An Interview with Fitness and Cover Model Zack Salaun

An Interview with Fitness and Cover Model Zack Salaun

Zack Salaun 1TRC:  Hi Zach and welcome to The Reading Cafe. We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow Zack: Instagram / Facebook /

Zack:  Well, I grew up in Northern California and later moved to Southern Cali where I have stayed since I was 18. I have always loved being active and hated being told what to do. I have always questioned the commonly accepted and asked “why” and that attitude along with a love for life has led me to where I am today.

TRC:  What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Zack:  I always wanted to be a professional motocross racer. My first love was always dirt bikes.

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?

Zack Salaun trio 1

Zack:  Modeling was never my interest, but the idea of waking up to a life I loved was always my goal. I just want to be excited to wake up every day and do whatever it is I have to do. Happiness is all about loving your push. Modeling was simply the first thing that allowed me to get paid to be fit, travel and meet new people.

TRC:  Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Zack: Not really. I am pretty selective when choosing who I shoot with so I generally have chemistry, or if they are new, I make the chemistry 🙂 I love people.

SingeTRC:  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?

Zack:  I don’t think there is anything inherently right or wrong about nudes. There are tasteful ways to do it and trashy ways to do it and there are both benefits and advantages to baring it all. What I would say is that there are consequences to all our actions and with today’s internet, some will choices will never go away. It all comes down to who you want to be and where you want your career to go. Some of the greatest models have done some wild shit that made their career, and there are some other incredibly talented models that did some questionable things that halted their career right where they stood. That being said, I believe anything can be overcome if you work hard enough. Again, it all comes down to who you want to be and how hard you are willing to work?

TRC:  The modeling industry exposes you to many people and sometimes it can be very stressful. What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

Zack:  Have a meltdown… I joke, but that does happen. I turn to doing the things I love like mountain biking, climbing, surfing, MMA and other things like that. Its also incredibly important to build your circle of friends and loved ones with care. They are your rock and foundation. The modeling and fashion worlds can be strangely caustic, so its important to have people that help ground you.

Zack Salaun trio 3

TRC:  At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance story line 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’?

Zack:  I think its wonderful that this niche is growing. I think it would be even better if it grew large enough to allow the models to make a full time living doing it, which isn’t the case now. As for the genre itself, I believe that if people are entertained and enjoy it, then it belongs in this world.

TRC:  Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Zack Salaun 2Zack:  Absolutely. I can’t speak for the readers, but the genre is based on fantasies. If the cover model happens to fit someone’s ultimate desire the book is simply a way to further bring it to life and experience it on a more intimate level. I am sure there are plenty of cases where readers just love the style of the author, but I would wager that many of those relationships began because a cover caught someone’s eye.

TRC:  Do you remember the first romance cover on which you appeared? Do you have a favorite?

Zack:  Actually, I can’t 🙁  I’ve been on quite a few over the last few years and I keep myself quite busy with my business. I’m honored and grateful for all of them. The fact that someone wanted my silly face on their work of art is a beautiful thing. I’m still not used to the whole thing. Picking a favorite would be tough. There are so many great ones. Wander and Andrey do an amazing job with the photos and then the cover art happens. I’ve had a few that I love, picking one just isn’t possible.

TRC:  Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Zack:  oooo…I’m not totally sure but its over 30 at this point.

Zach Salaun duo 1

TRC:  What do you do to relax?

Zack:  What every guy does…write or read generally (you thought I was going somewhere else with that 😉 Swimming always helps too.

TRC:  😉

TRC:  What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Zack:  The 3 things I will accomplish in the next 5 years:
Bring my business to a 7 figure passive, residual income annually.
Finish the book I am writing
Own 5 investment properties

TRC:  What is something that few people know about you?

Zack:  I value time far more than money

Zack Salaun trio 4

TRC:  Who or what are your inspirations?

Zack:  I am inspired by life and living it uncaged. Happiness and beauty begin when we are genuine and to live truly as ourselves we have to be free from the common barriers we allow to hold us back, like money, jobs, fear, and normal…whatever that is. I am inspired by those that have done that before me and those that are willing to risk everything for the chance to live life completely on their own terms.

TRC:  What type of music do you listen to? What songs are on your current playlist?

Zack:  Oh I listen to a ton of different stuff. Classical, classic rock, alternative rock, instrumental, electronic, dubstep, trance, rap… it really depends on my mood, but the common theme is whether it is saying something worth listening to.
Led Zeppelin, Chevelle, TOOL, Blackmill, Glitchmob, Atmosphere, RHCP, Mac Dre….list goes on

Zack Salaun 6

TRC: On what on your currently working?

Zack:  I am currently focused on my business. I teach active people how to create passive income so they can do more of what they love. Its my passion and I love waking up to it.

TRC:  Would you like to add anything else?

Zack:  Only that I am grateful for everyone out there that reads this and supports me. It means the world to me that anyone wants to hear what I have to say. So, Thank you.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: How can you pick one?

Favorite Dessert: I usually eat too much dinner

Favorite Movie: Snatch

Favorite TV Show: Rick and Morty

Last Movie that you saw: Liar Liar

Secret Celebrity Crush: Allan Watts

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Dark

Do you have any pets? Not anymore 🙁

Pet Peeve: Fake people or Being rude

TRC: Thank you Zack for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success.

Zack Zalaun duo 2

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Interview with Jake Davies-Model and Designer

Interview with Jake Davies-Model and Designer

Jake Davies 5TRC:Hi Jake and welcome to The Reading Cafe.

Follow Jake: Behance  |  Dribbble  |  LinkedIn  |  Facebook

Jake: Hey. Thanks for this opportunity. First of all I want to apologize for my poor English. I’ve studied it at school and it was long long ago.

TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Jake: Well. My name Jake Davies. I was born in Kyiv, Ukraine 26 years ago. When I was 14 years old I was dying to get my first tattoo. My parents didn’t like that idea. Two years after I left home and school for my first job as a designer and started my life on my own. It took me two more years to earn the money and I decided to open my own design studio. We called ourselves The MDMA. I designed the logo and it was perfect for me so I went to good friend of mine and asked him to tattoo the logo on my left wrist. I was 18 and I fell in love with tattoos. I realized how many blank space I have on my body to cover with lots of tattoos. Next few years I’ve spent having tattooed something important to me. My first engagement with my ex-girlfriend Kate. It was beautiful typography Jake & Kate on my right hand. Then my favorite city Amsterdam, I’ve tattooed the logo «Iamsterdam». And the last one was J and D letters. And then something inside of me whispers that it’s not even close to that image that I desired when was a kid.

I started my research more deeply on different styles. Nothing comes close to that vision I had. Until one day I found popular tattoo artist Roxx from 2Spirit Tattoo. And I was inspired. I realized that the problem was in me. I didn’t want lots of small tattoos. I wanted one bold tattoo that will be mine. Mine. I mean it should complement the lines of my body. It’s a feeling that tattoo designed to fit perfectly to me not like I’m wearing on top of my body, you know. And than I’ve decided to start my 4 year journey.

As a result I’ve got one bold tattoo that covers more than half of my body made from different styles, black work and sacred geometry that fits perfectly my body. Funny thing is when I see people that copied this tattoo and it misses that feeling like that part of tattoo fits perfectly to the body, you know.

TRC: What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Jake: I’ve grown up without a father. He left us when I was 2-years old kid. That made me feel like I didn’t deserve to be loved. So when I started my own path, found my dream job and decided to be a designer I was looking for someone who could be mentor for me and replaces that hole in my heart. After a almost 5 years of searching I found the guy called Simon Sinek and his speech «Starts with Why». It was so close to me that I felt something special about this guy. He spoke everything I believe in and he was doing it perfectly. It was that moment when I stopped thinking I was a freak and realized that I was pretty smart. That made me work even harder and consciously made choices in my life. One of those choices was this tattoo 🙂 I a clear vision why I’m getting up from bed every single day and it’s just a simple thought but so meaningful to me. I believe that design is a communication. And communication should be simple, ‘cause miscommunications made people suffer and feel bad’. When things are clear everybody knows exactly what to do to be happy. So for me it sounds like «Design is giving people something to believe in» this is why I love my job. I feel great when I see how the fire burns in the eyes of people when they know exactly what are they doing and why they are doing it. The whole process began to make sense. It’s not about money or fame. It’s about doing what I love, what you love and what other people love. That makes me happy, inspired and motivated.

I have series of lectures. And I love to share that experience with others.

Jake Davies 6

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?

Jake: Well. Honestly speaking I didn’t know this tattoo will be something special. For me it was just my tattoo and that’s all. But one day I received a letter from photographer who offered me a free photo shoot just for fun. And that was that moment when the first photos went online and people were nuts about it. This is that session:

Next two years I’ve received lots of offer for a photo shoot but I was still thinking it’s just a hobby. Even when Seafret’s director came to me and I’ve got featured in their music video that was viewed more than 13 million times for now. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8INOzcCGBzY

Frankly speaking I’m still didn’t see myself as a model, I mean I’m not sure I could earn money using my tattoo but just a few months ago I decided to give it a try. 25 September 2017 is my 10 year anniversary as a designer, why not to try add new timeline… First year as a model 🙂

TRC:   Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Jake:  Well, I think 🤔 not yet but I’m sure there will be f*ckups in future 🙂 Everything was so easy and natural for me so I didn’t expect that it will work out each time I get to the studio.

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?

Jake: Hahaha. That’s the funny one. Well, I can’t be nude 🙂 I mean even without clothes I’m still covered with tattoo-suit. If seriously, than I don’t like nude photography especially for women for the reason that I believe if that girl is in relationship with somebody that means some things should be visible only for one person, not as a trophy on internet for the sake of  a like in Instagram, you know. But it’s just me. I know many people who have different points of view from mine.

Jake Davies 9

TRC:  The modeling industry exposes you to many people and sometimes it can be very stressful. What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

Jake: For me it’s not stressful. It’s full of fun. Really. I’ve been teaching people and have lots of lectures and that experience made all my photo shoots feel like it’s a party. I didn’t take it too serious. Most of my photos are retouched by me personally so if something went wrong, or I just blinked it’s not a problem 😉

Answering your question, if there will be stressful situation I just put on my headphones and listen to a few favorite songs and everything disappears for a while. That fuels me with some energy. It reminds me why I’m here. Why I’m doing it and it’sn an opportunity right in front of me to make something meaningful. Make something that people will believe in. You know. That’s why I do not design or model for tobacco, alcohol and other companies that spoil people.

TRC:  At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance story line 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’?

Jake: I didn’t take it serious. It’s entertainment, you pay few bucks for something that pleases your eye and you read a story. Whether I  like it or not, it doesn’t matter. Everybody loves movies. If you spent a few hours on a horrible movie it may ruin your day, but not your life. Tomorrow will be something new and I personally don’t bother myself with this. As a model, I know that I could influence on people’s choice. Appealing cover talks to your emotions not logic. But in terms of type of covers such as naked bodies it’s just a tool to influence people to purchase the book. It’s business. Nothing special about it.

TRC:  Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Jake: Sure. As a designer with 10 years of experience I could prove that. A good cover makes an impact. It’s advertising. If you have a choice to sleep with a supermodel or somebody who doesn’t made to feel  «motivated»… Well, you have no choice, it’s obvious 🙂 The same rule goes here. People love beautiful things. And you know why? I can tell that beauty is the promise of happiness. That something from my lectures 🙂 Beautiful things works better.

Mercy Jake DaviesTRC: Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Jake: The one and only «MERCY» by Debra Anastasia. It’s my first cover.

TRC: Would you please tell us about RIVAL Barbershop?

