Cyndal Bettencourt

Cyndal BettencourtCyndal Bettencourt was born in Modesto, CA in 1994 and started taking acting and modeling classes when she was still a child because she wanted to do this. Cyndal’s mother is a homemaker, while her stepfather was a goldsmith, so both his parents were at home to take care of her. Her parents encouraged her to realize her heartfelt desire by taking her to castings while she was still in elementary school. As a kid, she was always full of life, wanting to emulate what she saw on tv. She even went ahead and got a photoshoot done of herself. Her mom also took pictures of her in various outfits and makeup at home. But somehow while growing up, in the third grade, she became a victim of stage fright, turning into a shy and slightly introverted girl who did not want to have anything to do with dressing up, going out in the public and she even told her mom that she did not want to take acting classes anymore. She joined a choir after that, trying to push herself and as she graduated middle school, she started taking drama classes in high school, while still living in Modesto. Her mom was always very supportive of whatever she wanted to do.
For Cyndal, the shy phase of her life was the most difficult period for her and she had to push herself really hard to come out of it, but finally, her desire to be out there won against her shyness. It still took her a while to get to the acting stage, but it happened gradually after she joined the choir and subsequently an orchestra where she had to perform in front of people. She danced and cheered, in front of the entire school and the shy Cyndal just disappeared.The rush and exhilaration she got from it inspired her to keep going forward. Her first real break into the modeling world was at the International Women’s Expo at the Modesto Central Plaza in Downtown Modesto where she was asked to be a model for her brother’s friend’s mother, who was showcasing her talent as a makeup artist at the expo. Cyndal had no idea what the Expo was all about but her mom knew she would like to do it, so she agreed to let her model at the Expo. This was her first exposure to the runway and she was starstruck at the glamour and media publicity surrounding the entire show. That was when she decided that she wanted to be on that stage. After the show, she came to know that one of her friends had actually modeled at the show and had actually walked on that runway. He came up to her and told her that she should be doing this as well. He took her behind the stage and introduced her to the casting director. She was told that there were no availabilities for new models at that point but if any came up, she would be notified.
A year later, the same casting director found Cyndal on Facebook and invited her to a casting call. Cyndal had never walked on a runway before so she had no idea what she was going to do at the casting. The casting director took time with her and taught her how to walk on the runway before the audition.The casting director is now one of Cyndal’s closest friends now. So one year after she modeled for a makeup artist, Cyndal was back at the Expo, as a model at the International Bridal Show, walking on the runway she had dreamed of walking upon. The show usually takes place 2-4 times a year at different locations in the Central Valley, so she went to every single show for 2-3 years, appearing on the runway two times a year in Modesto and a couple of times in Fresno. In her senior year, she started reaching out to agencies in the Bay area and was soon signed up by a small agency called Models, Inc., located in the Bay area. This was her first taste of professional casting calls. It took her a while to really get paid modeling assignments as being a senior at high school, it wasn’t always easy for her to leave school to take up the assignments on offer.
She did get an extra role in a movie and few other small assignments, but nothing major which ended up discouraging her a bit. This was when she decided that she will represent herself instead of waiting for agencies to represent her. She resorted to social media, uploading her senior photos on her Instagram account in 2014. She had no followers on that account and knew almost nothing about Sacramento, a city that wasn’t even on her radar. One day, she went out and met with a model from Sacramento who had worked with a lot of photographers, so she started to find the pages of those photographers, liking their pictures and commenting on them.
But she never reached out to them directly as she was a bit shy to be so direct. Everyone she messaged, asked her to come to Sacramento and meet, which opened the floodgates and she came to Sacramento! Here, she came in touch with a local photographer Nicole Nygaard which whom she worked for some time. This opened her up to the possibilities around her that she did not know existed, otherwise, although she was still moving back and forth between Modesto and Sacramento once or twice a week. But as time passed and she participated in more and more local events, making networking connections and close friends, she decided that it was probably the right time to move to Sacramento. In February 2015, she moved to Sacramento by herself, helped by some friends she had made in Sacramento. As she had already been working full-time as a model by then for an online boutique beside working at their warehouse packing orders, so she was financially secure.
A photographer friend of her invited her to share the living space and Cyndal took up the offer. She did have a hard time finding a job initially but she had the savings that helped her get through this difficult period. She started going to the Tuesday Meetups regularly, linking up with more and more photographers. That turned into opportunities of working with boutiques, makeup artists, bridal dress designers, and everything just started to fall together for her. Her Instagram account now had some really amazing following and people would recognize her from her pictures at the Meetups, making networking with them easier than ever. Cyndal puts her acting talents to good use while modeling for fashion shoots, being really expressive and dramatic, becoming a completely different person. She believes fashion to be a fantasy where you can be anyone you want to become. She loves the hair, wardrobe, makeup and other stuff that makes a fashion shoot come alive. For Cyndal, it is like acting, with the difference being that you get just one frame instead of a video, which makes it all the more challenging for her to convey all the right expressions in the single frame.
Cyndal has worked with quite a few local designers from Sac Fashion Week like Janelle Cardenas and quite a few boutiques, including an assignment with the bridal boutique Miosa Couture. As far as her acting aspirations go, Cyndal has not been actively pursuing the possibilities in this field as she did not see many opportunities there. She has done a short film for Sac Fashion Week, another short was filmed in the Bay area. She now intends to pursue this line of work too, with the full support of her mom, who is her number one fan.

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