Let’s Talk About Freelancing!

What is freelancing? Well, for those of you who do not know... Freelancing is when you work for yourself, *essentially.* As a freelancer you make your own schedule, you find your own jobs, you determine your prices and fees and you probably will never get paid on time 🤷🏽‍♂️.

I've mentioned working as a photographer and stylist in the past but never really got into the process... So, let’s! 

I have been taking pictures ever since I was a little kid... I've always had a camera in my hand... But I started making money from photography in college. When it comes to photography, I love fashion and editorial work, but that's not where the money is. So a lot of the work you see on my website, like my more creative shoots, I did not get paid to do. Which is *fine* because I now have that to show in my portfolio but when those were happening, I had a ”part-time” job with over 30 hours a week. That's not the case now and hasn't been since October. 

In October, I quit my job as a stylist at Topman to attend an advertising conference that same weekend. Quitting my job was definitely an impulsive decision, but had I stayed I wouldn't be graduating tomorrow knowing I had a job in my field to look forward to. I trusted my professor telling me the conference would be beneficial for me and she was definitely right. Through the conference I was able to begin my application into the MAIP program and if I wouldn't have quit... not only would that program and the job been out of the question... Graduation would've been pushed back because there was no way I could've worked 30 hours, gone to school for 20, and held two internships.

 

These tips are mostly going to be geared towards freelancing in photography, but by all means, if something is applicable for you, run with it. 

 

My Tips for Freelancing: 

1. Don't do work for free. You're here to make money and you deserve to be paid for the service you're providing. And if you do something for free, make sure it's something that will get you more business in the future. 

2. Know your worth, do your research and charge accordingly. 

3. Network, network, network!!! 

4. Have business cards on you at all times, with an email, your website, phone number, whatever else you need but you need them. 

5. HAVE AN ONLINE PORTFOLIO!!! And a good one! No typos, have a clean layout, show your best and a variety of it.

6. Be on top of your emails, and check messages on social media.

7. Use social media to your advantage!!! Actively post and promote what you’re doing and promotions you’re having.  

8. Be on the lookout for locations to shoot! 

9. Don’t return photos until you get paid.  

10. Be open minded about projects but know when something isn’t for you, and if you’re not equipped for the job don’t do it.

 

HAPPY FREELANCING! 

 

I, Christian Blakley, hereby promise to rant & ramble.

Photo by: Joseph Mietus

Photo by: Joseph Mietus

Hello all, so as I’ve mentioned before, this tab of my website is here because I’m in a blogging class. I’ve attempted blogging in the past and didn’t have much luck with it... having the prompts from assignments helped get me going. HOWEVER, I graduate this Saturday and those prompts are going to cease to exist...

So, what’s going to happen to Rants & Rambles?

Well, I’m still going to be ranting, rambling and praising Mariah Carey in each post, but I’m thinking about switching platforms. Get ready to hear me rant & ramble on YouTube 💃🏽

 

So About New York...

Hello Everyone!

 

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So, back in January, I went to New York for the first time... And you may be thinking, wait, Christian... It's May, why are you showing us a video from New York in January... WE WANT NEW CONTENT!!! And well, to answer that it is new to you because you haven't seen it before so boom. AND... because I'm graduating next weekend, now more than ever I'm thinking about my life after college and what's coming next. I have an internship after graduation

*bless*

BUT, I keep thinking about where life is going to take me and I keep going back to this trip... New York was the most inspiring trip I've been on and I felt so motivated and hungry the whole time... for success and quite literally for food because there's food everywhere. Hot dogs on every corner, $1 slices of pizza... incredible. 

So watch, enjoy, and experience the drive I had with me. Because with a week left, this is the same drive and motivation I'm going to need every day from here on out.

Model After the Model

Hello, ramblers, fashion lovers, ad extraordinaires, hopefully Mariah Carey fans by now, 

and...

ALL THOSE INTERESTED IN A MODELING CAREER!

(I bet you didn't see that one coming.)

I have a few photoshoots coming up and I'm going to be in front of the camera for these... and I'm a little rusty. I've modeled before but I this is going to be my first campaign, it's for a coffee shop (not sure if I can say the name of it yet... but look out for me on a bike! 😏) 

So, what am I doing to prep for my shoots? I'm working out like crazy, stalking my favorite models on Instagram... and seeking out tips from a model I know,  Nic Kertesz.

 

Everyone, meet Nic.

Nic is a model here in Chicago and my old work husband. Unfortunately, wedding plans have been postponed due to an unexplained case of heterosexuality on Nic's part. 

Nic, say hi to everyone.

Pictured above: Nic and Huxley

Pictured above: Nic and Huxley

Nic: Hi everyone, sorry for the heterosexuality. I really don’t know how that happened, it ruined all of our wedding plans.

All's forgiven... So now that you're no longer wedding planning,  what does your day to day look like as a model?

Nic: Honestly, not that much different than most people’s. I have another job as a server at a restaurant in River North, I love spending time with my cats, and I enjoy long walks on the beach. Though for modeling, I do have to work out at least several times a week, make sure I’m eating (somewhat) healthily, and take extra good care of my skin.

Exciting, exciting... so, how do you get inspiration for poses or facial expressions?

Nic: Keeping up with the latest fashion trends and reading fashion magazines is a great way to not only stay up-to-date with the world of fashion, but also to get an idea for cool poses/expressions. I also like practicing different expressions in the mirror, or just doing whatever comes to me at a shoot. Asking for input from the photographer can be a great help for fitting their vision and figuring out what looks good on camera (and what doesn’t!).

What are some social media tips for a model? Do you post all of the photos you get back at once, do you post before the photographer, what do you do?

Nic: Post consistently, frequently, and tag as many things as you can! Engagement with followers is key. I don’t post everything at once, I usually space things out so I can be certain to not run out of new content and so I’m not spamming my followers. I will typically ask the photographer for permission to post, but don’t necessarily coordinate my posts with them.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to be fully clothed for this shoot, unless I'm hitting the gym everyday and moving it back until December, but for the shoots that you've done nude or partially, were they uncomfortable for you?

Nic: I’ve only done partially nude shoots, but they haven’t yet been uncomfortable for me. I’ve been careful and fortunate enough to work with photographers with a strong sense of professionalism, plus I’m comfortable with my body, so no uncomfortableness for me as of yet.

Do you have a day of ritual for a shoot?