Click HERE to find the RIVAL Barbershop on Facebook

Jake: This is something special. I’ve decided to use all my knowledge and experience to create something simple as a barbershop and make it the way I see it. Experience is everything. People buy Apple not because it got few gigs of RAM, people buy iPhones/Macs and so on because it’s a symbol of who you are, what are your beliefs, you know. RIVAL is a new approach in services, in interior design, in interaction design, in communication in team building.

Rival Jake Davies

Everything that I can name «Perfect» place was developed in Rival. It’s my child. It’s like doing what you used to do last 10/20/30/40 years (haircut) when you expect how it will be but when you came in something changes. And that experience I called Rival. Design something simple as barbershop with unique experience that made you change your mind about what is possible and what you though was possible. I want people to get up and be brave. I want our clients not just make good haircuts and therapy with barber but to be confident that the only Rival you’ve got in your life is fighting with your fears, with your auto-pilots that rules your life. To stand up, break bullshit relationships, left the job you hate and rival your own demon. That’s why Rival slogan is «Starts With You».

This place is magical.

Jake Davies 4

TRC:  What do you do to relax?

Jake:  Sleep. I work until morning most of the time. I wake up and the next thing I do is call for UBER. Life is DIY project I didn’t like to procrastinate and waste my time. Sometimes social events, modeling, listening to my favorite band while driving through traffic jam made me feel relaxed. I don’t know, maybe I am just a crazy dude but until I can walk, think and design something I want to use it to the maximum.

TRC:  What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Jake: Huh, that’s pretty easy. I want to feature in a few movies. Visit LA and SF next year. Launch Rival Barbershop / Rival Clothes and build Rival as a multi-brand company. To be the first big design driven company in Ukraine that focuses on experience more than on things. I want to overcome my broken heart and divorce with building a new relationship with a woman who will love me back, I’m 26 years old and I failed to choose the right woman and all my failed relationships were wrong because it was the love story… my love story but not the other person’s. I want to fight the depression and believe in relationship / in marriage once again. So the next step is to build a family. Get myself noticed not only as a designer but as a model too. And self education, self education and self education… Maybe write a book 🙂

TRC:   What is something that few people know about you?

Jake:  I’m very kind and smart guy. Most people think that I’m aggressive and a tough guy. But it’s because of the tattoos 🙂

TRC:   Your tattoos are very beautiful, dark and intricate. Is there any significance or history behind the patterns?

Jake Davies 2

Jake: Thanks. Yeah, there is a story behind it. But it’s personal, so I’ll keep it a secret for now 🙂

TRC:   How old were you when you got your first tattoo and what was the precipitating factor behind the choice of tattoo?

Jake:  I was 18 when i got my first real tattoo. It was the logo of my first studio. For me it was like showing to myself how much I believe in this project.

TRC:   What do you believe is the biggest misconception about tattoos and the body-modification industry as a whole?

Jake:  From my experience the biggest problem is here in Ukraine people see tattoos like mine and they think that it’s something evil and we are all f*cking demons. Poor people. Lots of stereotypes. I don’t like it.

Jake Davies 8

TRC:  What type of music do you listen to? What songs are on your playlist today?

Jake:  My favorite band for the last few years that constantly playing every single day are:

The Neighbourhood, Bring Me The Horizon, AMATORY, Korn, You Me At Six, Young Lions, The XX, Odesza and Noisia. I love heavy music. I love when it screams. I feel the music. I’m not a big fan of electronic music. I think it’s emotionless.

TRC: On what on your currently working?

Jake:  For the last 11 months I’ve been busy getting things together for the RIVAL Barbershop. I think 5 or 7 more months and I’ll be ready to start the second RIVAL project.

TRC:   Would you like to add anything else?

Jake:  Sure. Hey you, people out there. Please, be kind and love what you do. Stop doing what other people tell you to do. Get up and find your RIVAL 🙂 Be happy.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food:
Burgers and Pizza

Favorite Dessert:
Condensed milk

Favorite Movie:
Lion King / Life As A House (2001)

Favorite TV Show:
Lie To Me

Last Movie that you saw:
Ummmmmm. «Arrival» I guess

Secret Celebrity Crush:
If I tell you it will be no secret 😛

Dark or Milk Chocolate:
Milk! Milk! More Milk! More Chocolate!!! And M&M’s Please 🙂

Do you have any pets?
Sure, dog and cat. Love them both.

TRC: Thank you Jake for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on your first ‘romance cover’ and the opening of RIVAL. We wish you all the best.

Jake Davies 10

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Interview with model Richeli Murari

Interview with model Richeli Murari

Richeli Murari 1TRC:  Hi Richeli and welcome to The Reading Cafe. We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow Richeli: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter /

Richeli:  I’m very spiritual. I am Italian and Brazilian, I was born in Brazil. I’m very persistent and I don’t take no for an answer.

When I set a goal, I do what it takes to accomplish it. I do live the life to the fullest. I am a traveler and dreamer. I’ve Always been drawn to hard things in life because I believe that hardship and ground us and makes us grow

I’m very open to meet people all over the world. I am not prejudice at all. I like all kinds of people from every race. I stand up for the animals of the world, the poorest and injustice.

Mister Moneybags

TRC: What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Richeli: My dream was being a Hollywood star and a pro fighter since I have always been into mixed martial arts. After being in this industry for a while, I gave up even being persistent because my personality was not made for this.

TRC: When not modeling, what are your other interests? Do you have a ‘day job’?

Richeli:  I don’t have a day job. I do a lot of sports connected with mixed martial arts such as Jiu jistu, kick boxing and wrestling. I love languages and I speak 4 languages and I’m going to my fifth now.

Richeli Murari 4TRC: What first sparked your interest in modeling? Is there a defining moment where you knew that modeling was something you were interested in pursuing?

Richeli:  It never sparked my interest nor was something I was interested in pursuing. I was interested in making money and the traveling it would provide, plus learning new languages and seeing the world with my own my eyes.

