Young model is learning valuable lessons

June 28, 2005|by ADAM BEHSUDI


As he sat on the couch, 6-year-old Chase Garber busily punched the keypad on a cell phone and held it to his ear.

Chase, who's been modeling for department stores and acting in commercials since he was 3, is not quite at the point of having to make real phone calls to his agent. For now, it's just make-believe.

"We've tried to keep it a fun experience," said his mother, Kelli Garber.

Garber, whose husband, Ken Garber, is an inside sales manager at The Herald-Mail, said people would stop and tell them how striking their son was.


"Strangers would stop and comment to us how beautiful his eyes were," Garber said about her son's intense green eyes.

She contacted an agent to see if she Chase could find modeling work. Soon, Hecht's Department Stores recruited him to appear in a catalog. He even had the opportunity to play the role of an abandoned boy in a television commercial for United Way of Central Maryland.

"I learned about people that don't have homes or don't have mommies or daddies," Chase said.

He said the director told him to look sad for the camera.

In a Father's Day ad for Hecht's, Chase is smiling and playfully arm wrestling with a fictional dad. In another picture, he's striking a pose with a girl close to his age.

Chase said it's sometimes hard to hold certain facial expressions for the photos, but Kelli Garber said she's been told by many of the photographers that her son is very easy to work with.

She hopes that Chase is learning some valuable lessons through the work he is doing.

"It's not just about the photos," Kelli Garber said. "He's learned things about responsibility."

She said the experience is teaching Chase about the importance of punctuality and saving money. She told him the money he makes from his modeling is largely being put into a college fund.

Despite the fact that his picture can be found in Hecht's fliers up and down the East Coast, Chase lives like any other child his age. He recently had his birthday party at the church his family attends, Tri-State Fellowship. He proudly said there was a moonbounce at his party.

With an avid interest in marine life, Chase said he would like to be a marine biologist. He said he's excited about going to Cape Cod later this summer to whale watch.

Although she didn't quite know what to expect, Kelli Garber said she is satisfied with the way the photography studio operates. She said the photographers are easy to work with and Chase has even made some friends with other children his age.

"Everyone's been so friendly," she said.

Chase said he's proud of his accomplishments.

"I feel good that I worked really hard to do it," he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles