From Cycling To Shakespeare

19 August 2014

The loquacious Jack Harrison is definitely an unforgettable character. Sharing...well pretty much everything he has an opinion on, we feel we got to know Jack very well over here at BBG. His honest, approachable character makes for easy conversaition with Jack and we love the fact he does not take him too seriously. He laughs at the frivolities of fashion as he shares with us some his unfortunate outfit catastrophe's he has experienced in modelling so far.

After a small hiccup with his GCSE's it has given Jack the opportunity to return to modelling and after changing to his new agency Milk, it appears Jack is beginning to find his feet in the world of fashion... apart from one tiny slip on a catwalk in Paris (mums the word) Jack has beeen modelling for some high end designers, including Kenzo and we are sure with such a great personality and striking look there will be many more to come.

Outside of modelling, it would seem Jack has a variety of interests. With hopes of getting in to Manchester in September, he looks forward to the independence and opportunities that lie ahead.

Hi! If you just want to introduce yourself?
Hi I am Jack Harrison with Milk in London and Premium in Paris. I'm 18 going on 19 in August and budding model haha and a student.

What are you studying?
I've just finished re-doing my A Levels and then hopefully going to Manchester to study English Lit and Drama in September.

When do you find out?
The day after my Birthday…so that's going to be fun.

Instant Analogue by Cecilie Harris. Special thanks to Impossible.

Haha! So tell us how did you get in to modelling?
I was scouted three years ago in Westfield. Someone approached me, and just said 'hi do you want to be a model' and I thought…christ ha! But then I must have been about fifteen/sixteen at the time so I wasn't really interested in it at all. I didn't really know anything about it, I was just concerned with GCSE's at the time. And then last year my results didn't go as planned, so I had an enforced Gap year so I decided I might as well pick it up again.

Are you enjoying it?
I am! I changed agencies about two months ago because I wasn't really getting much work and being at Models 1 I was one of two hundred guys and I moved to my new agency Milk and I was one of three guys, so it was a lot different and a lot nicer. Everyone at Milk cares about you and they want you to do well! I still had fun at Models 1, however, it's a lot more friendly and intimate, I find, at Milk.

Yeah that's what's important sometimes, making you feel comfortable as well.
Definitely, because it's such a weird job isn't it!

Yes! What's the weirdest modelling job you've had to do?
Oh god, well the strangest stuff i've worn was this one shoot where I had to wear a crop top, faux suede jacket, like a nylon nappy with leather trousers which were open around my thighs! Walking around Hackney Marshes trying to be sexy was awful.

Haha oh dear! Where abouts are you from originally?
South London, in Clapham.

Ok cool, have you got a big family?
Not really I mean both my parents were the only ones from their respected family to come to London, so most of my family is either still in Lancashire where my Dad is from, or North Wales where my mum is from. So I only really see the rest of my family about once a year. So its not a situation where I constantly seeing my cousins or Aunts or anything. So its fairly distant, I guess physically and…emotionally! Haha.

Haha of course! Are you an emotional person?
I'd like to think so…otherwise I'd be a psychopath!

Haha! Well there's a happy medium! Are you a happy medium person or a extra emotional person?
No I'm not polarising emotions, I'm just sort of bumbling along taking things as they come.

Do you cry some times?
Yes, some books and some films might get me.

What gets you?
Right off the top of my head always make me cry…Dobby dying in Deathly Hallows! In the book or the film, everytime. But yeah I cry, I think anyone who says they don't is lying.

Yeah lots of people say boys don't cry?
Well that's just stupid, I mean even off the top of my head the Cure song 'Boys Don't Cry', it's ironic, because boys do cry. So yeah I CRY! haha.

Proud to say it! Ha. What would you say is important to you?
Hm, tolerance. I did Philosophy for A level so I know about quite a few philosophies. Free speech is extremely important to me. I am personally pro choice, gay rights… everything, but I still think if you're pro life, or anti gay or anti Islam, anti whatever you still have a right to voice your opinion, and hopefully when you voice your opinion which is so negative it will inspire others to think positively, and question as to why someone would have such a negative and charged belief and what their grounding is for it. I think you've got to understand for example why UKIP has suddenly grown for instance, and how we should address this problem. Anywayyy…what else? A good book always makes me happy!

What's your favourite book?
Hm that's impossible! WelI I could always read Lord of The Rings because there is soo much detail in there. Catch 22 because it's so bizarre!

What sort of things do you do outside of modelling?
I like cycling.

Like skating or cycling?
Cycling…my experience with skateboards is either going along on my belly, or falling off a lot! I'm really gangly so I don't have the required fluidity. My dad used to roller-skate, and I kind of want to learn how to do that because when you see people roller skating down the street, I mean its brave and it looks good. And who doesn't want to look brave and look good! So I might try and pick that up. When I go to uni I am quite looking forward to the freedom. I love comedy, so I would be quite interested in looking into film criticism and comedy reviews and stuff. There's a really good video on youtube actually called 'Talking Funny' and it's Ricky Gervais, Louis CK, Chris Rock and Ray Romano, and they just talk about comedy…what makes something funny, constitutes a joke etc its really good. But yeah I really enjoy going to watch stand up and all of that.

So would you say you're funny?
Yeah I would say I'm funny! I mean my friends and family say I am and i've made you lot laugh!

