as a model.
The Canadian model and grandmother of three has just shot a television commercial for Macy’s, another commercial for The Gap, and will appear in an editorial spread in the September issue of Cargo magazine. Not to mention the editorial photos she shot for Martha Stewart Living. And if you caught the second-to-last episode of Sex and The City, you would have spotted Maye sipping a Manhattan at Candice Bergen’s cocktail party. “The set was built about six feet in the air and we had to climb a ladder to get to it. Once up there, it was a spectacular apartment,” she says. “ I have to say that Sarah Jessica Parker is the sweetest, chirpiest person I’ve ever met. She’d shoot a scene and then run over to the director and look at the shot. And her baby was always on set”. When it came time to shoot the scene, the director called action and actress Kristen Johnston delivered her lined describing how bored to death she was of New York. She stepped back and fell out the window. None of the extras knew this was going to happen so the look of shock on their faces was real. “We were horrified,” says Maye of the spectacle.
And as much as appearing on two episodes of Sex and The City was a thrill, the highlight of her career was landing the Clinique Happy Campaign. “I was walking on clouds when I got the call,” she says. “Modeling in New York is really tough. I audition five times a week and land one job per month. It’s that competitive.” Maye was first called to an initial meeting where a photographer snapped her photo and sent it to the client. She was then called to a follow-up meeting where she answered some questions about her life, walked back and forth and laughed. “That part was important. Laughing is what Happy is all about.” A week later she got the call. She was in.
“The fitting took place at the Silver Cups Studio in New York on a Sunday. There were racks and racks of fabulous clothes - I got to wear and incredible Gucci vintage skirt and Michael Knors top. Everyone was so friendly. Even the buffet was incredible. I returned a week later for three of the four days of shooting. There were 14 female models, two men and two kids. Everyone started the day off with a professional manicure and pedicure. I think there were four hair and make-up people for each model.” Framed photographer Peggy Sirota shot the campaign and began by shooting the entire group. Then, she’d start taking different combinations of models - a few girls with the men, girls with kids, etc. “It was a really wonderful experience.” A few months later, the ad campaign rolled out across the globe. “Four days after the shoot, a big box arrived at my apartment filled with Clinique Happy product. It was such a classy gesture. I was thrilled.”