Jordan Swain: “The market for ethnic models in the US is less opportune than that of our counterparts. Many are hoping to see progressive changes soon”
01 jun, 2011
A big hello, and thank you to everyone in The World of Models family. It’s a great honor and pleasure to be here, and I am excited about doing this interview.
My name is Jordan Anthony Swain, and I am 19 years of age. I come from a rather large family, which includes, two older siblings, and four younger ones.
I am extremely out going, and am constantly on the go. In a nutshell, I am a model, actor, poet, a national youth motivational speaker, and contributing editor to Dimension Magazine.
As an actor, I’m an active member of AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and find time to volunteer at various organizations throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area. I serve as a national educational speaker developing curriculum for Boys and Girls clubs and local high schools and holding motivational seminars for youth. This platform enables me to serve as a role model to local area students and community organizations.
My speaking experiences have led me to both the East and West Coasts, speaking on behalf of my city at Colin and Alma Powell’s Organization- America’s Promise Alliance, at their closing Gala Event. I have also held motivational seminars at Boys and Girls Clubs and similar youth oriented organizations throughout New England and Southern California.
I have always had an interest photography and acting since I was about three or four years of age. I’ve always been a story teller, and can remember back when I was in pre-school, my classmates would always gather around to see which reenactment or story I was going to share. I didn’t realize it was going to be a career for me until a little before high school graduation, when I deviated from other things, and realized that this is what I was meant to do.
Upon graduating from high school in 2009, I was offered a hefty scholarship to two of my to choice schools- one being in Hawaii, to begin my studies in Medicine. The day before registration deadlines, I made the decision to decline admission, and three weeks after high school graduation in June 2009, I packed up all 18 years of my life into a single suitcase, and move to Los Angeles, California.
I didn’t necessarily get “discovered” per say. I’ve been modeling for a little over a year now. I kind of fell into it unintentionally. The possibilities of being a model always interested me. When I got more serious about it, and more drawn to the industry as a whole, I recall friends telling me there was no way I could ever be a model, so it died there.
Then, Senior year, I showed up to my Medical Careers class I was taking, and my teachers quickly told me to go to Commercial Design down the hall, and that I was requested to model for a student’s final project. The experience of a photoshoot was exhilarating. Ultimately those photos were used as a Campaign, across the state of Massachusetts for the Department of public health in coalition with the Department of Education.
The best part of my young career thus far would definitely be shooting a book in Hawaii.
I was cast to be the sole model in a coffee table book by photographer Roger. E. Stillman, which enabled me to travel to three islands in Hawaii for four weeks. It was AWESOME.
Ethnic models: progressive changes
The market for ethnic models in the US is less opportune than that of our counterparts. Many are hoping to see progressive changes soon.
Working with photographers: “how do they shoot men of color”?
I like photographers who are creative, bold, eccentric, and are forever trying to push boundaries,both within themselves, and with the subjects they are shooting. I am not a big fan of playing it safe, especially since I am an Aries.
A lot of models don’t realize the work that goes into actually doing a photo shoot. Aside from showing up and being beautiful, there is much pre-production work that we MUST put in. For example, I research a photographers work- how do they shoot men? How do they shoot men of color? What types of lighting do they fancy?
How are they posing their models? What genre of photography do they specialize in? What can I bring to the table to differentiate myself from other models they’ve shot?
All of these questions and many more must be studied in order to get optimal shoots out of yourself and the photographer, thus elevating your portfolio, and caliber as a model.
I am at times a goofball as well, so there are ALWAYS laughs on set. One story I’ll share is while in Hawaii shooting the book. We went to a stunning waterfall and river called Kipu Falls in Kauai. We were shooting a militaristic story, which required me to jump of the 30 foot waterfall multiple times. Of course, with all the lighting and equipment, we were staring to get many tourists wondering what we were doing and who we were.
There were about 20 people cheering and applauding, and I couldn’t hear the photographers instruction. I thought he yelled jump, but it was someone in the crowd. So when I realized it wasn’t his direction, I tried to catch myself, but by that time, I was already off the ledge, and it looked really awkward as I plummeted 30 feet face first into the river. Haha, good times.
