Blog Archive

Day Of Reckoning (New York Chronicles Vol. 4) . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, February 28, 2007 9 comments

{Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a 5-part series chronicling my time spent in New York living the life of a model and waging a battle against food, geography and a plethora of people who all had opinions on how I should/did look. The names have been changed for obvious reasons.}

By Wednesday, I had already met with photographers and agents, eaten the same chicken and rice meal at the same restaurant 3 different times, and managed to avoid getting lost in the big, bad city.

But I knew that all my work would culminate with several appointments that day as I had a plethora of Men's magazines to meet, and they were scattered across New York City. Luckily, my sense of the area's grid-like structure was improving along with the weather, a development that allowed me to log some serious walking in the 45 degree weather.

The sun was shining brightly, and it felt damn good to be at the end of the road.

My day started near 47th and Broadway at a nice building which housed a magazine company with nearly a dozen titles under it's banner. The offices were plush, and as I sat in the waiting area, I could feel the administrative assistant checking me out from her desk, passing judgement and then the same thing happening from the other models waiting to be "seen" as we peered at each other in discreet ways while idly thumbing through magazines.

I was no better as I quickly found myself sizing up other guys, a quality I can't say I was fond about nor wanted to cultivate as I'll take a pass when it comes to women, however, life's too short to wonder what kind of bicep some dude in an Izod sweater is packing.

When my name was called, I went upstairs and into one of the smaller rooms in the place.

It was spartan and had a clinical quality to it which made sense as I filled out my vital stats and then took off my shirt and pants as several Polaroid were snapped to attach to my file or perhaps just keep for personal use by the staff. Ha.

The evaluator was professional, and I admit that it felt damn good to have him tell me that "you have a great body" as this was one of the top magazines in the United States for fitness. But he then confirmed what I was thinking, and that was that I would have to be local to really do work for them.

Most of the time, they have little advance warning about upcoming shoots, and it makes no sense to fly someone to New York when they can cast it with people easily accessible in the city.

I agreed, and gave him a spiel about having flexibility in my work and that I could be on a plane quickly, but I think we both knew the chances were slim unless re-location was an option, an unlikely chance but I was still happy about the positive feedback.

Another appointment in the area went off in a similar manner, and then I found myself with a few hours to kill before my last appointment at an office inside the Empire State Building.

I decided to wander off near 47th and Broadway, the heart of the tourist Mecca it seemed, as people streamed by everywhere as I stood across from the W hotel and sipped a Starbucks coffee. People were clustered together and moved in waves.

Broadway play tickets were being hocked, souvenirs burst from every possible crevice and the collective mass all seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere, even if their final destination was Nowhere Special.

But I took it all in, and walked aimlessly until I found a good place to sit in Greeley Square with the sun on my face.

Eventually, it was time to head to my final appointment, and it wasn't disappointing as I arrived at the office and found Mr. T was already there as he was meeting with the editor and publisher about a potential shoot as well. And as we laughed and talked about things, a pair of 18-year-old kids walked in and said that our agent had sent them down since he knew we were already here.

We soon found ourselves seated inside a conference room with the editor, a solid and decent guy who quickly disappeared to find the publisher, an older Asian man who entered the room as the ultimate arbitrator concerning our bodies (even though it was apparent that he had never lifted a weight in his entire life).

We each stood one-by-one and went to the corner of the room where we took off our shirts and dropped our pants around our ankles. Mr. T went first, and I could see the teenagers eyes go a little wide from the strangeness of the situation.

It's not everyday that you find yourself with your pants around your ankles and having your mandhood critiqued by an older man with bad eyesight and broken English - at least high school wasn't like that for me.

After the kids went, the older Asian man turned to me and said "You teenager too?"

Mr. T laughed as he knew my actual age, and I replied with a smile, "I am if you want me to be."

But that kind of humor fell on deaf ears, but despite that fact, I got some of the best scores, especially for the abs, legs and back, but I got dinged for not having big enough shoulders and for standing too rigidly.

The final verdict was the same as the rest as a re-location was needed, although this one did have a glimmer of hope as they do work with a photographer in Dallas and we talked about doing a shoot down there at some point in the future.

We'll see, but I'm not holding my breath.

Mr. T and I headed back to the agency following our inspection, and were informed that we were being sent to an acting class that night. With a few hours to kill, Mr. T decided to hit the gym and I elected to go somewhere I had been eyeing all week - a restaurant called "Burgers and Cupcakes."

Now that name says it all.

It was the best meal I've had all year as I sat alone at a corner booth, and ordered: A venison burger with grilled onions, pepper jack cheese, and turkey bacon, French fries and a chocolate peanut-butter marshmallow cupcake for desert.

The meal was so good that I nearly became physically aroused before leaving with a full stomach, and an uncluttered mind.

This would be helpful for acting class I reasoned. But nothing came to my aid in helping my inner thespian as it was just damn hard work.

I now have an entirely new respect for anyone in the acting field as we were doing exercises for commercials and I couldn't even convince myself that I would swtich toothpaste brands based on my line readings.

But it was my first acting class, and if I was moving to New York, I would take many more because there was money in commercials and people sought it out like bloodhounds.

I wanted to seek out more cupcakes, however, Mr. T and I caught the train back to the Model House as I needed to pack my things because it was nearly time to head back to Austin.


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Grease Me Up & Shoot Me (New York Chronicles Vol. 3) . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, February 27, 2007 17 comments

{Editor's Note: This is the third in a 5-part series chronicling my time spent in New York living the life of a model and waging a battle against food, geography and a plethora of people who all had opinions on how I should/did look. The names have been changed for obvious reasons.}

I had a feeling that Tuesday would be an interesting day when I woke up and realized that I would be venturing into New York City by myself.

My sense of geography is not highly adept. This deficiency has caused some severe irritations over the years, but on the flip side of that coin, I do not subscribe to the male mantra of not asking for directions and will stop nearly any mammal walking on two legs to inquire if I'm headed in the right direction.

Luckily, my trip into the city was uneventful, which is just the way I wanted it to be as I was nervous about meeting photographers and doing my shoot that had been scheduled for 3 p.m.

This was also the day that I learned a lot about the business of modeling, a bitter discovery puncuated by the fact that it was extremely difficult to earn a full-time living from the industry as there is little money on the fitness side of things.

A national magazine cover would only net you between $500 - $1,000, and an inside spread would generate roughly $250 - $500.

This was disillusioning as those kinds of numbers would barely cover my supplement and food bills thus leaving very little extra cash for essentials like electricity, charitable donations and pornography.

You could make decent money in commercial print (i.e. ads for Wal-mart or Target or Dillard's or something) and runway models could do even better (but I am unfortunately about an inch too short for that gig). That left commercials as the real way to earn a chunk of change, and I found out that I would be attending an acting class, paid for by the agency, on Wednesday to learn some tricks for that particular trade.

All this newly discovered knowledge was pinballing around my brain as I sat in a restaurant around 28th and 7th, a place Mr. T showed me where the grilled chicken and rice plate was edible and fairly cheap.

But I was feeling better about my photo shoot after Mr. T informed me that he had already done a session with my photographer, and that he did good work and even more importantly, that he refrained from acting like a predator or something out of an Austin Powers movie.

Mr. T told me a story about one shooter who had actually told him with a gravelly voice to "act like an animal. You're fierce. Fierce."

I thought Mike Myers was making that up, but I guess his portrayal was deadly accurate.

My main concern was simply finding the studio as it was in Hoboken, N.J. and I was sitting in a café in Chelsea, N.Y. Details. Stay calm and eat your rice and drink your coffee (for its diuretic effect) and everything will be fine I told myself.

And it was as I took a PATH train into Jersey and then a cab took me to the studio doors, which was housed in a four-story building, a structure that was industrial-looking and hot as hell as the heat from the vents was working overtime, or it might just have been the water pills I was taking to shed H20.

The photographer showed up a few minutes later, and after poring over some of his previous work, it was time to take off my shirt and pants.

