Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The EXTRAORDINARY Croatian/Scottish male model, student, 22
who has done campaigns & TV commercials for GUCCI, ISSON, LARRIE, SAMSUNG, SPRITE, LG...
  & Editorials for many Magazines - BAZAAR, CLEO, MENSWEAR, GIRLFRIEND, MEN'S HEALTH...

Interviewed & Edited by Teenie Fung

Agency: Chadwick Models
Height: 182cm
Eye colour: Green

Where were you born and raised?
Sydney, Australia. 
Except for two years that I spent in the country with my mum in a small town near Coffs Harbour - which for those of you who don't know, Coffs Harbour is the home of THE BIG BANANA! A giant, plaster banana which has information on HOW banana's are grown on the inside! So much more classy than the Eiffel Tower. 
Recent work: The most recent shoot I did was for an editorial to be be published in Indonesia.
Places you've been in your career: Singapore, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Korea.

Describe your personality in a few words: I'll explain it in one! Cultivated - I've read way too much self help, I am at the stage where I am more or less a human iphone and all the character traits you read about in books like Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography have been either loaded or are loading in my head, so in essence if you ever read a book with a 40 year old man, who doesn't look physically threatening at all, smiling at you on the front cover with a nice sunset in the background and it's called something like "Reclaim your inner warrior" THAT'S ME! 
What are you wearing today? (said in a hot girl's voice) Not fair I just woke up! But even if I didn't I'd still be wearing the same thing - skinny leg jeans, a t shirt of my dad's (he bought in Dubai) with a picture of Qatar cigarettes on it and a saudi arabian man smoking with the title at the bottom saying "one habit you won't be able to SHIEK!" - and there's probably 20 holes in it (laugh) - and right after this I'm going to the mall in it, can't be bothered to change. 

Jordan, working 
whilst studying 
International Politics at 
University of New 
South Wales 
(Australia), talks 
about the inside life 
of modelling and 
what it takes to 
reach the top.

How did you get your first modelling job and how was it like?

I got my first job in high school final year through my agency - it was an ad for playstation 3 - I personally can't wait until the technology is so obsolete that when you look back at the ad it will be like watching a 50's commercial for incredible LEGO! 

I remember sitting in the makeup room feeling as confident and proud of myself as you'd imagine a news anchor to feel while he's getting powdered. (laugh) This unfounded thought stream of "yup, old hand - just a quick in and out of pure Jordan fuelled magic, wink at the team, fling jacket over my back as I walk out of the building smoking a cigarette while everyone there thinks - suuuuuucch a MAN!" 

In reality I got in front of the camera and it was like a deer at the lights of a car - way too self conscious, just shockingly nervous, the pictures were terrible and I remember walking out and this other male model who was in his 20's giving me a look of "you got a lot to learn kid" And surprisingly you do! Learn to control your emotions! There is such a huge difference between the guys who do learn it and those who don't.

Before you were scouted have you ever thought about modelling: 
Sigh, can't believe I'm saying this but yes - I saw Zoolander when it first came out, and it still grinds me today that it didn't get the oscar, (laugh) I actually thought about modelling after that! And that movie was designed to make fun of male models!!! REVERSE EFFECT! It's like watching supersize me while the guy is throwing up and thinking "you gunna finish those fries mate?" So when I was 12 I wanted to be a male model. And then forgot about it until I was I think 18 when I was scouted.

You've been in many types of modelling from runway to TV commercial, can you tell us which you enjoyed the most? 
Mmm tie between two but I've already talked about the other one in another interview so you get the scraps! But actually now that I think about it you get the scoop, right time, right place - I actually enjoyed this one more probably for spiritual reasons. For a LARRIE campaign they flew us to this city in Indonesia called Yojakarta during the summer, 2010. This Russian girl and I were staying in this balla resort for 3 days, taking shoots in all the touristy areas of the town because the shoot concept was "having fun with your loved one abroad". 