Nic: I just make sure my face looks clear, my hair is on fleek, and I have everything I need for the shoot. I’m also big on punctuality.

Love the use of "on fleek." Very 2015 of you!  Are there any poses that you would say to stay away from or avoid?

Nic: Hmm not in particular. As you start modeling, you’ll quickly learn what poses and expressions work best for you on camera, and which one’s do not. It just takes practice and working with your own features.

What's the strangest experience you have had while shooting? 

Nic: Well, going back to the unfortunate case of my heterosexuality, there was a photographer who gave me some... flirty vibes (not you Christian). It was obvious he either found me attractive or was just really friendly based on all the shirtless snapchats and workout invites. He wasn’t pushy though and has some good work, so I decided to shoot with him downtown. Upon meeting and looking around for a place to shoot, he asked if I was seeing anyone, to which I replied, “Yeah! My girlfriend of four years.” He responded with, “You’re STRAIGHT? I thought you were gay this whole time!” I was just like, “Yeah I get that sometimes,” and joked it off. He was from then on much less talkative with me, and other than the shoot, never sent me another picture or message again.

Sorry you had to experience that! And thank you for clarifying that it was NOT ME. So, before we leave here... any last minute words of wisdom?

Nic: Be careful of who you’re shooting with, especially if you’re a woman, because I’ve heard of stories where some photographers can’t be creepy and touchy, etc. Just make sure they’re legit. Otherwise keep up with current fashion trends, practice your expressions in the mirror (especially the smile!), and network network network!

You heard it here. Work out, take care of your skin, practice, engage with your audience, and stay safe. Thanks for the tips, Nic!

ALSO!!! If you're not following Nic, go ahead and click here on on any photo in this post and it'll link you to his Instagram!

So You Wanna Wear All Black?

Hello, my little ramblers!

(Or whatever you identify as while reading this... I ramble, so I hope my rambling can inspire you to rant and ramble! Join in the rambling with me!!!)

 

As many of you know, I tend to wear all black a lot... and when I'm not, I feel out of whack, want to change clothes at least 20 times a day and my friends and family are left confused.

 

SO, I'M HERE TODAY TO SHOW YOU HOW TO WEAR ALL BLACK LIKE A PRO!

 

Let's get right into this. 

V IMPORTANT: Just because you're wearing all black does not mean that your wardrobe decision becomes any easier. Not all blacks are the same, not all shades of black go together, not all black fabrics look good together, you need to know which black item of clothing works best for the weather... ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S HOT AS HELL OUTSIDE AND YOU'RE IN BLACK AND TRYING NOT TO DIE BUT KEEP YOUR AESTHETIC GAME STRONG. But have no fear, because I know all the tips and tricks and I'm ready to share.

*Cue "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones*


It's time for me to change your life. Get ready.

 

Imagine, you're waking up. What are you waking up in?

Personally, I just sleep in my underwear if I'm going to wear anything to bed at all...
AND YOU GUESSED IT. They're black!! 

Put on a pair of black Calvin briefs and you'll be ready for anything, and look just like this guy doing everything you do. (Abs not included with purchase.)


Alright, time to put on some clothes.

So your day just started, you're at home lounging... Looking for an all black fit that can transition from comfy at home to workout gear or maybe even a cute athleisure look to run some errands. BOOM, the BLACK ATHLEISURE BASICS.

Right now, shorts are out of the question in Chicago. BUT, that doesn't mean you can't be comfy in black and stay warm. BEHOLD, a black tracksuit from Uniqlo. An essential.

OR... if the weather cooperates, throw on a hoodie, shorts, and slides. It's all black so you won't look like complete trash and will still look presentable because everything matches.


Athleisure not your thing?

Have no fear because basics come in black too!

Imagine... It's a warm summer day (I WISH) and you just need to run some errands or meet up with a friend somewhere that doesn't have restrictions on sleeveless tops... you're matching, you're breezy, AND YOU'RE DOING IT IN BLACK. Summer goals, am I right?

If that was too casual for you, but you're not ready to commit to black formal wear for your daytime look, how about a black jumpsuit? One piece. Super easy. AND SO VERSATILE. 

Or if you're looking for something to wear out, little did you know... the black jumpsuit is a staple goth custodian leather daddy chic piece

It's a nice little transitory piece before you break into the mesh and net later in the night!

 

 

 

But let's be real who's wearing mesh and net in Chicago right now. It's cold, it's rainy... and to put it simply... DISGUSTING FOR APRIL.

 

Have no fear because you'll be wearing basically nothing in no time.

Scouts honor.

 

 

 

TIME TO BREAK OUT THE PARKA. 

Have no fear, your black parka will match everything and you can take it off once you get indoors.

And you have parka options. Length is everything. A short black parka can change your day, but... A MOM PARKA WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

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My trip to New York would not have been complete without my mom parka. I'm always cold, so this is an essential piece for me. Warmth, insane. And the amount of outfits it completes... unreal. Recess mom's are on to something. And it's the fact that there is nothing better than owning a long length parka.


Need to brighten up your casual black daytime look a tad? Try adding in some white or grey! The look will remain dark and polished but the pants add an element of interest. White's and greys are the easiest way to brighten up a black look without steering from your aesthetic.

Approachable, light, happy, and all I did was add a little grey.

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But, what about prints?

Just because you're rocking all black does not mean you can't incorporate prints into your wardrobe. Prints and texture help break you out of the "I'm wearing the same thing everyday" black outfit vibe.

Here are some of my favorite prints... and you guessed it, they come in black.

VERTICAL stripes.  Emphasis on the word "vertical," because horizontal stripes can ruin your life.

Florals. They're fun, and make life a little less serious, but they're in black so you still look serious and committed to the all black life.

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Black flowers exist, right?

AND, let's not forget printed chinos!!!

The ultimate way to add a print to your look if you ask me!

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Rainy day? Have no fear.

Wear your favorite raincoat over an all black outfit. 


Looking to transition from day to night?

All black makes it super easy because you just have to deal with the criticism of looking like the grim reaper during the day but once the sun goes down you're ready!!!


Going bowling? 
A black tracksuit that actually is a bomber and chinos is the perfect way to look good AND be comfortable with full mobility for your bowling swing.

(Or wherever else, doesn't have to be bowling!!)


Need a suit for your night out?

WELL, IT'S A GOOD THING A BLACK SUIT IS A MUST HAVE!

