By Taroue Brooks
How did you get started modeling?
It’s funny because originally one of the guys I played basketball with my freshman year, his mom recruited me to walk for a panel for a model search. They liked me but I turned it down because I was focused more on sports. Then I went to the Navy for a couple of years and after I was honorably discharged I was recruited by a mother agent in Dallas TX. off the street. And from there the rest has been history.
What preparation is necessary before doing a shoot?
Always make sure you are working out and watching what you eat, I try and stick mainly to lean proteins.
My morning routine consist of mainly egg whites and oatmeal. Before the gym, and for dinner I like to have lean meats such as Chicken/Fish with spinach, some brown rice or vegetables. Always stay hydrated.
And do a lot of cardio and abs before a shoot. I also like plan shoots in the morning so I have as little to nothing in my system for body shoots. I can eat before a shoot if I’m wearing layers. I do this because you can appear a little bigger on camera.
And last but not least, grooming. This is also important because having the right grooming I.e. body and haircut can not only add to a look but it makes the shoot look more professional. So always groom and skincare, I like to wash and moisturize in the morning and at night. Always carry eye drops and chap-stick, Especially with the dry air in California.
Tell us how your train to maintain your physique.
Cardio and Prayer
What is the process and your experience working with an agency?
It’s important to know who you are working for, always do your research before committing. Never sign anything without reading it over and over, and don’t be afraid to seek legal advice. But usually it’s smooth, the agents are very nice and want the best for you, one thing I cannot stress enough is the contact with your agent.
Having a strong relationship is important, I always like to drop in and say hi or send a goofy card, or treats to let them know you appreciate all their hard work.
Tell us about your path in becoming an actor.
It hasn’t been easy, coming from the Navy I’ve never really been the loudest or cocky in any sense of the word like most people would think. So to me it took some time to find comfort in modeling, but after I walked so many shows and being in front of hundred to thousands on stage it made the transition easier.
I don’t think I will ever forget the first commercial that I shot, I really didn’t know what was going on but they told me it was airing during the Sochi olympics and I’ll never forget the feeling of being in front of the production, watching how things worked with everyone to tell the story. Shortly after I move to Miami where they are constantly shooting commercials.
While I was in Miami I gained more TV experience but I wanted to dive deeper, and when I had the opportunity to work in New York I jumped on it, I wanted to study acting there as well. That same year I attended the New York Film school for a concentrated two year Acting course, It was an entire year I dedicated and had to stop modeling for an entire year just to train. We studied 6-7 days a week but my mom always told me you have to make sacrifices for the things you want, and the training is so important in acting and improv.
The process can be tough but staying focused and ready is all you can do. It’s not cheap to be an actor, you are constantly making investments. From school, training, business cards (Head-shots), gas and travel.
But staying in class, always learning and sharpening those tools in your scene work is what it’s about, I travel a lot so I do many self tapes. At times shuffling to find a good place to self tape, I’ve even recorded my own voice at time when I can’t find a reader. But I’m competing with some of the best and When the right role comes I will be ready.
What kind of roles are you most interested and why?
I love a wide range of genres, I would like to do a love story. One of tragedy and war, I like suspense and drama but also comedy is a huge part of my personality.
What does success look like to you?
Success to me is reaching a level in life where you are creating opportunity, bringing people together, investing in others and the community.
Tell us about your hobbies.
I love playing basketball, football, running, salsa and bachata dancing. Love watching comedy, and thriller movies. Traveling and cooking.
Where do you see your career both modeling and acting in the next five years?
Working more in film and creating projects.
Modeling Accolades with major brands include–
Ralph Lauren , Zappos , Haggar men’s clothing, American Airlines, Verizon, Canon cameras, Zales , Heineken, JCPenny, Cabellas sports & outdoors, Under Armour, Macy’s, Nordstrom (Dallas)