In reality both of us were single and and every time they asked us to smile we'd both think "sigh, whats the point... I've got no one to share this smile with". But It was such a warped moment of my life where I thought "Steven Hawking is right, this universe is random" (laugh). I'm not a good person, I mean yeah I recycle but I haven't cured a sick kid, yet I'm being rewarded!? Good things do happen to bad people. I had done nothing to deserve being paid to go on vacation! Those were the best days of my life! (oh yeah)

It is commonly said that models often face criticisms of their appearances, if any, how do you cope with such unpleasant moments?  
Yeah all the time! Constantly! In fact if anything I'm told I'm ugly more often than ugly people are! My nose is bulbous, my eye is off centre (it got scratched by a cat when I was ten months old, I am essentially a pirate I can't see out of it)- You hear it all the time and I think we can all agree that someone talking about your appearance even though we all learn from sesame street that "it doesn't matter" it cuts you deep when someone says you're not attractive. The thing to remember is the concept of "getting icy". This refers to, you know when you see a rapper like Jay Z being interviewed and he doesn't care what the interviewer says, he always stays cool and he comes off as a boss cool, collected and confident. He wasn't always like that. Back when he was starting off he was a little troll like geek of a man. Now however, he is "Icy". It comes from years and years of criticism and jabs and burns every time you see a person who is very emotionally strong its because they've been through so much slander that, like a muscle, they've built around it and now they're much stronger for it. 

Think of criticism the same way. 

Always remember that the more a criticism hurts, 
the more muscle you've just built - feel the burn! 

It's exactly the same as the burn you get from a really good work out and if you aren't getting that at least on a weekly basis then you aren't growing emotionally and are still the same little insecure baby you were when you were 7. Remember that if you're not growing you're shrinking. So you should not be avoiding criticism but be looking for more and more. You will be a better person for it. 

For example because of criticism about my eye - I do eye exercises. Isn't that awesome? A 50 year old blimp whose parents didn't approve of him being homosexual once said to me that I'm cock eyed. I took action and fixed it. The process was that I thought about it for weeks, on loop over and over "it's not even that bad man! Argh! Why'd he have to say something that's true but not pleasant!!!" Then finally because I got so much pain from it I looked up how to improve it, now I'm no longer cock eyed and my eyes are actually physically stronger because of it. That fat bald idiot improved my life! 

Don't shrug off or avoid criticism, 
so cliche but so true - learn from it. 
It's actually what separates successful people from failures. 

Now days if a girl ever rejects me that I'm pursuing, or someone criticizes me for anything it doesn't hurt me nearly as much as it does most of my other friends. Very rarely do criticisms take me out of step these days, and I owe that a lot to modelling. 

You’ve been working as a model for 4 years now. What do you think are some of the most important things you’ve learned about how to be successful? 
The same principles are applicable to modelling as they are to any other field. I strongly believe that long term success in this industry is as predictable as the sun rising and setting. Far be it from me to mention all of them in this interview but the biggest gem of advice I can give you is to... 

Improve yourself daily

Adopt the principle of Kaizen, constant and never ending improvement, just focus on doing one thing a little better than you did yesterday and your self esteem will increase leaps and bounds as a result. Make your teeth just that little bit whiter, figure out a slightly better exercise routine, eat just one less Whopper this week and you've had a victory. That's the key to your moral, make sure you feel like you're winning constantly, and it will have knock on effects. 

I've walked into castings before where all the other guys looked self absorbed and disinterested but because I was so focused on how appreciative I am of life and even the fact that I was chosen to go to a casting where 99% of the population wouldn't be invited, by the time I walked into the office I was so high on life that the photographer said "I really like your personality" or words to that effect and I got hired. Which brings me to my next central point, and you hear this all the time but 

focus on cultivating 
these two intelligences above all else 

Read as much as you can about it, go to seminars on it - did you know that 80% of your problems in life will be the result of other people, and 80% of your happiness will come from them as well? The resources are out there to make yourself, over time transform from the nerd in the corner of the party shaking with nerves to the guy that every one says "oh that guy's coming?! Awesome!" These are the two most important intelligences you can possibly focus on and with whatever you choose in life a person who has these tools will ALWAYS do far better than someone without them. This goes doubly for male models. You really can get by, just by being socially intelligent. 

And finally, I know when you're starting out it seems like you're not going anywhere and that you'll never have anything but failure after failure. Everyone thinks this and that's why there are male models out there who are far more attractive than I am, who are taller too but they don't have as many pictures in their portfolio as I do. Now I'm not saying that I'm one of the elites, I'm far from it but only guys like Mathias Lauridsen start off with a bang. It's a freak minority. Anything you do in life is like that. Yeah there's a few that get lucky so what? 

In the vast majority of success stories 
luck had nothing to do with it...
their only qualification was that 
they were willing to persevere and 
as a result they were rewarded. 