Too formal of a suit, but you need something formal for an event but want to push the boundaries a little? Take your shirt off!

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Obviously, some places you're probably going to want to wear a shirt underneath a suit... but when it's a party setting and you're trying to stand out, ditch the shirt. 


Costume party?

Black costumes are the way to go. 


No matter where you're going there's something all black for you.

 

Follow these tips and you'll be walking out in all black in no time!

 

Let Me Ask You A Question...

A poem by Christian Blakley

 

 

Let me ask you a question,

I'll write it out clear.

How would you live your life

if it wasn't clouded with fear?

Would you get that promotion,  

the one that would cause quite the commotion?

Or would you leave altogether,

and move on for the better?

 

I'm proud of myself I've accomplished a lot,

but giving up on my dreams

would be me letting my life rot.

 

When I was a little kid I wanted to be on the big screen, 

I spent every day staring into a mirror wishing to get lean.

Well, here I am, I'm skinny and fit,

Yet things haven't taken off, I feel like a twit.

 

Tell me your secrets, some things that you quit,

Are there any you wish you would've stuck out without causing a fit?

 

For me it'd be piano, I quit that in first grade, 

I quit to take voice lessons, but that want I too let fade.

I didn't lose it completely, I instead joined the choir,

I did that until college,

well, shortly prior.

 

Performing was once such a large part of my identity,

to not do it now seems like quite the obscenity.

 

I do really miss it,

Thought I’d share a brief tidbit,

I’ll never give up on being America’s next big hit.

 

The arts are my passion, a skill I must say,

I found my own way to get past life's dismay.

I told you my secret, what I wish I hadn't quit, 

Now tell me yours, I'll check back in a bit.

 

What are some things you either quit or never started?

Let’s take a stroll through some of the things that I have quit along the way…

  1. Preschool
    I just got fed up and stopped going.

  2. Piano Lessons
    First grade me wasn’t interested in becoming the next Mozart.
  3. Art Classes
    I quit piano to take art classes and I quit before I even signed up.
  4. Voice lessons
    Another thing I quit before starting. But, picked it up later through choir and musicals.
  5. Boyscouts
    I quit after one day because I accidentally hit my finger with a hammer
  6. Basketball
    Fourth grade me was fat and asthmatic, and the team stopped telling me when we had games.
  7. Volleyball
    I quit before the first practice.
  8. Swimming Lessons
    Yes, I thought drowning would be better than continuing out lessons.
  9. Acting classes… Auditions… Callbacks… Agencies…
  10. Heterosexuality... I tried, not for me.
  11. Spanish 3 Honors and Spanish club… I dropped out of this one because I found out the guy I liked was taking drama, so I took it even though I already took it the year before… 
    And because of that it was counted as an honors course. 
  12. YouTube… I started and quit this one multiple times… and might start again.
  13. This list.

 

 

 

FRY TOUR 2K18 (Part One)

ATTENTION, FELLOW POTATO LOVERS...

This is a post for you!

 

When I started Columbia three years ago with, I made a pact with one of best friends since high school, Bree Quiachon (blogger, stylist, potato extraordinaire), to find the best fries in Chicago. IT TOOK US THREE YEARS BUT WE FINALLY WENT ON OUR FRY TOUR. 

 

Bree and I are determined to find the best fries in Chicago.

 (Just no longer in the same day.)

We realized that going to every recommended potato hub in a day would probably be the cause of a rapid high cholesterol diagnosis... So, we went to five restaurants and have a goal of 20 for the year! 


TIME FOR THE FRIES!!!

 

Spot #1: Epic Burger
 

Lighting, HORRENDOUS.

Fries, SENSATIONAL. 

Epic Burger's french fries are fried to perfection, leaving a little bit of the skin for added flavor, and guide the path to my heart.


Spot #2: The Hampton Social

This marked my first time at the highly photographed Hampton Social, and despite not being on the side with the infamous "rosé wall," The Hampton Social lived up to my expectations. 
Photo by: Bree Quiachon

Photo by: Bree Quiachon

At first, when the fries were brought out I didn't think I would like them. I'm not a typical skinny fry fan, but these with the chipotle mayo... PURE BLISS!

And, the perfect fries to have with a drink!


Stop #3: Shake Shack

Shake Shack had a line that almost went out the door so we ate these on the train to the 4th stop. On the go, they're great, and the experience did not feel shortened because we didn't eat them there. Bree and I ordered cheese fries and were immediately impressed by the crunch and crispiness these fries had to offer. 

We did notice a difference in the cheese when you get cheese fries to go. SO, in a normal cheese fry ordering scenario, the cheese comes on the fries, but when you get it to go, it's on the side... AND, it's thicker! Strange.


Stop #4: Devil Dawgs

Bree and I are notorious for ordering loaded fries with bacon and cheese from Devil Dawgs but after a day of eating, and for fair rating we decided to stick to cheese fries.

On their own, they're not spectacular. But these are the perfect fries to be paired with other foods. With a burger? Absolutely. Hot dog? You guessed it! BACON AND CHEESE? You bet! And not to mention, they're a staple drunk fry.


Stop #5: DMK Burger


5/20 down. 15 more to go  

Bree and I shall return, with looser pants next time.

YOUR OFFICIAL CHICAGO GSI (Gay Summer Itinerary)

HELLLOOOOO,

WOAH, it has been quite some time... (my sincerest apologies Professor Von Boul… writer’s block)

How’s everyone doing? Personally, I’ve been cold and unsure why because it’s April and last year I remember wearing a sleeveless tee underneath a leather jacket, and taking OFF my jacket because I was too warm… and now, I’m wearing mom parka. Cool.

ANYWAY! This post is all about events, and since I’m here in Chicago freezing my little 22 year old heart out in April… let’s fast forward to summer and see what’s going on here in the city that will be a gay ole time. 

Note: I said gay because, while yes these events will bring you happiness… they’re all centered around gay things! Therefore, I really do mean a gay ole time.

 

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Consider this your official GSI… “gay summer itinerary” for all things gay in the city.


 

Let’s pretend it’s May, you’re gay and you’re in dismay because you’re sitting around like a lump of clay:

One thing you could be doing is shopping for IML.
 

