Wednesday, February 24, 2010
AUDITION - THE MANY SIDES of GREGG ACORD
I have to start off by saying that I love Gregg Acord. I have been intrigued by him since the first time I saw an image of his in the portfolio of Dave Lewis. Prior to this, the work that I had seen of Dave's was comprised of muscular beauties in classic art poses and I incorrectly assumed that these were the only types of images he shot. And then there was Gregg, who was the complete opposite of what I had come to expect, but who has such a relatable quality in his pictures that you get the sense that you know him, or could know him or maybe had seen him out and about somewhere. This is a quality I look for in my own models and I knew that I eventually wanted to work with this guy.
When you first hear Gregg speak you are not sure if you are speaking to the right person. His voice is light, higher than you would expect and full of youthful warmth. He sounds as if he would be a very shy person but he is completely open regarding any question you care to ask him. More importantly, he is aware of his weaknessess and not just his strengths when it comes to his place within the world of modeling, and he talks freely of the things he would like to change about himself, as well as the industry itself. And he is speaking with the voice of experience, as he has been doing this for ten years now, his resume including everything from television commercials to print to nude modeling and erotica.
Gregg and I have been planning to work together for almost a year, and eventually we will get around to it, but until then, he agreed to be interviewed for BLISS where he discusses his career, his ambitions, his life and his work with former BLISS interview subjects, Dave Lewis and Scott Swan.
Gregg Acord: I actually got started from my mom. She was the one who really pushed me to follow something I was very interested in. And then when my sister was cheerleading and my mom was a co-coach we met my agent and she introduced me everything there was to know about modeling.
B: You've also done television commercials. Which ones would we have seen you in?
GA: Well I was 9 at the time, but do you remember a department store called "Lamont's" yeah that was the one I was in. The only one I was ever in.
B: Your look is very pliable, and you're completely open to changing it to fit a shoot. How would you describe your personal style away from the camera?
GA: Honestly my personal style is a cute pair of fitted jeans, great colorful sweaters and Italian slip-on loafers. And my alternate style is fitted jeans again and a nice t-shirt and great scarf and beanie.
B: Photography is always evolving, so you have most likely been through those changes in the past 10 years. How do you compare your early modeling years to now? What are the differences?
GA: Well way back when I started the modeling world was so low key just because I was a tyke and had a cute baby face and that sweet innocent voice. I remember my mother pulling me out of school all the time for auditions. After I turned 12 my father forced me to leave the agency because it was affecting my studies. It wasn't till I was 18 that I started freelance modeling and have been doing it ever since then.
B: Do you remember what your first shoot was like?
GA: My first shoot. I was 10 and it was just a couple months after I got my appendix out. My mom and family were down in Queen Anne. We went to the photographer’s studio. He put make up on me and gloss. And I brought a wide variety of different clothes with me. We picked out 3 outfits. He told me to just have fun with it and I did. I was so young and so angelic back then..
B: What was the most difficult or challenging photo shoot you involved in and what made it so?
GA: The most difficult I think for me was when I was just 19 and my photographer, David Fleming had me shoot naked in front of the camera. It was so nerve racking for me. I really didn't know what to expect or what I was doing. But he guided me in the right direction and showed me some different things to try. In the end the shots turned out amazing for that at the time but since then our shots have just improved dramatically!
B: What was the best photo shoot you were involved in?
GA: The best photo shoot I was ever involved in was with my friend/ model Scott Swan and Charles Archer was our photographer and my good friend/Make-up artist Scott B. Randall made us all dolled up and gorgeous. We shot everywhere in Seattle! Our prime location was Volunteer Park here in Seattle. We were out there for 7 hours in the sun just shooting. from aerial shots, to couples shots, to fashion, to underwear, to erotic, to romantic, to absolutely breathtaking ones!
B: How would you compare the television world with that of traditional modeling?
GA: I don't really know how to answer that one to say the least...
B: Have you ever been a victim of the notorious "casting couch"?
GA: Ha-ha the casting couch, why yes I have. I have auditioned for many commercials when I was younger but since I HAVE GROWN those many numerous call backs I got all the time have now diminished. I quit the agency when I was 13 and started doing free lance work when I was 18.
B: What are the most important lessons you've learned over the past 10 years, in regards to modeling?
GA: Always keep your cool. Your clients can recognize when you are in a foul mood or have negativity on your mind. Just be expressive without being overly aggressive. They like an outspoken person. Not quiet.
B: Making a decision to pose nude comes easily to some models, while others struggle with the decision, or just flat out refuse. When did you decide that you were willing to pose nude and what prompted that decision?
GA: I actually knew that when i turned 18 was the time to branch out of my childhood and into my adulthood. I was ready to make a change and change my entire image. My first photographer (whom i still work with occasionally) was David Fleming. A Seattle based photographer whom I found through a friend. He made it very clear what his work was, which also included nudes. I contemplated on it for a few moments and then agreed to it. We met at a local coffee shop and then shot that very next week. A great learning experience and one i will never forget.
