You may not have heard of Darin Farano (yet) but in the entertainment biz he is what is known as a triple threat - singer, dancer, actor and handsome to boot. There is an old fashioned, classic appeal to him, accented by hints of modern sensuality that has been captured by some highly noted photographers including Scott Marrs, Ray John Pila and David Wagner. He is the perfect embodiment of all that BLISS set out to celebrate and one of the few featured who crosses those artistic lines.
Darin took time out of his busy schedule to answer questions about all facets of the business that he has been involved in, allowing us a better glimpse of the man behind the characters he brings to life through modeling and acting. I am honored that BLISS Male Mag is now a part of his artistic journey.
BLISS: BLISS is really about the celebration of art but you are the first cover model who is active in so many traditional facets. How does it feel to be chosen for the cover?
DARIN FARANO: I could not be more pleased to have been chosen for the cover. I am full of joy and “BLISS”
B: The cover image was taken by one of my favorite photographers, David Wagner, who has other images in this issue. How did the shoot come about and what was it like working with him?
DF: I initially contacted David because I have admired his work for a very long time. We then started the process of tossing ideas back and forth after setting a shoot date. Working with David was an honor and I consider myself fortunate in having had the opportunity to shoot with him. He is most talented. I could not be happier with the results of our session but honestly the best part was making a real friend which is rare these days.
B: You also worked with Scott Marrs, who one model described as being one of the best photo editors out there. What was that shoot like?
DF: Scott was wonderful to work with. He spent a great deal of time with me doing many different looks. He is so knowledgeable in his ability to execute a vision from beginning to end. As is the case with David, Scott is indeed an incredible photo editor and I am grateful that I was able to work with him.
B: What is it that originally attracted you to modeling?
DF: Modeling has come about for me as a result of acting. It has been a natural progression.
B: Is it different performing for a film camera than a still camera?
DF: The pace can be different in terms of time frames depending on what is being done. A still camera can allow a bit more creativity and flow whereas with a film or television camera there are firmer parameters and boundaries.
B: Do you create characters with your modeling in a similar manner as when you are acting?
DF: I first approach it from a personal point of view. I can then utilize those real experiences and emotions to facilitate what I am being asked to portray. I create characters when I am not as familiar with the concept or theme. With a character there is always an aspect of fantasy, but to be believable it must also contain elements of truth.
B: Is it easier to lose yourself inside a character created by a writer as opposed to putting yourself on display for a photographer?
DF: It depends on what the project is and who I am working with. With both it must be multi-faceted rather than one dimensional. If you hold a diamond to the light you see a kaleidoscope of shades, colors and reflections. This is what I attempt to always bring to the table.
B: Are you ever nervous in front of the camera or does it feel natural to you?
DF: I see the camera as a person rather than an inanimate object. This helps me relate and connect quickly because I am at ease with people and communication. It also is essential to connect and relate to the person behind the camera. Nerves can be useful as long as you are prepared and know exactly what you are doing.
B: You have worked with some impressive individuals, including icon Liza Minnelli. What is it like to be in the presence of a star of that magnitude?
DF: Inspirational. I mainly listened and watched because what was being said and presented was essential. Listening and learning from Liza Minnelli forever changed how I approach and sing a song. She is a consummate artist in every sense of the word.
I was also very fortunate to work with and learn from Debbie Reynolds who taught me many valuable lessons not only about performing but the business as well. She epitomizes the word professional.
B: Do you prefer theater or would you like to do mainstream television or even film?
DF: I love all aspects of the entertainment business. Up to this point I have been more involved with theater, cabaret and nightclubs. Working live is rewarding because you have an immediate audience response to feed off of. I believe a well rounded entertainer can and should wear many hats because you never know when an opportunity may present itself.
B: There are so many actors who have a variety of talents that the public isn’t aware of until that one role comes along and showcases the fact that they also sing or dance. Do you think your own singing and dancing talents can be utilized outside of a musical production?
DF: If it were specific to what I do. My style and sound is perfectly suited to the Great American Songbook. I constantly hear that this genre is making a comeback. Personally, I feel it never left. This era of music transcends generations because of the brilliant composers, lyricists and performers that were a part of it. Music trends / fads can come and go but the Great American Songbook remains and stands the test of time.
B: Is there that one specific role that you feel you were born to play?
DF: For me it is in the creative process rather than a specific role. If I can find meaning and inspiration in something it fuels my drive and I immerse myself completely in what I am doing. Some of my best friends have been and continue to be music, films and books. I always imagined being able to create specific scenes and moments that have been memorable. An example from film would be Gene Kelly dancing to Singin’ In The Rain. It is iconic and forever will be a part of movie history.
B: It wouldn't be show business without a little dirt, so I have to ask if the mythical casting couch actually exists today and if you've ever been subjected to it?