IML stands for: International Mr. Leather (Convention)

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I first went to IML in May of 2016… without knowing what it was. There I was exploring the South Loop with my friend on a Friday night and a couple of shots of 100 proof vodka (regrets), we turned near Columbia, passed the Congress Hotel and we saw a plethora of guys in leather jockstraps, chains, harnesses, and guys being walked like dogs out of the hotel… So, naturally, we went in to see what was up. 

If you’re into leather and scantily clad hairy men with leather accents… May 24-28th @ the Congress Hotel... be there. 

Leather can be used for many different things, purses, belts, car interiors, and for the wardrobe styling of The International Mr. Leather Convention. You’ll find leather jockstraps, harnesses, hats, collars, masks, whips, and everything in between.

 

Here's what's happening!

 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

8:00 PM - 10:30 PM

IML Opening Ceremonies

Auditorium Theatre

Auditorium Theatre: Ticket Packages available Ticket Sales Desk at Congress Plaza Hotel 1st floor Ticket Sales Desk. Event includes the introduction of judges, contestants and number selection. Doors open at 7:30 PM, show begins at 8:00 PM.

11:59 PM - 1:00 AM

Leather Recovery Meeting

Guest Room 700 North Tower

A 12-step recovery meeting that welcomes all programs and people seeking support in a sober environment during all IML festivities.


 

Friday, May 25, 2018

10:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Weekend Package Pick up & Ticket Sales

Rafael Annex

11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Leather Market Day Pass Registration

Prince Albert Room

Leather Market Access - Wristband is required and must be 21+ for admission. Photo ID required. Suggested donation - Full Weekend Wristband $25 or Single Day Wristband $15

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Leather Recovery Meeting

Guest Room 700 North Tower

12:00 PM - 7:00 PM

International Mr. Bootblack Competition

Rendezvous

12:00 PM - 7:00 PM

IML Leather Market

1st, 2nd, 3rd floors

Leather Market Access - Wristband is required and must be 21+ for admission. Photo ID required. Suggested donation - Full Weekend Wristband $25 or Single Day Wristband $15

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

FlashBack

Florentine

Spend some time with IML 2017, Ralph Bruneau and IMBB 2017, Pawlish, as they share their memories and highlights of their title year and travels. Join them and some very special guests to hear the insider scoop behind the social media posts of airports, events, judging, and jock auctions. Share some tears, laughs and scandals -- stories you probably haven't heard as well as their final remarks before their successors are named on Sunday night. Be there as the guys have a last word before fading into wuzziedom. This is a ticketed event that is available as both an add-on to your weekend package or as a single ticket event. All tickets will be available at Weekend Registration/Ticket Desk.

7:00 PM - 10:30 PM

BLUF Social

Oxford

BLUF Chicago welcomes members of the Breeches and Leather Uniform Fan Club from around the world with a cocktail reception bringing together men into full leather uniforms. This is a BLUF Dress Code Enforced Event, so please wear your finest Leathers and Uniforms.

7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Puppy Yoga

Rendezvous

Bring your yoga mats and clothes you can move in, and enjoy the perfect warm up before the fun begins at Off Leash! Sponsored by SquarePeg. Rendezvous Room. Yoga starts at 7:30 PM, and the Romp will be from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM

8:00 PM - 12:00 AM

LORE Sober Recovery Dinner

Congress Hotel Front Entrance

All members and friends of recovery community are invited to join, meet at the Congress Hotel entrance at 7:30pm for a short walk to the restaurant.

8:30 PM - 10:00 PM

Off Leash: The Pup and Handler Romp

Rendezvous

The annual pup and Handler party that is free and open to all pups and Handlers and their admirers. This year after puppy yoga, we will commence with pup play activities, surprises, fun and fellowship. Sponsored by SquarePeg. Rendezvous Room. Yoga starts at 7:30 PM, and the Romp will be from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM

10:00 PM - 2:00 AM

San Francisco Party

Florentine

Folsom Street Events delivers the biggest warm-up party of IML weekend right inside the host hotel. So, clean up, gear up, hang out and cruise at this nonstop sleazefest, featuring the deep, underground sounds of DJ Jack Chang (London). As always--it's free.

10:30 PM - 2:00 AM

Chicago Rubbermen and Mister International Rubber Meet & Greet

Rendezvous

The Chicago Rubbermen and Mr. International Rubber join forces to host their annual IML gathering. Start your weekend off by meeting fellow kinky rubberists from around the globe!

11:00 PM - 11:59 PM

Pocono Eagle Party

Oxford

11:59 PM - 1:00 AM

Leather Recovery Meeting

Guest Room 700 North Tower


Saturday, May 26, 2018

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Leather Market Day Pass Registration

Prince Albert Room

Leather Market Access - Wristband is required and must be 21+ for admission. Photo ID required. Suggested donation - Full Weekend Wristband $25 or Single Day Wristband $15

10:00 AM - 8:30 PM

Weekend Package Pick up & Ticket Sales

Rafael Annex

11:00 AM - 7:00 PM

IML Leather Market

1st, 2nd, 3rd floors

Leather Market Access - Wristband is required and must be 21+ for admission. Photo ID required. Suggested donation - Full Weekend Wristband $25 or Single Day Wristband $15

11:00 AM - 7:00 PM

International Mr. Bootblack Competition

Rendezvous

International Mr. Bootblack Competition.

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

Titans of the Midwest:General Business Meeting/Social

Florentine

Titans of the Midwest is a 501c(3) non-profit organization, whose mission is to provide education and guidance to further the development of knowledge and skills of the Midwest kink community (and beyond). Now in our 5th year, the Titans of the Midwest have hosted hundreds of educational sessions, bringing BDSM and kink education to thousands. Kink U at IML 40 will be no different. For full course details visit: titansofthemidwest.org

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Leather Recovery Meeting

Guest Room 700 North Tower

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

A Good Pup in a Crazy World: Puppy play in times of social stress

Oxford

It's no secret that the last year has been stressful. Can puppy play help? Join IPTC International Puppy Pup Turbo, International Trainer Sir Pounder, IPC International Puppy Pup Rex, Sir Justin, Issa Arden, and Sam Brinton as they discuss puppy play's role in a world gone mad. Panel Discussion moderated by Pup Rococo.

1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Kink U Session 1: Panel Discussion

Florentine

"WTF is IML Anyway?" The history, reality, and secrets, of the biggest leather contest in the world.