Very quickly, he fell in love with my abs, and commented that "I bet you have guys asking to do this all the time" as he rubbed oil on them before adding "That I could do this all day." This didn't last all day, however, and I told him that in fact I rarely, if ever, had anyone make that request until today.

There were disappointments, however, as he did wish that my chest was bigger. I agreed, but my hands were tied (not literally - small favors) and I also couldn't do anything about my tan line as I should have been tanning naked before embarking on the trip, but again, there was nothing that I could change at the moment and besides, I reminded him that he could Photoshop that offending line out anyway.

We started out shooting in a pair of tight, white boxer-briefs before moving onto jeans and then ultimately jeans and an open neck sweater.

I can't say that it was a particularly comfortable session. But I've never done a shoot that was easy because while it might not be mentally challenging to smile or look mysterious or something, it is damn hard to do so while trying to make every muscle stay as hard and flexed as possible.

One interesting modeling trick I learned that day had to do with stuffing your crotch for underwear shots.

Have you ever noticed that all those box covers for underwear feature dudes with packages big enough to require extra money for UPS to even consider delivering? Well I have, and always felt it was bullshit.

And I was right as the photographer confided that the best way to make your penis appear larger and more robust was Wonder Bread.

That's right - good old fashioned Wonder Bread does the trick. You cut the crusts off like you're about to make a PB & J sandwich and then wrap 2 - 3 pieces around your johnson and voila, you're ready to shoot (the photo, let's keep our minds out of the gutter people).

I felt that little tidbit of knowledge was worth the trip right there, and I had to laugh. I also felt that Wonder Bread is missing out on a lucrative market niche and should craft an advertising campaign with a slogan like:

"When it's time to wrap your cock - don't even Wonder about it"

Now that would sell some bread, eh?

After the shoot was over, I headed back to the model house to prepare for meeting with loads of men's magazines on Wednesday. I had several editors/publishers lined up to meet and critique me, and I needed to eat as I was starving and flattening out faster than Calista Flockhart after a 7-day fast.

I arrived at the house, and found 2 little puppies running around the kitchen.

"Great timing," Mr. X said. "Take off your shirt join the other guys in the living room."

It's a testament to the strange nature of the trip that this seemed like a reasonable request. I found Mr. T and Mr. A in the room, and then Mr. X brought the two dogs in and had us sit on the couch for torso shots with the puppies for reasons that were never properly explained to me.

But it seemed like a fitting way to end the day & that's me in the middle looking like a carb-depleted sphinx with the dogs perched on my arms.

I laughed myself to sleep that night.


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President of Hip-Hop (New York Chronicles Vol. 2) . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, February 26, 2007 12 comments

{Editor's Note: This is the second in a 5-part series chronicling my time spent in New York living the life of a model and waging a battle against food, geography and a plethora of people who all had opinions on how I should/did look. The names have been changed for obvious reasons.}

The morning was overcast and cold when I awoke on Monday in a strange house somewhere in New Jersey.

It was President's Day, and I was unsure about my itinerary. I could detect little movement in the house, which didn't help my uncertainty.

I moved stealthily downstairs and had a protein shake, oatmeal bars I brought with me from Austin and coffee as I waited for someone else to stir. The wait would last until almost noon when I got a call from the agent telling me to come into New York City with the other Texan in the house.

Due to the holiday, things were fairly slow at the agency (who gets off for President's Day anymore), so there was no rush.

Mr. T and I rode the train from New Jersey to Penn Station in New York and then jumped the subway and took it to the heart of the Chelsea district, an area that easily boasts the fewest heterosexual males in the United States.

The modeling agency was located there, which made no difference to me because if you have a problem being around gay men then you better give up any hope of modeling and also try to expand your horizons a bit anyway.

Once in the office, I filled out a form with all my measurements and stats, something for the agency to provide prospective employers and I had to laugh a little when one field asked for my best features.

I wrote: "abs, eyes, chest, face and butt - but I hate to play favorites so don't forget about my back, shoulders, quads and ankles."

At least I thought it was amusing.

We spent several hours hanging around the agency and setting up calls for the week, finding out about castings and learning schedules.