GA: Well when working alone, you are free to express yourself in many different ways, but when it comes to working with another model, you have to get a real feel for them and really dig deep into their personality to find out things they like and don't like. Scott was mysterious and quite shy when I first met him. His work really caught my eye which prompted me to immediately say hello to him through MM. A couple emails later and we were hitting it off. Then Charles found me through here and asked me to do a duo and then asked if I had someone in mind. Scott and I had been talking of working together and we were just looking for a photographer. It was all too perfect. Scott and if REALLY WARMED UP to each other over the 7 hours of shooting. It wasn't easy being affectionate towards each other but it is work and so we just did it really.
B: You also posed JJ Adams, but the photos were far more provocative. How do you prepare for such an erotic session?
GA: With JJ I knew it was erotic and that is what we both were aiming for. HE GOT ME QUITE HARD right off the bat. We started shooting and ended up having some fun while on the shoot. He was a joy to work with and I am looking forward to working with him again.
GA: There has been multiple times that that has happened. I always just imagine the possibilities of what could happen and I get really turned on. Sometimes it takes a while for things to work themselves out in that sense. Others it's instant. It depends on the person and photographer really. I always meet with either of them first and really get a feel for them then we plan and from then on you know the rest.
B: The photos in your portfolio are pretty diverse, and your nude work is simple and artistic, though you have done the aforementioned erotic sessions. How far would you be willing to go in terms of erotic work? For example, would you consider posing for porn?
GA: It's funny you should ask that because I have been contemplating on whether I should do porn or not ever since I was 18! But I think once I really perfect my body and really define every inch of myself, then yeah I would def pose and do a couple vids.
B: If I asked you to pick a favorite image of yourself, and explain why that particular photo was your #1, which would it be and what would you say?
GA: I actually don't have a favorite image of myself so far. I always practice my faces and poses in the mirror or wherever. But after a while you realize that not all photos can be perfect. And that's okay. Though God forbid you have a natural looking shot from one. I found that while down there the photographers like everything so clean and too air brushed. And that’s not what modeling is about. It is about expressing yourself in free art form and really showing your true colors. It’s not about being fake, or who has the hottest body or the best ass. I’m happy with my ass and working out 4x a week now is really paying off.
B: Can you tell me the names of 5 photographers that you would like to work with one day, and why you chose them?
GA: Adam Bouska- brilliant work
Jenn Hoffman- flawless beauty
You- your work is inspirational and really speaks to my true art form
TR Pics- his work is so sexually charged and so erotic. It’d be a thrill to work with him!
Simon Le- his work is absolutely beautiful and a true joy to admire. Someday I will get to Sydney and work with him!
B: What about other models...is there anyone you'd like to pose with?
GA: Models? There are so many but definitely:
Turk Mason- his beauty is a canvas work and is sexy as hell!
Chris Crocker- he is one of my favorite androgynous models and would be a true joy to work with!
Tony Gibble- He is buff, sexy, great arms, gorgeous body, spunky and sexy. I think he and I would have great chemistry.
Tila Tequila- she’s TOUGH, gorgeous, and is one stunning visual. Her spirits are always up and out there- she is a true work of art!
And last would have to be Hilary Duff- she acts, sings and models. She is my idol and has been for many years now. She has overcome Hollywood’s pressures and managed to stay out of the tabloids. Now that she is a real woman. She is really branching out and it would be a true honor to work with her!
B: What would be your dream image, meaning the shot you've always wanted to take?
GA: I always wanted a really good shot of me coming outta the ocean in a Speedo with the sun glistening all over my body and the waves just rushing all over me and the water dripping off my abs and into the sea. Yeah, definitely my dream image.
B: What's next for you in modeling or television?
GA: Modeling wise I am just working out to perfect my body as I said, but I definitely am branching out and plan on doing some work next year on the east coast and in Europe. It’s my dream to fly to London or Australia! Hell I’ll go to Iceland and pose in a Speedo just to get that one perfect shot!
B: Can you tell me 5 fun facts that people would be surprised to know about you?
GA: Fact 1. I'm actually a natural dirty blonde
Fact 2. I hate the color red
Fact 3. I have been with a woman before. I know that I’m definitely supposed to be with a man!
Fact 4. I actually have a guilty pleasure of opera, jazz, and classical music.
Fact 5. My eyes change color with my moods. Grey is my natural color, and is that color when I’m calm. They are blue when I’m happy, aqua when I’m horny and ice blue in the winter, which is the color they are right now.
B: Any last words?
GA: Well it has been a long and interesting journey but I wouldn't change it for anything. This road I have taken has been leading me to higher ground and I hope someday it will take me all the way around the world. My mother was the one who really pushed me to follow my dream and I thank her for that. Also my friends are my backbone. Without them I really wouldn't be where I am today. And my fans for actually believing in me and truly supporting me through the rough times and the good ones.
©2010 Sean Dibble
Javii JWalk Photography
Russ Morgan Photography
Additional Retouch and Editing of some images: