Reality-TV stud J.P. Calderon dissects his boss, Janice Dickinson
When it started out, “Janice Dickinson’s Modeling Agency” was only poised to be an “America’s Next Top Model” spin-off. Not only has it survived, some could argue that it has a wider appeal than Tyra Banks’ reality contest.
The third season of “Janice Dickinson” begins Tuesday. And in the previous season, Dickinson practically held J.P. Calderon in her arms as the camera-ready stud modeled for Instinct magazine, which only features gay men on its cover. Calderon was hardly a reality-show virgin: In 2006, he was featured in “Survivor: Cook Islands” as the presumably “straight” professional volleyball player.
Some dismiss Dickinson as a hotheaded and bitchy drama queen. But as Calderon stressed over coming out, a different side of Dickinson emerged: compassionate and encouraging.
Earlier this week, Calderon phoned the Dallas Voice offices to discuss modeling techniques, hitting on overly handsome dudes and sizing up the fierce diva who runs his modeling agency.
Are the rumors true that you dated gay “Survivor” cast member Brad Virata, the Filipino-Hawaiian hottie? No. None of it was true. I wasn’t even out at the time. I was still being a straight guy.
You’ve been working with 2xist underwear a lot. Any other modeling jobs coming out? I just did a spread in “Tetu,” which is a gay magazine in France. I also book a lot of high-fashion editorial around the world.
Are these jobs you book through Janice Dickinson’s agency? I work with another agency as well. There are rules about it. But every model works with different agencies in different regions. But Janice’s agency is where I got my start.
Have you ever argued with Janice? No. Never. I’ve been yelled at by her. But she yells at everyone.
Could you win an argument with her? I’d hate do even go there. Honestly, it depends on how strong you believe in your convictions. Hopefully, I’d win. But she’s a tough cookie.
Who’s the villain on the show? If there has to be a villain, it’s her business partner, Peter.
Does Janice’s agency always pay you? That’s a big issue and that’s an issue with Peter. New models don’t realize that it takes a while to get paid, which is standard. But Peter takes money out of our checks for miscellaneous reasons. And that’s where things get really sketchy.
What modeling techniques have you’ve learned? You can sell yourself 10 different ways just by changing your eyes. Modeling isn’t just being pretty or looking hot. It’s how you connect with the camera, how you convey an image. And the connection can be very subtle. But the expression in your eyes is what really changes the picture: You can be inviting, happy, seductive or stern.
When you’re attracted to a guy, do you ever strike up the conversation? I’m usually too intimidated.
You wait for them to come to you? I don’t play the waiting game. And I don’t want to sound cocky. I just wait because of insecurity. I feel if they come up to me, at least I know they’re interested. I’m too afraid to take that chance.
What turns you off when dudes approach you? When the focal point of the conversation becomes all about them.
Are you single? No. I’m dating someone.
You look incredibly lean: What’s your waist size? I’m 6’2″ and my waist is 31 inches.
What’s the largest waist size of the guys you’ve dated. Probably 34 inches.
Janice seemed very instrumental in your coming out process. Did she give you any solid advice? She did. I had a really hard time with it. And they edited a lot out, which made me look more dignified. Janice didn’t push me. She saw that I was really struggling. And afterwards, she took me out without cameras or anything. She told me that she was so tough because she had role models. And that all her role models were gay men. She also said that no one is tougher than a gay man that gay men taught her about drive, ambition and being tough. I guess when Janice was down and out, it was gay men who picked her up, put her back on her feet and kept her going. I’ll never forget that.
of “The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency” airs
Dec. 4 at 9:30 p.m. on Oxygen.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 30, 2007