1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

People of Color Leather Caucus: Panel Discussion

Victorian

Join the Men of ONYX, along with Leatherfolk and Kinksters of Color from around the world for a lively community discussion on maximizing the leather/kink/fetish experience and positively impacting our communities as People of Color. Panelists will include both elders and new entrants. Demonstrations guaranteed to put the Sizzle in your Saturday afternoon will follow. Join in the discussion and maybe even participate in the demonstrations. Moderated by ONYX founder Mufasa.

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

Kink U Session 2: Leather History

Florentine

LA&M Presents, Historical Pillar of Our Community: Tony DeBlase, unraveling the man who made the flag.

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

Kink U Session 3: Changing Perspectives

Florentine

FAF 101: Take a look at the hyper-masculine world of Leathermen through the eyes of pioneering "femme" personalities.

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Chicago Hellfire Club Annual IML Cocktail Social

Oxford

The Chicago Hellfire Club hosts its annual cocktail reception at IML. Come meet and greet the members of CHC as they celebrate its 46th year. All are welcome.

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

LORE Sober Recovery Moctail Party

Guest Room 700 North Tower

All members and friends of the recovery community are invited to attend.

8:00 PM - 11:00 PM

IML Pecs and Personality Contest

Auditorium Theatre

Auditorium Theatre: Ticket Packages available Ticket Sales Desk at Congress Plaza Hotel 1st floor Ticket Sales Desk. IML contestants are judged on their appearance and stage presence. Doors open at 7 p.m., contest begins at 8 p.m. Proudly sponsored by sportlube

10:00 PM - 2:00 AM

Gear Blast 2018

Rendezvous

Hot guys in sports, racing, rubber, leather, lycra and other perv gear keep things hot, sweaty and kinky! Everyone is invited to get yer gear on and come party hard and sweaty. After all, it's always better IN gear!

10:00 PM - 2:00 AM

Spitshine: The Bootblack Party

Florentine

Join the contestants for this year's International Mr. Bootblack Competition and meet bootblacks from across the nation. Jump in to the auction bidding to help raise travel funds for this year's winner. IMBB is proudly sponsored by Stompers Boots of Fort Lauderdale, FL.

11:59 PM - 1:00 AM

Leather Recovery Meeting

Guest Room 700 North Tower


Sunday, May 27, 2018

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Leather Market Day Pass Registration

Prince Albert Room

Leather Market Access - Wristband is required and must be 21+ for admission. Photo ID required. Suggested donation - Full Weekend Wristband $25 or Single Day Wristband $15

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Weekend Package Pick up & Ticket Sales

Rafael Annex

11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

International Mr. Bootblack Competition

Rendezvous

International Mr. Bootblack Competition.

11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

IML Leather Market

1st, 2nd, 3rd floors

Leather Market Access - Wristband is required and must be 21+ for admission. Photo ID required. Suggested donation - Full Weekend Wristband $25 or Single Day Wristband $15

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Leather Recovery Meeting

Guest Room 700 North Tower

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Metropolitan Community Church Service

Columbia

Metropolitan Community Church Service, General worship service by Chicago's MCC's for Christian Leatherfolk.

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

POW! The Superhero Fetish Meetup

Hotel Lobby

Heroes and villains will face off at POW!, the dynamic event that unites the superhero fetish community at IML. Gear yourself up in superhero spandex, rubber or leather (as well as scales, robot armor, or fur) and come meet friendly kinksters who dig tights, capes and superpowers. This is a judgment-free event, and all levels of cosplay are appreciated, including capes.

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

International Mr. Leather Contest

Auditorium Theatre

INTERNATIONAL MR. LEATHER CONTEST Auditorium Theatre: Ticket Packages available Ticket Sales Desk at Congress Plaza Hotel 1st floor Ticket Sales Desk. Doors open at 5:00 PM, Contest begins at 6:00 PM. Proudly sponsored by Miller Lite.

9:00 PM - 4:00 AM

IML Victory Celebration

House of Blues 329 N. Dearborn Street

Featuring DJ Eddie Martinez. Buses start at 8:00pm. Ticket Packages available Ticket Sales Desk at Congress Plaza Hotel 1st floor Ticket Sales Desk.

11:59 PM - 1:00 AM

Leather Recovery Meeting

Guest Room 700 North Tower


Monday, May 28, 2018

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Leather Market Day Pass Registration

Prince Albert Room

Leather Market Access - Wristband is required and must be 21+ for admission. Photo ID required. Suggested donation - Full Weekend Wristband $25 or Single Day Wristband $15

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

IML Ticket Sales

Rafael Annex

11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

IML Leather Market

1st, 2nd, 3rd floors

Leather Market Access - Wristband is required and must be 21+ for admission. Photo ID required. Suggested donation - Full Weekend Wristband $25 or Single Day Wristband $15

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Premier Package Holder Reception

Florentine

Premier package holders are invited to a special meet and greet with IML winners. Photos with the winners are optional. Ticket included with Premier package required.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Leather Recovery Meeting

Guest Room 700 North Tower

9:00 PM - 4:00 AM

Black and Blue Ball

House of Blues 329 N. Dearborn Street

Featuring DJ Tom Stephan Buses start at 8:00pm. Ticket Packages available Ticket Sales Desk at Congress Plaza Hotel 1st floor Ticket Sales Desk.

 

Drinks, kinks, music, competitions, hundreds of bearded muscular guys roaming around the city, AND COMMUNITY CHURCH SERVICE ON SUNDAY FROM 2-3… what more could you want? 

For more info visit: http://www.imrl.com

 


Alright, now that you’ve had a couple of weeks to recover...

 

GET READY FOR THE GAYEST TIME OF THE YEAR, JUNE!

June is Pride Month.

So much to do, so many people to see… it’s a blast!

 


There’s no official events at the beginning of June associated with the parade and festival but it’s still a great time to be out in Boystown. It’s warm, rooftops and patios are open, people start going to the beach, it’s great.


But fast forward to the latter half of June, and pride fest commences.

Last year was actually my first pride because every other year I worked, or was in a song and dance revue, or musical…. OR SOMETHING. But last year I got to attend for the first time and it was crazy. So much fun, and aside from the partying and music… it’s called “pride” for a reason and you feel that sense of pride everywhere you go. Everyone is happy, smiling, living their best life and there’s no sense of judgment anywhere to be found.

 


Chicago Pride takes place over two weekends, the festival on June 16-17 and the parade the following weekend on Sunday the 24th.


 

July… really, I don’t think there’s many gay things going on… So, hit the beach, roam the streets and be gay enjoying your day!

 


 

August! ANOTHER BIG ONE.

 

First week off the bat, Lollapalooza. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend Lollapalooza because I’ll be in New York for my graduation from the MAIP program… But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to Lolla! Especially with a lineup sure to bring out the gays.

If you’re interested in the lineup, which you probably are because there’s something there for everyone… purchase tickets here: https://www.lollapalooza.com/tickets/

If you’re interested in the lineup, which you probably are because there’s something there for everyone… purchase tickets here: https://www.lollapalooza.com/tickets/

If you’re interested in the lineup, which you probably are because there’s something there for everyone… purchase tickets here: https://www.lollapalooza.com/tickets/


 

WE ARE STILL IN THE FIRST WEEK GUYS AND ALL OF THAT JUST HAPPENED!!!

 


Next…  MY BIRTHDAY ON AUGUST 7TH!

(I’ll be in NYC, but my Venmo is @cjblakley) 


AND TO CLOSE OUT YOUR GSI… THE QUEEN and her recently loyal henchman are coming TO TAKE OVER SOLDIER FIELD, ON AUGUST 10TH AND 11TH…  

Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s On the Run II tour. 

Need nuff’ be said.

I’m hopefully going to be back in Chicago on the 11th and if so I’ll be seeing Beyoncé for the first time. And will probably never be able to type a rant or ramble again because I’ll be dead. 

 

And on that note, goodbye!

Happy Birthday, Barbie!

Once upon a time, a Columbia College student (me) was asked to photograph and style a shoot... it's theme, A BARBIE MURDER HOUSE. So sit back, relax, and I am going to tell you the story of how Barbie lost her mind and found it underneath Ken's lies and discretion!

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin

"Ken, who's Becky?"

babrieken.png
 

She's a Barbie girl,

getting cheated on in a Barbie World.

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin  

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin
 

 

Life was fantastic

when she didn't know Ken's antics.

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin  

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin
 

 

He’s a blonde, bimbo boy,
with no care in the world, 

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin  

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin
 

 

that picked the wrong chick
to lie to. 

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin  

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin
 

 

Becky called the house phone,

and Barbie picked up…

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin  

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin
 

 

Ken tried to say

that she was his sister.

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin  

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin
 

 

"It was worth a shot"

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin  

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin
 

 

"Or, stab!"

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin  

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin
 

 

Ken tried to run...

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin  

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin
 

 

But, he couldn't escape...

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin  

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin
 

 

Barbie bagged Ken and his lies away!

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin  

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin
 

 

Nice try.

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin  

Photographer: Christian Blakley, Stylists: Christian Blakley, Zac Buntin and Bryn Calvert, Makeup: Jacob Strayer, Models: Daisi N Confüsed and Zac Buntin
 

In Honor of Mariah Carey’s Anniversary

Hi everyone, so this is the blog post I have been waiting to do. Get ready... This is my reaction to Mariah Carey's live vocals. 

(Also, watch the videos because if not, I'm just talking to myself here. React with me!)

In chronological order of her career... of course.

1. Traveling back to 1990... here is Mariah Carey's first live performance.
A YOUNG SKINNY LEGEND IN THE MAKING! This was Mariah's first time performing live introducing herself as a recording artist and the stadium was left with a roar of excitement. Mariah Carey is one of two vocalists with a five-octave range and her whistle note threw everyone for a loop. 

2. I couldn't leave 1990 without including Mariah's first SNL performance singing the song that started her career. Those whistles, low notes, belts, growls... I wasn't born yet but America was shook.

3. EMOTIONS. LISTEN TO HER SING LOWER THAN YOUR DAD AND HIGHER THAN A BIRD ALL IN ONE SONG.

4. A couple of years have now passed and Mariah Carey is getting some serious attention. And with all the fame comes haters. In 1992 Mariah Carey performed on MTV Unplugged to prove that her voice was not a studio creation. So she sang her most difficult songs completely live and let everyone doubting her take a seat, several actually.

5. Mid 90s... Concerts, tours, a psycho manager/husband that wouldn't let her leave her home unless it was to perform. BUT VOCALLY THRIVING. Listen for yourself.

6. And let's not forget about her Christmas album that came out in 1994! THAT IS STILL CHARTING OVER 20 YEARS LATER! I know, it's your favorite Christmas song. Mine too, mine too.

7. Patti Labelle and Mariah Carey dominated 1998 together. Don't believe me. WATCH THESE!!!

Catch Mariah swatting flies while singing a tribute to Patti Labelle, a rare talent. AND singing what is now and should forever be the original version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, or at least the only one that matters. I watch the video daily, I have no shame. This live tribute is one of the only reasons I use SoundCloud.

I'm sorry, did anyone else just hear her WHISTLE OVER PATTI LABELLE BELTING???

8. Not a performance but this is when she was awarded ARTIST OF THE MILLENNIUM. 

9. For anyone still recovering from hearing Fergie sing the National Anthem, here's Mariah to bless your ears. You're welcome.

10. After taking some years off of producing new music Mariah Carey came back in 2005 and destroyed the charts with the Emancipation of Mimi. Here's her singing one of the number 1's from the album, We Belong Together live on Oprah.

11. OR WHEN SHE TOOK US TO CHURCH DURING THE 2006 GRAMMY'S WITH FLY LIKE A BIRD!!! (Start at 2:04)

12. In 2010, a very pregnant Mariah sang Oh Come All Ye Faithful from her second Christmas album for a special ABC Christmas special live WITH HER MOTHER WHO IS AN OPERA SINGER. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. Hearing their styles emerge together is so beautiful.

13. Or in 2013 when she dropped #BEAUTIFUL with Miguel and convinced everyone she went back in time because she looked and sounded like an adolescent.

14. Next to I go to Disney World I want Mariah Carey to be there singing. No ifs ands or buts.

15. After the NYE performance we do not speak of, Mariah came back and gave me the song of good luck I needed for 2018. SHE SANG THIS SONG IN -6 degrees when all the audience members are freezing and shaking bundled up from head to toe WITHOUT HER HOT TEA. I am truly floored.

Thank you for reading, watching, I hope you too are now a lamb (Mariah Carey fan) and if not... leave.

