Sunday, December 4, 2016

Mark-Eugene Garcia: Teller of the Tales

Below: Mark by AbCd

'Writing is similar to acting and in modeling. There are always so many stories to tell. I’m just happy to be able to tell them.'

Next two images from Rico Kinnard

As regular readers are keenly aware, FH is all about story. The visual stories that great images are able to conjure, and the stories of process and the way some of my favorite images and shoots came to be created. Stories of artists, models, actors and creators are what inspire me to continue to look for story each time I sit down and put together a piece for the site.. The curiosity to discover more about the artists I feature, and the desire to then tell their tales is one of the reasons I was so drawn to the work of writer, actor, model, and storyteller Mark-Eugene Garcia.

Some of you may be familiar with with Mark's work as an actor. In addition to numerous stage productions, Mark has been featured on TV and film in projects ranging from Pacific Blue and Buffy The Vampire Slayer to lead roles in the short films Nocturnal Fury and Bliss. In addition to telling the tales of other writers and characters on screen, Mark has also written and mounted several productions of his own plays and musicals. I am sure a few of you may have even read some of Mark's work including a piece he wrote for Go Naked magazine.

Next 3 images from PhotoFreedom

'The sun is beating down on my back. The sun is seeping down my forehead. The salty breeze is blowing against my butt. There is a soft sound of surf slamming the sand. My pen is in my hand. I am naked, laying alone on the beach at 11 AM on a Tuesday and life is perfect.'

As you can see from the images include, Mark also beautifully begins many first chapters in his work as a model. Although many images tell complete stories, some of my favorite images, and many of Mark's, provide an introduction and welcome the viewers imagination to direct where the story goes next. Mark's incredible body, and his poses in front of the camera, provide an alluring cover, which draw in the viewer with the expectation of a stimulating story to follow. Mark's intensely sensual hazel eyes direct the viewer, and depending on the image, tells stories infused in passion and intense erotica, mystery, anger and both darkness and light.

I love telling stories, but maybe more so, I love reading and hearing them. Whenever I get an e-mail, with an artist or model's images enclosed, I am always excited to see what visuals await. Quickly however, my mind moves to how best tell their story. The visuals guide me in the story I want to tell, and help in the creation of questions to send back. As great as it is to receive the e-mail with the visuals, I equally look forward to the responses to my questions, and the continuation of the story. If you've enjoyed the visuals of Mark included, continue turning the pages below to continue the telling of the tale.

Below: Image from Rico Kinnard

You're both an actor and writer. Did one come before the other? Which would you consider your primary passion?

'Growing up, I wanted to be an actor but I was always writing. I would go out and audition and perform as much as I could and I pursued that life and it’s gone pretty well.… but every night I would come home and write. It never dawned on me until my twenties that writing was something to pursue as a career. It was always something I just did. I thought everyone went home and wrote for hours. Now I realize, I’m a storyteller- whether on stage, on the page, or in pictures.'

Below: Mark by Justin Thai

'The first time I posed naked was after I started losing weight. I lost 60 lbs. Originally, I wanted to document the process- plus I was beginning to feel super confident about who I am and what I was doing. It was a completely new experience for me to get in front of the camera. I was nervous as all hell, but as the first shoots went on it became fun. It was acting- without all of that line memorization.'

'The first time I went into a shoot and found a whole set built in the studio was amazing. That’s when it hit me- that “oh wow, I guess this is something I do now,” moment. Plus even though I’m professional in my demeanor, but as immature as ever. Whenever a photographer refers to my junk, I giggle. I feel like the shoots are fun because I’m always laughing. To me, the oddest thing is how natural it all has become. How many people get to come to work and take their clothes off?'

What part of your body are you most happy with? What part gets the most attention from others?

'You know, I don’t know. I guess that’s up to the viewer. Growing up overweight, I think I still have it in head that it’s all about hiding my flaws. The first few shots of every shoot are me relearning to let go.'

What factors did you weigh before deciding to take it all off.... career? partner? family?
'When I first started I kept it very private. It was special to me. It was something that was only mine. I liked that. If I chose to let someone into that world it was my decision. Other than my model mayhem friends, it was my happy secret. Then, in the past few years I did a quite a few projects that it involved nudity in both stage and film. When shots and clips from a short film I did (Bliss) started popping up online I realized my nudity was googleable. I knew it was bound to happen. But it unlocked a door that I found I didn’t really mind being opened.'

Why do you think you like modeling?

'I like the whole process of it. I love getting there and bringing to life a photographer’s vision. I love being directed. I also really like so many of the people I’ve worked with, Justin Thai, Photofreedom, Rico Kinnard, Jerzy Kowalski, RBX photos, Bitten by a Zebra Photography to name a few. I’m always looking forward to working with people.'

What role or project has been your favorite acting experience so far?

'Acting wise I’ve had a few really amazing roles. I loved working on Bliss. There is so much that can be said without words. It was about a couple who could not connect with her partner. We see their lack of connection, followed by what it could be, in a sequence of bedroom scenes. From audition to rehearsals to filming- it was amazing. Also I recently finished acting in a play called The Underpants Godot, which was a hilarious comedy about Samuel Beckett, the NYC theatre scene, and censorship. Both where characters that I loved playing and were hard to leave behind.'

Are there many scripts in your head, or computer, that you dream about one day putting together?

'I am ALWAYS writing. I have a few projects that are out in the world now and I am really proud of them. I also have a few projects in my computer (more plays and a novel) that are waiting to see the world. Writing is similar to acting and in modeling. There are always so many stories to tell. I’m just happy to be able to tell them.'

Last two images from RBX Photos

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