How did you get into modeling? What were you doing before?
I got into modeling out of pure chance and luck. I was "discovered" by Maher Naser of Ford Models. I was hanging with some friends and we stopped by Nordstrom. Maher was there and stopped me to ask if I would be interested in trying to model. At that time, I was working at a real estate investment trust in Chicago as a Senior Financial Analyst. I kind of slowly started to do some modeling while I was still working full-time and gradually as things started progressing, I took a leap of faith and quit my corporate job to give modeling a go...not the wisest move according to some, but it has changed my life in so many ways, amazing ways.
Since this fashion story is all from Billy Reid's S/S 2011 collection, and you were cast in his show, tell me how you felt about his collection and the show.
I was lucky enough to be cast in the Billy Reid show in Fashion Week this year. The show was a huge success. The clothes, production, and vibe were all perfect. It was a very rustic, Southern gentleman type of feeling—but at the same time very modern. I loved the clothes mostly because it's the general style that I tend to wear in my daily life. It was really great to be a part of a show of that caliber. All the major players of the fashion world were there...I mean, Anna Wintour was backstage looking at the clothes before the show. I don't think she shows up unless the designer is extraordinarily talented...which Billy Reid certainly is.
What do you do outside of modeling now? What other career are you pursuing?
Outside of modeling, I do a variety of things. I still am very involved in the world of finance but mostly on an individual basis. I trade in the stock market regularly, invested in a new up-and-coming fashion line—Dorsia—but what I am most excited about is that I am studying theater/acting. I have been able to be involved with a few national commercials over the past two years which really sparked my desire to try to learn the craft of acting. I have the utmost respect for all actors and now realize how challenging the job can be. I am studying at the Atlantic Theater Company and hope to one day be in stage productions along with continuing to pursue commercial/TV/movie roles. Finally, I am doing a bit of singing and am working with a wonderfully talented producer to finish some tracks.
Since this story has a bit of an academic flavor to it, could you tell me your all-time favorite book and subject in school?
I really love many, many books for different reasons. I love The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, On the Road, etc. I am almost embarrassed to say it, but The DaVinci Code absolutely blew me away. I loved the excitement along with the historical aspects of the story. Another reason that book had an effect on my life, was that after reading that book, it triggered me to start reading for "fun" all the time. It opened the flood gates, if you will. My favorite subjects in school were English and history. I really enjoy writing. I loved learning to analyze what you were reading and how to delve further into the true essence of the material. It also was a way to get creative and write fiction stories—a good outlet. I also really love history. It's fascinating to learn how the present came to be formed, essentially. All moments in the past mold what is today's world in some capacity. Dissecting the different past-times, traditions, and evolution of society will never get old. If we could time travel, sign me up. Haha. Marty McFly right here.
What's your favorite memory from school?
I don't have a favorite memory from school per se. There are thousands of moments that help build up the collective perception of school for me. They range from doing well in the academic portion of school, participating in sports, to the overall pride of the school body...but mostly the people I went to school with make up my favorite memories. My closest friends that I went through each stage of school with and went through the good, bad, and completely insane times. All of them definitely had a huge influence on who I am today.
Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day is pretty simple. I am a morning person so I will get up around 7ish. First off, coffee and the newspaper. The first sip of coffee in the morning is unreal...love it. I like to get my blood flowing, so a nice run by the river is always therapeutic. I like to get the creative juices flowing, so if no work is happening, I will be writing, taking pictures, or rehearsing scenes. I love to eat so a bountiful sushi dinner with my wonderful girlfriend would be choice. To cap off the day, having beers with some good friends at a concert—preferably Interpol. That would be a heaven-like day.