CATEGORY IS: Brand Yourself

Wait, should I change the two previous posts to make the title "Category Is: *Insert Category"??? Or would I get sued for taking that from Ru Paul's Drag Race... hmm, I'll find out... But in the meantime, all copyright for the above title goes to Ru. (Just in case)

 

Hi everyone, so back to advertising. What’s continuity?

Anyway, I’m bringing you some ad tips sure to bring you to the top of whatever it is you want to do in life. So in one of my classes, I came across an article called Forbes: Seven Steps to A Successful Brand" and then I started thinking, “hmm… what’s my brand?” I mean, I did after all just attest to the fact that I have absolutely no sense of continuity but, hey, here we are.

Let’s go through the steps, and see how I’m failing or succeeding upon each. Nothing like self-depreciation on a weekday night, am I right?

Okay, here we go.

1.     Creating the right tagline.
I don’t really have a tagline… even when it comes to bio’s I’m terrible with my own… because I’m not consistent, truthfully. I get my hands on a little bit of everything and there’s not one thing I’m always doing. Yes, I’m likely to be found doing something advertising related, or taking pictures, shopping, wearing black, or talking about Mariah Carey (have you listened to the Patti Labelle tribute yet???). But, how do I put that into a sentence? “Christian Blakley is an advertising student likely to photograph you wearing black clothes he bought listening to Mariah Carey” No. I’ll work on it, but props to the people who have it down.

2.     Stand out from the crowd.

 

Here’s an example of not standing out because I stragetigally wore blue jeans to attempt fitting in at Wrigley. I never wear blue jeans. This was the first time I had in years, and my mother was shook. 

Here’s an example of not standing out because I stragetigally wore blue jeans to attempt fitting in at Wrigley. I never wear blue jeans. This was the first time I had in years, and my mother was shook. 

I try to stand out from the crowd with my fashion. I’m all about looking put together and making each outfit count. Matching is my thing, so imagine how happy tracksuits make me, you’re matching in all cotton or polyester. So simple, truly iconic… just be careful with velour.

3.     Develop your company culture.
Honestly, I don’t know how to relate to this one.

Next.

4.     Be patient with your brand.
I am so impatient and this is something that I’m working on. You see… I don’t like sitting still, and I am not one to wait for things to happen. If I think something isn’t for me, I’ll start learning how to do the next thing. It’s a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I develop a lot of skills quickly and then put it all into the next thing, but a curse because the FOMO carries into every element of my life including professionally, if not mostly professionally. Advertising, however, has stuck with me and that’s why it was important for me to include some ad-related topics here.

I’m most consistent when it comes to my wardrobe because I’m most likely to be found wearing black. Unless I’m at the gym, there’s something about neons that inspire me to workout.  

I’m most consistent when it comes to my wardrobe because I’m most likely to be found wearing black. Unless I’m at the gym, there’s something about neons that inspire me to workout.  

5.  Be consistent.
Consistency is key, and when it comes to my own personal branding it’s where I have the most difficulty. Consistency in branding is what keeps people coming back because they know what to expect. I, however, like to leave people on the edges of their seats. It’s a method that’s working out for me just because I get to be a little random and show different talents at different times and it's a surprise for people. It's fun, but there's something about not knowing yourself the realm of what your next post could be that adds a little pressure. Not to mention when people start liking one talent more than the some and you don't really do the other often. Yes, I’ll admit, I have an extensive background with a random skillset, and the student loans to show for it… But, I still look at some people’s instagrams and see these clean feeds where every photo makes sense with the next and I long that. ONE DAY. 

6.     Get Help.
Asking for help is something that I’m getting accustomed to doing. I have always gotten constructive criticism doing theatre and it has only ever made me better. I take it with a grain of salt and usually am all for it. But, now, that the feedback I am receiving impacts the work that gets me work, I’m all the more open to hearing it because I have a little more on the line. And, especially in advertising… getting responses is imperative to the success of something.

7.     Put people first.
*No caption needed, do it, think about people, be a kind person… interpret the statement however... just do as it says.* Thank you and goodbye.


*Imagine I already stopped typing, but honestly, wasn't that a good one to close on?*

All About the Peaches 🍑

tumblr_p4a5oksycj1v5dzq6o2_1280.jpg

Show of hands, I won't see them, but let's get everyone involved here. How many of you have seen the film Call Me By Your Name? Everyone, yes, no. Well, see it after this. Forewarning, there's going to be spoilers but in the most basic sense of their being spoilers... So keep on going, see it, read the book, etc. It's a romance film, so obviously you know there's going to be some romantic things happening and people are going to fall in love... So, now that I just told you the premise, let's get into the film!

When I was a little kid I used to spend my summers watching Days of Our Lives and for the years that it aired, Passions with my grandmother. Riveting childhood, I know… But, believe me when I say I know something about romance on tv. I’m used to the sappy moments and chair gripping cliffhangers that keep you wanting more between two characters and you might wait weeks to see them graze hands. So when it comes to a “good” romance storyline, I’m willing to wait to see the relationship build. That’s why I’m often skeptical of the believability behind romance forming in films because it’s packed into two hours and though most soap operas exaggerate every possible scene in question, the time frame and the build is a little more “real” for me. I thought that was the case until I saw Call Me By Your Name. Call Me By Your Name is probably one of the best romantic films I have ever seen. And no, I am not just saying that because the two lovers happen to be men. But, honestly, it helps. Do you know how sick I am of seeing straight men and women fall in love with each on tv? VERY. Over-saturated market people. 

When it comes down to it, this film was so impactful for me and so many others because there are not many films like it of its kind. Call Me By Your Name isn't your ordinary gay campy film, it's real. It's beautifully shot, it's essentially the aesthetic of my Tumblr in movie form and it's SO RELATABLE. 

Here's How I Relate:

tumblr_ou5yubu59S1wx4tjzo1_540.png

1.     GAAAAY.
This one is a tad self-explanatory. But, being gay and seeing gay representation in film and media is so important… Especially in a film where it's a gay love story but they never make that a point. There's not a huge coming out sequence, it's just the story of two guys who fall in love and even Elio's parents are cool with it no matter what the relationship forms into because they're happy he's happy and in love with a great guy and it's so apparent and that's a beautiful thing to see! Growing up, I always sought out the gay characters in film and tv because I was looking for someone to relate to. But, most gay characters that I saw led the most traumatic lives, and had the most difficult coming out stories and sure, coming out isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but putting so much pressure on it and seeing characters in the media struggling so much creates a void and ruins the chance of being  thing when gay people around the world are jumping through hoops and facing obstacles to just as simply announce the gender that they are attracted to. Not seeing those obstacles in this film was just a nice feeling.

