GHM: Where are you from?
Nathaniel Goodwin (NG): I was born in Panorama City, Los Angeles and I was raised in Austin, Texas for most of my childhood. I have lived in Brownwood, Texas and also in Lubbock, Texas. I have been very fortunate to be able to reside in different states in the US.
GHM: How long have you been modeling?
NG: I have been modeling for three years now. Every year, I have noticed that my perspective and my attitude for modeling has changed. I now circumspect all photographers’ abilities and I also evaluate my own strengths and weaknesses before an upcoming photo shoot. The reason why I do this is because I want to become the best male model in the US.
GHM: What got you inspired to model?
NG: My first photo shoot was ironically with a man named Robert Henry [the photographer of this month’s images]. I was very curious about modeling and I had no direction that I wanted to move at that time. After years of contemplating, I decided to take a step forward, and I called up Robert Henry and I set up a photo shoot with him. I researched Robert Henry’s work beforehand and I was impressed by his work. I still remember scrolling through all of his images at Site Key Studios and reciting to my friends that he is a brilliant photographer. Robert told me after the photo shoot that I should consider trying to get into modeling and join a modeling website called Model Mayhem. I was skeptical at first, but I signed up for the site and the rest is history.
GHM: Did you ever imagine you’d be where you are now when you first started?
NG: I never imagined that I would be where I am today. Modeling is a very hard profession to be great at because modeling changes every generation. For example, if you go back to the 80’s or 90’s decades, the guys that dominated the modeling industry were Fabio and Tyson Beckford. Fabio’s trademark was his long hair, rugged mixed look with a muscular body that could give Superman a run for his money. Tyson was more of a lean model that had eyes and lips that could make any woman’s heart melt. Today, models tend to be skinny and very lean compared to the counterparts of the older generation. My master plan is to bring back the sex appeal that old male models established in the 80’s and the 90’s.
GHM: Have there been any obstacles you’ve come across in your career? What were they and how did you overcome them?
NG: I have faced many obstacles in my modeling career. I was told by a family member that I could not be a great male model because I lack the dedication and I did not have the experience to make it in the industry. I realized early in my career that in order to become a great male model, I must believe in myself and work hard to be successful in the industry. So, in essence, I started buying modeling magazines. I exercised daily, and I practiced mastering many facial expressions in a mirror. I knew that in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the industry, I must do things that the average model does not think about. I was able to overcome my lack of experience through hard work and my ability to network with people. A photographer told me that I am too big to be a model. I knew in my heart that I was never going to be a 160-pound fashion model, so I needed to find a way to balance my size with my modeling ability. After trial and error, I found that I can be myself and that the most important value is how I feel when I model. I realized that I can show people that size, shape, and facial expressions are standard factors that people use to judge models, but the most important factors are confidence and integrity.
GHM: Have your family and friends been supportive?
NG: My friends and my family members have been very supportive toward my success as a male model. The only concern that my parent had is that I should have a full time job and not solely rely on modeling to make a decent living. I understand the reason why my parents told me this is because they did not want me to face financial hardships in the future. I love modeling and I enjoy meeting new people. I am not a model who primary reason for modeling is to make money. Life is too short and if you focus on external happiness you will miss out on the little things that have true meaning.
GHM: If you were able to pick your dream shoot, what would it be? What kind of location, scenery, clothing, etc, would you choose?
NG: My dream shoot would be an ancient samurai theme. I love martial arts and I am big supporter of the concepts behind being a samurai warrior. The location for the samurai’s idea would take place in the Edo time period, in a Dojo, where wearing a sword was a normal activity. The clothing would be ancient samurai armor with a bodacious long black Katana sword. I wish that Miyamoto Musashi could see me now; I am sure that he would get a kick out of seeing me attempt to break his record of being undefeated for 60 duels.
GHM: Does it change the way others look at you and treat you?
NG: I am sure that people view me differently because I am a model. I am firm believer of the “Golden Rule”, and I apply that to every person that I work with or is my friend. I will never knows who I will come across in the future, so it’s best to treat everyone with respect and do the right thing at all times.
GHM: Is there anything you do to give back to your community?
NG: I want to give back my experience and knowledge to the community. If I can win Mr. Caribbean International 2012 in October, I will be able to travel to many schools and states. I would have the chance to be a guest speaker to kids that have adverse backgrounds. I understand that a person always has a choice that they can make and my premise speaking topic would be if your heart is full of anger that you will eventually be consumed by rage. The best decisions come from a person that is level headed and is at peace with their mind, body, and spirit.
GHM: You were Mr. Oklahoma 2011, what other accomplishments have you reached through modeling? Travel, agencies?
NG: The title of Mr. Oklahoma 2011 has opened up many doors for me as a model. I have co-hosted KSBI OK52 “All About You” with JaNiece Cranmer and Kealey McIntire. I have my own website now where I can connect with fans. I have traveled to Madrid, Spain, San Jose Del Cabo, Negril Jamaica and got signed as a model for an international agency in Madrid, Spain called “The Creator”, or, in Spanish “La Criatura.” I been featured in a new Oklahoma Bridal Lifestyle magazine and have been in a calendar for GW Exotic Memorial Animal Park; where I was able to shoot with a white tiger. I have participated in many bridal, fitness and fashion shows this year because of Cosmopolitan 2011 Bachelor of the year contest last year. I have been in a hip-hop video for Clear Pictures Production for a song titled ‘DJ Play a Love Song’ that was staring a local artist called Ms. Mecchie. I am a model that has signed multiple non-exclusive contracts with Mahogany Brides & Flash Models International. Mahogany Brides is launching their first bridal issue in July and this will be a milestone event because it will be the first time an African American Bridal magazine has been released in the United States of America. I will be in the magazine and I am proud of the accomplishment of this historic event. The last thing that is outstanding is that I have the privilege of representing the USA this year for Mr. Caribbean International 2012 in Negril Jamaica in October (1st through 8th).
GHM: What has been the most memorable photo shoot so far?
NG: The best photo shoot that I had has been with Allan Cich at Oklahoma City University. The theme was basketball and we both had chemistry and slam-dunked it. The best part was looking at the final basketball image and telling Allan that this is how modeling should be done. I felt like that photo should be on the cover of ESPN.
GHM: Where do you think your modeling will take you in the future?
NG: I am not sure where modeling will take me in the future. If I spentmy time worrying about the future, I would not be able to concentrate on living my life today. I am hoping that modeling will allow me to travel to more countries and springboard me into a career of acting. I am fascinated by actors/actress and I would love to be a guy that is in a premier theater movie someday.
GHM: If you could give aspiring models one piece of advice, what?
NG: My advice to all the aspiring models is to ‘dare to be different’. Don’t get caught up with trying to be someone that you are not. If you stick to roots and work hard you can do anything that you put your mind too.
Photography by Robert Henry
View the article on Mrs. Oklahoma 2011