Colby Lefebvre-Interview with the Cover Model and Fitness Trainer
With the May 7, 2013 release Laura Wright’s latest Mark of the Vampire novel, The Reading Cafe would like to welcome Colby Lefebvre-the cover model for ETERNAL DEMON.
Colby: First off, I just wanted to take the time to thank Sandy for contacting me to do this interview. Also a big thank you to author Laura Wright for introducing me to all her amazing fans on Facebook, their support of my fan page means a lot to me! I really wanted to make sure I spent time giving “The Reading Café” long, thoughtful answers. And since I know everyone in “The Reading Café” is an avid reader, I thought the longer my answers, the better. So I went for it and gave you a mini book of answers!
TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?
Colby: I am the youngest of four children, born in Southern California. I grew up by the beach in South Orange County, spending a lot of my time outdoors. Before I was born my mother was a model who did Vidal Sassoon Commercials as the blonde, blue-eyed beauty, and modeled for many other major brands. My father, his brothers, and his side of the family played baseball in both the minor & major leagues, my uncle coaching in the majors. When my parents retired from those careers they both became school teachers and had kids. When I was around twelve they decided to move us up a few hours from the beach to the mountains to a small lake-side town for a much slower pace of life. My life became a lot more about being active because we were in the middle of the woods. I was several years younger than my other three siblings, so I spent a lot of time out on my own exploring in the woods and hiking in the hills, finding adventure and exploring. As I got older, it became harder to be isolated. We lived an hour from a big city and a couple hours out of Los Angeles. After high school, everything like jobs, college, and modeling became a whole days journey down the mountain. I tried a lot of random jobs and definitely found out what I didn’t like. I even competed in triathlons. I took my realtors exam pretty young and dabbled in that. However, as modeling presented itself as real future option and small mountain towns have very little real estate turn over, I realized I wanted a fitness and modeling career more. I knew I needed to move down to Los Angeles to really make any real headway on either path.
TRC: You are first and foremost a fitness model and a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer. How did you find your way into the fashion modeling industry and thusly onto the covers of romance covers?
Colby: Actually, I started out in print modeling before I did fitness modeling. I was approached as a teenager for jobs, but being that we moved up into the mountains when I was twelve or so, it was not a priority for my parents to drive me three hours in traffic into Los Angeles for a casting. I started working out at about nineteen but I wouldn’t say I knew enough to be in the shape I’m in now. It was only when I got older that I was able to drive myself to jobs and castings. My first “big” modeling job I booked was for Abercrombie and Fitch. It was a totally random luck that this booking happened for me. A friend of a friend I met in the mountains one weekend sent my pictures to an agent he was associated with. The next thing I know I was picked for an Abercrombie and Fitch shoot in Canada with the famous photographer Bruce Weber. Recently, while going through my old boxes at my parents, I found all the pictures I took while on the shoot. Crazy to see pictures of Bruce Weber and I, and me with the other models from that first big job. Of course it was a “major” thing to be selected from probably thousands of models and I had just booked it by serendipity. That’s when I knew I could really be a model if I could get chosen so quickly from a few submitted snapshots for a company with such high standards for their models.
I wouldn’t say I took it that seriously though, not like I should have anyway. Within a short time I was flown into Canada to Prince Edward Island for the shoot. I spent a several days on the Island with a small group of male and female models chosen from all over the country. It was very intimidating to meet and interview with Bruce, but he was very nice to me. The Abercrombie executives had also flown in for the shoot. Bruce and the executives personally interviewed each one of us privately about our lives, modeling, and aspirations. They also decided which of us would work for what campaigns and local and foreign markets, etc. Bruce Weber shot me alone for Abercrombie two times during my days there and I also had some time off to explore the island for a day. One of the other models you might know that I worked with was model and actor Scott Eastwood (Actor/Director Clint Eastwood’s son). I was happy to find that Scott was a really nice guy, we had a great time hanging out. Him and I went with a couple other models on a four hour round trip excursion just to BBQ with some locals! How could you not be into modeling after getting a gig like that? 😉
TRC: As a Personal Trainer, take us through your daily routine?