2.     AGE DIFFERENCE.
I never like guys my own age, and when I do… something about it is strange to me…
In the film there’s a slight age difference between Elio and Oliver, Elio’s 17 and Oliver is 24. Not huge, but those are significant years. You’re looking at a high school senior that’s ready to enter the world as an adult, and a grad student that has been around the block a few times. Granted, the film is set in Italy, and Europeans age faster, sorry but it’s true. I don’t mean in the looks department, but when it comes to maturity… Europeans beat Americans by a landslide, and of course, Oliver was the American. Mentally, they were on an equal playing field… That is of course until the budding relationship started kicking in. The dynamic here is something I related to. I tend to go for older guys but I don’t like being treated like I am younger than someone. I like the opportunity to learn and grow with someone with advice to offer… But the moment I’m treated like a child it’s game over, and that is something I saw in Elio’s character. Oliver didn’t look at him as a child, it was addressed that there was an age difference and visually, it was apparent. Elio was played by a 21-year-old but, looked the part of 17, and Oliver was supposed to be 24 but was played by a 31-year-old. Their physicality gave an extra layer of tension in the scenes of them together because although, emotionally and psychologically they are in the same mind space… there are other factors going on and problems to arise from the experience one has and the other lacks and that's inevitable.  

According to the Irish Times, the age gap is being seen an issue especially with the Oscars coming up. Personally, I didn't see anything wrong with the age difference. Maybe my lack of shock goes back to my experience dating older but when it comes down to it, Oliver despite being older had approval from Elio's parents and was a good match for him because they connected so well intelligently. They both had a lot to offer the other person and not once did Oliver use his age as a way to gain pain over his younger love interest.

3.     LONG DISTANCE.
I have a bad tendency of dating guys that are visiting Chicago for extended periods of time, and I usually know the date they’re leaving from the beginning and our relationship becomes one big countdown to their departure. It’s great… very healthy and not depressing at all.
That type of doomed summer love was something that our two lovebirds in Call Me By Your Name experienced. I felt each moment they shared at such a higher magnitude because there was a timeline and those moments were cherished even more so because in many instances it was the first and last time it would happen.


If you haven’t seen Call Me By Your Name, I recommend. It’s the story of real love between two people who want to make the other person better and their time was cut short. Not everyone meets their soulmate in this life, so imagine what it’s like when your soulmate is everything opposite of what you thought they’d be and then they have to leave and you may never see each other again… makes for quite the romance when your time with each other is dwindling away.

Hi Everybody!

If you didn't read that in a voice from The Simpsons that short title lost a solid 78 percent of its intended appeal. 

I'm in a blogging class right now, and this is my first blog post. Which, I wasn't entirely sure whether or not I wanted to have featured on my website. If you grew up with me or just read my about section, you would know that I am a perfectionist. And in advertising, I am writing to a specific audience for an intended purpose, and this doesn't really have one so that grey area is scary for me. I like having most aspects of my life controlled and to have a clear direction... So, writing without an intended purpose is so bizarre. But doing something of this nature seems fitting considering my life is a big question mark right now. I'm a senior in college graduating in May I am apart of the MAIP draft WHICH TAKES PLACE TODAY... So let me tell you a little about that because it's all I can think about. 

The MAIP program stands for the Multicultural Advertising Intern Program, trying saying that 5 times fast. (Actually, I just did and it really isn't that difficult... but MAIP is easier.) It's an advertising program that I applied for that is competitive, nationwide, and so beneficial for my future career in advertising should an agency choose me in this interning Hunger Games should someone choose me as their intern. 

I debated on even mentioning MAIP, because I am a nervous wreck, and can't handle rejection. I'm a Leo, sorry. BUT... I find out at 1pm... So, imagine how I feel typing this not knowing what's going to happen and if I'm going to be chosen for anything and if this blog post is actually going to be a precursor to failure. Me, negative? Nah. 

So, let me tell you all about my road to MAIP, I thought about using "y'all" there just because of the flow but that now makes the second time in my life I've ever used that word so why start now? No offense to any southerners out there, my family's from Tennessee, and I really do love the south.

ANYWAY... Back to the MAIP program and advertising.

Like many college students, I had a part-time job that fell into a field I was interested in but not exactly what I wanted to do. Unlike most, I ran my own department. I was the #1 stylist in the country within my company and the only one doing what I did in Chicago. I had a lot of responsibility, and with responsibility came distractions. Distractions from school and distractions from taking the necessary steps to secure my future in advertising. The Student Advertising Career Conference had been talked about, but as soon as I heard it took place on a weekend I almost immediately ruled it out. I worked every weekend from 12-8pm and I couldn’t call off because I was the only one in my department and no one would be able to cover me. Leisure aside, imagine working every weekend for two years. I missed out on a lot, and I needed to change that. I needed to break my own parity. So, what did I do? I quit and purchased a ticket to the conference. I decided to focus less on right now and more on my future… and when it came down to it, attending the conference was more beneficial for my future than working a part-time job that was putting a halt on opportunities that were coming my way. At the conference, I saw a poster for the MAIP program but noticed the deadline had passed, another missed opportunity I thought... until I rep came up to me and told me that they extended the deadline. I completed all of the necessary steps, advanced into the next round, went into the next, became a finalist... and fast forward to the MAIP draft today... I'm waiting to find out if an agency chose me to work for them over the summer. 

The MAIP draft is unlike any other program I have ever heard of because, I took the necessary steps to get there, but at the end of the day... the ball isn't in my court, actually the ball could be anywhere in the country. One agency is going to choose me if they do, and it's whoever picks me first... wherever in the country. No pressure, right?

I'm nervous, and excited and feeling all the Cardi B pre-Grammy vibes right now, but believe me when I say that I am so thrilled and incredibly humbled to have made it this far. Regardless of what happens today, I'm I know that I have an exciting future to look forward to. 

(And when I was on J-term for an advertising class, I got an offer from an agency here in Chicago so that's helping me not curl into a ball from crippling anxiety and nervousness!!!)

 

Until next time.

 

-Christian

 

NEXT DAY UPDATE: Turns out I’ll be working with Havas this summer as a strategy intern!