Then the agent told me to take off my shirt and stand against the wall. He snapped a few pictures with his digital camera, told me that my abs looked great and that he was glad because if they weren't up to par then he would have shipped me home on the next plane bound for Texas (I don't think he was kidding).

He still wanted my chest to be bigger, however, there was nothing to be done at this stage of the game.

The pictures were then emailed to prospective photographers for a shoot that was scheduled to happen sometime on Tuesday. This appeared to be a lottery for the photographers, something akin to throwing meat to a band of tigers as emails popped back to the agent saying "Yes, I'll shoot him and send more pictures if you have them."

It was good to feel wanted. Ha.

Once that was set up, it was decided that Mr. T and I would be attending a basic Hip-Hop dance class that evening, an event paid for by the agent in hopes of expanding our marketability and taught by the choreographer for some of P. Diddy's shows on MTV.

No pressure.

But this impending debacle was still hours away, and so Mr. T and I decided to walk the city and find something to eat before hitting the gym.

It was semi-hilarious to find myself on par with someone else who was as precise and crazy about food as I had been as we talked for a good hour about carb-loading/depleting, shedding water, eating broccoli pre-workout, black coffee, protein shakes, and distilled water while scouring the city for something clean to eat.

We finally settled on Boston Market, and ordered the same thing: turkey plate and hold the gravy, steamed vegetables and sweet potatoes, but please scrape all the marshmellows off the potatoes ma'm, sure do appreciate it.


Pressed for time, we opted to lift weights at a gym in Chelsea, which easily set a personal record for the number of times I was leered at while working out. These weren't fleeting, sideways glances, these were eyes firmly open and taking in every detail, striation and facial expression that might also include a head nod towards the locker room.

We both agreed that the experience gave you more empathy for women, who put up with this kind of thing much more frequently (Although not from me. No sir).

But if the gym itself was challenging in this regard, our decision to take a shower afterwards was worse. The locker room was steamy, sweaty and cramped.

It was also crammed full of guys, most of them naked and the rest close enough to smell their cologne. It was not a relaxing environment, and although I didn't time myself, it was probably the fastest shower of my adult life.

After grabbing two protein shakes for the road, we made our way towards the dance class which was on the 4th floor of an older downtown building.

I was terrified that the instructor would be a crazed dance nazi, an gyrating animal like something out of "Bring It On."

But I was wrong, and she proved to be extremely nice as Mr. T and I frequently embarrassed ourselves among our dancing brethern.

This was a full-on routine we were learning. Something that involved hand movements, quick feet, rhythm and many other things that I didn't have in my bag of tricks.

I didn't trip or stumble, and I even found myself keeping up with at least half the routine, which the instructor assured us could be used at clubs too. And I survived the 90 minute session feeling much better about myself.

I reasoned that if I could tap enough previously undiscovered skills to pull through a Hip-Hop class, then the photo shoot slated for the next day should be easy.

At least that was my mantra as we rode the train back towards the Model House.


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The Flavor Cometh (New York Chronicles Vol. 1) . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Sunday, February 25, 2007 12 comments

{Editor's Note: This is the first in a 5-part series chronicling my time spent in New York living the life of a model and waging a battle against food, geography and a plethora of people who all had opinions on how I should/did look. The names have been changed for obvious reasons.}

I remember thinking that maybe this whole modeling endeavor was a mistake as my plane was circling Newark airport for half an hour Sunday night, a holding pattern necessitated by high winds and a back-log of jets looking for a safe landing.

What was the point? And what had I gotten myself into? That line from "Top Gun" also kept ringing in my brain as I internally debated whether "my ego was writing checks my body couldn't cash."

Surely not, but then again, stranger things have happened.

We eventually made our landing, and in a burst of good luck, so did my luggage and so I soon found myself standing outside with the temperature in the teens, waiting for a man I'd never met to pick me up.

It sounded like something that might be featured on "To Catch A Predator." But Chris Hansen never appeared and soon enough, I was sitting in a car traveling towards the "Model House," which strangely enough, was in New Jersey.

The driver, Mr. X, was also co-owner of the modeling agency and had enjoyed a long career as a set decorator for shows including "Saturday Night Live," "Oz," "Sex and the City" and many others.

