Part of my current reading includes the biography of people I admire or would like to learn more about. Among them is Bruce Hulse, one of the most successful and foremost male supermodels of our time. His book, Sex, Love, And Fashion definitely opened my eyes to the possibilities and pitfalls of the fashion industry.
A few pages captured my memories and I will share them with you here.
On Doc X, his best friend and mentor:
He and I used to laugh at the stressed-out businessmen arriving with their families on the weekends, thanking God we weren’t one of them. We never wanted anything to do with that lifestyle.
Advice on working female models and getting repeat work:
Another golden rule was this: don’t hit on the model whom the photographer has his eye on. Most of the straight photographers made it clear that if you ever intended working with them again, you had to give them first pick. IF i couldn’t figure out which girl he was going after, the likelihood was that he was coming after me. I quickly developed a finely tuned ability to discern which model the photographers was zeroing in on within the first few hours of a shoot. Many photographers told me that one of the reasons they loved working with me was that I was one of the few male models who never got in their way.
Towards the end of the book, Bruce seems to have it all, and yet nothing at all. He recounts:
My experiences with Gary and the people at the gym made me appreciate by contrast how shallow the modeling industry could be… soon afterward I was invited to a party on a yacht for Julio Iglesias, who had a house in South Beach. Various modeling agencies had sent beautiful women along as company for Julio and his friends. Gazing around me, I realized that these rough-looking guys were only about ten years older than I was. I was bored out of my mind, and I felt totally empty as I sat among all the fawning models. Leaving the party early, I rushed home and ran to the ocean with my surfboard. Sitting on my board, looking back at South Beach, I was grateful that day for the distance between it and me. Part of me wanted to float away from ti forever and from the sleazy life I knew I could end up leading there if I wasn’t careful…
Bruce then contemplates a change in his life direction. (Keep in mind that by this point in the book, he’s slept with some of the most beautiful women in the world, including Andie MacDowell, Elle Mcpherson and a blowjob backstage from a young Victoria Secret model who idolized pictures of him on her highschool locker). So don’t feel too bad for the guy. Nonetheless my point was, he’s realizing that there’s more to life than that:
I never wanted to leave the water that golden, sunlit evening, but when the manatee and her pup eventually swam off, I returned reluctantly to shore. Back on the beach, a few yards from my door, I bumped into the one photographer I’d least liked working with. I had heard through the grapevine that he’d contracted AIDS, but nothing prepared me for the husk of a human being I saw walking toward me. Through he was only in his forties, he looked like a shriveled old man. All his strength and presence, his anger and bile, were gone. The disease has softened his soul. He looked up, and our eyes met, but I didn’t know what to say. Still wet from the sea, I hugged him instead. Holding him tight, words came to me: “May God bless you”
He thanked me and shuffled on….Seeing him was a reminder that it was time to stop squandering my time on this earth. I’d been Peter Pan, playing at love, skimming the surface, sleeping around for momentary pleasure, but avoiding the true commitment that led to maturity. I could so easily end up old and alone, with only paid models as my companions – or, worse, nobody at all. Time was slipping by, but my life could still change if I wanted it to.
Wake up, Bruce, said a little voice inside my head. What are you waiting for?