Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Contact Lens Job - Amazing how its shot

Hi all,

Yesterday I had a job for a contact lens company that to be honest I didnt really know too much about what the job entailed. I arrived a nice late call time of half 10 to see a studio that was filled with people and everything was in the process of being set up. It was a commercial, or so I thought. What I then found out a bit later was that I was shooting a "how to use contact lenses" video for the companies website. Very random, but at the same time I must admit I thought very very easy! mistake!

So the day started sitting chatting to the girl model there, an Anerican girl called Mel, married to an English Director, who had some amazing stories to tell. Thats whats great about jobs sometimes when you get to meet such a range of people with some incredile stories. Mel was great and we got on great, which always makes a job a lot easier. Make up artist had some great stories too about jobs when she was younger and abroad, about all the inner crew relationships! ha ha was so funny hearing all the stories. Next thing I know its about 1pm and lunch time! Yep all morning spent chatting and not doing anything at all. Easy job or what!?

After lunch and more chatting and relaxing this time with more of the crew then its time for me to get ready. Im the wake up guy, so bed head and m & s pj's! ha top of the range modeling you see. Then into the studio and under the hottest lights ever and time to shoot, which I thought would be nice and quick and easy. I was quite heavily mistaken! If any of you have worn contact lenses or use contacts, you know at times they can be very fiddly. This became one of the many problems on the shoot. The client was very specific about each bit being shot precisley, for example, washing your hands, drying your hands, the taking out of contact lenses, the placemen t of the lens...etc etc.

So after all this and maybe doing a few different little snippets of the film and Mel had done a few too, I looked at the time! 7pm!!!!!!! and at this point there was still loads to film. The crew, who had been so calm and relaxed all day starting to feel tired and you can tell the frustration on everyones face starting to build. That can often make you feel like its all aimed at you for not doing the shot right, when its not me at all, its simply the placement of my hands or a motion that the client is specific about, but cannot explain properly. Becomes very difficult.

Well we got through it in the end, was finished at 10pm, which was a long day for me, but the crew had been at the studio for 6am! So I made sure I didnt moan or complain about being tired cause I had done nothing compared to them. They had set up the scene, a sink and mirror with running water in it in the middle of a white studio, simple but amazing to be able to do that.

Then it was home time. Long long day, but a good job with nice people and hopefully they could use me in the future, fingers crossed of course!

James

Smartlive Casino - Live TV Presenting


Hi all,

Have not spoke about this yet and thought I would do so to update you about what else I do for work and the need for another source of regular income whilst you are modeling. Since I started modeling in May 2007, I have been constantly looking for another source of income and work that I can carry out alongside modeling. Modeling is such an up and down business and the work is extremely irregular, you just never know when the next pay checks coming in. Stability in my life is needed at times. I've done all sorts of work, Roofing, Plastering, Rendering, Football coaching and I'm sure a few more since then. But none of these jobs were amazingly enjoyable and all were very difficult to do alongside modeling where I would never know what I was doing from one day to the next.

Then the opportunity came from Naomi to go in for a screen test for Smartlive Casino. My response was simple, "Naomi, if I'm sh*t then just tell me and I will forget about it", but had nothing to lose going in and giving it a go. Now, those of you who may know me, will know that I quite like a flutter on horses, football and a trip to the casino. So my knowledge on casino games is pretty good, plus been to Vegas before so had plenty to chat about!

Well the screen test was great, surprisngly felt extremely comfortable knowing exactly what I was talking about. And the hours and shifts are very flexible so absolutely perfect for me. Been there for 6 months now, but let me tell you what the work consists of.

So the roulette channel is 869 and have to present for usually an hour, spin a roulette wheel every minute, chat rubbish then spin again. It can honestly become extremely repetitive doing this, sometimes chatting the same things over and over again and does make it boring. But this is just experience for me and confidence building presenting on live tv. Definitely got the buzz to do more and more presenting must admit, just need to get my ass in gear and start progressing.