He was nice and informative and quickly gave me a lay of the land, a helpful guidebook concerning the Model House we were driving towards.

The house was constantly changing occupants, but the majority were staying for the long-term, because if you had potential and there was a vacancy, then you could live there rent-free for at least a year while you were getting your footing in the industry.

The lay-out of the house was a follows:

First Floor - This is where the agent and his wife slept and also boasted a dining room, 2 game rooms, a sitting room, a bathroom, 1 refridge for the models and 1 for the rest of the house.

Second Floor - Model Floor - There were 6 bedrooms upstairs and 2 bathrooms. 4 of the bedrooms were used by models staying at the house, who had decided to move out for the duration and sometimes more than 1 shared a room as there were bunkbeds in some rooms straight out of "Zoolander."

My room was the "Flavor Room." This is what I was called for most of my time there as they call it a "Flavor Week" as a new person would constantly rotate into the room (which had 2 beds as sometimes people overlapped) and I only occasionally wondered what I would taste like if I had to choose my own personal flavor?

I settled on a complex mixture of cinnamon, butter-cream icing and black pepper - an unsettling trifecta that enticed you with sweetness, but underneath yielded something entirely different. But that could never be proven one way or another.

The occupant for the remaining bedroom was none other than Mr. X himself, a fact he told me after I asked him if "he lived close to the agent?"

"I live in the house too," he replied.

"That's pretty damn close then," I said and laughed.

When we pulled into the driveway and entered, I immediatlely felt unprepared. I quickly met three of the models, who were lounging around shirtless (despite the frigid weather) watching "The Shawshank Redemption" on TV and sporting either skull-caps or tobogans or some kind of stocking headgear for which the actual names escaped me.

I felt shame.

I was wearing two shirts, a jacket and had brought nothing to put on my head. What kind of baboon had packed my suitcase?

This was not a good beginning I thought as I unpacked quietly in the flavor room. I was beaten down from traveling, but not wanting to appear anti-social, I went back down to watch the movie which is damn good if you've never seen it.

Of the 3 models, there was one model from Texas who was actually a really cool, laid-back guy. He was in his mid-20s and had recently moved into the house full-time after driving his truck cross-country from Dallas.

He was mellow with a sense of humor about the whole thing, which I immediately appreciated - especially because the other house inhabitants were the kinds of people I anticipated meeting.

One was in his early-20s and I never caught where he hailed from, but I really didn't care as he was basically a vapid, moronic sloth who couldn't pass a mirror without checking himself out roughly 27 times before moving back onto the couch or deciding to field another cell phone call.

The other model was a giant Asian, who seemed reasonable enough, just reticient and very much into his own trip.

It was a very odd situation, and the agent wasn't due for several hours as he was arriving from a speaking engagement at a modeling convention in Dallas.

So, I eased my way around the house and was having a protein shake before bed when I met the last model who had taken up permanent residence. This guy was akin to the other guy in his early 20s, and was from Miami, where he had been working at Red Lobster and likely beguiling patrons with his shit-eating grin that he flashed constantly and definitely felt that everyone deserved to notice.

We made small talk as he chopped grilled chicken onto a spinach salad. He told me all about what he was doing, what he wanted to do and his future plans and then he got around to asking me my age, which he guessed to be around 25 or 26.

When I told him that I just turned 30 last month, his eyes recoiled a bit and with a small amount of wonder asked, "DUDE, what took you so long to get out here and do this?"

"I don't know MAN," I replied with a grin. "Life got in the way."


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Shot Down In A Blaze Of Glory . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Saturday, February 24, 2007 9 comments

It will probably be several weeks before I get the disc with pictures from my photo shoot on it, but I did get one shot emailed to me this morning.

There's still some lighting to mess with, and I can already fill my body slipping as I've added pizza, wine & milk to my diet since returning, additions which will change the shape quickly and I can't say that I care too much at the moment.

I feel like having a life once again.

It's simple, but true. For this weekend, that will consist of watching "The Departed" on DVD, going to a Tuscan restaraunt for a late birthday celebration and then watching the Oscars tomorrow night.

I'm pulling for Scorcese, for some breadsticks at dinner tonight and for my memory to pull all the details from my trip into something coherant for Monday.

We'll see how it all turns out, but the weather is sunny and 70 in Austin, and I need to get outside. Life awaits and I'd like to join the crowd.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, February 23, 2007 14 comments

"It's so damn hot. Milk was a bad idea," - Will Ferrell, "Anchorman"

I made it back from New York City in one piece, my psyche firmly intact and a palpable sense of relief on my mind.

And I appreciate all the good wishes that came in during my hiatus as I just caught up on them today, which was a much nicer thing to return to than just a suitcase full of dirty clothes.

This weekend, I will be working up a detailed trip synopsis for a multi-post series starting Monday, as much for a mental scrapbook as anything, but I hope it's enjoyable to read as well.

Since I was running amok in the city all week and devoid of a computer and never saw a newspaper, I'm not really sure what went on in the world, but I'll give it a shot as I've got a better chance of remembering than Britney Spears who apparently shaved her head bald in-between short-lived rehab stints (up to lucky number 3 the last time I checked).

Spears is obviously a mess at the moment, but I am most concerned about her children because things have gone horribly awry when Kevin Federline becomes the one parent who has his shit together in a relationship. Those poor, poor kids.

It appears that Anna Nicole Smith will be buried in the Bahamas. One of the lawyers involved in the dispute says all sides have come to that understanding, with the exact details still to be worked out.

I am already tired of all these legal proceedings regarding Smith, a torrent which will likely drag on for years with the amount of money involved coupled with the greed-crazed dildos running the show, but it still seems wrong for her to be buried in the Bahamas.

I'm not sure where her resting place should be, however, somewhere far away from the island she fled to for a variety of reasons and ultimately lost her son on seems a poor choice.

In a story about Heather Mills that doesn't involve her impending divorce from Sir Paul McCartney, the former Beatle's estranged wife has reportedly signed on to compete in the fourth season of ABC's Dancing With the Stars.

There are so many awful, tasteless jokes about 'breaking a leg' or others a similar nature that I'm just going to leave them alone and simply wonder why she's wasting her time because she's about to rake McCartney for a boatload of money and doing reality TV is just a peculiar move.

In a bit of news about good-looking bastards who have it all, New England quarterback Tom Brady's ex-girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan, is three months pregnant and says he is the father.

Brady is currently galavanting around Europe with his new paramour, Gisele Bundchen, and has been fairly quiet on the pregnancy.

If he's not winning Super Bowls, Brady apparently dates and impregnates really good-looking women before moving onto super-models. It goes without saying that I hate/envy him.

In a related story, it was rumored this week that notorious playboy George Clooney and Reese Witherspoon were seen dining together.

In Touch recently floated the possibility that the admittedly commitment-phobic Sexiest Man Alive "may be interested in getting together" with the newly single actress.

I guees Clooney will be finding out if Reese is legally blonde or not. Ouch.

Sorry that the news was light this week as I feel vaguely out of touch with the world - or at least the real world - as I was living in a narcissistic bubble that finally burst and sprayed all over the East Coast.

How's that for an image? But let's end with a better one:

So, think about doing something crazy with your hair, always keep your knees bent while stretching and . . . and Happy Friday!

It's good to be home.


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The Road Goes On Forever (Gone To NYC) . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Sunday, February 18, 2007 24 comments

"The road goes on forever
and the party never ends," - Robert Earl Keen

The deed is done, the fat is in the fire and I'm leaving for the Austin airport to catch a plane bound for New York City.

I still don't believe the day has arrived as this brutal odyssey began so long ago that the details seem fuzzy around the edges. Maybe a brief timeline will help:

Spring 2005 - While working as a personal trainer in Plano, I stumble into a some fitness modeling gigs that landed me in fitness brochures, catalogues and on a few box covers for a chest expander and exercise ball. It seemed like easy money at the time.