I haven’t done too much runway here in LA outside of local designers and fashion houses. My manager had set up an interview for me to walk during this past LA fashion week, but I was booked shooting a public service announcement for an orphanage in Haiti. In 2011, I definitely hope to do more runway, especially since I am 6′ 2″.
I wouldn’t say I am a fashionisto at all. My last girlfriend used to love going to malls and shopping, both in which I hate, haha. I do enjoy good fashion, and I do appreciate dressing up for a special occasion, or event that my publicist may send me to. When not modeling, I’m pretty simple- it’s definitely all about comfort for me. My West Coast friends think I’m such a fashion head, but I merely attribute it to the fact that I am from the East Coast, where fashion is much more…classy?
Imagine u a famous model surrounded by a huge crowd!
I handle situations with a very level head, and don’t see why it would change here. I would thank everyone for all of their love and support, and tell them how much I appreciate them. There is nothing like being supported and encouraged to pursue your endeavors, and what truly makes you happy.
Human Rights, Freedom of Speech, Wars, Sexual Behavior…
I am very big on human rights, and issues concerning such matters. What I love about my career is that I have many different avenues of expression, whether it be through my modeling, or my motivational speaking. I definitely touch upon current affairs when working with youth, and try to get them involved, within their communities especially, to propagate change. Everything has its place. people fear things do not understand, it is up to us to continue on and diverge from the negativity.
Show Biz, Fame, Success and most important things for his life
Allow me to start off by saying that the entertainment industry is one of a very, very competitive nature. Whether it is singing, modeling, acting, comedy- whatever the medium- there is always someone out there a bit more taller than you, a bit more funnier than you, a bit more experienced than you. To make it in this industry, it truly takes dedication, motivation, and courage. What gets me through each day is my motto: Strength, Determination, perseverance.
I stay on top of my game by surrounding myself with positive people and environments. I make sure to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy and balanced diet, and stay away from substances and alcohol. I know that as long as I am happy, and stay true to myself, that success, and whatever else I may desire will come.
-Friends/Family for support, to maintain a level head
-A strong team including my manager, publicist to make sure the best career moves are being pursued.
-Humility to stay grounded
-A feeling of control over my decisions and life, which allows for the best creative expression
-Joy in whatever it is that I am pursing, whether its modeling, speaking, acting, and whatever else my life may come to.
I love doing outdoor activities, and I am very daring, which always leads me to extreme sports: Jet skiing, scuba diving, go carts, sky diving, cliff jumping etc. I also played volleyball in Highschool and was captain for two years.
The craziest (nastiest?) thing he´s ever done in a summer time season
Weird question haha, I’d say swimming and jumping off a tower that I later found out was a breeding ground for sharks.
In his IPOD: I love all different types of music, but my top musicians are Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Lauryn Hill
Fav body part and why
Definitely eyes, because they translate so much about a person’s soul, their essence, and overall being.
Fav underwear for his daily activities and for those coooool sexy moments (lol!)
Haha, my favorite underwear would have to be my Calvins
SO MANY. I am a huge foodie, and I love cooking, and have friends over to try my latest dishes.
An unforgettable moment
Doing a youth seminar, and having one of the participants email me saying how much I inspired them and am a role model to them.
The Upcoming projects
I have a bunch of projects coming up on all fronts, many of which I am not at the liberty of discussing in detail at the moment. I am looking forward to delving into my new position as Contributing Editor, have some awesome magazine fashion editorials planned, and a whole bunch of awesomeness- stay tuned, and be sure to stay on the lookout. Sorry I can’t get too much into specifics.
When you´ll come to my world to have a real good time under the Brazilian tropical sun?
I am looking very forward to a trip to Brazil, as I have many friends from there, and am excited to collaborate with some of their amazing and creative talents. I don’t know, maybe soon.
Motto: STRENGTH DETERMINATION PERSEVERANCE
Full name: Jordan Anthony Swain
Age: 19 Years of age
Mother agency: Smart Model Management