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

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, February 27, 2007

{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.



  1. nobich Says:
  2. HOBOKEN??? oooooow I'm dying!!!!!

  3. m Says:
  4. I should not read this at work because I laughed out loud when I read, "Take off your shirt join the other guys in the living room."

    It's like a trip to bizarro world.

  5. Miss Ash Says:
  6. Oh man, where do i begin haha.

    Firstly, i love this line "My sense of geography is not highly adept. This deficiency has caused some severe irritations over the years" as i too am geographically disadvantaged shall i say.

    Secondly, i must see this photo "We started out shooting in a pair of tight, white boxer-briefs"

    And Lastly, i shall never look at a piece of Wonderbread the same way again :)

  7. Nobich - Then you must be near Hoboken and I'm sure you know the train that I speak of. I was killing time drinking coffee at Chock full o' Nuts before the shoot by the station.

    M - You should read it there, a little humor in the workplace is ALWAYS a good thing. And you're right as the whole thing is more than a tad bizarre and it's even stranger that statements like that seem reasonable after awhile.

    Miss Ash - A fellow geographically-impaired specimen, eh? Good, I need more of them around to make me feel better. Ha. And when I get the disc with the pics next week (with any luck) there will be a plethora of images up on the site.

  8. Melissa Says:
  9. From Chelsea to Hoboken... now there's a culture shock. Why didn't your agent tell you about the numbers before you went through all this?

    And your abs are the best of three, well done. Now go eat some fried chicken, it makes the disillusionment easier to handle.

  10. Wendy Says:
  11. Dude. I laughed my ass off at the Secret of Wonderbread. Thank you so much. GREAT visual.

    And I agree with Melissa--you look the best in the puppy photo.

    As for New Jersey, the Garden State, parts of it are indeed gorgeous, although Hoboken probably isn't, except for the models trying to escape the clutches of a perverted photographer, running after them with a bottle of baby oil and loaf of Wonderbread.


  12. JLee Says:
  13. Wonder Bread?? haha You might get a yeast infection. har har

    You really need to tone down the homoerotic undertones in your story, man. ;)

    Mr. T & A. Perfect. After seeing this photo, they're probably purging since your abs put them to shame.

  14. JLee Says:
  15. ps
    were there puppies in the photo?

  16. The Wonder Bread and puppy spread made me laugh so hard. Do you think the puppies enjoyed their camera time?

  17. Melissa - I knew there wasn't much money in the fitness side going into this, but it's more a foot in the door before seguing to commercial work (either photos or even better tv). And some chicken fried steak at Threadgill's is on my agenda as soon as I get the time.

    Wendy - I'm glad because I was laughing pretty hard too. I knew, KNEW, there was some trick to that industry and now I know. And you do too. Ha.

    Jlee - One guy was dieting after being away for a few weeks, and I thought the lettering was funny. Ha. It's the details & there were puppies & I'm glad they didn't pee on me.

  18. Sarcastic - Just passed you in Cyberspace, and the Wonder Bread might have been the best part of the trip. And yes, the puppies seemed to dig the attention. Ha.

  19. Too many lunatics nowadays, watch out! LOL!

  20. the women in my department at work, were huddled around my computer clocking your pic. If you start getting a ton of hits from toronto dont be suprised.

  21. Linda Says:
  22. This post is hilarious! From the Wonderbread to Hoboken to the puppies. What a ride!

  23. Wit & Humor - Lunatics are running around everywhere & mutliplying daily. You have to laugh and beware at the same exact time.

    Idig - Thanks as I NEED more exposure in Toronto in every way possible. Ha. Keep them coming back & I'll see what I can do about Austin.

    Linda - Thanks as I am trying to capture the wonder and strangeness of the trip. It was a hell of a ride.

  24. slopmaster Says:
  25. The guy on the right is fat, and the guy on the left is hairy. You got them beat.

  26. Thanks as the guy on the right was dieting, and I've seen pics where he's in better shape. He beat me in the chest category, but what can you do?


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