Alright peoples, this next series of posts is something that I am hella hyped about. They will be called Next Up, which will be interviews of people I link up with who would like to share their story with the world. If you guys want in, or you know someone who would, please let me know so we can really make this something special. This first person is a fashion model who was gracious enough to allow me to ask him a few questions about his background, his journey, and his passion for his art form. Enjoy.
25 years young
New York, New York
Remember that feeling you used to have as a kid when you would imagine yourself on the biggest stage in the biggest moment and being able to deliver for the people? For me it was always the NBA Finals, Game 7, 4 seconds on the clock, down by 2, on the road, and me hitting the clutch setback 3-pointer and setting the basketball world on fire. Everyone has their own idea or version of their dream moment, Kurtis Morris has been able to channel that feeling, and use it as fuel for his modeling career which is still in it's young stages. As a kid, he said that he "always had dreams of 'seeing my name in lights'" and as someone who has known this guy since he was just a teenager working at a baseball stadium, I can tell you that this guy has what it takes to make his dream happen.
In the modeling world, it is so important to be where "it" is at. Wherever "it" is, you gotta be there to be noticed, cherished, and accepted. Morris recently made the move to New York City to try to be a part of something bigger. He now has a deeper understanding for the modeling industry, because the city has taught him how deeply rooted one has to be within the culture to truly understand it's complex nature. He says, "Modeling isn't just a good looking person standing in front of a camera; it's being able to convey emotion & feeling thru movement and expression while drawing the audience in."
Morris has bigger plans set in his sights than just being a model at some company. His goal to promote diversity and versatility through his art makes him a hot commodity within the modeling world. Narrowing his options down at this point in his career is something he doesn't want to do, he wants to allow the world to come to him. As he continues to practice his craft everyday, he has an understanding that his image will continually change throughout the course of time. Modeling, just like many other art forms, changes constantly. So for Morris to be able to know that he has to be marketable, just shows that his mind is in the right place.
Being able to ask Kurtis these questions, only opened up my eyes to my dreams and goals. We all need to channel our dreams we had as children to be able to find happiness in whatever it is that we are doing. I doubt I will ever be in the NBA, but just remembering that feeling I imagined in that moment, and striving to continually find some feeling that is just as impactful will only help me be more passionate about everything I do. Kurtis Morris is already having an impact on the people around him, and his form of art will only reach more people as he continues to perfect his craft. As he is just beginning to sizzle on the scene, with his drive and passion, he will eventually set the modeling world on fire.
Thank you Kurtis for allowing the world to hear a little bit of your story!
Follow him through his career on Instagram @Kurtis10_0
If you would like to read the transcript of the interview, read below! It is absolutely worth it.
When you were young, did you ever gave dreams of becoming a model?
Growing up as a kid I always had dreams of "seeing my name in lights". I envisioned myself as a star, whether it be a sports athlete, actor or even a model. I heard from family members, friends, and even teachers that I could be a model; so I finally took action and began perusing my dream.
How has the tradition to New York changed your perspective on the modeling industry?
My move to New York City has changed my perspective in the sense that I now know how complex the industry really is. Modeling isn't just a good looking person standing in front of a camera; it's being able to convey emotion & feeling through movement and expression while drawing the audience in.
How have past experiences in life helped you grow as a model in your young career?
All year around I played sports growing up. Doing so throughout my childhood and adolescents has molded me to have discipline and drive. It has also helped keep me active and properly fit for the industry.
If you could model for any one company or person right now, who would it be?
As a model I would like to promote diversity & versatility, therefore narrowing down to only one company is difficult. As a model my ultimate goal is to be signed with IMG Company Worldwide to allow myself to target the masses. My top three design house would be Calvin Klein, Comme De Garcons, and Balmain.
What are the next steps for you in growing your modeling career?
In order to grow and excel as a fashion model I have to recreate my image so that it's marketable. Work on test shoots that allow me to grow my portfolio, create an online social presence, and send out packages to major fashion agencies to get signed.
Can you describe your passion for your art?
My passion is definitely in it's beginning stages. It develops more as I continually shoot. The combination of the feeling of being behind the camera and seeing the end results helps me develops more of a passion to meet my goal.
What advice do you have for people who decide to follow their passion, whatever it may be?
Don't allow your mind to create mental blocks that you'll regret later in life. That will keep you thinking what if or could have been. Work hard everyday towards your passion and ultimately be patient.
Just a man trying to make the most of his time on this planet.