“Modeling can offer a vast wealth of knowledge about the world, and the constantly changing aspects of media, business, and culture.” – David McKay
Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series goes beyond the runways and picture-perfect shoots to get to know top Dallas models on a personal level. Why?
Boasting top tier agencies, producers, and retailers, the Dallas market is emerging as a fashion force on the national scene. And, as our interviews with Carlotta Lennox, Myles Crosby, Donny Boaz, Sirisha Reddy, Atti Worku, and many more prove, Dallas-based models are among the most fascinating and accomplished in the country.
Proving the rule is David McKay. Modeling and acting share space on this entertainment industry pro’s résumé, alongside marketing, producer, and creative director credits. And if his curriculum vitae isn’t sexy enough, he’s also a real-life Marvel Comics superhero. Read on for David’s candid thoughts on the industry, and which lessons this soon-to-be-dad hopes to pass on to his stepsons.
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Tell us about your first job.
David McKay: “I have wanted to be an actor since I was a child, and even had a producer for the Mickey Mouse Club approach me and my family about an audition while on a trip to Disney World. Realistically, I had to accept my family’s answer of ‘no’ at the time, because we lived too far away. I was bummed about it for weeks!
“After graduation, the time came for me to make a decision about school, but I just couldn’t shake my desire to become a professional actor. I literally packed up my car in one day and drove the 24 hours straight to New York from Bridge City. I have been acting and modeling ever since.”
How do you prepare for an assignment? Do you follow a strict workout and diet regime?
“I generally confirm and review the details of the job, and then I make sure I know where I’m going. Traveling to a new location for work every day is a challenge, especially when it’s out of the country. My diet and physical training depend on the type of client and shoot. Sometimes I have to be very strict; my strict diet consists of egg whites and chicken. Sometimes, however, it’s easy, and I’m at In & Out Burger – my favorite!”
From your perspective, how does the experience of a male model differ from that of a female model?
“This is one industry in the world that is absolutely dominated by women, and rightfully so, as historically they have always been the object of beauty. For example, the top female model of 2013 earned $42 million, distantly trailed by the top male model who earned $1.5 million. This is a tough, competitive industry for both sexes, and while we are slowly closing the gap with the ladies, we will always be the one to open the door.”
What do you think is the biggest misconception about the modeling industry, or about models themselves?
“Contrary to popular Zoolander cliché’s, most of the models I know are quite intelligent, as well as talented, hard-working individuals. Many models, like myself, capitalize on the opportunities this job presents. Modeling can offer a vast wealth of knowledge about the world, and the constantly changing aspects of media, business, and culture.”
As you describe, modeling has opened the doors to additional opportunities for you. Tell us about your work with Paramount Pictures.
“I signed a three-year talent development contract with Paramount Pictures. After working on an ad campaign as the Hulk during the Marvel Comic Book movies, the opportunity came to give input in a creative way as far as the concept of our next job. The head of Paramount in Sydney asked for my help with the concept, an epic game of football between the Superheroes and the Villains. After playing football for so long, I jumped at the opportunity! I was even granted approval to book my fiancée, Maggie Parks, as the Baroness from the film, G.I. Joe. After this, I was offered my own reality TV show, but I declined for artistic reasons.”
Have you always wished to express your creative side in this manner?
“I had been a producer and/or creative director on several other jobs prior to Paramount, but this one really gave me the experience I needed to take it to the next level. It just happened organically after years in the business, and working with people like Andrew Weir, from whom I have learned so much. The desire has always been there. It’s part of the art, and it has grown with every job that I do. It is invaluable to know as many aspects of the entertainment industry as possible.”
What additional projects on in this arena do you currently have in the works?
“My most recent job has also been my biggest, thus far. Two months ago, I was hired to develop the concept for a marketing and promotions brand known as the Suretone Girls. We launched in coordination with the #26 Indy 500 racecar driven by Kurt Busch, sponsored by Suretone Entertainment and owned by Andretti Racing. I hired a team, and we went to work three weeks prior to the race. It was a challenging task, but we pulled it off with ingenuity, and the Suretone Girls were created!”
On the home front, you are a soon-to-be husband and stepfather of two. Congratulations! Care to share any tips to balancing work and home life on an unpredictable schedule?
“Thank you! I am fortunate that my fiancée and I are in the same industry. This can be a difficult job that requires you to stay on your toes and adapt to whatever comes your way. We are lucky that we can work, and sometimes even travel, together, so there isn’t too much of a balancing act going on.”
Do you have a personal role model?
“I have had many role models throughout my career. I’ve always asked the people that I trust and respect for advice along the way, and have taken pieces of all of their advice and used them to help guide myself throughout my career. This advice, combined with the morals and values that my grandparents instilled in me, has been a great combination for success.”
As a role model yourself, what lessons do you hope to pass along to your stepsons?
“I like to make sure that they always help others in need, and treat others with respect. The most important thing I would like to teach them is to never give up on their dreams, no matter how big they are.”
Tell us three facts about yourself that might surprise us.
“The first thing that might be surprising to know, and the fact that I am most proud of, is that I have dual citizenship: American and Australian. Second, I am a skilled archer. My dad started teaching me when I was 10, and I was a natural. Third, I have a green thumb. I grew up learning about different trees and plants. I collect bonsai trees, and usually have several at the house.”
Finally, when you’re not working, how might you spend a free afternoon or evening?
“My fiancée Maggie and I like to hang out with our friends at Gustbar at the W Dallas-Victory Hotel at night, followed by Sunday brunch at Hooters downtown. It’s a tradition! I’m always up to throw the football, or grab the gloves and play catch in the front yard with the family. If I am by myself, I love to shoot my bow, read, or see a movie.”
All images, courtesy of David McKay. Click here to read more Face Time model interviews!