Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Superbowl

Putting Glee with the Superbowl is a rather confusing combo. Sort of like a mash up of Celine Dion and Judas Priest (which it would not surprise me if Glee did one day). I am a huge sports nut, especially basketball and hockey. I have not however, gotten the appeal of football, especially American Football. I will be watching though as my brother and his new girlfriend are coming over (could it be my wonderful company or the fact they have a 20 inch and I have a much larger flat screen).

And...because this is combo that does work is The Carlson's and football.

Just Because: Michael Stokes

Anthony USA by Michael Stokes

Last summer one of my favorite posts to put together was a profile of photographer Michael's Stokes work with model Jason Taulb (See that post below). Not only were the shots incredible (especially the highly creative television series) most fascinating was Michael's sharing of his journey from flight attendant to photographer. I went back to Michael's site this week and was blown away with the body of work he has put together over the past several months. Michael's shots are like great paintings, works of art blending model with wondrous location. Don't miss his most recent shoots with Vince Ramos and FH Favorite Jamie Dominic.

Be sure to check out Michael's site HERE:

A Look Back: Jason Taulb by Michael Stokes

-A Look Back-
-July 2010-

The Photographer: Michael Ross Stokes

Michael Stokes moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and worked as a flight attendant as he completed his education at Cal State Long Beach which Michael calls 'the poor man’s film school' with a BA in Fine Art, emphasis in film making and photography.

As many of us know, a degree does not equal financial freedom or success. In 1996 Michael put his dreams aside, temporarily putting his camera and pen down and picked up his real estate license.

'It was never my goal to make it big in real estate; rather I had a fantasy of working part time while pursuing writing and photography, but by 1997 I was one of Long Beach’s top producers, enjoying an unprecedented 80% market share of the geographic area I specialized in. I worked my ass off but was unhappy that I had no creative outlet other than marketing properties.'

In 2005, Michael decided to get out real estate and reconnect with his photography and writing.

'I moved back to Los Angeles, took photography classes, writing seminars, and just when I was getting into a groove, my father unexpectedly died in 2006. His death put me in the unexpected position of CEO of a small, international corporation. Not only did the corporation bleed red ink, three attorneys told me to shut it down and salvage its assets. Since it was my father’s life work, I plodded forward, and after two years his small S-Corp became profitable. In 2008 I sold my majority shares to one of my father’s partners. Since then I have been building a portfolio and establishing myself as a photographer. I still write, and five to six days a week I wake up at 5:30AM to swim, my other life passion.'

Check out much more of Michael's work at his amazing website HERE:

When viewing Michael's portfolio, some of my favorite shots were of Jason Taulb, in particular this series using the 'television'.

'I had no idea of what I was going to put inside the tube. That all came post production. The baseball theme was last minute. I went out and got all the baseball gear the morning of the shoot. I had not figured out a theme for our shoot, and when Jason called to tell me he was in traffic, I decided I'd have time to run to the sporting goods store to get some gear. I knew I was going to do the TV, just didn't know what was going inside. It all came together last minute.'
Michael Stokes

The Model: Jason Taulb

Some of you might recognize 21 year old model Jason Taulb from 'All American Guys' (see below). Jason, whose MM nick is 'The Surfer' (yes, because he loves to surf), has been modeling for a couple of years now and says he loves every minute of it. Jason, who is also a full time student loves all sports and played water polo in high school. Michael says it was Jason's own water polo equipment used in the shoot. Michael reports Jason was pleasant, hard working, never complained, didn't even need breaks. 'He knows how to model, knows what to do, has his look down.'

Jason Taulb

Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs
Neck: 17
Chest: 48
Waist: 32
Shoe: 11
Hair color: Brown
Hair length: Short
Eye color: Brown
Skin color: Tanned
Experience: Experienced

Boardwalk Empire's Lucky Luciano

Vincent Piazza
Lucky Luciano in HBO's Boardwalk Empire

I have not watched Boardwalk Empire yet but given how it swept many of the awards at this years SAG and Golden Globe award shows I think it is time to give it a shot. (although said the same thing about Mad Men a few years ago and have not seen a minute of that show yet).

Another reason to check it out is definitely actor Vincent Piazza. Now before seeing the caps below I knew Vincent mostly for his effective turn as Cam in Yeah No Definitely, part of 2008's Boys Briefs 5.

Vincent Piazza was born and raised in Queens, New York and of German-Italian descent. Originally a Division I-AA ice hockey player representing Villanova University in Philadelphia, a shoulder injury forced him to quit playing after only one year. Leaving hockey did allow Vincent to pursue acting and he joined the TerraNOVA Collective theatre group in Lion Theatre along Theatre Row in New York. Vincent appeared in several Off Broadway productions, including Baby Steps, A Match Made in Manhattan and Much Ado About Nothing, and made his feature film debut in the 2006 film Stephanie Daley along side Tilda Swinton, Amber Tamblyn and Timothy Hutton. Vincent went on to appear in movies (including 2007's Rocket Science) and on TV in Law & Order, several episodes of The Sopranos and a recurring role on Rescue Me.

Thanks to Braxnis for the caps!