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Interview with BMG Model Jason Christensen

Jason Christensen BMG Models

Photo by Taylor Tupy, Provided by BMG Models

Age: 23
Based in: Orlando, Miami & Chicago
Currently Located: Orlando, Florida, but I travel so often I always think of airports when people ask where I live.
Agency: BMG Models

Slenderbread: You recently signed with BMG Models. What was it that drew you to sign with that agency specifically?
Jason: Ready for this confession? By the time I was 18 I already had 6 very successful modeling agencies representing me, but during a weekend shoot in Chicago I met with BMG and it became the only agency that ever turned me down. When I moved to Florida for my PhD a few years later, I heard BMG’s Orlando office was less than 10 miles away from my new villa. It was a chance for me to prove to myself that I improved every day and was worthy of their representation now. After meeting with BMG Orlando’s agents, I was signed the next day.

SB: Do you have any previous modeling experience?
JC: I’m reaching nearly a decade of experience in the modeling industry having worked in LA, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, & Miami. Growing up in Minneapolis, I made a name for myself at a young age so that when I reached 20 my portfolio was already full. This is what BMG really wanted: a fresh face with a full portfolio and a decade of experience. I’ve walked in countless runways, numerous editorial spreads, magazine covers, and commercials for clients ranging from Target to Aveda.

SB: How does your age play a role in your modeling career now and in the future?
JC: To be honest, I don’t think that age is as critical as the public perceives it to be when it comes to modeling. Most male models start their careers a decade after female models around 25 or 30 when they’re really developed and trained. I didn’t want to let that obstacle stop me so I first auditioned when I was 15 and my career improved every year. If you really want something, you’ll work for it no matter if you’re 15 or 50. Agents and clients will recognize your confidence and talent; age is simply an excuse for the failure you’re afraid of.

SB: What do you do on a weekly basis to practice and improve your modeling skills?
JC: This is a critical, often unasked question. People see a magazine cover and assume that it took a quick afternoon to create. In reality, being a professional model requires a daily dedication. For male models especially, fitness is everything. It becomes a part of your lifestyle. There are no “plus size” divisions for male models in any agency in the world. Aside from our physical obligations, I attend every test shoot and casting requested by my agents. I’m grateful that I work so consistently that the best way for me to practice is simply by doing. You’ll learn something new on every set. If you don’t, you won’t last very long. (more…)

How Tall Are You?!

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Photo by Michael Lewis from Studio One

Hello, hope everyone is getting ready for the holidays. I love it, family, friends, reflecting on the end of a year and excited to see what the new one will bring. I said I would answer some questions I get, and thought we would contiue with “How tall are you and does your height hurt or help you?!?!”

Well, that is a good one.

I am 5’8. Pretty truly exactly that. Everyone fudges a bit, but honestly I am right on the mark. And that is good, bad, ok, and depends. It is probably one of the most difficult heights. It is getting better for “modeling”. When I started perusing the modeling world about 2 years ago, it wasn’t working. Most agencies wouldn’t see you if you were under 5’9!! I even walked into some in the beginning and would send me right out. But now that height requirement starts with 5’8. Of course there are a few super models who are there but most are taller. It makes it difficult to be a fashion or runway model if you’re not at least 5’9. Like I said it is not like it doesn’t happen, but you gotta be pretty special to get booked over the tall long legged girls. Commercial print and advertisements you are ok, but still not the sought after height. Being 5’8 is acceptable and workable, but not idealistic if you want to claim the title of high fashion or runway.

With that being said, can you believe for the acting world I am tall!! My height has already hurt me. I was up for the costar role in 2 different movies and the stars were much shorter.  Examples: Emilio Estevez 5’4; Seth Green 5’4; Jack Black, Daniel Radcliffe, and Elijah Woods all 5’5; Ben Stiller, Christian Slater and Tom Cruise all 5’7. Ready for the girls? Megan Fox 5’4, Scarlett Johannson 5’3, Dakota Fanning 5’4, Vanesa Hudgens 5’1, Hayden Panettier 5’0, Hillary Duff 5’0. So I am sure you get the idea here.  Maybe that’s why you don’t see a lot of models become actresses!

Its so funny how I said everyone fudges their height, I have 1 agent who literally has me at 5’7 ½ for acting and 5’9 for modeling lol.

Its weird, and acting is such a puzzle. Beside the fact you have to be able to act you have to fit the puzzle. I was so close to a big part in a major but a lot of the story line focused on the mother & daughter, the mother was already booked (and well known) and I was 3 inches taller than her! Ya didn’t get the part. If you start thinking of all this you will look at tv, movies and magazines differently. Think of that puzzle. Height is HUGE! Most only think of height requirements when it comes to the fashion world, so not true!! More to think about- you never see 2 best friends that look alike! Especially girls. There is a lot that goes into these things, so sometimes if you don’t get the part, you simply just didn’t fit. Not that you aren’t a talented actress or a great model, you just didn’t FIT the specs. But don’t give up. Every puzzle piece has its place.

Keep trying!! I am!!

Thoughts on Bullying

So I bet you think this blog will be about why I am back from Korea early. It is not. I am actually saving that story for later. It is a very interesting story.

I actually want to talk about something really important. I keep reading posts about the model who wrote a strong nasty letter about Kendall Jenner. I have so much to say about this. First, any bullying is unacceptable. I do mean ANY. I do not care who the person is. If you do not want to be around the person simple walk away or ignore them. Any type of action that intentionally makes someone feel less than they should is not acceptable.

I really do not care that KJ is rich or from a family that is famous (I have no idea why these people are famous. Intellectually it just hurts my brain that people can and do become famous for certain reasons. ). Did she pay people to get jobs? Did her family pay people? Did her family use connections to get her work? I really do not care. I think the main point is she does fit the measurements. She is qualified to do the job. However she got the job is not important.

Using the fame to get a job is nothing new. This is the way it is people. No one hates on Cindy Crawford or her daughter who is a young model. Could she get jobs without her famous Mom? Maybe. The reality is her image will sell things. That is the job. That is why we model. We sell things. If my image makes you want to buy the clothes or an item I am holding than I have done my job.
Should you have to start from the bottom and work years to get a big modeling job? NO! If you can bypass the difficult parts of breaking into an industry then I say go for it.

I have been really lucky that I have very few bullies in the industry. I can count them on 1 hand. I have many more supporters. I choose to focus my attention on people’s positives and not the negative. I have had my share of bullies when I was in school. What I do have is an incredibly supportive manager. I have the best friends a girl could want and believe it or not many of them are models. We can and do support each other. We get it. We are each other’s cheerleaders. On that note the picture with this post is the night I landing in Orlando from Seoul. I was met at the airport by my sister and my amazing friend Angelise who is a model. Her being there meant everything to me.

Model Megan Lessard

Have a safe holiday season!

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