Mike Stalker is a talented young soccer star at Fordham University and a competent student. A year ago, he was interning on Wall Street, lifting weights and going out with his teammates in New York (or as he calls it, “the greatest city in the world”). Now, his face is helping sell C-IN2 underwear.
What you need to remember about Mike Stalker is that he’s a young man who managed to land a huge underwear campaign on his first try. He takes his sudden and unexpected success in stride, humbly appreciating his good fortune and confidently looking towards his future opportunities. Read our exclusive interview with the C-IN2 model below, and have a look at some of his work after the jump.
The Underwear Expert: Could you tell me about how you were discovered? I’ve heard Rick Day actually found you.
Mike Stalker: I was told a couple of times that I should try modeling. I was always just like, “thanks,” and I took it as a compliment. Last year, when I was working out, I was approached by some random guy. He said I should give it a try and he gave me someone’s contact – Michael Lyons [the creative director] at Silver Model Management.
At first I thought it was b.s. but one day I went on the computer and Googled it and saw that the company was legit. So I contacted Michael Lyons then. I knew I was busy with school and soccer but I felt that, being at college, it would be nice to have a little extra money. They got back to me right away and I ended up meeting him.
I didn’t sign until just recently because in the summer I was working. So after the soccer season I met and signed with them and my first shoot ever was in December of 2012 – just a couple months ago. That’s when I shot with Rick Day.
UE: How was that?
Mike: Working with Rick is great. He’s truly a great guy and very established. Going in, I knew he was one of the top photographers, so I went in with the mindset of “just listen to what he says and learn,” because he obviously knows what he is talking about.
I guess that’s why they say Rick Day found me. He was the one that first shot me and got me going.
UE: Gotcha. Yeah it’s a great shoot and it’s gotten a great response from our readers. But you never thought, “I really want to be a model” or had that as a goal?
Mike: I’ve always seen campaigns and pictures and thought “maybe I could do that,” you know, “maybe it’d be cool to do.” When they contacted me back at Silver, that’s when my interest started picking up. Everything happened really quickly. I just said to myself that I’d give it a try.
For me, it is definitely rewarding so far. Also, to see about 50 posters of myself around NYC, the biggest and greatest city in the world, is crazy. It’s cool when I get a text or message from someone saying they just passed a couple of posters of me walking down 6th or 7th Ave in NYC. I think modeling gives me another opportunity to do something unique, and do something that is rewarding. I understand that very, very few people in the world could say that they have modeled for great campaigns or they had posters and billboards of themselves in major cities, so I think it is a very cool opportunity that I have right now. I am just riding the wave for now, and seeing where it could bring me in life. I am still young and I’d be ignorant if I didn’t take the chance.
UE: Did you care much about underwear before that C-IN2 shoot? Had you worn C-IN2 before?
Mike: No, I was never really into underwear. I wouldn’t really care as long as they fit well and whatever. After doing the C-IN2 shoot, I noticed that their underwear is very nice compared to the underwear I was wearing. They’re very comfortable. I actually got a couple of pairs after the shoot. It’s great for me because of my active lifestyle and they fit great and they’re comfortable. They have a lot of styles and colors.
After doing the C-IN2 shoot, it’s actually something that I look for now, because I see the difference between C-IN2 underwear, which are great, and an average pair of underwear. Before I would never look at the differences, but now I notice that there are major differences. C-IN2 offers what other brands and companies don’t offer.
UE: How was it working with the team at C-IN2?
Mike: It was great to work with Greg [Sovell, the owner of C-IN2]. He was very professional, and very detail oriented with a very specific image in his head on how he wanted the ads and the underwear to look. So it was easy to work with him because he would say exactly what he wanted.
Read more of our exclusive Mike Stalker interview below, but first check out some of his photos!
UE: I read that you’re studying finance at Fordham.
Mike: Yes! I’m a junior at Fordham and I’ve majored in finance the last three years.
UE: What’s your long-term plan for that?
Mike: I’ve held two internships my freshman and sophomore year on Wall Street, which was cool. It was a good opportunity. But I try to take everything one day at a time. I try to work hard in everything I do, whether it’s finance, or soccer, or now doing this modeling.
I think in a couple of years I just want to be happy and I want to be successful and working hard. So I don’t know exactly my long-term plans, but I’m just taking it one day at a time, working hard and trying to balance everything together.