Summer 2005 - Catch the attention of a photographer shooting a coffee-table book for fitness models, who shoots me outside at a park in Dallas for what I imagine to be a volume of material that will circulate in gay bathhouses around the world. To my knowledge, the book has never been published.

Late Summer 2005 - But the photographer sends my pictures to a New York modeling agent, who takes an interest and we meet in Dallas at a modeling convention where people are paying $700 a piece to hear him speak (among others). He said I needed to improve my chest/abs, but that I had a "commercial look" that could possibly sell in New York.

Summer 2006 - Meet agent again in Dallas for another convention, and am told that I'm "very close" but still need to bring up a few areas and improve overall hardness and detail.

Until that point, this pursuit had been a mere hobby, something that was good motivation to work out and eat right, yet it soon morphed into an entirely different animal when I decided to make it an actual project. I'm still not certain what spurred me onward as I could have easily side-stepped the whole endeavor and simply moved onto other prospects as I wasn't lacking in them.

But I didn't.

I wanted to prove to myself that I had the discipline for the undertaking. I also wanted to be in the best shape of my life when I turned 30. It was a combination of those two principles that drove me from June 2006 to February 2007.

That is a long time to be consumed by anything, much less something that is not a life-long passion as I never dreamed of modeling like Gisele as a kid. Maybe chasing Gisele down the runway, but not doing the actual gig itself.

Actually, it was probably Elle McPherson I lusted after during my formative years, but that's neither here nor there.

For the past 8 1/2 months, this project has slowly consumed me. It's been largely a solitary pursuit as the rigid diet and workout schedule made social interactions questionable and everything was based on the clock, due to the fact that I needed to eat every 3 hours.

This has caused a significant life-sized disruption. I have neglected my friends, family, wife, my writing and virtually anyone outside of the front desk girls at the gym and my nutritionist. Lately, I guess you could add the staff at Palm Beach Tan into the latter mix, for good or ill.

Obviously this is a poor way to live and simply not sustainable over the long haul, and now that I'm approaching the end I'm not sure how I feel about the trade-offs and compromises along the way.

That being said, I have proved something to myself, which in my estimation, is always the best person to please because if you're looking for validation from other people for your own sense of self-worth, then you're probably going to be very disatisfied with life (and yes, I can appreciate the irony of that last statement given the fact that modeling is entirely based on the opinion of others).

But screw pondering this saga too deeply. Hell, nobody should feel sorry for someone who voluntarily places themselves in harm's way - especially when the end goal is not solving world hunger or curing cancer, but merely for a long shot at easy money that has proven to be anything but easy.

I'm still not sure what I'm even going to be doing in New York except "living the life of a model" for a 4 days, but the agent said for me not worry because "he's got this down to a science."

I suppose I'll know soon enough, but I envision me running around the city for casting calls, meeting photographers, being told that I need to get my chest bigger and trying to keep the smirk off my face the entire time. We'll see.

Regardless, it's been a long and winding road that is reaching its zenith, a logical end where the result doesn't matter as much to me as the journey it took to get here.

Here is the transformation in pictures, and until I return on Feb. 23rd, $2 Dollar Productions will be on temporary hiatus.

Everyone have a good week because with any luck at all, I will have some stories to share upon my return.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, February 16, 2007 17 comments

"I like my sex like I like my basketball - one on one and with as little dribbling as possible," - Lt. Frank Drebin, "Naked Gun 33 1/3" {This might be Naked Gun 2 1/2 as I think about it this morning}

It's been cold as hell in Austin, which is still mild compared to the Midwest and Northeast, but despite the frigid weather, things are heating up with claims on Anna Nicole Smith's baby.

By my count, at least 4 people have stepped up to claim responsibility for the toddler including a bodyguard, a bleached blonde, Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband and Howard K. Stern. That's a motley crue of folks, and it sounds like a walking punchline.

It seems the only people who haven't yet filed for ownership include former wrestling great, The Iron Shiek and Judd Nelson. But they are currently meeting with lawyers.

Tom Cruise and Ben Stiller are set to star in an action comedy version of The Hardy Boys, the long-running book series about the teen sleuths.