Colby: Recently, my schedule is changing. Part-time training and full-time modeling and filming. Which is a blessing, but also requires me to be on top of my schedule; sometimes hourly (special thanks to my scheduling app! 😉 ). I see my clients mostly just in the mornings now. Some of my clients run big companies or are in the entertainment business, or actors on shows, so they also keep me on my toes with schedule changes. I come in the evening if needed. Of course, when I have a shoot, they switch for me. I am lucky to have such a great group of clients that works so well. I couldn’t make it work right now if that wasn’t happening. My diet also plays a part of my daily schedule because I have to eat every two hours to prep for shoots. It’s prepped weekly so I don’t have to cook everyday. My weekday afternoons are spent on shoots, castings, auditions, and training myself at the gym. Castings and shoots are anything from commercials, fitness cover test shoots, to an entire clothing campaign for a season. Since I am both a fashion and fitness model, it’s a fine line between getting too big in muscle size and staying lean enough to book clothing and fashion jobs. So my daily workout schedule changes weekly based on what I am shooting or casting for. I try to schedule my shoots or castings around twelve pm or later, but I don’t always get my way with that! Most nights and weekends, however, I work on my women’s based fitness company that I co-founded.
I am now developing my own fitness line of videos and I am already booked on the biggest national news show in a few months to debut my series. No rest for me until then. Schedule-wise, I will eventually be more of an online fitness trainer and phase out all one-on-one training, the progression of that depending on how demanding all my other projects and modeling become this year. So though my schedule seems crazy regimented right now, the pay off is motivating! I’m tired just saying all that! Sleep! I need sleep! 😉
TRC: Do you know the number of covers on which your image has appeared?
Colby: Only three so far. The newest is ‘Eternal Demon’ for Laura Wright and her amazing vampire series, out May 2013. The other cover is due out in October 2013, which is for another popular writer Larissa Lone, called “Bound by Night.” I’m pretty new to romance covers, but I really like shooting them and the fans have been the best of any! Hoping to do several more this year and I’ll make sure “The Reading Café” readers are the first to know when I do another one!
TRC: There is a Stigma in the cover model industry especially as it pertains to romance covers. The romance novel industry has dramatically increased in popularity over the past few years. Do you think the cover illustrations and ‘hero depictions’ have pushed the industry in such a way, that the reader’s imaginations can be fueled by the representations on the cover?
Watch as Colby shoots the cover of ETERNAL DEMON by Laura Wright
Colby: I think readers have and will always have a great imagination, whether the cover style is changing or not. That’s what truly makes the “love’ of reading exist in someone’s life. The anticipation of envisioning what the writer gives you to mold into your own imaginary world from a simple cover and the words written in the book. I think digital media has come far recently and covers are definitely looking more dynamic and polished. A cover being flashier might help them see more of that world, but I don’t believe it’s the reason for romance novels becoming more popular recently. I think it’s the growing world of eBooks and digital downloads. It’s become possible to publish more writers more efficiently and at cheaper prices. It gives more opportunities for new authors to be heard and stories to be assessable like never before. It used to be a very chosen few authors who got almost all of the market, now it’s amazing to see writers in general get out there affordably. The talent for romance novels is really expanding. More choices of writers = more fans. As Far as the “Stigma” of being a cover model and it being less then top-tier: Work is work for me and I love modeling. When someone tells me that a cover is “cheesy,” I laugh. Why? – Because it’s usually someone who is not on a cover and doesn’t read them or know the fan base of a cover model. I am on a book as a character for thousands and thousands of fans who like that writer. I look at it as a great thing. To those readers I become what they want me to be, what they imagine I am. I stay with them during the book and after as that memory lingers. Very flattering. It’s not that different from any other types of modeling or acting for that matter. Why people frown on it seems archaic. Recently, I learned something very pivotal in this business. Everyone puts their “blueprint” on you. Whether it’s an agent, photographer, or another model. I am my own architect. I am building my own career and life experiences. How many times have we all heard we shouldn’t or can’t do something? I genuinely like getting to hear about a book plot and becoming the character to match that book. Plus, it’s usually a cool theme and I get props like knifes, guns, and swords. What guy doesn’t want to look amazing while saving kittens, the damsel, the day, or the world? 😉
TRC: Is there one particular aspect of the modeling industry that you would change if you had the ability to affect changes?
