Time Out, September 3-10, 98

LABOR DAZE

YOU DO WHAT? Fourteen breadwinners - from model spotter to apartment exorcist - describe their odd jobs: some we'd love, some we'd loathe and some we never dreamed existed

JOBS WE WANT

THIS YEAR'S MODEL Ned Ambler searches for face value.

Photograph by Scott Jones

Model spotter
Londoners and Parisians may serve up more designer fashion, but no one beats New Yorkers for sheer diversity of street style. As a model casting agent, 29-year-old Ned Ambler makes a living drinking in this human scenery - but searching for models isn't necessarily about finding the next pretty face.
 "In the 90's, it's about real people," says Ambler, who has worked for photographers ranging from Richard Avedon to Steven Meisel. "Models aren't so plastic looking. They have a lot more character." This means that model spotters like Ambler have o work even harder to strike a balance between what's marketable and what's mod. "I'll go to several bars and nightclubs a night," Ambler says. "I look at 500 different people and Polaroid only one of them. It's grueling work."
 In addition to the jobs day-to-day rigors, model spotters must deal with the fact that the fashion world discards trends almost as soon as they're discovered. For Ambler, that means turning away from the Warholesque sensibility that made his name. "Being different has become mainstream," announces Ambler, who recently abandoned platform shoes and started wearing his old high-school corduroys. "Being square and conservative is much weirder now than looking weird," he says. - Donald Suggs.