Other stuff at Smartlive after an hour on roulette is an hour sat on the live blackjack table dealing the cards. This is streamed through the wbsite and I have to admit is so so so boring! ha ha. Thats the truth of it, its just very dull and quiet over there, but again its a job so can't complain too much. 6 hours on air per shift with 2 one hour breaks.

The other presenters are all really nice and I get along with everyone great so cant complain.

Right the gym is eyeing me up and telling me to get my ass in there now so I must shoot!

James

Monday, 29 March 2010

My weekend at home - Love my Family


Hi everyone,

I feel I should tell people what I do in my spare time and what the rest of my life entails and all. So back very late from Milan Friday night and Saturday I was playing football for the 2nd week running after 8 weeks out after damaging my knee ligaments. I love my football, always have and been very sporty my whole life and don't want to stop it at all.

Play football for Harold Wood FC and a nice 4 vs 2 win was always a nice thing, though im a bit of a perfectionist sometimes and wasn't happy after as we were 4 nil up at half time and played bad in the 2nd half. Showed my stroppy side that can come out at time and especially on the football pitch ha ha. Those who know me know exactly what im talking about!

So on Sunday was my mums birthday. She got spoilt with special chocs from Milan and a lovely card. Simple but just what my mum wanted. We went out for a meal with my mum dad sister her husband his 2 kids and my niece Kaitlyn whos a little cracker. So sweet its untrue! And I got the added bonus of seeing my lovely godson in the morning at football and spent about an hour kicking a football around with him (hes about 20 months). Hes turned into teh cutest boy ever, so happy, funny and friendly and full of energy. Felt so cool to be able to do something with him and to see my niece too asb since ive moved to london and works picked up I dont get to see them as much as I want.

This post is just to tell people how much my family and friends mean to me and that i feel that is always the most important thing in life. I am sensitive at times and like that kind of thing.

Work calls! Update soon as got a busy week ahead.

James

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Milan - Ingram Campaign (my first campaign!)


Hi all,

Back from Milan after shooting my first campaign job since I started modeling. Its a cool Italian company called Ingram (I had never heard of them to be fair) and it was just 2 shots! 4 models white shirt, black tie, black trousers and black shoes on teh top of some stairs. The building we worked in was absolutely incredible, all Italian art and the walls were just that classic old Italian look. Never seen paintings like it either (all the weird pictures of naked children and mothers that I dont really get) ha.

So this trip actually highlighted some of the amazing parts of modeling and some of the worst too. First of all flights delayed after mad rush from 3 castings to get to the airport in time. Arrived in Milan, after a traumatic landing of the plane (well over exaggeration I know but I dont particularly like flying and absolutely hate landing), hunting round finding a train that I needed to get on. I was very fortunate an Italian lady saw me looking around and helped me find the right train and happened to get on the same train as me. She was lovely, a make up artist who spoke perfect English. When I got to the station she walked me round to where the taxi's were, wouldn't get this in England I tell you!

Arrive at where Im staying and it soon becomes obvious that im staying the night in a model apartment. Luckily I've got my own room in a 3 bed apartment, but its a single bed, warm and not particularly very fancy in the slightest. Straight to sleep sound asleep then at 4am the other lads in the apartment arrive back after clearly a heavy night. Loud, shouting, slamming doors, one being very sick very loudly, one opened my door and then shut it again, you name it. I was absolutely fuming, kept awake for an hour. Had to be up at 8am, so decided to make as much noise as I possibly could in the morning, slamming doors, running water you name it! ha. Mean yes, necessary yes! ha

So arrive at the shoot after a traffic filled taxi journey, find the right building, straight up to where the clients and everyone is working is. No one spoke English! All everyone said was 'ciao'. So a lot of waiting around, hair getting cut and having to clean shave something I only do if its necessary for a shoot and get changed. A german guy model arrives and he was the nicest guy ever. So friendly, spoke perfect english and put me at ease. Then both of us had to stand there changed for 5 minutes while the clients and photographer and make up and hair artists all scrutinised everything about us in Italian of course. Couldnt understand a word of it and was such an ackward situation its untrue. 5 minutes for that is a long time trust me!