...AND unlike the person who got lucky their character has undergone huge changes because of the hurdles they faced in reaching their goal. I've met some really top male models (I won't say who)  who can't hold down a quality relationship, not because of travelling but because of their attitude to life. Its just life has been too easy on them and as a result they are still self absorbed children and the knock on effects are huge. They make more money than me but they constantly have way less money than I do because they spend it on whatever doodad gadget catches their eye, you can see that people are bored by them after they get over their intimidating good looks. These are the guys I don't envy because their life is when you look at it- a total joke. I say...

if you are given the hard path 
you won't regret it ever. 
You are the one that is going to 
experience growth.  

How do you keep balance between your degree, professional life, family and personal commitments (friends & love life)? 
Well I don't have a love life at the moment so that frees up HUGE chunks of time and yes if you're in Aus find me! I'm as desperate as a spinster with very few eggs left, but I would have to say that with the other facets of life  - I am a very organized, rigid robot of a man. I keep to time constraints with creepy precision. Of course there's always more that I wish I did in a week and every now and then I have a dismally unproductive week but here's the trick for modern day time management. 

At the beginning of the week 
write out all the things you'd like to accomplish, 
then prioritize them, and then put them into your week planner. 

Obviously everyone says this but how many people do it? According to most estimates 3% of the population - isn't it interesting that only 3% of the population is also financially independent? No! It’s not interesting! It’s CORRELATED! These people on average achieve 400% more of their goals than those who don't because their time is used up to 12 times more effectively. So do it! Manage your time because it actually is the same as managing your life. Remember this as a trick. 

The bottom 80% of society manage their time 
into two parts morning and afternoon. 
The top 20% manage it hour by hour, 
the top 1% minute by minute. 

What is/are the secret(s) of your healthy lifestyle? 
Mind, Body, Spirit. 

Take care of these three things daily and I promise you you will never have a bad day again. Every day I get up at 6, I walk for half an hour chanting incantations to myself like "thank you" or "I'm the best" over and over - how psychopathic does that sound!? And it is to an extent. 

But think of it this way - Kim Jong Il got all of North Korea to believe that he can talk to animals and fly - why? Because he had it repeated to them over and over. They now BELIEVE this, just as we believe in gravity and therefore it is shaping their behaviours because they think "I better not speak bad about the government or a bird might dob me in." That's what you are doing when you incant but in a positive way - you are doing what advertisers do to you day in day out but instead of thinking about coke, you are advertising yourself to yourself.

Because I say "I'm the best in the morning" my subconscious thinks for the rest of the day "well the best would go to the gym so that's what we're doing, or well, the best would not procrastinate on this assignment so that's what we're going to do" Then I meditate for half an hour. I then... 

Read a book for an hour, 
a book that is either inspirational or educational, 
none of this Stephen King/Harry Potter junk food - it is candy for the mind, 
read about things that will benefit you in life.

- at least that's my ideology - Woah! (laugh) I came on so militant just then! After that I do P90X for an hour - that is mind body spirit handled. 

On top of that I drink green drink twice a day and am more or less vegetarian because do the research and you'll find that meat is junk food for your body. 

After about a month of nothing but fruit and vegetables diet you will see phenomenal changes in your concentration, your happiness levels, your health and especially your energy! Through the roof, you will not feel tired at any point in the day I promise you. On top of this your body will naturally fall into a weight and body shape that is optimal for you. I cannot rave on enough about such a diet.  

But if you want to know in greater detail what my "Sizzling secrets to a fab bod for summer" are, get Tony Robbin's living health, I live by that. 

You are currently a part-time model.- Would you consider working full-time after university?
I thought about this long and hard on my first couple of trips overseas and my answer is no. Modelling is - hmm I mean the positives are getting into exclusive clubs, going on these amazing vacations to beautiful places and living with a bunch of attractive nice people in models apartments. 

But the downside is it's all an illusion. You can be given the yacht or many other expensive things because of some nasty reasons, not because you earned it. Your life becomes long periods of doing nothing really constructive, sitting around at home waiting for castings and shoots (ps. highly recommend you study things you are interested in with this time). 

I'm sure a lot of people would like to have that life style but I personally think that if you have had the privilege of lucking out, i.e. being born into a developed nation you should be using your position for things that will contribute more to society than that. 

I mean yeah do it while you're young but I know many man from my travels who in his 30's or 40's with no home and no permanent friends or family and you think "come on man what are you doing in a club?! Go home and feed a damn baby!'

What I'm actually really interested in is radio.  

In fact I've been obsessing over it for years spending thousands of hours researching the best radio hosts on earth, reading theories on humour, conversation and interest. I worked it out the other day for every hour I've spent on university work. I've spent six hours presenting. Now that I have the pod I've really got a strong foothold in the industry so I'll be focusing exclusively on improving my skills in that area alone.