TRC: Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Richeli:  Yes, actually my first run way show. I was the first one opening up the show and I mistake going to the wrong side and I have to come back when everyone was going against me. Complete mess. I have shot with some very inappropriate photographers that kept asking me about my intimate life and sex and making crazy comments.

TRC: Many photo shoots take the model to exotic locations. What has been your favorite location to shoot? Least favorite location (and why)?

Richeli Murari 3Richeli:  Yes, I’ve been to some but I could never enjoy since I have to work all day and catch the flight at night. Not much time for enjoyment! I travel a lot out off duty though and I don’t have any favorite location because I think each country has its particular beauty.

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?

Richeli:  I would tell them to not sell their soul thinking they will conquer the world doing this stuff. Some people like to promise that to get young models naked. They need to believe in their own talent without being vulgar or totally naked. Wisdom is worth more than gold and silver.

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. What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

Richeli:  I don’t feel alone because I have my wife and family supporting me. We live at the beach and it’s a very relaxing lifestyle here.

TRC:  At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance story line 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?

Richeli:  People love all types of romance novels. My wife reads all different types of romance and said she can’t remember a time when they weren’t erotic. Maybe a little more so now, but she told me Johanna Lindsey had some scandalous covers many years ago when she was reading them in high school.

TRC: Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Richeli:  3

TRC: Do you remember the first ‘romance cover’ on which you appeared?

Behind the LiesRicheli:  Robin Perini-Behind the Lies

TRC: Would you please tell us what you do to relax?

Richeli:  Yoga, kickboxing, Jiu jistu, sex, meditate

TRC:  What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Richeli:  Get a black belt in two different martial arts, a boat, and a house for my son.

TRC: What is something that few, if anybody, knows about you?

Richeli:  I like coconut oil. I rub it head to toe.

TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about modeling ?

Richeli:  Most people thinking you’re stupid and only know how to pose. We have a lot of different background as life takes us around the world.

Richeli Murari 2I speak four languages fluently and have a very interesting history. Ive also met some models that speak 6 languages. To remember all these words, you have to have some brain. We are very strong in a sense of living anywhere and learning what it takes to get by and survive.

TRC: On what on your currently working?

Richeli:  Nothing! I work random jobs every month.

TRC:  Would you like to add anything else?

Richeli:  Yes I have a lot but I will be brief. It’s never too late to start but the younger, the better. Let’s stand up for global warming and extinction of animals. We are destroying the planet – We are selling technology and money for nature. We are not disposable but people have misconception of it.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
Seafood/fish

Favorite Dessert
Açaí bowl

Favorite Movie
No favorite

Favorite TV Show
No favorite

Last Movie that you Saw
Don’t remember has been a while

Secret Celebrity Crush
My wife

Dark or Milk Chocolate
White

Last Book that you Read
Medicine of Immortality

Pet Peeve
Snoring

TRC: Thank you Richeli for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success.

Richeli Murary 5

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Interview with B.T. Urruela-Model, Athlete & Personal Trainer

Interview with B.T. Urruela-Model, Athlete and Personal Trainer

BT Urruela 8 TRC: Hi BT and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the recent cover of Lexi Buchanan’s SINFUL.

BT:  THANK YOU!

Follow BT Urruela: Facebook /Twitter/ Instagram/

TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Click HERE for B.T’s complete story.

B.T: I am of Sicilian and Cuban descent. I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri before joining the Army at 18 and shipping off to infantry basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia. From there, I went to my next duty station in Baumholder, Germany, then to Kuwait, and eventually to Iraq. October 22nd, 2006, just two and half weeks before my 21st birthday, my vehicle was hit by two improvised explosive devices and would eventually be sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to rehabilitate from my injuries.

TRC: Aside from the obvious, how has your life changed upon reentry into civilian life?

BU Urruela 2B.T: I had a really tough two years transitioning due to lack of support and dealing with the side effects of PTSD. Team sports and helping others is the only thing the pulled me out.

TRC: What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

B.T: My dogs relieve a lot of stress and the gym is my go to!

TRC: Do you believe enough is being done to help returning and injured soldiers reintegrate back into society or get the help that they need?

B.T: I believe we have a tremendous amount of work to do. The VA is inundated with patients and many health care providers in the system could care less about the patients they are treating. The VA needs a major overhaul. Much of the burden is put unto the shoulders of non-profits. Without Veteran Service Organizations around to help, it would be so much worse.

TRC: Would you please tell us about VETSports. How many VETS have benefited from your work?

Click HERE for the VETSports website

B.T: I co-founded VETSports in 2012 with two other combat wounded vets. It was our goal to assist in the transition of veterans back into civilian life through team sports and community involvement. We have served over 2,000 veterans in six states and that number continues to rise.

TRC: What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

B.T: I always wanted to be an “army man”, musician, professional athlete, or cop/firefighter.

Photo:Michael Stokes Photography

BT Urruela 10TRC: You were first brought to our attention through the amazing photography of Michael Stokes. How has the exposure through these images affected your personal and private life?

B.T: Michael is a wonderful man doing amazing things for veterans. He has allowed me to share my story on a much larger scale, and the love and respect I’ve felt from the public has changed my life drastically in the most positive of ways.

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?

Photo:Michael Stokes Photography

B.T: Seeing Michael’s photos of Alex Minsky first sparked my interest. I was impressed by his ability to bear his scars with class and bravery. He made me want to do the same. It took a year to do it, but I owe him a lot for instilling in me the desire to reach for the stars despite my disabilities.

BT Urruela coverTRC: When not modeling or doing person training, what are your other interests?

B.T: I love team sports. I play flag football once a week and softball twice a week. I’ve also gotten into acting and really enjoy it. I like to read too and writing is truly a part of who I am.

TRC: Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

B.T: Never! All three of my shoots have been absolutely amazing experiences!

TRC: Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial. Some pictures can cross the line between sensuality to pornography. What would you tell young models/actors /body builders just entering the business about nude modeling and photography?

B.T: I think you’re exactly right. There is a very fine line between art and just being blatant for the sake of exposure. I personally think things should be left a bit to the imagination. I’ve seen some recently with exposed pubic hair and the obvious, and intentional, outline of the penis. I don’t hold anything against those that model or shoot those kinds of shots, I just believe it’s crossing that fine line. It’s not something I would ever do.

BT Urruela 1TRC: In the past, 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’?

B.T: I think EL James did SO much for the industry, and more specifically, for the independent authors within it. Pornography is rampant in our society and consumed by the masses, yet there is a stigma surrounding the romance/erotic novel industry. Sex is a part of our everyday lives. I like novels that are real and true to life. Why cut sex out of the equation? I respect the authors and models in this industry and I wish for nothing but the best for everyone moving forward. It’s refreshing that it is finally getting the respect and notice that it deserves.

TRC: Did you ever, in your wildest dreams, expect to be on the cover of an erotic romance storyline?

B.T: NEVER! But it is thrilling, humbling, mind blowing, amazing, and absolutely awesome all rolled into one! I never saw myself here, and having gone through what I have, it makes this very long road so worth the travel!

Photo:Michael Stokes Photography

BT Urruela 9TRC: Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

B.T: Right now it sits at three. I am booked for three more including my own novel that I’m co-writing coming out this fall and I truly hope to continue this work moving forward!

TRC: Do you have a favorite cover-romance image or otherwise? (e.g. magazines, ads, Michael Stokes, etc)

B.T: Aw, you know I can’t do that 🙂 I love all of my photographers and they have all taken photos that are near and dear to my heart! Michael Stokes was my first, so obviously those shots hold a special significance, but I feel as if I fall in love with each new image that comes out. I have been so blessed to have worked with each of my photographers!

TRC: Would you please tell us what you do to relax?

B.T: I love to put a good comedy on Netflix and relax in bed with my pups.

TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

B.T: I would like to see my name with KL Grayson’s on the cover of our novel, A Lover’s Lament, I would like to act in a movie or television series, and I would like to have 30+ clients who I get to help reach their fitness goals every single day.

BT Urruela 6TRC: What is something that few, if anybody, knows about you?

B.T: I don’t speak to my mother and I haven’t in three years. My brother and I had a very trying and traumatic childhood due to her and my stepfather’s actions and lack of love and, though it has made me a stronger person today, it will never be forgotten.

TRC: On what on your currently working?

B.T: A Lover’s Lament with KL Grayson, future covers with Harper Sloan and Kristen Proby, motivational speaking, and building my client base as a personal trainer with Tampa Sports Academy.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

B.T: A big fat THANK YOU to everyone for their unconditional love, respect and support. I am overwhelmed by you all each and everyday, and it means the absolute world to me! I am so insanely blessed!

Men's Health cover

 

 

 

** VOTE BT Urruela for the MEN’S HEALTH Guy Search cover HERE

 

 

 

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
Italian, Pizza and Sushi

Favorite Dessert
Ice Cream Cookie or Brownie Sundae

Favorite Movie
Independence Day, Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, The Way, Way Back, and
Silver Linings Playlist…but there are soooo many more!

Favorite TV Show
The Office, It’s Always Sunny, King of Queens, Seinfeld, Friends, and Parks and
Recreation

Last Movie that you saw
The Interview and St Vincent

Secret Celebrity Crush
Jennifer Aniston

Dark or Milk Chocolate
Milk or White Chocolate

Last Vacation Destination
St Louis… I don’t do many real vacations unfortunately. Once things settle though!

TRC: Thank you Brian for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success and THANK YOU for your service to your country!

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Interview with Cover Model Michael Senich

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?

Follow Michael: Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram/

MIchael Senich 3Michael: 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.

Work of ArtTRC: 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.

Work of Art 2TRC: 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 Senich 1-Alexandra JustMichael: 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.

MIchael Senich images

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?

Intercepting LoveMichael: 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.

Work of Art The MasterpieceTRC: 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 Senich. 2-Ivan DiazjpgMichael: 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.

 

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food-Pho

Favorite DessertApple Pie

Favorite MovieBoogie Nights

Favorite TV ShowGame of Thrones

Last Movie that you SawZero Dark Thirty

Secret Celebrity CrushKristen Stewart, although that isn’t a secret at I proposed to her at Comic Con.

Dark or Milk ChocolateDark

Last Book that you ReadThe Untethered Soul

Pet PeeveNot 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.

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Interview with Mike Thurston-Fitness and Cover Model

Interview with Mike Thurston-Fitness and Cover Model

TRC: Hi Mike and welcome to The Reading Cafe. We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Mike Thurston 2Follow Mike : Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Aurora Athletic

Mike: Born in Leeds, UK. I lived there up until I was 18, then I moved to Newcastle Upon Tyne (Where I currently live) to study Economics and Business Management at University. I graduated, had no real idea what I wanted to do with my life so worked abroad for a summer in Peurto Banus, followed by nightclub work in Newcastle, then became a manager at Hollister. After working over a year in retail I knew it wasn’t for me. I quit my job, pursued a career in fitness, set up my own business with one of my friends and here I am today!

TRC: What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Mike: I always wanted to be happy and successful, but I never knew what it was that I would be doing. I always saw myself being my own boss and running a company of some sort.

TRC: What or who was the catalyst that sparked your interest in body building?

Mike: I can’t pin point the exact moment, it was something that kind of just happened. It was as though i had an urge to start going to my school gym, by myself when I was 17, and start experimenting with all the equipment. I loved the pump, results quickly started to show and it became an addiction.

TRC: Was there a clear, defining moment that triggered your desire?

Mike: Not that I’m aware of. Although there was this one guy at my school who had huge arms and I was like, woah I want arms like that.

Mike Thurston 5TRC: What have been some of the challenges you have faced in your body building career?