Colby: I feel like I have already witnessed the start of a modeling evolution. Things are moving into the digital realm more then ever before and model standards are changing quickly. For me, I am experiencing the change in being able to cross over between four types of modeling. I did a world fitness competition final one day and the next day walked runway for a fashion designer. This isn’t really common, but you can do it if you’re lucky to be a “cross-breed” of sorts (muscular but not bulky, not too tall, not too short). Basically, if they like you enough, you can break the rules and do it all. But that doesn’t come without some other models getting angry about me being able to switch around. It’s very competitive. Nevertheless, I am thrilled because I’m edging into a world that has very narrow standards. It’s always fun for me to “prove” that I can do what people say I can’t do. The biggest change I’d like to see is the standards for most runway models. Being into health and fitness and then participating in a runway show, it’s painful for me to be walking around backstage and seeing models you know are severely underweight, malnutritioned, and starving themselves. It was hard to look at how skinny and unhealthy some models feel they have to be to compete. I really hope rules begin to change this because healthy curves are beautiful. On the flip side in fitness modeling, I wish that the pressure to be “bigger” muscle-wise wasn’t such an issue. Bottom line is: This business is not for the faint of heart or the weak. It’s competitive and fierce. You can be on the bottom one day, on top the next. Booking, not booking. Since you are “the product,” you have to be able to handle having someone say they love you or hate you for their company’s campaign. Bitter at times, then sweet again. The ebb and flow is like a test of wills. But for me, I love that I can’t predict what will happen next! 😉
TRC: It sounds like you spent your early childhood engaged in many sports and outdoor activities. Sadly, many of today’s children find themselves sitting before a TV screen or computer. What would you like to advise parents and educators about the effects of inactivity on our children?
Colby: I sincerely worry about this issue. It’s hard not to feel compassion and be concerned at America’s children’s health declining the way it has. I was a lucky kid in terms of having access to the outside and parents who liked the beach, water, and sports. Even though they were not strict on healthy eating, I kept active always. They are close to seventy years of age today and still take their boat out on the lake weekly, camp a few times a year, and ride fifty mile bike rides together regularly. My father has even become an author, writing four books and is out exploring and traveling around to research them constantly. Not everyone is as active as my parents are. I hope I am as active as them when I reach that age. Lets face it, some people just don’t like to do that. Maybe they can’t, don’t, or live in a city where its not as easy to do. I think it’s great that even if you live in the city or don’t like outdoor sports, you encourage and sign up your children for any sport or group and let the community help your kids get active. Get them in a local “Y,” community program, or league, even Girls and Boys Clubs help parents keep their kids active. Kids do what they learn, and even if you’re not showing them through your actions, it’s important to give them a positive view of being active. Even spending the money on a devices like “Wii” and having kids dance or do “Wii Fit” games for an hour a day will help and be a worthy investment.
It is the first time in our history we are facing a real epidemic with childhood obesity and I would love if we could change that. Both my parents were teachers so I also understand that sometimes you’re limited on what you get to say or do in a school setting. But that needs to change because the numbers don’t lie. Some of our children are in desperate need of help! We can band together as a society and change our system. Making kids run around the track two times a week in middle school isn’t going to help them or get them excited about exercise. But it’s not as simple as changing one thing; the entire system has to change. The food makers, the schools, the parent’s effort, the kid’s perspectives. Being disciplined is hard, I know because I do it, live it, and teach it. This can be a huge struggle for people. The body you’re given is the only one you have. Taking care of it is a priority, so it can be strong for you to live a great life! I always tell my clients, “One day at a time.” Just stay focused today, and tomorrow you’ll be a little closer! Even if you mess up. Reset tomorrow and start again! This is a marathon, not a sprint. We must keep working on a solution for the kids! If I was no longer able to have a job as a health professional in ten years because the next generation was so healthy and fit…I would be thrilled!
TRC: Nudity in the modeling industry can be very controversial. Photographs can range from sensual and sexual to bordering on pornographic. What advice would you give to young up and coming models in the industry about nude photography?
Colby: You can not take it back if you do nude work. Whoever is shooting you is wanting to use your nude photos for the public to see and you can’t control in what way. Take your time deciding and don’t let people who tell you they’re professionals, that “everyone’s doing it,” pressure you if you are unsure. I have heard of a photographer telling models that “another big model did it, so you should.” Don’t fall for mind-games. Also, be careful when reading the model contracts that some photographers write up. If you don’t, they can end up using your photos anyway they want without you being able to do anything about it. If you don’t read the fine print, they could actually sell your pictures to porn companies or sex ads and the foreign market. Selling overseas is huge, so be very leery. Accept that 90% percent of nude work is about sexualizing you. Know that some people may be OK with what you’re doing, but many will not. Be prepared if you do, friends and family may treat you far differently than you had hoped for. Realistically, .02% are getting the high fashion ad campaign where they have you naked and you look like a Greek God or Goddess.
