It’s kind of a big deal. Not really. But yeah, I am Mr. United States 2014. It’s just a good story to tell my (never will be born) grandchildren. That their old ass grandpa was once in a modeling contest representing the United States. Now that’s a story.
I get a call at 2 in the morning from my agent and he tells me he was so excited that he couldn’t wait until the morning to tell me. He’s talking and telling me that i’d be representing the United States in one of the biggest modeling competitions in the world. I’m half asleep, half awake, I don’t know what the fuck is going on. Whether this is a very vivid dream or he’s fucking with me. Turns out it’s all real. My reaction was “cool”. I wasn’t jumping up and down. Maybe on the inside, a little. But I don’t really give a shit. I don’t mind modeling but i’m an actor. But to get parts and roles in acting you have to put the time and effort in modeling. I knew this was a big competition and I knew that it has opened doors in acting in previous years for others. That was the only thing I was excited about. That this door just may open up the one I want.
They took us on camp for rehearsals, photoshoots, and what not. In a 5 star hotel, I roomed with Mr. Australia, who was the nicest dude ever. And Mr. Sri Lanka, he was weird. Or so everyone else thought. Luckily the competition was held in Istanbul that year, so I only had to take a cab to the hotel. Unlike my friend Terry, aka Mr. Australia who spent 35 hours in travel time to get there. The entire week we got to experience what it is like to be in the limelight. There were contestants form every corner of the world. Forty different models from forty different countries. I met all the types of models you could imagine. What is the model stereotype? Good looks, dumb as shit, rich, arrogant, fucks 24/7 etc, etc. In all my modeling years, i’ve always tried to stay away from models. The girls are (mostly) superficial, and the guys are (mostly) arrogant. I met all types of models there that fit that bill. However I did meet a few that were different from the rest. Down to earth, very hot, yet very likable people.
We had a great time, but it wasn’t all fun and games. We would rehearse for 6-8 hours a day. We had to go out on the runway on the night of Saturday, which would be a live broadcast in 5 different countries. There were no room for mistakes. We worked with a great choreographer so at the end of it all everything came together very nicely. The girls had it worse than the guys because they had to do whatever we did, in heels. Man there were some hot girls there. My luck, the only two girls I liked had boyfriends. Fucking bullshit.
Seriously, I have zero luck when it comes to love. I mean, I meet a lot of women. But it never really works out. I’m not sure why exactly. I keep wondering about that. I’m not interested in most girls and the ones that actually grab my attention tend to have boyfriends or are just flat out married with two kids. I’m 8/8 right now with meeting girls that I like only to turn out they are taken. The last real relationship I had was with that girl in Denmark. You know, the one I asked to marry so I can be with her and play football. That’s over 5 years ago now. She’s really the only girl I ever loved. Not that I still love her. I feel i’m very much ready for a serious relationship. But it seems there are no girls left in the world. Every single one is either taken or bat-shit crazy. My mom always asks me when i’m gonna meet a nice girl. It’s as if there is a supermarket I can go, to pick one out. I don’t want a girlfriend just for the sake of having one. If i’m gonna commit myself to someone, she’s gotta be the right girl. Otherwise it’s a waste of time.
I want a girl I can travel the world with. She’s gotta make me laugh. I want the perfect combination between sweet and sexy. A lady, but a freak in bed. Basically fucking cinderella. Though I don’t know how good cinderella is in the sack. She doesn’t exist. Even if she did, she probably has a boyfriend. But let me tell you something, whoever ends up with me is gonna be one lucky lady. Not that I want kids, but I know i’d make a great father. If I ever have a kid it’s gotta be from the right woman. Like I said, they don’t exist. I’ll probably still be single by the time this book is published. So any of you gals who are reading this right now, look me up.
The thing with me is I get bored very quick. Unless i’m out of my mind in love, i’ll be looking for the next one. I sleep with a girl one time. Unless she is in the top 5 of the best fucks i’ve ever had, I don’t even bother with her. I’m a man who’s got very specific taste. Not particularly a type, but more characteristic traits. Sometimes i’d be with a girl and i’d say something or do something randomly just to see how she would react. This could be anything. I’d do it just to see her reaction. Based on her response or reactions, i’d get an idea of what I need to know. It may sound horrible, but I do it with most people. Even my friends or people i’ve just met. It gives me an idea of the type of personality they have. I never judge. But I do make assumptions based on my analysis. I have a few agreements going with a couple of girls. If neither of us are married by 35, we would marry each other. I’d probably be in the same boat I am in now by that age. A single hopeless romantic.
You’d think having a nice body, being Mr. America, being an awesome cook, and a poet would help my chances of finding someone. Whatever man. The more I write about this, the more it pisses me off. Fuck it. Im not in a rush. Time is on my side, but come on! Now im not looking anymore. Let her find me. Then i’d be the luckiest guy alive.
We went on stage with the cameras rolling. I walked my part without any mistakes, so I didn’t embarrass myself on national television. At the end of it all, like they initially said, Mr. Turkey ended up winning. I didn’t get into the top 3 but I did win America’s best model. I beat out the guys from Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, and Argentina. Good looking dudes. I really didn’t care. I was just happy to be there. Me being there was never supposed to happen. It was something of a bonus. I just figured it would open up other doors for my acting career. That’s the only thing that mattered. I’m not a model. I just model. I’m an unknown actor. And I take pride in that. Fame isn’t for me. I like acting for the art of it. And im a damn good actor.
