Being a male model is a weird thing.
I went for a jog today and ran by a young handsome fella who was participating in a photo shoot for some periodical. This handsome SOB was wearing a suit and tie on the beach, which was already weird, but what pushed it over the point of being tolerable to this middle aged jogger was that he was rolling around in the ocean, in his suit and tie, with a surfboard while a photographer showered him in superlatives and compliments while snapping pictures.
I was about to walk up to him and smack him upside his handsome sculpted millennial noggin to inform him that, as a former surfer, I’m 100 percent confident that nobody in the world surfs with a suit and tie on, but a few steps shy of doing so I stopped myself.
“Wait, Matt, you used to be that idiot. You had better cheekbones, sure, but otherwise, you were that douchebag. Cut him some slack.”
Like a lot of handsome young dummies full of testosterone and red hot American ambition, I came out to Los Angeles hoping to snag a piece of that Hollywood dream. I did all kinds of silly photo shoots for a couple dollars, and even some more embarrassing ones for free. I know they were embarrassing because my loving family reminds me of how embarrassing they were at least once every couple months by digging up an old picture and sending it back to me in a group text for the entire family to laugh over together.
I’d bet this handsome kid had yet to be anywhere near as foolish as I was. I tried to act. I ended up doing six or seven C level horror films starring C-list celebrities like Lorenzo Lamas, Lemmy from Motörhead, and Ron Jeremy. I did a couple weeks on a daytime soap opera, dating shows, reality shows, infomercials, and several national commercials, and those were the highlights.
I did some modeling (using that word liberally). Modeling for a guy in this town is likely to get sketchy, and I learned that the hard way. It means doing things like rolling around in the ocean in a suit and tie and pretending to surf, or worse, it could mean posing naked in the ocean, with a surfboard, like I did in the picture below.
I was sent on a private modeling gig to David Geffen’s house for an event. When I arrived, I learned that I was the event. The other models I was told would be there were not there. David and I hung out and eventually he wanted a happy ending to our hang.
He did not get a happy ending.
I complained to my booker and he basically told me that this is how it goes “in the biz.”
I got a modeling as a greeter for a birthday party for Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I had to stand outside her front door, wearing nothing but a loin cloth, and feed grapes to all the females entering the party. It was humiliating, but if I’m being honest, it was the kind of humiliation that a guy like me can get behind.
The Teenage Witch deal wasn’t my only loin cloth gig. I was hired to play a Greek God statue outside a celebrity charity even in Hollywood. My entire body was covered in gold, again I wore onlya loin cloth, and I had to pretend to be a statue for two hours. It was about 55 degrees and I was way to cold to maintain statue pose, not to mention that I was feeling a bit overexposed and my Grecian “grapes” were attempting to hibernate, leaving me feeling unimpressive to the A-list actresses that were passing by, looking, judging. The proprietors docked my pay for my inability to strike and hold a pose, or maybe they docked it for my unimpressive grapes, I don’t know, whatever, all I know is I got my money’s worth when Jamie Lee Curtis gave me a slap on the ass (#MeToo). Yes, that really happened.
Like all wanna-be actors, I got roped into an over-priced acting class. For the first time in my life, I became teacher’s pet. You would think that was good, but in this case, not so much. Being teacher’s pet ended with me being somewhat pushed into a sexual relationship with her unattractive daughter in a move that I can only describe to you as being very Harvey Weinstein-ish. That said, doing so, in the crazy world of Hollyweird ended up parlaying into me being asked to attend a private acting session with one of her A-list actresses to help her rehearse for an upcoming audition. It was a romance and there was kissing and I’ve bragged to this to almost everyone I know, so, all-in-all, sleeping with the teacher’s unattractive daughter was a price worth paying in order to get to suck face with this attractive A-lister.
At one point, I got sucked into a gig that actually turned out to be a front for an underage porn ring being run by a former assistant football coach from the University of Pittsburgh. Once I caught wind of it, I went to the police and they allowed me to do some legit undercover type stuff. It was one of the more exciting things Ive ever been a part of, and some day I’ll have to tell that entire story front to back, but that time is not now.
I landed a contract for a calendar gig. I thought it would be eleven other dudes and myself pretending to be firemen or something, but in another twist, when I got there, it was just me. Twelve months of me wearing an American flag speedo in some odd calendar that I can only assume was for really gay people who were also super patriotic. If people weren’t suspecting my sexually before this calendar, they definitely were after. In fact, the photographer, at the end of the shoot, felt the need to tell me that I had gotten him very excited and that he might love me. He then proceeded to stalk me for no less than one year. I’d often find him sitting on my stoop when I’d get home from work. Regardless of how often I called the cops, this continued, until finally I beat him up, took his camera, and ran over it with my car.
Even when I wasn’t getting paid, I was making a spectacle of myself. I was something of a junkie for trying to raise the stakes at any event. I liked to push boundaries. I was playing in a charity volleyball tournament, we were in the semi-finals, and we were losing, so I negotiated five points for my team by taking off my pants and doing a half mile loop around the beach (To all the mothers and young children, I’m sorry). We still lost the match, but at least I gave a lot of people a memory they’d never forget, no matter how hard they tried.
So, jogging today, I wanted to smack that kid and tell him that he might regret his decision to do this one day. But I didn’t. Though I didn’t want to see it at first, he was just chasing a dream, like I was. I’m hoping he makes it. I’m hoping he turns himself into the next Ashton Kuchter or whomever the newest young male model is that made it into a big star. Good for him for chasing his dreams. Too many people are afraid to go for it because they’re afraid to look silly or they’re afraid to fail. So what if he looks like a total jerk in his suit and tie, rolling around in the ocean- he’s going for it, and for that alone he should be proud. He’s more courageous than at least 90% of the people I know, who really want something, but have never taken step one towards getting it.
Or, possibly, he’s just a total moron.