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A model and a grease monkey, Tabatha shares her story

Cars and cameras are two objects that correlate with Tabatha I’s two careers.

Working as a mechanic part-time since her high school days she began modeling shortly after posing for her senior pictures in high school. Continuing the two careers brings together two of her passions, working with cars and being in front of a camera. Earlier this year, Tabatha had a four-page spread in Surreal Beauty Magazine. Seeing herself printed on those pages was rewarding.

“It made me excited and want to do more work with paper print,” Tabatha said. “I love physical copies.”

Not only did she get a kick out of seeing herself, her family and friends got ahold of copies of the magazine to see a girl from Keyser, West Virginia get a little more successful. Coming from a town with a population slightly under 5,500 people in Keyser, Tabatha’s hometown is a 19-minute drive away in Burlington, West Virginia which is an even smaller town with a population under 200. Tabatha appreciates the opportunity she has in front of herself to serve as a role model.

“I love showing that a small town girl from Keyser, West Virginia can do good by herself,” Tabatha said.

During Tabatha’s senior photo shoot she caught the eye of an individual. In addition to her modeling, doing her own hair and putting on her own makeup is what prompted an individual to invite her to enter a bikini contest for a car show. After entering that contest she continued to pursue modeling as it gave her a special feeling.

“I love glamour,” Tabatha said. “It makes me feel like I can be myself in front of the camera.”

With the help of her agent Jesse L. Green, Tabatha has appeared in a Manhattan Fashions promo directed by Topflyght Entertainment, Jay Wilkens’ music video “Twerk Something” produced by Mr. Topflyght and three film credits that include: Midnight Macabre (2017), Killer Campout (2016) and Milfs vs. Zombies (2015).

Looking to do more video work in front of the camera to expand, Tabatha says modeling itself is a handful but she has the passion to live up to the profession. Her challenges range from traveling for work, bending to perform the poses that are asked of her and keeping up with the latest trends. With the exception of her appearance in Surreal, Tabatha continues to do her own makeup and hair while assembling her own wardrobe. In the process, she has to alter her look from job to job.

Motivation plays a huge role in becoming a model, says Tabatha. Meeting new people and accepting what others say when critiquing her comes with the territory. All in all, the small town girl who describes herself as “outgoing, friendly and fun” plans to further her career in the industry while staying true to her values by refusing to take nude photos. Going off to a larger market city and perhaps one day producing a magazine herself are long terms goals she’s open to pursuing.

Even 19-minutes away from her hometown the girl has been taken out of her small town but Keyser hasn’t been taken out of her. With a passion for cars, Tabatha still works on the side as a mechanic. Going from putting on her makeup to look good for the camera to changing headlights and car batteries for vehicles.

“Other than looking like a pretty model I can get dirty,” Tabatha said. “And I’m not scared to get dirty.”

One thing she’d like more than anything else is merging her two passions for cars and cameras by modeling antique and muscle cars.

With traveling a part of her job, in April Tabatha is eyeing a 1994 Toyota Supra to help her continue to go places, just as she’s done while pursuing her career. A car she’s 98 percent sure she’s buying.

By Gino Terrell

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Gino Terrell is the Director of Content at Hidden Valley Culture Blog/In-Depth section. Terrell covered local artists and reviewed mainstream shows in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area under the Twin Cities Daily Planet (2014-15). He also freelanced for MinnPost and interned at Pioneer Press, KSTP TV (the Minneapolis ABC News Affiliate) and American Public Media Group. He's accumulated over 30 awards from the Associated Collegiate Press, Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Black Journalists and founded award winning student-magazine Pipers In-Depth at Hamline University (St. Paul, Minnesota). He was once the sports editor for the school newspaper, The Oracle. Follow him on Twitter: @Gin026

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