INTERVIEW with Cover Model -Michael Senich
With the recent release of Ruth Clampett’s WORK OF ART 3-The Masterpiece, The Reading Cafe has the privilege to interview the cover model Michael Senich.
TRC: Hi Michael. Welcome to The Reading Cafe.
We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?
Michael: I’m a ranger which means that I grew up in the Iron Range of Minnesota. Even though I was born in Minneapolis I spent most of my childhood in Hibbing, Minnesota. My mother was a Korean Immigrant and my father a true northerner so I’ve absorbed a pretty unique mix of culture in my life that I am only now beginning to appreciate. This appreciation fuels my passion for the modeling and photography industry. It makes the experiences I have collected in the last few years invaluable.
TRC: What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?
Michael: I’ve always been a bit of an idealist and so I wanted to go to college and change the world. I still believe in that change and these dreams have only grown from broad and simple ideas to a wide variety of interests and passions. I want to do it all – Model, Act, Dance, and Sing – and I take every opportunity to do so; in public, in private, and everywhere.
TRC: When not modeling, what are your other interests? Do you have a ‘day job’?
Michael: I approach all my interests with a level of intensity that sometimes overwhelms my friends, whom I love dearly. I love dance, and the freedom of expression that it allows. With dance comes music and the two combined, surrounded by my good friends, has delivered me some of the best times of my life.
TRC: You were first brought to our attention through the covers of Ruth Clampett’s WORK OF ART series. Who first approached you about the covers
and what was your reaction to appearing on the covers throughout the entire series?
Michael: Ruth and I met on twitter. I read her stories online and began to participate in that online community and provide feedback. I think Ruth felt connected to me because I was one of the only men that participated, loved her stories, and was vocal about it. She approached me about the covers and I was ecstatic to both help a friend whose work I admire, and ply my craft at the same time. I flew out to LA; serendipitously the same weekend of my cousin’s birthday. I was able to spend time with a close relative that I hadn’t seen in years, work, reunite with Ruthy and meet her colleagues. To be featured in all three was an honor and I always smile when I see a copy as it reminds me of that great experience.
TRC: What first sparked your interest in modeling? Is there a defining moment where you knew that modeling was something you were interested in pursuing?
Michael: I think I’ve always wanted to model or be in media but I didn’t talk about it or even realize that I truly aspired to be a model until I went on a study abroad trip to Rome. While there I grew into myself a lot, gained a lot of confidence and experience and met very interesting friends who I could be open with. When I told my friends I was truly interested in pursuing modeling they were supportive and made me feel like I could do it and become a part of that industry. Just the knowledge that there were people who believed in my ability was a revelation and jump started my interest in finding work.
TRC: Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?
Michael: One shoot sticks out in particular. In college I had an appointment at a photo studio across town and no car. I left at 5:00 AM on a bike to collect my passport as a second form of ID. I arrived very early, out of breath, and somewhat flustered from racing to the morning errands. I ended up not even need the second ID but the photographers and staff were very gracious and helped me to gain my composure. The shoot was part of a national Target ad campaign, my first big shoot. It found it funny that on the day of what was my most important job nothing went smoothly yet somehow we still delivered.
TRC: Many photo shoots take the model to exotic locations. What has been your favorite location to shoot? Least favorite location (and why)?
Michael: My favorite experience is still very fresh. I had the opportunity to travel with my significant other, who is a photographer. We did a shoot that I’m very excited about. To work, just-the-two of us, in a beautiful tropic location is something that I’m lucky to have experienced. My least favorite location is really a range of temperatures. Minnesota’s winters are harsh and working in the cold and wind is incredibly uncomfortable and also poses a wonderful challenge.
TRC: Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial. Some pictures can cross the line between sexuality to pornography. What would you tell young models/actors /body builders just entering the business about nude modeling and photography?
Photograph: Alexander Just
Michael: My opinion about nudity is that it has its time and place. I have a science background from my college years and am fascinated by the human body. I enjoy fine art; sculpture and painting that often uses the nude form. However, there are some guidelines that might help make these sorts of decisions. First, the internet is expansive and fast. You must think about and understand who your audience is or might be. While you have some control over that audience, in reality you should be completely comfortable with everyone that could see that work. Second you should be aware of the scope of work and exactly what you are being asked to do. Thirdly, if you already understand the scope and the potential audience and feel comfortable and confident – then I say go for it.
TRC: The modeling industry exposes you to many people and sometimes it can be very stressful. At times do you feel alone, surrounded by so many people?
Michael: No, because being around people energizes me.
TRC: At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance storyline has skyrocketed in the last few years especially with the erotic and sensual cover images. What is your opinion about the recent popularity and the very busy industry of the ‘romance cover model’?
Michael: The stigma doesn’t really make sense to me because I love that industry and have met so many wonderful people through it. It’s hard for me to focus on a perceived negative of something I truly enjoy. I think the recent popularity enforces my opinion that people will respond to things that they are passionate about. Worrying about stereotypes is an unnecessary distraction from very fun and fulfilling work.
TRC: Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?
Michael: I don’t actually know but I’d love to know how to find out.
TRC: Do you remember the first ‘romance cover’ on which you appeared?
Michael: My first romance cover was for L.P. Dover and her book, Intercepting Love. Regina Wamba introduced us and took the photos. She has been an invaluable resource here in the Twin Cities.
TRC: Do you have a favorite cover-romance image or otherwise? (e.g. magazines, ads etc)
Michael: To be very specific my favorite cover in a magazine is a 2013 issue of Paris Vogue titled Un Homme Et Une Femme. As the title suggests the cover is of a man and woman posed in black and white. For some reason I really reacted to this shot; enough that I still remember the issue precisely today.
TRC: Would you please tell us what you do to relax?
Michael: I absolutely love to sleep; maybe the only time I truly relax. The catch-22 is that I’m also a night owl so there is a competition between the sleep that I love and enjoying whatever company I’ve come across for a little while longer.
TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?
Michael: My first goal is to go back to grad school for Public Health which is another area of interest that I have. I’ve always thought if the stars aligned I would be modeling full-time and believe that is still a possibility that I’d love to explore. I’d love to break into other media forms as well and have thought before about making dance videos or expanding into other areas of the industry.
TRC: What is something that few, if anybody, knows about you?
Michael: My close friends and obviously my family know, but when I meet new people they are often shocked to learn that my mother is Korean. I think being mixed race gives me a very unique look though my Serbian side is dominant.
TRC: On what on your currently working?
Photograph: Ivan Diaz
Michael: I recently had the chance to go on amazing trip to live and work in the Virgin Islands for a handful of months. I’m currently working on getting back into the groove of my Minneapolis life and starting a new path through the city.
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
Michael: I’d like to comment that the questions above were overall very on point and made me consider my answers carefully. I learned things I hadn’t verbalized before so thank you.
Favorite Dessert–Apple Pie
Favorite Movie–Boogie Nights
Favorite TV Show – Game of Thrones
Last Movie that you Saw– Zero Dark Thirty
Secret Celebrity Crush– Kristen Stewart, although that isn’t a secret at I proposed to her at Comic Con.
Dark or Milk Chocolate–Dark
Last Book that you Read–The Untethered Soul
Pet Peeve– Not playing hip hop at the club!
TRC: Thank you Michael for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success. We wish you all the best.