Anyway, shoot went well and as the day went on everyone started to relax a lot more and spoke better English too. The shoot was successful and finished early. Which gave me the chance to explore round Milan and it was fantastic. Myself and the German model, Ben walked around the city had a few beers saw some great sights and got to know each other. What a nice guy he was too. 29 year old, married with a child and one on the way, successful! That was the ultimate thing for me highly successful model who has worked all over the world and done some big campaigns. Good luck to you Ben for the new lacoste campaign, sure you will get it and looking forward to seeing it!

Then it was back to the airport and home again, short and sweet and to come back and got a big contact lens job next week to look forward too! So extremely happy.

James

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Modeling - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


Hi people,

So I thought I should continue on to finally catch up with today and get everyone updated on how I got to where I am now etc. Also i want to tell you all about the industry from my eyes too, things that not a lot of people (if any) know what I have been through too.

Life at Models 1 was extremely hard. I was new to the industry and constantly casting with models who have been working for plenty of years, full of confidence and experience. It was extremely daunting, stepping foot in a room where everyone judges you and worst to follow was that I started to judge them too! Then put in front of a client who clearly has no time for people their just not interested in was probably the worse part of all. Barely look at you or your portfolio, constantly talk about how good the guy before was and all the great stuff in his book, whilst they flick at a fast pace through my book. It was tough to take at times and took a long while to realise that it wasn't personal. And when I say a long while, I pretty much mean the first year and a half and even sometimes now still its tough.

Work became scarce thanks a lot to that absolutely f**ker that hit us all, the credit crunch! Advertising was the first to get hit as companies spent less on this area of their business to save money, which meant modeling work went shockingly downhill. I reached a point where I eventually had maybe 1 casting a week (if that at times) and was extremely frustrated with it all. A lot of you reading this will probably think, 'whats he complaining about, a week off work having all that free time, amazing'. Yes at times it was great. But other times it became extremely lonely, I felt vulnerable, had no income coming in and felt completely lost with life. So a change was needed.

Insteps my amazing Booker at Models 1, Donna, who I now consider to be a really good friend of mine. I suggested I should move agencies and heard of a couple, one being MOT models, who deal with smaller clients than models 1, however would mean I hopefully would become busier. This was agreed by Donna to be quite a good move for me and so MOT it was. A smaller agency based outside of London, but an agency that gets a lot of work and I have also worked with quite a few of their models before on past jobs and was known by them (which is always a compliment). First job, like with Models 1, I land a corker! A cheesy corker at that, but a big TV Commercial. It was of course for Nintendo DSI and the launch of their new console. I'm embarrassed to put the link for this one up but here goes ha ha: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y4A_E501iA and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LT6EAJkl5v4&NR=1

There was about 3 or 4 different versions of them all, with some classic lines that my mates kept repeating back to me! ha. But got me a great start with MOT and I have never looked back since. Works busier now than at any point since I started. The agency are great to me and I'm on their front page of the guys site which is great for me.

Website is www.motmodel.com.

Some of the ugly parts to the industry include trekking round London to a casting that when you get there their looking for a guy between 35 years old and 40 years old (happens a lot). Getting to a casting where your waiting around in a sweaty room for over 2 - 3 hours, finally get in and the client has clearly already decided who they want. Rude clients, rude models, you name it! Its all out there. The key is to not let it bother you and to stay calm. This was tough when i was still living at home up to 4 months ago. It would cost me in total over £20 each day I came in, plus a lot of time consuming too. So if a casting wasn't right for me it was like throwing money away all the time.

I'm sure I will have many more modeling stories to tell you all as I go on, but hopes that gives you a little insight into what its actually like.

James

Milan Tomorrow - the adventure continues

Hi to my first couple of followers!!!!

Exciting times and nice to hear some good comments on my blog as well from friends and from people ive never met before as well.