DF: Yes, I have been subjected to it both subtly and blatantly.
B: This can be an issue for models as well. Have you ever been in an uncomfortable situation with a photographer and if so, how did you handle it?
DF: Up to this point all of the photographers that I have worked with have been nothing but professional and a joy to be around.
B: YouTube and reality television has made it possible for a plethora of non-talented individuals to become B list superstars and even land roles in TV and film. Do you think real actors are resentful of this in any way?
DF: Most certainly. I continue to have numerous conversations about this subject with professional actor friends of mine. I could go on and on…but It is what it is.
B: There is an argument that these reality shows coupled with individuals like Honey Boo Boo or the cast of
has done nothing but contribute to the dumbing down of and the
loss of quality programs and true talent. What are your views on this? America
DF: There certainly has been a shift in programming. It goes in phases it seems. I’d like to believe that the public is smarter and more intelligent in making choices as far as what they view. Anything can make a negative impression if we allow it. We have a choice as to what we watch and my choice is that when I happen to come across shows of this nature I simply turn the channel.
B: We now have people like Neil Patrick Harris and a few other male leads who are completely open and well received. Do you feel an actor’s sexuality is a factor in his or her success?
DF: It would be sad to think that achieving success in any profession could be hindered by a person’s sexual orientation. Unfortunately prejudices and discrimination still exist whether it is orientation, race, gender, religion or age. For those such as Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen DeGeneres it seems to have made no difference in their popularity and I applaud their decision to be open.
B: Cable television has also ushered in the era of full frontal male nudity and more actors are stripping down for roles. Would you be willing to bear all for a role?
DF: I would initially say no - but honestly it would depend on the project, the context of what the scene called for and how it was to be filmed. I am certain though that I would need convincing.
B: What about on the model side of things…would you consider full frontal nudity?
DF: I have been asked to quite frequently which is flattering I suppose but for now my limit is artistic/implied.
B: If you could be a part of any hit show on television right now, which one would you choose and why?
DF: To be very truthful, I hardly ever watch television but if I had to pick I’d say Modern Family. I have seen many episodes and think it is well written, smart and very funny.
B: What shows from the past do you consider to be classics?
DF: All of the series with Lucille Ball, who in my opinion was simply brilliant. Groundbreaking shows like All In The Family and Maude to Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Classic variety shows with Jack Benny and Carol Burnett. The list goes on and on…
B: What are your favorite films and why? Also, which of those do you think you could have played a role in?
DF: There are too many to name. I prefer older films - classics. When you look at the amount of films produced throughout the golden age of Hollywood it is quite staggering. They had a very appealing style and look. They inspired, told simple stories and created an escape from everyday lives. I still think there are great films being produced today but they are just fewer and farther in between.
B: Who are your role models in terms of acting? What about modeling?
DF: From old Hollywood, people like Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney and James Stewart. Present day actors such as Jonny Depp, Denzel Washington and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Up to this point, I have never really thought about role models in terms of modeling.
B: Which director is on your wish list? Same question for photographers?
DF: To begin with I’d say Steven Spielberg and Marin Scorsese as far as directors go. Photographers include Sean Dibble, Rick Day, Paul Reitz, Lucas Ferrier and John Revisky. I would also love the opportunity to collaborate with David Wagner again. Continuing to work with and learn from people that have far more experience than I is truly a gift.
B: Wow, it is flattering to be including in that list since I am in awe of each of them. Thank you so much.
It has been said that creative people are often the most insecure individuals. Is there anything about yourself or your appearance that you wish you could change?
DF: Everything and nothing. I feel that I am not conventional looking in terms of an idealized standard but somehow collectively it all comes together. I am my own worst critic and can be very hard on myself but one has to have an inner confidence and strength to be in this business because it takes much dedication and hard work.
B: What are 5 things that even those who know you might be surprised to discover?
DF: 1) I love shopping in thrift stores. 2) I have a large variety of underwear. 3) I am terrified of snakes and can’t even look at them on television. 4) I’ve hiked the Grand Canyon. 5) I must admit to being a bit of a neat / clean freak.
B: What are 5 things that you value most in life?
DF: 1) Health / Well being. 2) Honor / Trust. 3) Joy / Laughter. 4) Family / Personal relationships / True Friendships. 5) Genuinity / Loyalty.
B: What can we expect to see from you during 2013?
DF: Well for starters this cover and interview thanks to you. I have some new photo sessions coming up within the next couple of months. I look forward to many more bookings and opportunities that will allow me to meet, connect and work with creative and talented people.
B: Any last words for your fans?
DF: All I can say is that I love hearing from you and that I am sincerely appreciative of your support and interest. It really is quite meaningful to me. So I will conclude with a most heartfelt thank you!!!
©2013 – Sean Dibble
See more of Darin Farano
Ray John Pila