The other day while working my through some links on Youtube came a true blast from the past. I have always been a sucker for television credits, especially ones which blend a great theme song with images from the show, and there on the right hand side of the screen were the opening credits for Danger Bay. If you have never seen Danger Bay, or never heard of it, give the opening credits a look. When I was 10 years old, it always got me excited for the next 30 minutes.
Although I now don't 100% support wild animals in captivity, when I was a kid, so many of my dreams involved animals. Joining the circus or working in a zoo. The first time my family visited Florida, I was in heaven at Sea World. I mopped the entire rest of the trip, until my parents agreed to take me back for a second visit. I spent hours outside of tanks, believing fully I was bonding with the dolphins and whales on the other side.
Danger Bay was a Canadian Television show that many may have watched on The Disney Channel in the late 80's and early 90's. The show was set at the Vancouver Aquarium and focused on marine veterinarian Grant 'Doc' Roberts and his children, Nicole and Jonah. Doc was played by character actor Donnelly Rhodes with Ocean Hellman and Christopher Crabb playing his children.
I was especially taken with the adorable Christopher Crabb. The young actor was about my age, and his life at the aquarium was a dream. Loving father, whales and sea lions as playmates. Every week there was something interesting going on, usually someone was up to something that required Doc and the kids to become detectives and they usually ended up saving the day. It was also rather cool (and a little eerie) that the two child actors hired for the show set at a sea aquarium had the names Ocean and Crabb...
Crabb was not only adorable with his great face and perfect eighties hair, he was also a great actor and in 1988 won the Best Young Actor award for a cable series. After the series ended, Crabb moved to California and continued to act on shows such as Life Goes On and The Pretender. Although he continues to act, in short films and on stage, today Christopher is self employed, spending on a lot of time on his other passion, tennis.
A former #1 ranked junior champion in Florida and Canada and a world-ranked pro, Crabb is a tennis instructor who takes both a psychological and physical approach to teaching able to quickly size up a student to best maximize their abilities. Crabb also coached Robert Downey Jr. into expertly playing tennis for his role in 'Chaplin.'
Although the 80's hair is gone, Christopher looks as adorable as ever in these recent head shots below. Hopefully we will see him leave the tennis court long enough to get back in front of the cameras soon!
After discovering Joseph Lally's new series Beauty last week, I began on Sunday with a post featuring his video and images of the incredible Richard Boliter. That video was #7, but what a great surprise to find out last evening that coming in at a scorching #2 was one of FH's favorite models, Max Emerson.
'Beauty is both a signifier and a code for idealism/that which we all desire in secret.'
Every so often I get e-mails from blog readers asking me to share a little more about myself on the blog. This question always strikes me as a bit odd. To me, pretty much every detail of my life has been exposed over the last seven years, along with the many images and countless incarnations of my logo. No, there is no long autobiography, with each life event laid out in chronological order, but it is all there. Within many of the profiles I have written, articles and movie reviews, details of every aspect of my life, including a few images, have been revealed. Stories of my childhood, my teen years, coming-out, loves, hates and passions. The joy and pain of my relationships with my parents and family, friends, my first love, it's beginning, and gut wrenching end.
My thoughts are weaved within almost every sentence I type, every post on the blog. It was my disdain for any form of cruelty that became a core factor in how the blog was eventually formed. The Internet is full of sites, with bloggers whose soul motivation is to tear others down. My hope was for FH to balance that out, even if just a little bit. It's sort of ironic, there are many men on this blog, most completely naked physically, yet some of them, reveal almost nothing about themselves. Vulnerability is an emotion many believe they wish for, especially in others. Most of us however, struggle with it when it becomes a reality. We spent a lot our lives garnering protection, I know I have. To be ready if someone or something is going to attack and hurt. FH has in some ways acted both as a wall, and a doorway for me, depending on the day. Ultimately though, the creative process has been an outlet, a vehicle for expression other aspects of my life doesn't always welcome.
I think many writers and bloggers feel this way and I have profiled many of them over the years. Bloggers whose writing I love, bloggers who inspire and challenge me, funny and fascinating writers and yes, usually more than a few who are naked. I recently was fortunate to find a site, and a blogger, who fits into each of those categories. Michael, writes and runs, the aptly named blog, Entertain Me. In just the past few days, the entertainment focused site has included subjects as diverse as Miley Cyrus and Courtney Love, through KC And The Sunshine Band! A few recent favorites include an R.I.P to True Bloods Alcide, an essay on why Helen Mirren is hot and a one on one with singer, songwriter and actress Naama Kates. Has Naama Kates Ever Been "Souled"?
Michael's writing is as I hope mine will be one day. Well researched, crisp and to the point, witty, intelligent and maybe most of all respectful. In part this might be because Michael doesn't just write about show business, he is closely connected to it. It was that business that originally brought him to Los Angeles. Michael reports that arrived in L.A with the same dream that so many others do, the desire to act and break into show business. Michael took classes, auditioned and auditioned, and while he loved the craft of acting, he quickly grew to hate the business side that unfortunately came with it.
Below: Michael in a scene from Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Michael says that writing has always been one of his natural talents, so.... one day he decided to pick up the phone and start making calls to various magazines and publications, trying his best to get one of them to give him a shot! Even without an English or journalism degree, Michael just simply knew that he could write. Those calls paid off! 'I made a living off of writing for many years doing celebrity interviews, entertainment stories and writing the sex column Between The Sheets for the now defunct Men magazine.'
During this time, Michael also did quite a few interviews with porn stars and wrote other erotically themed articles including several focused on sexual fetishes. Michael always loved the freedom of being naked, and with all that time writing sexually charged articles for porn magazines, his interest in getting naked in front the camera was fueled even more intensely! When a lot of the magazines that he was writing for began to fold, Michael decided it was time to explore the world of nude modeling for himself. This led to an eight page spread in the now out of print 100% Beef when it was still a newsstand publication.
'Being nude has always appealed to me and after I took the plunge and did my first photo session and found out how free it felt I loved it and have never put clothes on in front of a photographers lens again.'
Since first talking off his clothes for the camera Michael has never looked back. In addition to posing for photographers, Michael has spent many hours in the buff posing for art and drawing classes. The writer appears to want to do most things naked these days, but I resisted asking what percentage of his blog was written in the all together. Entertain Me is an beautiful and interesting hybrid of Michael's many experiences. His nude modeling has made him keenly aware of what it is like to be completely bare with everyone's eyes, and judgements, directed solely on him. His time both writing and acting, provided a list of contacts that he now draws on frequently for the blog and his knowledge and experience in the business have given him a unique and valuable perspective on those that he profiles.
Regardless of one's personal feelings, when it comes to money and business, usually they're pushed aside for a buck. There is nothing new about about company's marketing to the gay community. Many company's and brands, especially the travel industry, financial services, alcoholic beverages, hair and skincare and of course the fashion industry have been aiming ads at the LGBT community for decades. I am thinking though, that the Portuguese paper company Renova might be the first combine the naked male form with the selling of toilet paper.
Although I appreciate the beauty of the imagery, I am not sure 'Wrapped in Renova, is really a great slogan. There is a bit of irony about wrapping a body whose purpose and design is meant to clean and rub off, not wrap around the naked body...
When I first featured the work of Atlanta photographer Bob Burkhardt I entitled the piece 'Field Of View'. My goal for the piece was to highlight Bob's immense field of vision and it's impact on the images he produces. In many ways, great images are not about the subject, but more about how an artist is able to see them. Photography skills can be taught and learned, the ability to actually see the scope of what is in front, and around you, is a much more difficult ability to learn.
Bob's experience in graphic design have given him an eye for composition and the use of light. Bob also feels his background draws him to create clean, crisp imagery. These eye for detail was what struck me most in this beautiful series of images of XL. XL clearly has a strong presence in front of the lens, but beyond the face, beyond the body and it's breath taking parts, Bob draws you to the details.
My eyes moved from the pattern of XL's facial hair, down his body with the drops of moisture sliding down his stomach and back and backside. The lines and beautiful creases in his skin. Usually as the clothes come off, the ability to see detail may be stripped away, but in these images, as the clothes come off, the details become that much more impressive.
'XL and I met on a shoot I was doing for a local adult site. He's young but I was impressed how motivated he was in this adult work and in all areas of his life. We had a great connection and I suggested he do work to appeal to a more mainstream audience which we are working on. He is creative, driven and focused and I look forward to working with him again.'
With XL's incredible body and look, I would guess many who shoot him, simply ask him to take off his clothes and then begin shooting. I am sure the resulting images would be hot and one might not feel do to much more. After seeing Bob's incredible captures however... with XL's creative poses and Bob's focus on detail.... we would know what we were missing.
Bob also own's the pb&j gallery in Atlanta, GA. He is currently looking for local photographers who shoot fine art nudes of women to be a part of their exhibition, Body&Soul in February 2015. If you're interested in exhibiting, check out some of the work included in the 2014 show HERE: