“Style is the perfection of a point of view.” -Richard Eberhart
I had an interesting experience yesterday that solidified for me the belief that people treat you differently when you look like money. I purchased my first custom design ensemble from LA designers Cosmo and Nathalia (they have a shop located on Melrose Ave and are amazing.) I felt like Kanye West as the stylist referred to me as her client and focused all her attention on me. Working with different styles and fabrics to find out what worked best for me. It was a lot of fun and I will definitely be returning. I left feeling like a superstar with a new ensemble that I couldn’t wait to wear out.
Yesterday I decided I wanted to go shopping in Beverly Hills and debut my new digs. At each store the employees would swarm me under the impression there was a nice commission in their future. I would look around to see if there were other customers and the stores were always full. Why were they focused on selling to me? After talking with some of the salespeople they would inquire about my clothing. “Where did you get your shirt? I love your sweater, can you tell me who designed it?” One salesperson kept bringing me pieces to my fitting room that I didn’t ask for and finally said “I just got excited because you look so fashionable and I wanted to dress you.” That’s when I realized it was my outfit that was getting their attention. Either they thought I had a lot of money, which i don’t yet, or they loved my fashion sense and wanted to be a part of my fashion point of view.
Later that evening I went to dinner at this bistro on Sunset Blvd and sat outside. A Star Tour Bus pulls up and stops in the street. The tour guide informs his passengers that the rapper Common was to their right, directing their attention to me. Cameras flashed and girls screeched in excitement. I just waved and let them go on their way. I have been told I look like Common a few times but never I never stopped a Star Tour Bus. I can’t help but believe that once again my ensemble set them off.
The point of me sharing this experience is this…you ARE how you dress. Just like it is said that who your friends are represents who you are viewed as. Your clothes are your closest friend. At first glance how do you recognize a Doctor ? Probably the white coat. A fireman? The fireman’s uniform. I have friends who can pinpoint a music producer by how expensive his shoes and jewelry are. Just the same, if you put time, money, and effort into your personal wardrobe the nonverbal communication between you and the rest of the world drastically changes. A well tailored suit says this man is serious about his endeavors. A custom designed ensemble says this guy takes pride in his appearance and his business. The right outfit can express that you are a man of means or a man of high taste. Tom Ford says “Dressing well is a form of good manners.” So what does your wardrobe say about you? If you don’t like what it says then change the conversation. Personally I like for my clothes to say, “Strong. Confident. Unique. This man is well on his way to greatness.” But that’s my journey. What’s yours?
“Art can never exists without naked beauty displayed.”-William Blake
Growing up I was pretty vocal about my desire to be in entertainment. I wanted to be an actor and a singer…I wanted to do it all. I would frequently get asked the question, “Would you ever do nudity?” With a self righteous indignation, my answer was always be a resounding “NO!” As a child I thought it was the worst possible thing an actor could do. I had a lot of hang ups human expression back then but as I got older I found myself becoming increasingly comfortable with who I was both internally and externally. I still couldn’t see myself being naked on film.
About 2 weeks ago I was given the opportunity to appear completely naked on an episode of a new HBO series. Without hesitation I accepted the job. Now I would like to say it had nothing to do with the money but, in truth, the money was really good. However, the biggest reason I said yes was because I realized in that moment that I strongly desired to present my naked self for the sake of art. I have gone streaking and skinny dipping back in high school and college but it was usually under the guise of camaraderie or drunken fun. In recent months I have begun to see myself as ART, not perfectly sculpted or flawless but ART nonetheless and I wanted the opportunity to express this perspective.
I spent most of the night before the shoot unable to sleep. Apprehension and excitement riddled my body. I had a very early call time and when I arrived on set I was quickly given a robe and all my clothing removed. I was whisked away to the makeup trailer where 4 other naked bodies were being oiled and airbrushed. My makeup artist was a middle aged Hispanic woman who proceeded to disrobe me like she had done it a million times. Awkward conversation ensued. “You do a lot of nude modeling? Because you should.” As she vigorously rubbed some kind of makeup on my ass and thighs. She moved things around to give my entire body an even skin tone. The whole time I was thinking “what have I gotten myself into.” After the initial discomfort I realized I wasn’t all that uncomfortable. In fact I was invigorated. By shooting time all of my apprehension had dissipated.
I sat in a chair and in front of me were the camera crew, director and AD, and the lighting guys. The Director yells “DISROBE and ACTION!” The camera pans to me as I sat there in all my naked glory. I have never felt that kind of liberation in my life. It took all of me not to laugh because I just felt so free. Before I knew it the first take was done. After that I spent the next 6 hours doing different scenes with different angles and lenses. I was having the time of my life.
Now I am not saying we should run around butt naked in the streets. I do, however, believe our bodies should be celebrated and our nakedness expressed as the art it is. After all we are the Creator’s workmanship. At the end of the day, this life is about loving yourself and being comfortable enough to express yourself, flaws and all. I look forward to the next time I get to be naked on film.
“To see you naked is to recall the Earth.” -Frederico Garcia Lorca
WOW! It has been waaaaay to long since I wrote something here. I feel like I should get back into this blog because I feel so grateful for everything in my life I could burst. This post will be short but I just wanted to share that I have become eligible for the SAG-AFTRA union.
My fellow actors know how huge this is!!! I am so excited about this monumental step in my career as an actor. What this means is I have the opportunity to now compete for larger roles in television and film. This could potentially put me directly in the forefront of your favorite show instead of always scoping for me in the background. LOL
Now if I could just find the $3000 to join. Let me know if you want to give to the “Let’s get Michael into the Union fund” but seriously.
Since January I have made the decision to focus on my acting career and things have been taking off amazingly. Now I am ready to compete in the global industry of my peers. I am blessed with incredible opportunities. I will share more later but I have an audition to get to! Much love.
I’ve been thinking about passion alot recently. Not just my passions but fundamentally what passion means. I’ve come to the conclusion that passion is more than just a strong (and often flighty) emotion about someone or something. I believe that passion is a measurement…passion measures the distance you are willing to go for the sake of a person, or idea, or occupation,…etc. Alot of people say they have passions but I find it hard to comprehend that when their lives are defined by sitting around doing absolutely nothing. Passion evokes vibrancy and movement and direction. Passion may not fuel life but it gives purpose to life. I get unbelievably frustrated at the realization that we as people have become so passion-less. It’s like we have been lulled to sleep by shiny things, empty ideas, and our contentment to sit around with other passionless people complaining about how boring and mundane our lives are. I get angry at myself for trying to stifle passion in my life out of fear of failure or the disapproval of others. I never want to live a life where everyday i am just going through the motions, doing what must be done until I can go to sleep and wake up and do it all over again…I want my life to be marked by risk and potency and risky love and vibrant relationships! But more than that I want the art of my life to be passion.
Christ is my passion, but He is more than that…He is the fuel of my life, the driving force behind my passions. Fundamentally His kingdom, His glory is my passion…Every major action I take in my life is for the sake of His glory. Everything flows from that. Music is my passion because I am created from it. I am born for it. It is chorus of my thoughts and the birthplace of my dreams. I will go to great lengths and risk things to make music…good music. My hope is that soon enough you will hear music from me that captures the risk and the uniqueness and commitment that I desire to define me.
With that being said, the studio has been sending me some great tracks and I’ve been doing alot of writing. I am excited about the direction the music is taking because it is beginning have the sound i hear in my head. I just have to keep listening and pressing in. Anyway, this blog has been long enough but I wanted to share a little of my heart with you. I hope you enjoy my music but more than that I hope you get to live a life with passion! Love you!