There was a time, before owning a DVR, I used to watch entire seasons of American Idol. After a couple of seasons of the singing comp, I skipped the audition rounds and began watching with Hollywood Week. AI has an element of cruelty to their audition shows I can't stomach. They prey on making fun of the mentally unstable and vulnerable and mercilessly use them for laughs. Since about 2008, when David Cook took the crown, I pretty much stopped watching Idol all together. With the DVR, I can still catch it now and then if there is a guest I want to see, or singer I have a bit of interest in.
Unlike Idol, with NBC's The Voice, and Fox's The X Factor, it is all about the auditions. I love the blind auditions on The Voice, and even though The X Factor is far too manipulative, heavily produced and scripted, I still enjoy the narrowing down process.
Despite not wanting to be manipulated by everyone's back story, I still found myself choking up with some of the singers packages. It makes it even harder when they end up getting the boot. One of my favorite auditions' from The X Factor, Jeffrey Brinkman (below), sadly got cut before making it to the main stage.
Jeffrey Brinkman of The X Factor
The Voice has a kindler gentler feel which makes watching a much more pleasant experience, yet I have still never really watched the show much past the audition rounds. Not sure why, but unlike Idol, which draws me in once the singers hit the main stage, with The Voice, that is where I have always lost interest. I might just have to stick around after watching Michael Lynch belt out the Enrique Iglesias hit Bailamos last night. Michael has an amazing stage presence and his infectious performance has me wanting to see much more of him!
'His tall, lanky body had the wrinkles of sleep, and he smelled like cotton and dreams.' Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
There was a time when lanky was used as an insult. The ideal for the male body seemed to be a bit shorter, compact and muscular. Today, especially in the world of male modeling, lanky is not only now a compliment, it is the ideal frame many designers seek for fashion and the runway.
I think there might have once been an assumption that someone lanky, with their longer legs and arms, may not be able to move with the same fluidity in front of the camera as someone more firm and tight in body make-up. Truth is, body type is not as large a factor in body movement as is confidence and a model's ability to connect with their bodies natural movements and it's rhythm and flow.
The long and lean, luscious and lanky Poet Wright has a natural ability to use his body in front of the camera and pose is limbs in long beautiful lines. When I first discovered the work of Kalamazoo, Michigan photographer P.W Gomez, it was some of his images with Poet Wright that prompted me to contact him about a post. I love their work together, especially the train shoot, the poses how P.W captured and connected body with environment.
Poet Wright's body does not disappear or get eclipsed within the location, one of his strengths in front P.W's lens is to meet his location in strength and attitude, almost going toe to toe with the machinery which surrounds him and uses his body beautifully with his poses to compliment both is body, and all that surrounds it.
P.W. first met Poet Wright at Kalamazoo's "Black Arts Festival" a few years ago. After spending some time speaking with him, P.W. found out that he loved having his picture taken, he also has an incredible sense of humor and an infectious smile. P.W. gave him a business card and had pretty much given up on hearing from him when, about a month later, he received a call from Poet, who was interested in getting together to set up a shoot!
'He was a natural! His posing required almost no prompting and his lanky, dark physique was incredible and perfect for the session. His large, expressive eyes draw the viewer into the images and some of the impressive and incredible results can be seen in this blog. I am anxiously awaiting our next session'
'Modeling, to me, is a creative expression between myself and the photographer. Nude modeling allows one to explore deeper into that creative process and exploring the body. Working with PW Gomez has allowed me to release my art into the world. He's an amazing photographer and allowed me the freedom to 'be myself' during our shoots. I would love to work with him again and see where his creative mind can take my modeling.'
It is interesting when I look at my DVD collection that most of the movies I own are ones I saw before I was 20. Movies that impacted me when I was a kid. Movies I went to the theatre with family and friends to see and movies that were not just entertainment, but a part of my growing up.
When I was trying to find a movie the other night I was surprised how many of them included actress Elizabeth McGovern. Long before playing Cora on Downton Abbey, McGovern lived in the US and was in some of my favorite movies from the 80's. Ordinary People, Native Son, Racing With The Moon and The Bedroom Window. I was about 11 or 12 and remember the night I joined my family for dinner out and to the theatre for The Bedroom Window.
The Bedroom Window also featured actor Steve Guttenberg, long before the many Police Academy sequels made it difficult to get non goofball types of roles. It opens with an incredibly sexy Guttenberg in a tux soon to be on the floor as he jumped into bed with the incredibly sexy actress Isabelle Huppert. 5 minutes into the movie, just after having sex, Guttenberg exits the bed naked and heads into the bathroom. While he is in there Huppert witnesses a crime through the bedroom window, and the suspense begins.
The Bedroom Window also featured a brief glimpse, through a window of course, of a naked Brad Greenquist. I love Brad, especially in Pet Cemetery, and he was successfully creepy as Carl Henderson in this, his first feature film.