So after a crazy day rushing round today to castings for a tv commercial (that im not sure what it was) and for a contact lens company, I am in work at Smart Live Casino channel 869 on sky. Here til 9pm. In the mean time I am trying to get all my passport details sent through for a job Ive been confirmed for in Milan!

Its for a clothing company (the brand I havent heard of before) but it has been booked through my Italian agency, Bravo Models. Exciting because its the first job I've received through them and hopefully if all goes well will see me heading out there on a more regular basis too. Its always good for guys especially to have agencies across the world as it simply enough increases the chances of more work.

Ive never ever been to Italy before so i am really excited to be out there all be it for a couple of days. But this is what works like, all very last minute, one day getting told your not confirmed for a big job and feeling angry, pissed off and wanting to throw it all in, to the next getting a big job in another country! Its like a yoyo!!! ha.

Will update more later on and continue getting everyone up to date with whats happened to me in the past too.

James

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Modeling - The industry and the real side



Hi,

Modeling. Well I never thought in a million years this would be a career for me. As a young child I used to suck my thumb constantly causing my front teeth to stick out and my whole top jaw to move forward. This lead to being called Goofy a lot (that was a nice nickname) ha. So from that to being signed to one of the top model agencies in Europe, Models 1 was amazing! The agency were amazing with me and soooo friendly its untrue, not what I expected from an industry that is renowned for being snobbish, harsh, full of arrogant egotistical people, but this side of the industry has been somewhat hidden from me and I am very fortunate for that!

So my first job with Models 1, you wouldn't believe it but its been and probably will be the best job Ive ever had in my entire life! Nothing will beat it ever! It was a commercial for Esprit and their EDC brand. It involved a 4 week trip around the world, shooting in London, Munich, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Fiji and ending in Las Vegas! This is the link to the commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jjWuDTbze4

look through it and see if you can see the various places I said we went too! I dont think you can, but what an unbelievable trip! Loved every single bit of it must admit and nothing will top that job to be paid to go to all these different countries was amazing and continued my dream on since shipwrecked.

Other jobs for Models 1 included work for Tesco, TK Max and Remus (mens suits) plus a lot more. Yes their not amazing brands for modelling but their popular companies who paid me well that kept me continuing to work full time as a model which was great.

James

Shipwrecked - the aftermath



Hi anyone who wants to read it,

Spending the day back tracking on some of my past experiences.

After I got back from Shipwrecked, I thought nothing could come close to the amazing experiences I encountered during my time on the islands. But nothing in my life prepared me for what was to come next. My reasons for going on Shipwrecked were simple. A fantastic once in a life time opportunity, an amazing experience, meet some new amazing people and to see a part of the world I would never have the opportunity to see. Not to become famous, or to seek my 30 seconds of fame, which I feel a few people probably had this on their mind. Not me.

However, what happened after, the popularity of the show, led to some amazing opportunities arise on my doorstep. As you can see by the poster thats attached to this blog, we were invited to all sorts of events and paid money to go to nightclubs and party!!! Its like a dream job for anyone who loves a night out. We toured the country going all over the place, to Newquay, Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester etc etc you name it we were there and it was incredible. It was our 30 seconds of fame I guess, having pictures with people, signing autographs was crazy! But the one main thing was to keep my feet on the ground which I certainly did. Did not get too big for my boots at all. I was a normal person like everyone else and always knew it. Was never rude to people, was friendly and certainly didnt say anything bad about anyone else. (certain press cuttings in some magazines tried to stir up trouble amongst some of us, but just wasnt going to happen).

All the appearances (well most) were good fun, I was always absolutely smashed by the end of it and was the one driving the next day somewhere else. So for a few months I spent my time either being absolutely smashed or absolutely hungover! Always helped myself to a Twister ice cream the morning after these gigs! Seemed to have helped ha ha.

One memory of the aftermath which always winds me up the most is all these people that were horrible, rude, sometimes bullied me in school, came out of the wood work and tried to be my friend again! What did they want?? I wasnt famous? I wasnt rich? I just found it pathetic really, but like I said kept my feet on the ground and always made time for all my true friends which I was very fortunate to have.

But it all had to end sometime and it did when the show had finished airing on tv about June 2007. What was I going to do next? Most others went back to full time work of some sort and I didnt want to go back to my old job at all. The opportunity came up to join a model agency (which i thought they were crazy at the time)and I took it!!!

James

Shipwrecked - where it all began



Hey anyone who's reading this,

So, I'm going back in time a little bit here, OK 3 and a half years, but this is where my new life all began.

Over 100,000 people applied to be on Shipwrecked Battle of the Islands 2007, and I was 1 of an extremely fortunate group of about 31 (something like that) that were given the opportunity to participate on this show. After a somewhat short audition process I was some what rushed through and told I had under 2 weeks till I was going to be on the show! You can imagine my ridiculously excited response to all this, leading to me getting on the wrong train home that night from London! Who cared though! Not me!

During the audition process I happened to speak a lot to a girl who also was told shes going on the show! This was unheard of! We weren't suppose to be talking but knowing that she was going to be there a week before me certainly helped put my mind at ease. And as the first contestant I knew, its ironic that she is the main 1 person I still speak to on a regular basis and consider as one of my best friends! (those who know me probably would never have thought this a few years back, a girl best friend, but its very true).

After a days travelling to get me to the Cook Islands, I didn't suffer any jet lag and after a day and night in a hotel (well a little shack) I was this nervous grinning 22 year old BOY with blond highlights in, thinking I was the nuts on this boat heading to 2 random islands that seemed in the middle of no where! That feeling will never leave me as I edged closer and closer to these islands and seeing these people on the beach! The words scared, excited, nervous, happy, you name it was there, complete mixed emotions!!!

First things I notice when I get off the boat, these big tanned lads dressed in war paints and looking rather scary, and on the other side girls in bikinis looking hot, a scouser dressed as a Scotsman in a kilt and a Scotsman dressed as a scouser! My thoughts were "what the hell have I got myself into!"

So was I a Tiger or Shark!

Well a Tiger of course.

A week being looked after, entertained and met people I thought I would live happiest with and also to let my personality out and shine more was why I decided on the Tigers. The island was amazing, the work they had put in to it, the fact we were all building out own little village on this tiny remote desert island was incredible. We built:

Huts (the hugging hut and the Big Bear)
A nightclub (Maracas)
An amplatheatre (McAmplatheatre)
Tree House
Gym
Bar (Rafters - made after a Raft we built)
Baywatch Tower
1 off nightclub on a beach (Chezzers)

Im sure theres many I have forgotten, but it was absolutely amazing. The greatest experience of my entire life, competitive, life changing, developing completely new skills that I never thought I had.

I seriously could be here all day chatting about this part of my life because so much happened during those 3 months I was out there, so much good and some bad of course but thats how we learn the most in life.

if you wanted to hear more or had any questions feel free to post a comment.

James

My First Blog

Hi to anyone who is reading this.

This is my first ever blog and I thought I would get with the times and try to create something for people to follow and also for myself as a memory of what is going on with me and my life. I want to use this to share my views on things in life and share my thoughts with you.

A little background about me. I am currently 25 years old, living in London and for work I model 'full time' (as full time as I can be) and I am working as a presenter currently on Smartlive Casino (sky channel 869). My past includes studying hard to achieve 10 A-C GCSE's, 4 A Levels C and above and a degree from Sheffield Hallam University. These are all my comebacks when someone calls me a dumb model! ha ha.

I left University and worked in the heart of East London as a General Manager of a 5 a side football centre. I have never learnt so much from a job as this and the sights I saw whilst working at this place will live in my meory for the rest of my life. Unfortunately there was not many good memories.

I managed to get out of this job when the opportunity to appear on a reality tv show came up and I was extremely fortunate to be able to be apart of this. It was Shipwrecked. 3 Months in the Cook Islands! Yes please. I will post a blog soon about this experience from my eyes.

Thats more about me and plenty more to come. Feel free to post any comments you wish, good, bad, ugly I really dont mind.

James