Nat Landy is a realist who doesn’t believe the pursuit of money or fame to be more important than living a life wholesome to you and those you come in contact with, and in the world of modelling, that has to be something to be admired. Here’s how Nat made it in this extremely tough industry…
So Nat, please tell me a bit about how you found your passion for modelling and acting and what it means to you?
I think ‘career choice’ is a more appropriate term over ‘passion’ since I’ll only pursue it as long as it suits my lifestyle and is profitable for me. I do enjoy it very much though, as it’s not work in the the traditional sense of the word, but moreso – paid socialising. Working with beautiful and interesting people to create something interesting and beautiful is much to be preferred over dealing with paperwork or machines. It also is very good ‘time for money’.
Keeping fit and strong is something I inherited from my dad. I have a good set of genes, and it follows that the better you look, the more you appreciate looking good and staying that way. I went through an ugly duckling/chubby stage in primary school (although still fit and strong), but I always had great boxers and bodybuilders in my sights – such as Cassius Clay and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Even if I wasn’t modelling and acting, I would keep healthy and in shape – so it really is an ideal profession for me. I also realised my looks are appreciated by others, so I was basically pushed in this direction (as I find a lot of models are).
Definitely agree with you there about keeping healthy and in shape! Were you influenced and/or inspired by anyone along the way?
Photographer Denis Ryan in St Kilda, Melbourne – a past Aussie successful model in his own right recognised my potential and approached me in a park in 1997 when I was 19 years old. He mentored me for a while and encouraged me to go all the way to the big time.
I was pre-occupied with finding a happy, long term relationship with a beautiful girl at the time – I was a dreamy romantic – I had no ambitions to go anywhere in the acting/modelling industry.
At 32, having done many and varied jobs, with a wide range of experience, I was fully appreciative of the privileged position a successful model finds themselves in – paid well for nothing more than looking good, mixing with people, and following direction.
Well you’re certainly lucky there, Nat. What were the driving forces that pushed you to take acting and modelling to a full-time career?
I’ve always wanted to be self-sufficient and creative as an adult – able to learn and do just about anything myself – a ‘can do’ man. Although things to learn and do are inexhaustible, my past 15 years since I was 19 has made me a very practical and useful man.
I have many trades and skills I can use for back-up income, self-sufficiency and just to satisfy my creative personality. I’m now certain that modelling is the best, most enjoyable way for me to make a living at this stage in life.
Yep, sounds like you’ve got it all sorted, Nat. What were you doing work-wise at the time you made the decision to chase your dream?
I spent a couple years driving boats professionally – including racing HRH Prince William around Sydney Harbour (on 20th Jan, 2010). Although I enjoy water and therefore boats in general – driving doesn’t pay well ‘time for money’. There is no incentive to live a good healthy lifestyle, and it’s generally mundane – like most trades/occupations.
I’m creative and into being the best I can be.
I’m sure we’d all agree you’ve achieved that, Nat! What was the first step you took to get your modelling and acting career off the ground and did you need any financial help to begin?
I joined a small local family run agency, and had a photoshoot. Work came pretty soon. I didn’t need any financial help – I still had an income working in between modelling jobs, doing private and commercial mechanical repair work to cars, boats and motorbikes.
It was a matter of seeking out/joining different agencies, then giving them an opportunity to prove themselves. I’ve left various agencies behind because they obviously weren’t ambitious on my behalf.
Having varied skills definitely helps whilst trying to supplement income when starting a business. What do you consider to be your lucky break and what obstacles did you encounter along the way?
I took on some well-paid jobs right from the start, but the breaks between were too big to make an income. This gradually built up after a couple of years of making contacts, developing my portfolio/resume with various photographers and jobs and becoming known to most agencies in Sydney.
The biggest obstacles have always been bad or uncaring photographers and lazy agents – they set you back years.
It has taken a lot of procrastination and too much patience. I don’t like to ‘burn bridges’ so I’ve been too trusting in general – attempting to make up for my impetuousness as a young man. I’ve learnt the hard way as with everything, but I am now in a position to deal from experience and mentor others.
Being too trusting is something I think we’re all guilty of at some point in business. How long before you hit the big time and were able to make a substantial living from modelling/acting?
I wouldn’t say I’ve hit the big time yet although I have had many enviable jobs. Australia is obviously too small a market these days – the big business is overseas – I am now in a good standing to chase it at any time in the future, but I’m staying here for now. “I still call Australia home…”
I have been lucky enough to travel overseas to Bali via Singapore as the lead role in a three-day filmed Asian television commercial for an energy drink, Proman Energenesis (it packs a punch), riding a hard-tail Harley Davidson over all sorts of terrain at the head of a pack, and wooing a beautiful Brazilian model - Barbara Barreto.
It was hard work – sun, sweat, long days, burns and pulled muscles, but thoroughly enjoyable…and well worth it financially, although I would have done it solely for the experience!!
Yeah sounds real hard! LOL! What do you consider to be your unique qualities that have enabled you to succeed in the ruthless modelling/acting world?
Determination, patience, realism – not being all passion, but methodically working towards my goal.
Methodically working towards your goal! WOW…that hit me! Nice one. Now that you’ve achieved your dreams, what are your plans for the future?
My dream has always been to make a living with a high ‘money for time’ value, and enjoy doing it. I would like to be booked out of Australia for more overseas work as I enjoy travelling and being paid for it, but always returning here to God’s Country.
God’s Country indeed Nat!. Besides ‘never give up’, what advice would you give to someone who’s chasing their dream?
- You are one in a million – the distinctive complex creation that you are is not a genetic mistake – the odds against you happening by chance are insurmountable. Be comfortable and confident with yourself.
- Be a good human – no matter how much you hear “survival of the fittest”, no-one likes a moralistic animal. Unlike animals, it’s not the fittest humans that succeed in the end – the most humane do. If this comes as a surprise, re-check your view of success!
- Give 100% but don’t expect 100% in return – no-one appreciates your effort as much as you do. How can they without thinking, feeling and doing everything you’ve done?
- Be realistic but not scared – don’t throw away life for a fairytale! What you want may not be possible or even good for you. Constantly evaluate: without effort – no result. Misguided effort – undesirable result. Don’t live a life full of regret!
Well who could possibly argue with that! We sure do breed ‘em awesome in this here God’s Country…WOWEEEE!!! Absolute pleasure interviewing you, Nat.
You can connect with Nat on his facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nat-Landy-Model-and-Actor/202276339817547
or LinkedIn http://au.linkedin.com/pub/nat-landy/33/21/131