UE: Would you say that you’re a pretty good student?
Mike: Yeah. I’m an Honors Student at Fordham. I have around a 3.5 [GPA]. I’m an athlete as well.
UE: That’s very respectable. Tell me about soccer. How’s your career at Fordham going so far?
Mike: Soccer’s been going great. You know I started right away at a very good Division 1 school in the Atlantic Ten Conference. I’ve been starting for the past three years.
Fordham’s a very expensive school. It’s a private school. Soccer’s great because not only do I love to play it and it keeps me going, but it also helps me pay for a great education through scholarships. Soccer is very rewarding.
UE: Have you found yourself looking up to soccer stars who have become models? There’s David Beckham, obviously, or Cristiano Ronaldo.
Mike: You know, Beckham’s a legend. Whether it’s soccer or his new H&M stuff – Beckham’s a great guy and I look up to him for a couple of reasons. One, he’s a great, legendary soccer player. He’s still playing at – what is he, 38 almost? He has a great family, it seems like he does a lot of charity work and it seems like he’s just a great all-around guy. It’s great to see him balancing everything. He’s a really great guy to look up to.
Cristiano Ronaldo as well. You know, he’s not one of my favorite players but I can’t deny that he’s one of the best players in the world. He has a great body, obviously. He’s just a hardworking guy. I think I saw him for the Armani commercials and it’s cool seeing him do that.
UE: Would you ever start your own underwear line like Beckham did?
Mike: I’m definitely entrepreneurial and I definitely want to start something of my own, be my own boss and have that freedom. I dunno if it’d be underwear, but we’ll see.
UE: Cool. You know, living in New York must be pretty great for a model/athlete/student. What do you do for fun around the city?
Mike: Yeah, the city is a great place to have fun and be busy. It’s great being on a team because we all stick together. If we go out, we’re going out as a group and people know we’re on the soccer team. Around Fordham, people will have house parties and there are a couple bars that students will go to. If I want to go out to the city, to Manhattan and one of those clubs, that’s always an option too. It’s a pretty great time.
UE: Is it hard to find time to have a social life with all these other things that you’re juggling?
Mike: During the week, it’s definitely tough. The weekend is usually free. During soccer season I’ll have games on the weekend. That’s when it’s really tough with school, soccer, and [modeling].
See more Mike Stalker photos below, then read about his workout routine after the jump!
UE: Can you tell me what you do to stay fit? A lot of guys want to have abs like a model. Do you have any advice for them?
Mike: I basically work out twice a day. I get my cardio from soccer practice in the morning, and then I will also lift weights at night. For soccer, you need to be in amazing shape to constantly run for 90 minutes straight. A lot of soccer training focuses on running, speed, and power. In the offseason, we do a lot of running for our fitness, whether it is sprints or long distance type intervals. Doing sprints for cardio is really helpful in order to get your body cut up.
In the weight room, I basically follow a body-building type program, which focuses on one muscle group a day, and lift for about 1 1/2 hours 5-6 days a week. I also try to do ab workouts about 3 times a week.
For me, nutrition is pretty simple. I try to get in as much protein as I can. I also try to stay as healthy as possible, so I will get a good portion of fruits and vegetables. I stay away from soda, fast food, fries, desserts, and candy as much as possible – although I do have a sweet tooth.
UE: Do you have any advice for guys looking to break into modeling like you did?
Mike: If you want to do something, go after it. Be aggressive. Get in great shape, take some pics and contact different agencies and don’t stop until you hear feedback. Confidence is key. If you don’t believe you are right for it or you aren’t truly confident you are the right person for a job, then why should the casting directors and agents think you are right for it? Like any industry, personality is also key. People want to work with people who have a good personality. No one wants to work with an asshole and someone who brings down the atmosphere of the group. So be confident and fun. It is very competitive so there is probably a lot of disappointment in the industry, but that shouldn’t shy you away from it if you really want to do it because it could be rewarding.
UE: Thanks, Mike!
Mike: Thank you for interview. The video for C-in2 should be dropping soon and it is going to be awesome. I think everyone will really enjoy it!
For more Mike Stalker photos, check out the C-IN2 campaign by Rick Day and as Mike said, stay tuned for the C-in2 spring campaign video!
For more information about this brand: C-IN2
Photo Credit: Rick Day