When you’re young and being offered nude modeling of any type, especially when it involves lot of money, it is hard to resist. I think its more acceptable for women in this business than men. You can’t possibly know how you’ll feel as your life unfolds and choices are made. One decision to pose nude might not define you as a person, but it may shadow you once you’ve moved on in life. I have been offered thousands to pose nude recently and it was an easy “No” for me. I am OK with pushing the envelope in terms of revealing or small outfits, but never nude. Many times I’ve been modeling and the photographer will say, “Pull that swimwear/underwear you’re modeling a little lower” or “Show more.” I have worked with models who have done nude work and are happy if anyone sees it. So to each his own. I don’t judge if someone does it, it’s just important to know what you’re getting into if you do decide to pose nude. Who knows, maybe at sixty I’ll want to!;)
TRC: What five things would you like to accomplish in the next ten years?
Colby: I’m still in my twenties but time is definitely ticking. I decided to make this a “big year” and so far the stars have aligned for me. With a modeling career, two fitness companies launched, national TV shows, magazine covers, and all the other things coming, it feels pretty cool. This year I have a European World final and three other competitions, which is something I’m just starting the last twelve months for a new challenge. So on top of my crazy schedule I’ll be prepping to travel to Europe, Miami, Las Vegas, and a few more places. Otherwise in the next ten years, I hope to be happy, healthy, and successful as I can be. Basically: Grow both of my businesses to new heights every year, experience modeling around the world, continue to enjoy my life and prosper.
For fun in the next ten years, I have a small wish list: learn to fly a helicopter, jump out of a plane, and Rally Race. Take a trip around the world visiting all the cool historical sites, have a massive shopping spree in Hong Kong, buy an apartment in Paris as a second home, get the best sports cars and speed through all of Europe (literally ), take the Orient Express while I solve a murder mystery, and write a health book.
TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about you?
Colby: As cliché as it seems, that because I am good looking and model for a living I am not approachable.
TRC: If you could change something about yourself, personal or professional, what would it be and why?
Colby: Professionally, I am evolving everyday. It is an exciting, busy time for me. I want to keep changing and growing and it seems like new opportunities have presented themselves since I’ve opened myself up. However, if I could change one thing, I would be more patient. I get so excited about new projects…want it all now! I need to slow down a little. Smell the roses, watch more hockey. 😉
TRC: Who or What has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
Colby: Its definitely been fitness. It taught me goals and discipline will pay off and show real results. It is the best thing that’s shaped my life. I really love helping people learn that. Getting the chance to do videos professionally and have people use them in their own home to benefit their lives is really rewarding.
TRC: On what are you currently working?
Colby: My two new companies and my modeling career. I have a new manager and a couple of agents now, so I’m pretty busy. I have major network coverage and magazines spreads for my companies to prep for. Also, traveling to Europe, Vegas, Miami, and other places for competitions and vacation. I have covers lined up in fitness and romance. I also must schedule fun and adventure in every day!
Favorite Food: Comfort foods like BBQ ribs, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob
Favorite Desert: Donuts and Coldstone Ice Cream (cake batter flavor with Reeces pieces on top)
Favorite TV Shows: Top Gear, Sherlock, The Voice, and The Big Bang Theory.
Last Movie You Saw: Zero Dark Thirty. I love movies! Some of my all-time favorite movie series include: Indiana Jones, Die Hard, and Transformers. For Classics: The Notebook and Shaw-Shank Redemption.
Next Vacation Destination: My next big planned vacation for fun is to the Amalfi Coast of Italy in 2013.
Dark or Milk Chocolate: Milk
Dream Car: I love fast sports cars and muscle cars, but after seeing the new 2013 Lamborghini Eventide – its top of my list with the Aston DB9.
TRC: Thank you Colby for taking the time to answer our questions. Your thoughts and words are quite eloquent and astounding. Congratulations on the new business as well as your new career as a romance cover model. We are looking forward to your image on more future covers of our favorite authors.
The Reading Cafe and Colby regret that the comments for this interview will be closed. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience