We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaylyn Poleto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kaylyn, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is a necessary part in both of my careers! In order for me to be a professional Registered Nurse, I had to risk going to nursing school. Was I smart enough? Would I be able to handle the pressure? Can I afford only working part time or not at all in order to go to nursing school. Once I finish pre-nursing, will I be accepted into nursing school? Will I even be a good nurse?
Failure wasn’t an option for me. When I truly put my mind to something, I go all in until I achieve my goal. And that’s exactly what I did. I worked and went to nursing school, which made it take longer for me to get my degree. I entered nursing school with all As and a 4.0 GPA. I passed all of my classes. I received my degree as an RN and accepted my first RN position in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. I started the position before I even officially received my degree under an Emergency COVID Act.
As for modeling, I also took risks. What would people think of me? Will I look stupid? Am I too short to model? I live in a small town. Will any agencies want to sign me? How will I balance nursing and modeling at the same time? Am I pretty enough? Am I skinny enough?
I practiced and improved my skill. I constantly did photoshoots on my off days. I didn’t care what other people thought. I got signed as the shortest model with the biggest modeling agency in New Orleans, Louisiana.
And lastly, I moved to Los Angeles, California to further pursue both of my careers!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Modeling is my form of art. It’ a passion for me, not just merely a paycheck. It’s a way to express myself. It forms confidence. One of the best feelings is to look at the final product of a photo and just think, “Wow, that’s ME!” I did that (with the help of my creatives of course). And I am proud.
I started modelin
g by a photographer reaching out to me asking if I wanted to shoot. I did modeling and acting classes as a child, but that was a long time ago. I really didn’t know much about it. Then I had multiple photographers reaching out to me and it was just one photoshoot after the other. Then the modeling agency I was building a portfolio to submit to in New Orleans contacted me to meet. I was then signed. I continued improving my skills, and one of the most common comments I get on photoshoots is “You’re really good and natural at posing. It’s relieving to not have to constantly direct the model”. I then set a goal to move to California.
My agent didn’t believe in me, so I split ways with that agency because I knew I could do better. Many people have commented on my height being an issue. But here I am, in California and my goal is to get signed with a modeling agency here!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of the best things about Los Angeles is the view! I love hiking one of the awesome hikes in Hollywood and looking over the city. And the sunsets are a must see! Another great site to see are the beaches in Malibu, such as El Matador Beach or Point Duke Cove.
I also love going to aesthetic rooftop restaurants, such as The Rooftop by JG.
As for a fun night out, my favorite bar/club is called Harlowe.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family has been very supportive of me throughout my nursing journey. I was lucky enough to have my father help support me financially during nursing school, paying my phone bill, car insurance, ect. I’ve lived on my own since I was 17 years old though, and honestly, I have been my biggest support in all of this. At the end of the day, it was myself pushing me through the endless hours of studying, while still working, and managing to go to the gym 3 to 5 days per week. I pushed myself to keep going despite people telling me I should do acting instead of modeling because I’m too short. I made a goal for myself to move to California, and 2 years later, here I am, living in Hollywood. That leads me to lastly thank my amazing and supportive boyfriend, David. He picks up the slack while I’m working 12 hour shifts throughout the night at the hospital. He cooks for me so I have something to eat at work. He sacrificed and put on hold his dreams, in order for me to chase mine, and moved to California with me. He even comes to photoshoots with me to see me in action!