I for example spend a lot of time learning how to be interesting!! There are books out there that can teach you to become a walking talking disney land! That's what I want to be in life, I want to learn how to have fun. That's what I am in the process of learning to be as amusing as possible. Literally everything in life is the same principle. You spend 7 years and 10,000 hours mastering a field and then at he end of that time, without exception you will be at the top of your field. You can really see the results in your life, that...

whatever you are focusing 
on most is always, 
without fail 
what you are best at 

...and that can include being depressed or watching television so if you focus on something exclusively that's good - e.g it seems like you're dedicating a tremendous amount of time on your blog because it looks amazing and you can tell by the level of commitment you and your team have put into it that it is not a passing hobby, that it's a passion for you - I have no doubt at all that it will be a huge success because if you look around you'll notice that not many others are as dedicated as you are, and that's always the key dedication plus time. 

iF you focus exclusively on a positive skill so that could include improving your personality, becoming more attractive which is what I focused on while modelling or a sport, it will get better, it will improve exponentially! It must because you're thinking about it all the time. So essentially that's what's happening to me now with radio!

I have spent literally thousands of hours of my time studying and putting together shows and full 250 page books (3 of them) on the behaviours, advice and research on the world's best communicators. The only challenge is to consciously focus on one thing for as much time as you possibly can each day. 

Here's a good guide line though - 3 hours a day. Commit 3 hours a day to your passion at least, you easily can in modern society, whether it be cutting back on socializing or Facebook or television schedule it in, I guarantee you'll see amazing results and serendipitous things will begin to occur in your life. When I started focusing that much time on modelling, that's when very good things started happening and the same is true for radio - the UNSW arc podcast! I am paid to pod cast for my university - MY JOB, is to have as much fun as possible! Check it out!

Listen to Jordan's latest podcast @The Pod!

What advice would you give to those who are aspiring to become a model in the fashion industry? 
The same advice I gave in my massive 3 paragraph answer for what I learned on success - except I'll add this - think about your life right now. I am positive that it is more or less what you thought it would be like at this stage when you started thinking about it 5 years ago. 

Now some people will say "well I didn't think about what I'd be doing in my life back then" - well that's why your life sucks now, because your brain has been on auto pilot, doing what is fun and easy instead of what is difficult and necessary. Everyone alway bags 'the secret' but its true - thoughts become things. 

I remember doing a Sprite commercial and thinking while dangling mid air that "this is exactly what I imagined I'd be doing when I first started out, this very ad, some hip twenty something diving in water reaching for a sprite! I remember that was my exact default thought when I imagined my life as a model. So here's my advice. 

Imagine big, think big and feel it with emotion. 

If you don't feel it with emotion that is a clear sign that you don't believe it's possible and as a because I'm telling you right now all the philosophers of old are right - thoughts become things. Always be conscious of that and do as much as you can to learn how to direct your mind better and better, because the more precisely you think about things the closer you will be to your target.

Who is your Favourite young designer these days? 
This brand that I used to model for in Australia - his clothes are so "It's napoleonic times - IF NAPOLEON WAS BORN IN THE YEAR 3000!" It's called Provocator - it was so good that I wanted to be paid in contra instead of money. (contra is keeping the clothes or getting free haircuts instead of money) 

What are your three Fashion Must-haves?

Skinny leg jeans, imperial jackets and classic but classy plain shirts like steve jobs used to wear - oh yeah dress for techsess! But if there was a t shirt that had a picture of a kangaroo shooting a gun out of a monster truck with the words "crusty demons road show" at the bottom I would genuinely wear it!

Your Favourite quote:
I have 5.  
The first one deserves special mentioning - a man who failed in business 3 times, failed in almost every electoral race he ever went in, had a nervous breakdown in his 30's and whose high school sweetheart died when he was in his 20's, who had no formal education but used to sweep up and clean a shop just so the owner would let him read his books on law.
"I will prepare and some day my chance will come" - Abraham Lincoln (Also known as MAN - OF - STEEL) 
 "Where focus goes energy flows" - Tony Robbins
"If you don't have goals you will be doomed to work for those that do" - Brian Tracey 
"Sow a thought and you reap an act; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny" - Charles Read

"Welcome back to mornings with Kerri-Anne" - Kerry-Anne Kennerley

Jordan in Action - BEHIND THE SCENES

Top & bottom: Jordan with Isson and a Brazilian model in CAMEL Fashion Show (2010)
Middle: Jordan in PRECISION Fashion Show (2009)

Photos: Courtesy of CHADWICK, PRECISION & CAMEL.