Monday, April 4, 2011

Blake French: Story Matters Here!

Above: Blake by Brooks Ayola.

Lately 'stories' have been a theme in many of my posts. I guess it is because I am a writer at heart. When I first saw a photo of 26 year old Blake French I knew I wanted to have him a part of FH. What I didn't know at first, was how much story there was.

Below: Next four shots by Achim Harding.

At 17 I had no idea what I wanted to with my life. One day it was actor, another it was teacher but most of my focus was on what was happening on Friday night. It wasn't until mid way through my second year of University that I succumbed to the pressure and chose the safe route and majored in psychology, dropping most of my favorite courses in English and Theatre.

When Blake French was in high school he was already laying the ground work for his future, writing and freelancing articles to community newspapers in Detroit. At 17, he landed a job at an online entertainment syndicate. Balancing work with school has always been something Blake has struggled with and he began missing school to cover press junkets and interviews in Chicago and Detroit.

At 18, Blake left the motor city and moved to Orange California for college. Once again passion took precedence over education and Blake left Orange, and college, to move Los Angeles for work. Blake took jobs at magazines and newspapers and it was also there he began acting. This would not be the first time Blake left college without finishing. Blake has attended and dropped out of 5 colleges and universities making him one of the worlds most educated college dropouts! After spending time living and working in Laguna Beach and Las Vegas, Blake moved to Miami where he currently lives and works.

As an actor Blake has appeared in numerous commercials, movies and television shows including Penn & Teller's 'Bullshit' on Showtime. As a writer Blake has served as an entertainment reporter for a variety of online and print sources. Blake says his first major interview was with Ice Cube, but has interviewed many celebrities ranging from Jake Gyllenhaal and The Black Eyed Peas to Daniel Day-Lewis and Anthony Hopkins. In 2001 CNN did a story featuring his pieces on the film Van Wilder. Blake is also an award-winning playwright and a member of the Online Film Critics Society.

In putting together this profile I attempted to read as much of Blake's writing as I could find. One of my favorite lines was on his FB page which is both detailed as well as being incredibly specific. My favorite part was his list of 'dislikes' which include litterbugs, spiders, pet birds and Dionne Warwick. For some reason adding Warwick to the list made me laugh. She is one celebrity whose talent is equal to her level of annoyance.

Next two shots from Jorge Freire.

Currently Blake works as a staff writer for AMC, covering entertainment and film-related features for AMC's In addition Blake continues to write for 944 Magazine, Edge Publications, and Glance Entertainment Magazine. If all that were not enough, Blake is the editor The Barcode Magazine. One of Blake's most recent pieces was an interview for the March edition of Barcode Magazine with actor Johnny Depp. Blake and Johnny get interrupted by a surprise visit from Justin Bieber who drops in to say hello. (Read the whole interview HERE:).

Below: Blake by Luis Rafael.

With all the work and energy it must take to juggle all of Blake's jobs, his writing, acting and modeling I asked Blake if there was one he ultimately wanted to focus on.

'As much as I love writing about the news, I'd rather make the news. So when push comes to shove ... I will definitely pursue performing.

However, I'd like to get back into creative writing, as I am also playwright. I have not touched that in a few years though ... that is my ultimate goal. To write creatively!'

Blake French

It appears both performing and storytelling will be passions Blake will be balancing for a long time to come. While many of us are blessed to be able to follow one passion, Blake has been fortunate to follow two. Very few actors have successfully balanced writing and acting (Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood maybe being the most well known). Maybe one day Blake will join Charlie Chaplin (The Great Dictator), Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) and Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) as the only men ever nominated for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for the same film at the Academy Awards.

Below: Blake by Photo Studio Miami

You can check out more of Blake's modeling shots and see a more detailed acting and modeling resume on his Model Mayhem Page HERE:

Love the last six shots by RIXX PHOTOGRAPHY.

Favorite Pic of the Day for April 4th

In Chains: by Joem Bayawa.

Happy Birthday to Robert Downey Jr.
-See last years birthday post HERE-

Just Because: Dennis Deyoung

This post travelled an odd road. It began as a thumbs down to those on facebook who announce on their page that they are purging their friend list. (it is so dramatic, ego driven and threatening). In real life you would never tell your friends some of them are getting the ole heave ho. I usually defriend anyone who makes such a statement. While writing that post I was listening to one of my favorite musicians, Dennis Deyoung. I decided for some odd reason to weave Dennis into the post, discussing that although he is one of my all time favorite singers I have never really vocalized it to many, (somehow I connected that ones love for something is not related to how loudly you say it but how you feel it).

As often happens the post was rambling (more than I usually do), and going nowhere. So...Instead I want to encourage anyone who has not experienced the vocal power of former Styx Dennis Deyoung to give him a listen. Deyoung's Back To The World and 10 On Broadway are two albums that have been a big part of many great times in my life.

My favorite track on 10 On Broadway is Pilate's Dream from Jesus Christ Superstar but I could not find a video to share. But this version of Summertime will give you an idea of the power of Deyoung's vocals.

Deyoung singing Come Sail Away, that voice!!!

Elizabeth: Thank You

I want to thank everyone who took the time to share their favorite Elizabeth Taylor movies with me. I still cannot believe I had never seen one of her films but am making up for lost time. My Amazon order arrived on Thursday and I stayed up far too late last night watching Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf. I loved every frame of it (but did want morning to freaking come...). All four actors were superb and I was especially moved by Richard Burton's George. Also who knew George Segal was such a hottie when he was younger. Edward Albee's award winning play was skillfully adapted to film by Mike Nichols in his big screen directorial debut. As a former actor I could not help but think of the hundreds of talented actors who emoted their asses off playing these four characters on stages over the country. Up next Butterfield 8 and then some Tennessee Williams.