The version will concern the Hardy men, and quite honestly, this is probably a good choice for Cruise after his personal life implosion over the past few years because showing a sense of humor might help people forget that you and your band of Merry Scientologists are secretly plotting to rule the world.

Isaac Cohen, the month-long ex-boyfriend of Britney Spears, gave an interview this week where he claimed the pop starlet is still struggling to get over the collapse of her marriage and deals with her insecurities and inner demons by engaging in sex marathons.

Finally, I feel I have something in common with Britney as I find that lengthy sexual romps are the only way to reasonably deal with overwhelming tasks like work, money or deciding what clothes to wear every day. No decision is too small for this to work.

Beyonce says she’sa shy girl and posing is tough, but she is currently gracing the cover of the 2007 Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition cover.

I don't see how posing could be that tough when you know they're going to airbrush any body part that is lagging and even those that aren't; a knowledge which would take some of the concern away for me.

In a radical departure from my perception of this man as a good actor, but a cold fish, Ralph Fiennes lost a girlfriend after she implied that "The English Patient” is “sex obsessed” just days before reports surfaced that Fiennes had sex with a Qantas flight attendant on a flight from Australia to India.

Interior designer Sirin Lewenden was not surprised when she read in the papers about the escapade as she ended their relationship citing Fiennes’ "wandering eye", "moodiness" and "constant demands for sex".

I can't say I blame Lewenden, but unfortunately, her litany of poor qualities regarding Fiennes could also describe 98% of the men on this planet as a daily regime of moodiness and sexual demands dominate most of our lives for good or ill.

Disgraced pop duo Milli Vanilli will soon get a movie made about their less-than-spectacular career.

Have we really gone from chronicling great musicians - Ray Charles and Johnny Cash - to wasting money on no-talent morons in spandex? I guess so, and it makes me even madder than I can't get my script "Last Train to Amsterdam" read.

Paula Abdul denied rumors that she's a pill-popper or a drunk this week as the "American Idol" judge stated "'I've never been drunk. I have never done recreational drugs.

Without those explanations to fall back on, Abdul later added that "it's not the pills or the booze - I'm just bat-shit crazy."

But let's end things with an image that is far from crazy:

Always tie a corset firmly from behind, stay warm and . . . Happy Friday!


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Romance & Deceit . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, February 15, 2007 20 comments

Since it's the morning after Valentine's Day and love and lust and crushed rose petals and sweat still permeate the air, I started thinking about a concept that goes hand-in-hand with romance - deceit.

Half-truths. Omissions. Lies.

Mainly it was flat-out, bald-faced lies that flooded my brain as I sat drinking coffee this morning, valiantly trying to work up enough motivation to drive to the gym. But before I could venture out to give my delts and abs a beating, I felt like cleansing myself of as many lies as I could recall where women were involved.

Everybody who has been in a relationship or merely hooked up, done a little bump and grind, mugged down in a secluded stairwell or gotten married has also lied at least a few times along the way.

Some lies are worse than others. Of course, some people are also far dumber than others, so sometimes things equal out I suppose.

Anyway, this is by no means a full list, but it's a start of something I'll call Female Falsehoods For Fornication or the BDS 4F Club for short.

1) I am training to be an astronaut (this was before the recent diaper-wearing disturbance - obviously)

2) You definitely deserved to buy yourself those shoes/purse/top and they/it looks great
3) I rarely drink
4) I saw your foreign-exchange roommate having fun outside at the party
5) The scar on my ankle came from a machete in a South American jungle

6) I could convert to Judaism/Catholicism/insert 'ism here
7) Yes I can get you on the field (for UT football games)

8) I think I saw someone in the bushes

9) Your dog isn't watching us

10) I locked the door
11) That's not my pornography
12) My zipper isn't working properly

13) I never went out with that girl
14) My tongue is bruised
15) I'll watch Steel Magnolias with you

I'm not obtuse enough to believe that the lying doesn't get turned back around on guys, so if anyone has a really superlative falsehood that has been used, feel free to throw it out for public consumption.

Consider it research and information gathering because as someone very intelligent once noted, "Now you know - and knowing is half the battle."


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