Style Profile: Tirzah Pre-Italy
I first noticed Tirzah Athena Crisp (@hailathena_) over the summer. She seemed to constantly pop up on my feed, busting serious ass making glossy, editorial images with riveting attitude with a ton of different photographers. The photographers are good but you can tell when the model is making the shot. My boss bitch radar was going off hardcore but I almost waited too long to chat her up. Tirzah comes from a military family, she moved a lot when she was younger and is now studying Global Issues in a program that brings her to a new country every year. She spent her first year in Costa Rica, took some time off to model after being signed in Seattle, and is about to hit the road for Italy.
What I originally intended as a style profile turned into an invigorating discussion about politics and meaning in modern life. You can listen to the whole conversation on my podcast!
Jess: How would you describe your style?
Tirzah: I am always broke, so what I can afford I guess? I love everything, I feel like I’m always that person who picks up the ugliest piece of clothing like “guys, doesn’t this look like I could do something with this?” and everyone just shakes their head like “no.” I dress like a grandma.
I think you would be a pretty badass grandma. I don’t know if that's entirely accurate.
Maybe I just feel like a grandma. If I had to choose an outfit for like a normal day though it would be high waisted jeans with my Nike AF1s, a baggy long sleeved T and a trench coat because I like to be comfortable. Like Heels? No. I bought one pair of heeled boots to dress up because I will not wear high heels.
How often do you do your makeup, and do you have a go-to look or do you like to switch it up?
When I was younger I used to wear a lot of makeup. I felt very not myself and I used to have this really big issue with my hair, it just never did what I wanted it to. I always wore makeup and I would straighten my hair. I fucked up my face I fucked up my hair. I realized makeup is not good for you. If I can I’’ll just wear concealer and some chapstick. I get dark spots and I have pretty bad acne but I just need concealer and that's it.
It's the modern look. Utility.
But then you gotta look good for modeling photos. My agency told me you have to look attainable. You have to look like your photos all the time so people don’t get confused. They think no makeup is trashy.
That’s total bullshit because no one would ever look at a photo of you with no makeup and think that's confusing. Like what you take it all off and you’re a gremlin saying “can I still go to the casting call?”
Who cares? I don’t. But its funny what they tell you.
If you could model for any photographer who would it be?
Have you ever seen Carlotta Guerrero on Instagram? She’s incredible. She’s done stuff where she recreates big paintings of people. Oddly abstract but with body parts. I would definitely love to work with her. She does a lot of nude photography and I’ve never done anything like that. You can tell she's an amazing photographer from the way she speaks.
I feel like there's the photographers that make you want to do nude modeling and then the ones that are like if you’re not paying I’m not inspired.
Yeah totally. To be honest, I don’t care about being paid. I'll make my money in other ways.
You told me you're more into singing and acting than modeling, so if you had to pick singing or acting?
I think I would have to choose singing because, it's way more fun. I feel like you don’t really get any self growth out of acting. I mean I love acting its such a great tool of expression but singing is fun and you get too feel the room when you sing with people and sway their emotions.
Actors are also rarely directing too, they are more like talking models.
They just have to practice weird skills like riding horses and shit.
What was your favorite shoot in 2017?
I feel like I loved all of them so much. We did this shoot run by this girl, Amy Kowalenko. She is so brilliant, she basically threw this party together for her shop Milf Club. And she had all these people she dressed up and rented this hotel. This whole room, she rented lights, she got pizza, and the photos turned out so so sick. I got to interact with multiple people at once.
How many photographers were there?
The first night there was like six there. It definitely wasn’t an even thing with the models but something so interactive is always so inspiring. We had never met before that. Everything that has been created is just a platform for more inspiration. You don’t have to look at a project and recreate, it you can take one little detail out of it that inspires you and turn it into something new.
What do you think the Seattle art scene could improve upon?
When I came back from Costa Rica (I’ve been here for like 6 months since then), I really wanted to be a part of the community. I love the people here they are so inspired and they work so hard. I think maybe just getting outside their bubble. I feel like they’re so stuck inside of Seattle they don’t really understand their potential because they’re so focused on the constant… buzz, I suppose? Living here you have to be on that level of activity. So trust themselves more and make mistakes.
Slow down take some risks knowing you aren’t going to be instantly forgotten or something?
Yeah and I’m not saying that to generalize negatively towards people because I think I could do the same thing as a part of the community.
What most excites you about Italy?
I would be lying if I didn’t say the food and wine like hands down. But I just can’t wait to meet the people there, its so exhilarating for me to make new friends. Like what are their lives like? How did they grow up? It's so interesting in different political climates. A lot of the shit that I learned in Costa Rica studying global studies I couldn’t have learned unless I went to that country and saw it for my own eyes.
Being in Europe in general too, I can just fly anywhere I want. And that's where social media really comes in handy.
In America we’re kinda weirdly isolated.
It's diversity, real diversity. Europe is predominantly white but depending on where you go you can find that real exchange of cultural ideas. I have photographers in Paris I really want to meet like I work hard for this shit, I can’t wait!
I can’t wait to see all the things that you do. I also feel like there is a sense of seriousness in the youth culture of Europe that has always been more predominant historically than the U.S. so I can totally see you being in an actually cool short film or something that just wouldn’t be made here.
Totally. They might be more willing to work with outsiders on big projects like that. There's a big drinking culture around the world and in the US its 21 and up. I don’t have a fake ID and regardless of if you feel like you’re apart of that community but not being able to interact with them in their own social setting just sets you back. Its more of an ego blow than anything. I want to be able to interact with people in their own setting.
Living in DC and hanging out with a lot of international students and visiting countries before I was 21, there's a drinking culture that's more about good company and in the U.S. its more about party party party.
Totally, when i was living in Costa Rica it's so crazy to see how different the drinking cultures are. You’re with your homies, you’re drinking a bunch, you’re out all night, you go home together, you talk till three in the morning, people are so open to people joining their community if you just put yourself out there. But here you have to get fucked up, you have to get shit faced and with a big group of people.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Dead, or I hope I’m a teacher because I love kids and I love teaching.
What do you want to teach?
I don't know. I have a weird goal where I want to teach really young kids actual history, social interaction.
Teach them what would actually be helpful to be taught and not what is supposed to be taught?
I want to be a part of a movement to change the education we have. This system is a box that we’re stuck inside. I want to step outside of that box and teach people their world is bigger. We are not given the social setting to improve as a society.
You just don’t know what the fuck is going to happen in a couple years, you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. So you can really choose your own fate.