'There was a character in the play named T.J. who was the most confused of the Southern Baptist sissies. This character, after some intense experimentation, denies his homosexuality and hides behind his devout beliefs. The character had to dance in his underwear and make out with boys while simulating masturbation. Although full frontal was not required, there were lots of naked butts with underwear around the ankles. I quickly found a peephole in the scenery where I crouched nightly when I was off stage and I got quite a show.'
'At the first read-through, we were all enthralled with the actor hired to play T.J. He jumped into the role with gusto and was the first actor to strip down to his underwear in rehearsal. He was shameless and fearless. His name was Tate Taylor and I fell desperately in love with him.' Leslie Jordan, The Huffington Post
Actor Leslie Jordan certainly is not alone. Although I loved The Help, it was not until seeing an image of Tate, his head in the lap of Octavia Spencer, along with Viola Davis in an issue of Vanity Fair from last year that I too became interested in the man behind the movie. Prior to directing and writing The Help, Taylor was also an actor, in many projects I had seen, but not noticed and now require some re-viewing. Tate teams up again with Octavia and Viola, directing them Get On Up, chronicling the rise of James Brown in the music industry due in theatres next year.
'As your eyes feast on his many images, the viewer is visually stimulated instantly by the strength of both Murray's images and the models within his focus. Murray! has an incredible way of capturing an intense masculinity in his models, so strong you can almost feel it. The strength he captures comes not just from muscle but from a raw maleness that sadly is far too often edited or photoshopped away from many images of the male form that I see.'
The quote above comes from my profile last summer of Murray!. I was drawn to the Detroit photographer's work for many reasons, most strongly by the raw, uninhibited he captured the male form. When profiling Murray!, I spent quite a bit of time in his portfolio with his vast collection of images. I was drawn to another model, one with a strong face, great lips and beautiful green eyes and an incredible body with a small Libra tattoo on his chest.
'my first shoot ever was in Detroit with Murray!, he's a ridiculously talented photographer and a trusted friend.'
Cut to last month when I spot an image of a model on ModelMayhem, distinctive and unique look with a crazy body, strong face and mane of incredible long blonde hair that I am sure he is constantly getting asked by others to touch. I got in touch with him right away a piece on the blog but it wasn't until further investigation that the tell tale Libra tattoo connected him with the model I had love from before. The body was the same, but in addition to the hair, the face was slightly different. Still strong, but maybe a little less serious, more relaxed and chilled. BeachHM welcomed my FH questionnaire about his modeling, his goals and his fascinating and sensuous metamorphosis.
'I was a gymnast growing up, in crazy shape, but I had awful skin. Puberty was not good to me, I got really depressed as a teenager and ended up taking medication to clear it up during high school. It took a couple years to work, but once I got to MSU, I felt confident and like a totally different person. It just kind of happened. I like edgy. raw, photos that you can't help but become entranced with '
Any odd or strange stories from any shoots?
'I had a shoot with a female model in Las Vegas a few years ago. I ended up eating some 'special baked goods' without really knowing what was going on. For 3 days I was in the clubs, hotels, and casinos....kinda freaking out. Haha, it was fun though and a good experience.'
What has your experience on ModelMayhem been like?
'MM has been pretty good to me, it's a well put together site and it works to help professionals in the industry connect. Most people on the site have been respectful of the fact I'm straight, but I set up a shoot with an undisclosed photographer a few years ago, and this dude told me he liked to be naked while he was shot his models. Naw, bro. I'm all good.'
What factors did you weigh before deciding to take it all off?
'I was doing nude figure modeling at MSU years ago and it just went from there. I never really cared about being naked after my skin cleared up, and I worked hard for my body so it wasn't really a big deal. I started to make a little money here and there and it forced me to stay in some kind of shape. Plus, once the girls got drift of it...I mean, it worked out in other ways as well, so I just did it.'
What was the response from family and friends?
'Haha, my friends gave me so much shit for it, but they're my friends so they didn't care. I had a DJ residency at a lounge/bar in Lansing, MI years ago, my boss had a mug made up with one of my photos on it, and gave it to me as a gift during the company Christmas party in front of everyone. It was hilarious, mildly embarrassing, but whatever. As for my family, I'm sure my photos aren't up on the fridge, but I still get a phone call once a year so things are good. Haha, naw, my family is amazing. My sister is a ridiculously published model and has graced the pages of Playboy, Maxim, etc. so between her and I, it's just something we do.'
Where do you want modeling to eventually take you?
'Honestly, I don't know...I don't really care. My life is music and has been for a long time now. I moved out here to Las Vegas to DJ and produce music, not to mention this place has become the EDM epicenter of the U.S. I mean, you can go out on any given night, a random Tuesday, and see some of the biggest DJ's in the world. It also works out that there's so much opportunity for modeling around this area, so I'm just going with it.'
'The silhouette photo below was actually taken a few years ago by Greg Coleman, I just came across it in an old email, and it's still one of my favorites. The girl was a friend of a friend who saw my profile and wanted to do some risqué erotic-style photos. I've got about 20 images from that shoot that are ridiculous, and even though it looks like it, nothing was 'inside of anything.' She was beautiful and extremely professional, the photos came out great.'
'I guess my appearance changed when I moved out of Michigan, I was on somewhat of a 'soul searching' mission, and ended up down on the East Coast of Florida in Cocoa Beach. It's funny because ModelMayhem was a main reason I ended up in Florida in the first place. I met some of my best friends there and adopted the beach lifestyle. I grew my hair out, worked in a pizza shop run by surfers right on the beach, and basically surfed, smoked, drank beer and chilled out as much as possible. It really changed my whole perspective on life and people in general. I ended up leaving to work a Spring Break gig I've been doing for the last 7 years, but I love the 'laid back' beach mentality and miss the ocean everyday.'
What would your dream scenario be for a shoot?
'Surf trip to Indo, I've wanted to drink some Bintangs for awhile now. Find me a wave and a beach, Hawaii, Australia, Puerto. Shoot, surf and chill. That's the scenario.'