Would you ever consider doing standup?
Well i've thought about it, but I don't know when someone says tell me a joke I can't think of jokes off the top of my head. I find it very hard to be funny on demand, it's more of a natural thing. I don't really know what my schtick would be if I was to do standup.

You could make fun of fashion and modelling!
Haha yeah I could actually. It's such a hard profession to do though isn't it. Going into a room of people and you have to make them laugh, I mean you can make people cry and you can make people angry, but to make them laugh is such a difficult thing because there are so many different types of comedy and everyone has a personal taste. Some people might wet themselves at toilet humour and others will find it disgusting! So a joke about poo…

See you guys find it funny. But you know it might be deathly silence. I remember once I did a school play and I forgot my lines and the silence was just so horrible.

What about your acting?
Yeah I've always loved acting. I can remember year 3 being a chicken in a farm play, no idea what it was! Haha but no I've got a big personality so I want to put it out there a lot of the time. I am extremely interested in English and Drama though, and Shakespeare has got to be the ultimate for me. He is so clever and the body of his work is just so huge and even though you should see it on the stage, so much gets lost when people are reciting it, but if you actually study it, a simply sentence can say six different things. It's biting satire and a political message, so many things. I personally want to have that as my work, I want to be able to explore different mediums and engage with past and present playwrights because theatre for me has everything in it. You've got a politics, you've got a good story, comedy, tragedy, heartbreak, death, life, gay rights, feminism, everything is contained in a play. Anything you could hold dear to yourself someone has already thought of, someone is like minded and they've been able to express it in such a way that they convey it to complete strangers.

Do you see yourself as a storyteller?
Erm I don't really know. I can't ever really tell stories that well. I mean my anecdotes can be so BAD, people ask me to stop because they are so painful to listen to! They aren't very coherent or lucid. I've never really been wholly that outgoing so my experience in life so far isn't that varied. I have a few good tales!

Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
In ten years time I am hopefully acting. I want to go to an acting school after uni and get some proper training, maybe somewhere in London like RADA or Guildhall. Or because I haven't been able to travel this year, I would quite apply abroad so maybe somewhere like Juilliard in New York. I've never been to America and I really want to go, and I think living and working in a foreign place would be the best way to get to know it. I spent a week in Paris, over fashion week but I feel like I know it really well, becauseI had to go to so many random places.

So don't you have some stories from fashion week - that's an experience and a half!
Yeah, I stayed in my room a lot. I did slip on the catwalk in one of the rehearsals! I hurt my wrist, it was polished stone flooring and my shoes had no grip and I turned at the end and I just face planted. So that wasn't great I didn't do it in the real thing though!

Well at least this story has a happy ending!
Haha yeah. But no I really enjoyed fashion week and I can't wait to do it again.

Did you go to any good shows?
Yes Kenzo was great! And hopefully because I feel like I might have a bit of an 'in' with Kenzo now because I did a lot of work for them which is good.

Do you think your personality got you any of the jobs?
Erm yeah I think so because I am always myself. With modelling I do take it at face value because I know to the rest of the is a bit silly. Getting paid to wear things is a bit ridiculous. So I will make jokes, for instance in a casting I will bounce in, and say something like "great thanks for seeing me for five minutes, I've only waited an hour…its fine!" I think that because there are so many models you just need to stay in their minds.

Yeah there might be 20 guys who have a look like they like, so then its other things that actually make their decision because you have to spend a whole day with that person and if they're an asshole, then you won't want to spend your day with an asshole.
Yes definitely and also if they're just boring, I think boring is probably worse than being an arse. At least if someone if being boring you can have an emotional reaction to it!

I have two more questions for you…So you came to the Boys by Girls exhibition we had, what were your thoughts?
I though it was great! I mean I don't want to suck up, it was marvellous and groundbreaking and everything haha! No i thought there could have been some more stuff.

There were 37 pictures!
Yeah you could have made it 50 ha! It was such a lovely room and not just solely on the photos which was cool.

Yeah one of the things was that we wanted was to make it very homely because the whole thing was about boys at home so we wanted people to feel like they were in a home and take it in that way.
Oh yeah definitely being able to sit down on the sofa and have a chat, surrounded by great photos was nice and very homely as well!

What about the pictures themselves and the whole boys at home idea?
Yeah I liked it. It's not something I've really seen before. Usually when you think of modelling is quite an exterior thing. I don't personally like talking about modelling that much with my friends, because for me its a bit alien, its my job and then I have my personal life and I like to keep it that way. Some of my friends are really interested, my friend Felix who is really into fashion came with me to the exhibition and I can always talk to him about which is nice. But yes I think taking the modelling experience and transposing it into the models personal life, like in their bedrooms is interesting because they look relaxed but they're not because they are having to pose and everything and its quite an interesting dynamic. Usually at home you are used to lounging about at home, but now you've gotta think about lounging about at home because there is someone who wants to take a good photo.

Lets talk about jazz hands, when is it appropriate to do jazz hands?
At the end of a big musical number, er at the end of paralympic sporting event hewn you are a bit drunk and well whenever you feel necessary really! You could just exit a room with jazz hands, the punch line of a joke…jazz hands!

Any lasting words?
Hire me lots for Boys by Girls!

Interview and Words by Lottie Turner.

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