Who knows maybe someday I will achieve my dream of paying my bills through acting. Maybe not. Unlike others though, my motive is not fame or money. It’s my passion. That’s what separates me from them. I get people saying that acting will change me. I don’t believe it will. Maybe thats why deep down I wanna make it. To prove to everyone i’d still be the same guy. Not that I have the urge to prove anything to anyone. I just want to lead by example. Not just with acting, with everything in life. Sometimes I would go to auditions and meet other people who are there for the same reason I am. I ask them why they wanna become actors. I either get “I wanna be famous” as an answer or they look at me without knowing what to say. Then they return the favor by asking me my question. My response is always the same; “Because i’m damn good at it”.
I often look down on actors. I don’t see actors as individuals to admire. Most of them are prima donnas, superficial and arrogant. I don’t include myself in that category. I’m not better. I’m just different. I’m not perfect. But i am unique. I’m very confident when I act. When I get a script I know I can play the shit out if it. I know I can tap into any character. I love challenging myself in that sense. Funny how I never have dreams of being in Hollywood. Given the chance, i’d probably say no. That’s a lie, i’d take a chance like that. But I prefer to do it in Turkey. Why? I’m not sure. I think i’m a better actor in Turkish than in English. Why? I don’t know. I guess it’s because I use a unique Turkish accent with Americanized tones and gestures. If that makes any sense.
Here is the thing. Acting is very different to other professions. It’s a tough business to break into. You need patience and most of all, you need luck. You need to know people, that know people. Most of the time it’s just waiting by the phone for the agency to call you and tell you about an audition. It’s not often that happens. I have been in Istanbul for 8 months and I have been to 3 auditions. Three of them of which i’ve been awesome yet never heard back. The fact that I have tattoos doesn’t help my cause. But I don’t regret them at all. They are a part of me. If they want me they have to accept me with my tattoos. If not, fuck you. The way i see it is nobody has tattoos in this business. I’m rare, and unique. If anything it’s a good thing. But you can’t let your head drop. You keep failing until one day you get it. When you get it, you get it. You’re in. But like I said, it’s waiting by the phone. I don’t wanna waste my life waiting for the phone to ring. I would teach English and wait to be called for auditions. I’m tired of teaching. I wanna travel the world. The only problem with that is, agencies get an email from cast producers 3 days prior to a meeting. If i’m halfway around the world, it’s not gonna be so easy to make it. So I have to always be nearby. However I don’t wanna be waiting for the same phone call in 5 years. I would have wasted all that time waiting when I could have been traveling the world. Like I mentioned before, my mom works for the airline company so i get ridiculously cheap tickets. Then again I also don’t wanna look back in 5 years and think I should have done more to succeed in acting. I’m just torn apart. But the fact that I am in Thailand right now writing this chapter tells me i’ve taken the decision to travel.
My friends and family really seem to believe in me. Even my agency and the people I work closely with. They seem to see something in me that maybe I don’t yet see. It’s just about getting the right projects. If they come along of course. I know if I ever get there I won’t let them down. I won’t let down the people who believed in me. Most of all I won’t let myself down. My feet will always be on the ground and my heart will always be the same.
I’m not gonna force acting in any way. If it happens it happens. Other than that, i’m just gonna be, and let it be. I’ll of course still do the best I can in my own terms, but I won’t make it my life’s mission. There is more to life than to be on camera, reading some lines. Who knows, there is no age to acting. I may just get a role in my thirties or forties. I’ve always been sort of a late bloomer so maybe that will be the case with acting. All I know is, i’m not on my knees praying to God for a role. I have nothing to pray for. God already gave me everything I ever need and more. I’m only thankful. Everyday. I feel selfish praying for things like that, when there are other people out there who are struggling with an illness or don’t have food in their bellies. Let their prayers be answered. They need it more. I have been fine without acting and I will be fine without it after this point. It would just be nice to be somebody else for a change.
The thing is I act everyday. In class, I don’t reveal to my students that I speak Turkish. I just don’t see any reason for them to speak to me in Turkish when they are trying to learn fucking English. I used to keep it a secret from my students, and my co-workers. You should have seen the look on some of those faces when one day all of a sudden I answer them in perfect Turkish. Priceless!
After 7 months of full time traveling, i’m ready to get to work. Im ready to commit myself 110% to making my dream a reality. I will give it a “considerable” amount of time. If i see progress, I will keep at it. If not, I will pack my bags and jump on the next moving cloud. But I feel the time is now. If there is ever a moment where I may grab life by the balls, it’s now. Although I want this so bad. It will not defy me. Ive already won. I already have everything I ever wanted and more. I just would like to work towards something. Something I like. Something with potential. Instead of being stuck bartending or a teachers salary. Not that i have any complaints. But when im 35 and I look back at my life, the last thing I wanna feel is regret. Most people never achieve their dreams because of their fear of failure. I will not accept failure without giving it my utmost. Even then I will never see it as failure. Life just may have other plans for me. And thats fine. But I believe I can make it. If I didnt I would never waste my time. Whatever ive ever set my mind to i’ve achieved. My history tells me that if I stay dedicated, focused and patient, with hard work and sacrifice, I WILL make it. Not can, may, should, could or would. Fucking WILL. Will I shall. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I don’t fear chasing my dream and failing. I fear once I achieve my dream, I will realize it’s not what I thought it was and let it go.