My JLO Modeling Gig

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

A jounral entry of my experience modeling with JLO for Vogue magazine

Javier Lopez is the heir of a Mexican canning company. Gay, young, good looking, and a total coke head, he’d often hide in his private living area while the guests mingled in his yard and front patio area. His home in Bel Air looks like something you’d see featured in ‘Architectural Digest’. Clean lines, white furniture, and soft lighting. As I bartended in the well manicured backyard, I imagined that I was working at a Columbian drug lord’s home and at any time, Oozy carrying thugs would repel over the walls and blast us all to pieces. I’m pretty sure I saw a rare monkey peeking at me from a banana tree. After a few hours of festivities, Lopez finally made an appearance in his slicked back hair wearing a Dolce Gabbana/Versace/Prada trifecta.
On this particular evening one of his guests was Mario Testino, the world famous fashion photography. At the time I had no idea who he was, but assumed he must have been somewhat famous for Lopez to have him over for dinner. Throughout the evening Mario’s assistants hung around the bar and we bullshitted a bit. They spoke about their exploits the night before at The Chateau Marmont. The Brits were having lots of fun on Mario’s dime.
Later I went to the restroom and was followed in by a twig-like coked out Latino guy, who quickly closed the door and said in the cramped one dude space, “go!”, and pointed to the toilet. I said “what?” He said, “go to the restroom now!” as he waited for me to unzip my pants. I said, “you’ll have to leave first.” He shook his head like a kid who didn’t get his ice cream and said “too bad for you, I have cocaine!” and abruptly left. Throughout the evening he gave me shitty looks, and later did the same to one of my co workers, who nearly decked him. 
A few days after the party I got a call from the catering company, saying that Testino would like to use me for a photo shoot. They didn’t have any more information but said that someone would call me, so I said yes, figuring it would be a new experience. The next day I got a call from one of his assistants in New York, telling me I’d be paid $300 and giving me the time and location.
The next day I drove to Pasadena and found the photo shoot location, a really cool old Pasadena home in the Spanish style with tiled roofs, etc. I walked around to the backyard where the production tent was set up and met a Cuban dude who was a professional model and much better looking than me. I was at least ten pounds over weight and this cat was cut like oak wood. He informed me that we’d be shooting with Jennifer Lopez for Vogue magazine. Not a bad fluke gig. I walked into the dressing room and found JLO sitting in a chair, surrounded by various make up and wardrobe people. A young female assistant pointed to a rack of formal clothing and told me “find something to put on”. Soon I was decked out in Armani and looking very 007 pre-Daniel Craig I'd say. Outside of the tent was a long table covered with JLO’s jewelry for the shoot, where a security guard stood, preventing any possible heists from those shifty Pasadenans. 
I hung out eating the free Craft Services for awhile, which means I broke modeling rule number one, don’t eat! After a couple hours I was called to the set, which was in the Grand Foyer of the home. A huge chandelier hung over the marbled floor adjacent to a sweeping spiral staircase, really decedent digs. Mario was on the staircase with a couple assistants checking the lighting and frames. JLO walked in wearing this lovely, flowing gown and said “where’s my butler?”, which is what I apparently was. I turned and said “right here miss.”, feeling like I was suddenly at another catering gig. But this time everything was make believe. We met and she was pleasant and seemed pretty relaxed. Her entourage of six people came in, including Marc Antony and her Manager. They stood off to the side, and seemed very serious and stressed. None of them so much as gave me a smile as I tried to treat this whole thing lightly. 
The shot was set up as such: I was holding a tray of “champagne flutes” on a tray off to the side as JLO posed in the middle of the room. In the shot I actually look like a model! And more like a date than a butler who had more in mind than just serving her drinks, but that’s only my take on the whole thing. In my character backstory I actually slept with JLO.  Mario began snapping shots and said in his slightly effeminate Italian accent “Oh Jennifer you so beautiful you top model yes very good oh Jennifer just beautiful!” After some time he finally said “and Ryan you top model too!” During all of this I was facing her entourage and I begin to notice that Marc Antony was whispering things to her such as “I want to kiss your lips you are so sexy my baby.” I had to avert my eyes because I felt like laughing at how openly ridiculous his open pillow talk was. He kept whispering things until I heard only silence as Mario continued to snap shots. I turned my eyes towards Antony to see that he was actually mouthing words to her now. I tried to make them out, and, oh my god is he actually saying that? Holy shit, he is saying that! He’s saying “I want to fuck you so bad.”
If you take a look at JLO in the photos you can see in her eyes throughout the pictures a slight reaction to her man mouthing the words, giving her a bit of sensual spark. As foolish as it seemed at the time, apparently Antony’s tactics worked quite well because she really is stunning in those shots. 
To this day, a few years after the JLO Vogue came out, my mom still keeps a copy in her car, just in case she might come across someone who hasn’t seen her son posing with JLO. I haven’t modeled since and don’t really have much of an interest to nor the looks required, but I can always say, yeah I’ve done some modeling, just a little Mario Testino shoot with JLO for Vogue-talk about a great name drop!
Actually this name drop would prove to be quite useful years later. One of my college friends was recently in town and was staying with some guy who’d moved here a few months earlier, and was working as an assistant to a celebrity photographer. This guy was a complete douche bag, the type who arrives to L.A. and quickly assumes the role as an “L.A. dude”, schmoozing their asses off so they can hurry up and “know people”. 
So I got a call from my friend Chris and he said he was in town and that we should meet up, do some partying. I asked him how he was doing and he actually said “oh just chilling at Le Deux with bad boy Jessie Metcalf.” After he uttered those words and talked about how many people his friend knew, I created a profile of this guy which proved right on target when they showed up at my apartment. The guy had “bed hair”, wore a v neck white tee, a big skull necklace, and ass crack jeans. He was so not into being at my place and spent his time on his Blackberry trying to set up another Le Deux night with Metcalf. Later I would see a shot of Metcalf in US Weekly on his Harley sporting a “wife beater” and tattooed arms, which caused me to laugh hysterically. I immediately put a closet homo joke about him into a script I’m writing. So my friend and this guy started dropping names: “we just finished shooting Scottie Cahn today and smoked some bong hits with him and tomorrow we’re doing Jada Smith Pinkett and last night we ended up partying with Mario Testino, he wanted to fuck us.” And at that point, his friend set himself up perfectly by saying “he’s a famous photographer.” And my buddy Luis, without hesitation, said “hey Ryan, is that the guy who shot you and JLO for Vogue?” I said as nonchalantly as I could, “oh yeah, that guy.” Luis then found the Vogue and showed them the shot. The wiggling fish just sat there gasping for air because someone just out name dropped him. With his ego bruised, they left shortly thereafter because the Hawaiian Tropics girls just invited them to a club.
And that was the only time I got a decent gig through catering. 

Submitted: January 06, 2009

© Copyright 2021 Ryan Anglin. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Classy Peach

and there we go.

are you for real?
come on. show us the picture!

very fun story. fun & funny!

you will be an interesting twist to have around here!
would you believe that I cannot even name drop ONE name? Not one!

Tue, January 6th, 2009 4:14am

Ryan Anglin

oh it's for real classy peach and I will attempt to get the photo online and paste it into the journal

Tue, January 6th, 2009 6:21am


this is just hilarious. your writing is so funny! i really enjoy it. usually something this long has to be really good for me to keep my attention on it. very nice. i've never wanted to visit LA before but i think meeting you would be an interesting jaunt! thanks for the enjoyable read! write on!

Tue, January 6th, 2009 11:00pm

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