The Most Famous Model You Never Heard Of
The 7-Eleven job at the left was their big push to
advertise their sponsorship of the '84 Olympics.
The decision on whose hand to use came down
to Kevin Sorbo's (TV's Hercules) and mine.
The ad ran in most of the national magazines,
and even professional football programs. The
only problem was, without my face showing, how
could other clients know to book me?
The photographers all knew who I was, and they started booking me. But
even with some really big clients like Fossil and JCPenney, I kept getting
booked for jobs that either didn't show my face, or for some other reason,
didn't feature me in a way that would make me recognizable.
I was making money, but anonymously.
What started happening was that clients began to realize that they could save
money using me for their hands and parts ads, because I was good at
listening to their direction, which saved a lot of time on the set. I became the
go-to hand model.
I was becoming the best known (and best paid)
model in town, but nobody knew my face. I
could walk anywhere I wanted, and nobody
knew who I was.
Getting a magazine cover was usually the big
springboard to stardom that models coveted.
I found it amusing to be waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store while people
seemed to complain about the photo being "gross", while I stood right behind them. The
bottom line was, the cover sold a lot of magazines. The clients were happy, so the
photographer used me in many future jobs. As he moved into video production, he also
used me for TV commercials in which he needed a hand model. I did commercials for
Exxon, fried chicken, beer companies, and many other jobs.
More details of all of these stories can be found in my book, "Hand Job".
If you are a prospective model looking to
get into the business, or if you are an
agent or run a school or convention and
want to add hand/parts modeling to your
business, Mike is available as a
Volume discounts are available to book stores
and modeling agents/conventions. Mail to
email@example.com for details.
The Most Famous Model You Never Heard Of
After working as a model, actor, and voice-over artist in two decades, I know that I was very fortunate to
have made a pretty good living in show business. What nobody will tell you about show business is,
99% of all people who call themselves models and actors don't make enough money from paying jobs
to meet their living expenses. That is why so many actors work as waiters, for example.
In spite of the facts, people continue to be convinced that they will be the next superstar. While it's true
that a handful of models and actors are among the richest people in the country, that's only true for the
lucky one in a million. Ask them in private, and they'll agree.
Does this mean that you can't make it as a model? Well, that depends upon what result you are
looking for. If you think that quitting school early to go to Europe, because some scout said you
have what it takes to be a star, is a good bet, you'll do better buying lottery tickets.
But, if you have the determination to start and build your own business, and will stick with it
through long periods of low income and rejection, you can make a good part-time income, and
possibly even a decent living in show business.
Be ready to adapt to changing situations, like I did. Sometimes things turn out differently than you
I had positioned myself to be a top model, having gone to New York, Paris, Munich, and Osaka,
Japan. I did all of the things the agents told me to do to make it in the big time. And for a while,
I started getting some pretty good jobs. Then, one of my biggest jobs ever, changed the
direction my career would go.
In my case, even the covers I was booked for, didn't show my face. My first really big magazine
cover was for Texas Monthly, where I was portraying the subject of a story about a heart
transplant candidate. This photograph was made before Photoshop or other photo
manipulation software, and was considered very sophisticated at the time.
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