Photo by Broosk Saib

Mike: You have to make sacrifices. During my years at university going out, socialising and drinking was a big thing. I very much enjoying taking part in these activities, which meant i spent a lot of the time hungover and unable to train. When i started the company in 2013 i made a conscious effort to remove myself from the party scene and surround myself with people who have similar goals and aspirations. Nutrition is also a big challenge. I have no issue when it comes to working out regularly at an intense level. I love it and most likely will always love it. The problem comes when you have to pass on the foods you love to eat. I can still indulge every now and then, but there are definitely days which are tough.

TRC: Of what does your daily work out regimen consist?

Mike: Good question. It’s always different. When you get to advanced levels of training, particularly muscle hypertrophy you need to change the programme up every now and then. I might stick to the same routine where I work different body parts on a different day for a number of weeks, then alter it. It will also depend on whether i’m looking to cut or put on muscle. I won’t go into too much detail as I don’t think the readers will be that interested!

TRC: Have you ever had a work out or photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Mike Thurston Hold ON My HeartMike: When it comes to the workouts i wouldn’t say they go wrong… I’ve had some shitty workouts where at the end of the session I reflect upon it and think, yeah that was a crap workout. They rarely happen much. I’ve had a few shoots where I’ve not got on with the photographer for a number of reasons. Either I don’t like their vibe or they are just completely inappropriate. They tended to be back in the early days when I had no idea what to expect or what was the norm. Now I’m very particular with whom I shoot with.

TRC: Many photo shoots take the model to exotic locations. What has been your favourite location to shoot? Least favourite location (and why)?

Mike: Marrakech was one of the best places. I shot in a number of different locations, hotels, pools, streets, grand buildings etc. Marrakech is just a very cool place in general and the architecture of some of the buildings is amazing. Least favourite has to be in a crappy apartment in Manchester. I didn’t like the vibe one bit. In general if I get on with the photographer and the location is perfect it’s got the recipe to be a great shoot. New experiences stick with me the most.

Mike Thurston 6TRC: 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?

Mike: Do whatever you feel comfortable doing and don’t let anyone make you do something you don’t want to. Some of these photos can end up circling the internet and therefore haunting you for life. Always be cautious with who you shoot with and what gets shot!

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? What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

Mike: I rarely ever get stressed. I’m a very chilled out guy. I wouldn’t say I was exposed to many people. I let the public see my pictures and that’s pretty much it. I am in control over my private life and what I choose to be public. You do get a lot of messages coming your way, some good, some bad. The downside to this is not having the time to be able to respond to everyone and coming across as being ignorant. I would love to be able to reply to everyone but I simply don’t have the time in the day to do it.

Mike Thurston UntouchableTRC: 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’?

Mike: To be honest I’m not that well educated about the industry of the romance cover model, so I don’t have much to say on that topic! The fact that I’ve been fortunate enough to be on a the cover of a number of bestselling authors books is amazing. So whatever has or is happening in the industry, it gets a big fat thumbs up from me.

TRC: Will you please tell us about how you got started in the modelling business? How were you ‘discovered’?

Mike: It’s all about your own self belief and confidence. I observed other models in the industry and thought to myself, there’s no reason why I can’t do that. I continued to go to the gym, stick to my diet and maintaing living a healthy lifestyle. When you eat, sleep and train good, you look good. A few years ago the selfie hype was none existent. Holiday photos via social media started to get a bit of attention from photographers I was friends with. I started off shooting with them, then the word spread. Higher profile photographers wanted to shoot with me, so I shot with a few of them. As soon as I started building up my instagram that was it, tens of thousands of followers later and everything blew up.

TRC: Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Mike: I do. Some are yet to be announced so I’ll just keep that to myself for now!

TaintTRC: Do you remember the first ‘romance cover’ on which you appeared?

Mike: TAINT by S.L. Jennings.

TRC: Do you have a favorite cover-romance or otherwise? (e.g. body building magazines etc)

Mike: TAINT! haha. I’m a big fan of audiobooks (self help, business, education) but no favourites.

TRC: Would you please tell us what you do to relax?

Mike: Most of the time it involves not moving very much. I spend most of my week moving around, working out, training clients, so it’s nice to take my feet off the ground. I like to surround myself with good people, go out to eat and have a good time. I’ve definitely got the travel bug, especially after visiting so many locations last year, so whenever I get time off I’ll be exploring the world. There’s so much to see and so little time, so I want to make it my mission to see as much of it as possible.

TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Mike:
1. Become world famous and highly respected in my work (my physique, my
coaching and my training)
2. Own a number of successful businesses.
3. Own a gym abroad.

Photo by Broosk Saib

Mike Thurston 3TRC: What is something that few, if anybody, knows about you?

Mike: I eat a hell of a lot more food than most people think. I’m also pretty weird.

TRC: On what on your currently working?

Mike: Lots of different projects. All to be announced soon!

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Mike: Thanks for reading and thank you for all of your support! If you would like to know more about health and fitness and the services that I offer check out :  Aurora Athletic

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food

A high quality burger

Favorite Dessert

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Favorite Movie

In 2014 – Edge of Tomorrow

Favorite TV Show

Of all time – Lost

Last Movie that you Saw

The Drop

Secret Celebrity Crush

Madalina Ghenea

Dark or Milk Chocolate

Milk

Last Book that you Read

50th Law

Pet Peeve

Slow internet, rain, queuing for anything.

TRC: Thank you Mike for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success. We wish you all the best.

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Matthew Todd-Interview with the Cover Model

Matthew Todd-Interview with the Cover Model

August 3, 2014 marks the release of KM Scott’s new Club X series and we would like to introduce to you the cover model for book one TEMPTATION -Matthew Todd

Temptation July 14TRC: Hi Matthew and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the recent cover of KM Scott’s –Club X-TEMPTATION.

Matthew: Thank you! Happy to be here!

TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow Matthew on:  Facebook

Matthew: I’m 29, live in North Carolina, born and raised in New York though. I was a firefighter for 8 years, before starting my own company. On my off time I love to take out the motorcycle, and spend time with my wife and son.

TRC: What were your goals and aspirations growing up?

Matthew: Honestly? I always wanted to be a dad. There was just something about being a dad that I couldn’t wait for. And now that I am one, I love every second of it. I also knew I wanted to help people, hence joining the fire department at a young age.

TRC: Will you please tell us about how you got started in the modeling/cover modeling business?

Matthew: My wife is the owner of Cover Me, Darling, and out of the blue said she needed a favor… She asked me to model for a shoot, and the rest just took off from there.

Follow Cover Me, Darling on Facebook and Twitter

TRC: What was your first ‘published’ cover and by whom?

Matthew Todd 7Matthew: The first book that I actually got to hold in my hand was Strip Me Bare by Marissa Carmel. I believe that was the first one to be printed too.

TRC: Do you know how many covers on which your image has appeared?

Matthew: I think its around 6 or 7? Maybe?

TRC: At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry. What is your opinion about the recent popularity of the romance/paranormal storyline and the very busy industry of the romance cover model? IN other words, do you believe the cover images help sell the books?

Matthew Todd 1Matthew: Absolutely. I 100% believe that they help sell the books. If I’m looking to read a book, I’m going to go for one that has a cover that draws me in.

TRC: Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Matthew: Every single one of them hahaha. It really doesn’t go wrong, it’s just that I joke around a lot and make the photographer (…wife) annoyed. I make a ton of ridiculous faces. So it’s not that it goes wrong, it’s that I go wrong I guess. lol

TRC: Where was the most exotic setting you have had the opportunity to work and model?

Matthew: I mostly do local shoots, so I haven’t gone anywhere too exotic for shoots yet. Hopefully I will someday, maybe Hawaii haha.

TRC: Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial. Some pictures can cross the line between sexuality and pornography. What would you tell young models just entering the business about nude modeling?

Matthew Todd 2Matthew: If you’re comfortable with it, then go for it. Just make sure you are working with a professional, and don’t go beyond what you are okay with.

TRC: Whom do you most admire and why?

Matthew: Every firefighter that puts their life on the line to save someone elses.

TRC: What is your most embarrassing moment?

Matthew: I walked into a storm door the other day while I was working.. like a bird.. right in my face. That was pretty embarrassing.

TRC: When you are not modeling what can we find you doing-in other words-what is your ‘day job’? 😉

Matthew: I own a Home Theater Installation and IT company. So most likely, I’m on a job, scheduling a job, or doing an estimate to get a job. … or in the pool with my son ☺

TRC: What three (3) things would you like to accomplish in the next ten (10) years?

Matthew Todd coverMatthew: As an avid skydiver, I want to do a halo jump. I want to keep growing my company. And I also want to go to Antigua, it’s a long overdue trip for me and my wife.

TRC: What is something that few people (if any) know about you?

Matthew: I cry watching The Land Before Time… shh.

TRC: Would you please tell us what you do to relax?

Matthew: At this point in my life? I don’t know what “relax” means anymore. But the beach is always nice…

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Matthew: It’s a highly classified secret 😉

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Matthew: Yes! I will be at the Southern Girls Author Event, July 19th, in North Carolina. I’ll be sitting with Marissa Carmel. So come say hi!!!

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: Penne Alla Vodka

Favorite Dessert: Tiramisu

Favorite TV Show: NCIS: Los Angeles

Last Movie You Saw: Shrek (with the little guy)

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Milk Chocolate

Favorite Song (at the moment): Summer by Calvin Harris

Secret Celebrity Crush: Daniela Ruah

Last Vacation Destination: New York

Pet Peeve: People stealing my food

TRC: Thank you Matthew for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success. We wish you the very best.

Matthew: Thank you for taking the time to get to know me! I had a lot of fun ☺

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Interview with Cover Model and Actor Joseph Cannata

Interview with Cover Model and Actor Joseph Cannata

With the release of Laura Wright’s new novel BRANDED, we have the pleasure of interviewing the amazing Joseph Cannata-cover model and actor. Let’s welcome Joseph to The Reading Cafe.

Joseph Cannata 3TRC: Hi Joseph and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on getting the cover of Laura Wright’s BRANDED.

We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow Joseph at : Website/ Twitter/

Joseph: Thank you Sandy, well you’ve got my name down already, so we’re off to a good start. I am an Actor/Model born and raised in the beautiful City of Toronto, Ontario. Both my mother and father still tease me to this day that my career is in front of a camera, growing up, I was painfully shy.

TRC: What were your goals and aspirations growing up?

Joseph: When I was a lot younger, I had a fascination with airplanes, I wanted to be a pilot for a very long time. Later on I was working toward becoming a firefighter while also being introduced to acting through my drama class. I figured I’d work hard at acting so that one day I would be a firefighter in a movie or show (less risk I suppose ☺ )

TRC: As a Canadian actor/model do you see many differences or similarities in the industry between the countries?

Joseph: It seems to be getting better in Canada, the industry and a whole. But I personally think there are still many differences, there just doesn’t seem to be enough work in Canada, even though there is work going on all the time, the opportunity for those big break jobs just don’t come around as often as they do in the USA or around the world.

TRC: Will you please tell us about how you got started in the modeling/cover modeling business?

Joseph: I was actually taking a personal break from the business, when my current had sent me an email asking if I was interested in having representation for print work. It was perfect timing for me as I was getting ready to start work again and was going to be on the hunt for new representation. Modeling for me wasn’t something I had interest in per say, I am fortunate enough to have a look that clients find desirable and was more than happy to get involved in it and see where it goes.

Branded June 14

TRC: Your most recent cover is BRANDED by Laura Wright. Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Joseph: Unfortunately I’ve actually lost count of the number of books I’ve done. I know my mother is an avid collector of the novels and the book shelf seems to be growing each time I visit my family.

