Friday, January 27

The Connect Masterclass lets aspiring actors and models meet and learn from entertainment industry pros

By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,

D.C. native Cashaéy Serenity has worked in fashion, modeling and acting for over a decade, and now she’s employing her expertise and industry contacts to host The Connect Masterclass for aspiring models and actors to network and learn from entertainment professionals. 

The event, which will take place in Waldorf, Maryland on Sept. 17, will offer professional headshots, onsight training and feedback, and panel discussions with modeling coaches, casting directors, photographers, filmmakers and directors from across the Washington Metropolitan area. 

Serenity created the event to give back to her community and to protect aspiring artists and models from exploitation. 

“Back in the day, just me starting out, I didn’t really know who to trust. I’ve been scammed plenty of times, and I’ve gone to photoshoots that haven’t really been what they were supposed to be,” said Serenity. “I just want to kind of protect that fire and talent that’s coming now, and let them know what they should look out for.” 

Serenity began her modeling journey during her first year of high school. Her mother enrolled her in a class led by Barbizon Modeling, an international modeling and acting school that’s been in operation for more than 75 years. 

She continued her training after joining a modeling program at her high school, learning how to walk the runway, curate looks and produce fashion shows. Then, in college, Serenity joined Model Mayhem, a portfolio website for professional models, and continued to do photoshoots. 

Cashaéy Serenity is a fashion model, actress and creative director. She created The Connect Masterclass to support aspiring models and actors looking to enter the entertainment industry.

In 2011, Serenity was featured in her first magazine, RazorsEdge. Since then, she’s been photographed for Sophisticate’s Black Hair Styles and Care Guide magazine, and she’s modeled for MODEL MODEL, Harlem 125 and Motown Tress. 

Now based in Atlanta, Serenity just finished filming a pilot for scripted drama and comedy TV series about the lives of models behind the scenes. The show dives into models’ experiences that are not documented on social media, and Serenity and her team are currently in talks with TV networks to get the series greenlit. 

During The Connect Masterclass, attendees will have the opportunity to meet and work with model, producer and casting director Candice “CJ” Johnson, talent agency Models Inc., film director Randall Lawrence and photographer Shawne Turrentine. 

The industry experts will teach attendees how to secure auditions, design professional websites, build their portfolios, take headshots, understand the importance of contracts and procure talent agents and managers. 

If attendees want more information and support after The Connect Masterclass, they can enroll in Serenity’s one-on-one coaching sessions, which help aspiring models discover their purpose and goals, grasp different types of modeling and poses, gain confidence, connect with agents and managers and learn how to network. 

“I just want people to be able to network and connect with each other. That’s the whole purpose of The Connect Masterclass, growing their community and building relationships,” said Serenity.

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