As I have mentioned before, once in a while I model for French GQ. This commercial commitment allows me to write difficult poetry and compose experimental music for tambourine in my free time without having to take into account what the public may want.
You might think that modeling is easy, but in fact it’s much tougher than it appears. Especially when — in my case for instance — it’s more of a acting job. To be clear: modeling is for sissies and the Actor’s Studio is for tough guys. Needless to say, you always throw in a sensitive note now and then to add heart-breaking depth to the most physical performances.
I’ve made this selection of 7 shots that give, I think, a good idea of the breadth and richness of my interpretations.
#1- No matter how laid back you are, you can’t pretend to be an actor (or even model) unless you’re a true athlete. See how the other dude in this shot, three-time winner of the Jokari World Championship, is paralysed by my technique.
#2- Here I’m demonstrating my disregard to pander as a DJ by playing an entire Joanna Newsom track admidst a hostile crowd. Note that the RPM was slowed by 40 percent for total chill-out effect.
#3- Part of the job is that you have to work with a wide variety of folks. I don’t remember exactly what was the point of this shot. It was right after lunch break. May be I went back in the wrong studio.
#4- A tricky one : « How to attract the attention of a French waiter ? »
For this, they re-enacted on my own experience of long hours spent in cafés, which was not really to my benefit: how do you quantify such an expertise, gained at the expense of your own pocket money ? You always end up being paid less than what you deserved !
Of course, the guy in a white jacket is not a real waiter, as he would have never turned his head in my direction.
#5- The job has its highs and lows of dignity. Here I was asked to show how to light up a match before leaving the bathroom as a courtesy to the next user. I had never heard of this, but according to French GQ, it’s customary to do so. (Beware of doing it in a plane though). The explosion that ensued shaked the whole building and broke the rear window of the stylist’s Fiat 500 parked round the corner.
#6- Another odd one : I was directed to demonstrate how to drink from a shoe, with impeccable style and manner. If one has to pour Champagne in a shoe, it seemed obvious to me that my waterproof old Red Wings were the most apropriate container.
#7- When to use or not use a cellphone is a heady question. When I asked a young assistant her opinion, she explained that what’s impolite is to not multitask while being with someone: it gives your companion the awkward sense of being somebody of less importance.
The shoot took hours. To have the girls right all at once was the most difficult, Paul, the art director, had to stand on a chair and yell in a microphone, waving a red flag to get their attention.
And in the over-heated studio, the girls had to get their make-up redone every 15 minutes, even though the image was to be retouched by the famous Pascal Dangin. Just for my beard, Pascal had to work 5 hours to get rid of bread crumbs left by a bruschetta from the delicious Italian catering.
Paul Simon sings « The Sound of Silence »
A police officer wipes his eyes at the end of the song.
A thundering biker stopped for photos.