Hey, this is Brad, with one last blog post. I had a story in today’s Journal about former MSU punter Heath Hutchins, a Saltillo kid who’s career as a fashion model has taken off in a matter of months. I had a great conversation with Hutchins last month, and as is often the case with a story like this, quite a bit got left on the cutting room floor.
So I wanted to give you some excerpts from my interview, to give you an even better sense of the world Hutchins now resides in.
• “It was kind of one of those things that when I first started, I never really thought too much into it. It was kind of like one of those things, it was a goal. Like, if I’m going to do this, that would be a really cool job to do. You go to the mall and you go to Belk and stuff, that’s the big pictures, so that was an unrealistic goal I had, and it happened. It’s one of the things you wanted to do, but deep down you’re like, yeah, that’s probably not going to happen.”
• On how MSU strength and conditioning coach Matt Balis prepared him for a tiresome work schedule: “Every time I think about complaining about anything, I just think about stuff like that. I think about being on leg press and doing my 90th rep or something like that. It could be a lot worse.”
• On other models: “We all look alike a little bit. I’ll go to some meeting with the casting, and I’ll see guys with blonde hair, blue eyes, blah blah blah, and I’ll think I’ve seen my twin eight times that day.”
• On learning about the modeling industry: “I’ve learned a lot compared to what I used to know. And I think that’s a good thing for me. I don’t get as excited as other people might. Nothing’s as big of a deal to me. It’s like, OK, so what? Take my picture.”
• On food: “Another thing is at jobs, they always have the worst food for you there – unlimited. They always have catered food. It’s kind of like we did at Mississippi State every day. There’s always caterers bringing in food the whole day while your’e shooting. If it’s at a location, they’ll deliver it. Usually if you’re in the studio, they’ll have food in the studio. It’s unlimited, and a guy like me, I work five or six days in a row, I’ll gain 10 pounds in a week. I can’t stop eating if you put it in front of me.”
• On food, again: “I remember the first time that I ate with the agency I’m with here in New York, we went out to dinner, and they ordered all this food and they ordered all this dessert. I was trying really hard not to eat it, and they were like, go ahead, eat it, eat it, eat it. I was like, you were supposed to be the guys telling me not to eat this. That surprised me a little bit.”
• On seeing his picture in Tupelo’s Barnes Crossing Mall: “It was another early job, I did Buckle. I did a shoot for them in Palm Springs, Calif. I flew out there and was there for a couple of days. There’s a big picture in the window. I didn’t know when it came out, and I got on Facebook one day, and six people had posted it and tagged me in the picture. They were like, look who I saw at the mall.”
• On being a small-town Mississippi kid in this profession: “You’d be surprised, a lot of the models that are guys, they’re all European, and hardly any of them are American. And then, I’m as American as it comes – from a small town in the middle of nowhere, cows out in my front yard. A lot of times when I talk, people think I’m from South Africa because of my accent, or from Australia. They’re like, what is your accent? They’ve never heard it. It’s that bad. Especially when I’m working in Europe, they don’t know where the hell I’m from.”
• On getting back for an MSU game: “I might try to come to the first one (versus Alcorn State). I don’t know. I want to get down there. I actually have a girlfriend up here, and she’s never been to a game before down in the South. That’s what everybody always tells me, they’re like, what’s in the South? Especially people from different countries, and I’m like, there’s nothing there until about four months a year. When college football season happens, you could come there, and you’ll have 100,000 people in less than a one-mile area, and you’ll think it’s the craziest thing ever. Then you’ll come to the same spot five months later and you’re like, where the hell is everybody at?”
• On how long this will be his career: “To me my whole goal is, I came to New York just to leave New York, just to come here and make enough money to go somewhere else and have money to buy a house and have some every-day stress off your shoulders of making house payments and stuff like that.”