 

 

TRC: What was your first ‘published’ cover and by whom?

Forever BuckhornJoseph: I will never forget my first time, shooting a book cover ☺ It was called “Forever Buckhorn” by Lori Foster

TRC: At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry. What is your opinion about the recent popularity of the romance/paranormal storyline and the very busy industry of the romance cover model? In other words, do you believe the cover images help sell the books?

Joseph: I think it’s great, most people see the industry dominated by women, which is true. However, there are pleanty of male modeling jobs out there, great ones. Working on cover books is part of that, they’re always a fun, relaxed shoot, the art diretors always set the mood for the shoot before we start which certainly helps me get into whatever character I need to portray. I do think the cover images are very important. Most people are very visual, and they enjoy being able to imagine the cover guy/girl being a real person. People go nuts when they find out a book they love so much is going to film, they want to know who the actors will be. We always have this image in our head of what they’ll look like, It’s a fun process.

TRC: Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Joseph: Hmm, I think I’ve only experienced one cover shoot with an issue. I was working with two little twin girls. Working with children is always very challenging, their parents are on set and close by and I find that is a huge distraction, not only for me, but for the children themselves. One of the girls was very comfortable with me, the other wouldn’t stop crying and wanting her mother. I felt that it was my fault that, wow! I must be bad at my job to make this little girl cry, ha ha! It all worked out in the end, with a little photoshop magic, both girls appeared on the cover.

TRC: Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial. Some pictures can cross the line between sexuality and pornography. What would you tell young models just entering the business about nude modeling?

Joseph Cannata 2

Joseph: My personal opinion on it, male or female. You have to ask yourself, what type of work it is you’re in the business for. There is nothing wrong with sexuality or pornography in print, however they are completely different areas of modeling. It all comes down the project, what it’s being used for, who’s the photographer and where it will be published.

TRC: Who do you most admire and why?

Joseph: It may sound cliché, but I’ve got to say my mother. Not only has she brought me into this world, but also she has raised me exactly the way I would want to be raised, with nothing but love and affection. She is my biggest fan, always supporting me when things are going well and when I’m having moments of “can I really do this job forever”. She will always push me and keep my confidence at a healthy level, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without her support. I’ve seen her go through a lot the past year and her strength and patience deserves an award.

Joseph Cannata Covers 2TRC: What is your most embarrassing moment?

Joseph: Oh boy, I think every audition I go to is my most embarrassing moment. They’re always so silly and will never be able to accept them for what they are! However a very embarrassing story before I was acting/modeling happened at a clothing store I used to work at. A customer was taking fancy to me, of course I didn’t really put it all together until all the girls and manager at the store were laughing at me. The customer had asked me to try on a few articles of clothing because I was roughly the size of the person she was shopping for. That was the easy part, until she asked me if I could try on some underwear for her. Me being me, I went to my manager and asked if I could try on the underwear for this customer, you know, you’ve gotta keep the customers happy. She laughed at me and said Joseph, I think she likes you! I felt my face start heating up and I finally figured it out that she wanted to see me in some briefs!

TRC: When you are not modeling what can we find you doing-in other words-what is your ‘day job’? 😉

Joseph Cannata Covers 1Joseph: I am very fortunate enough to treat Acting/Modeling as my ‘day job’ it’s something I continue to work very hard at and persue, I’m in it for the long haul. You can see me out and about shopping, and keeping healthy at the gym too ☺

TRC: What three (3) things would you like to accomplish in the next ten (10) years?

Joseph:

1 – I would like to be lucky enough to book roles without having to go to auditions. Hopefully in the next 10 years of hard work I’ll have graduated to that level, or at least be offered roles.

2 – Even though I am a full time Actor/Model, I still feel there’s plenty I need to accomplish and learn in this business. More international work, having done some recently I am hungry to attack many more international markets

3 – Like everyone else in this world, I just want to enjoy what I do for the rest of my life, while having a great balance between work and leisure. It’s important to find a job you are passionate about and not worry about money so much. A great philosopher Alan Watts asked the question ‘what would you like to do if money were no object?’ How would you really enjoy spending your life? I think that’s a great question that many people don’t stop to really think about.

TRC: What is something that few people (if any) know about you?

Joseph Cannata 4Joseph: When I mention to people who don’t know me that I used to be and still can be very shy when I’m not working. They find it hard to believe, considering my job. I always tell them, work is different, I’m hired for the skills that I bring to set. I don’t bring those skills to a shopping mall when I’m alone shopping in a crowded mall, that just gives me anxiety!

TRC: Would you please tell us what you do to relax?

Joseph: I really enjoy reading, listening to music, watching movies is very relaxing for me. I find the gym as well, a place of relaxation; it’s my own personal therapist. I throw everything at it and all it gives back to me is this utopic feeling. It’s a good relationship

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Joseph: I’m not currently working on anything specific, everyday is a new day. I’ve recently returned from working in South Africa where I had the pleasure to book a few great jobs. I really fell in love with the country and may perhaps be returning once again in the fall.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Joseph: Oh I’m sure I’ve bored all of you by now, just want to say thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little better and I hope everything has enjoyed reading this interview as much as I’ve enjoyed discussing it. If anyone is interested in keeping up with my daily, weekly, monthly, yearly shenanigans you can find me on Instagram @Josephcannats twitter @JosephCannata, and soon I will have a public profile page on Facebook. Be well everyone ☺

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: Italian

Favorite Dessert: Cheesecake

Favorite TV Show: Game of Thrones

Last Movie You Saw: Spider-man 2

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Dark

Favorite Song (at the moment): City and Color – The Lonely Life

Secret Celebrity Crush: Amber Herd

Last Vacation Destination: Mexico

Pet Peeve: People who walk slow

TRC: Thank you Joseph for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success and we look forward to many more covers and one day seeing you on the big screen.

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