The Dealer Gets With Jack Mac

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He is much, much more  than just the sexiest man alive.

Jack Mackenroth made a buzz on season 4 of Project Runway. He was very open about his HIV status and walked away from the competition to sort out a staph infection. He is a force when it comes to working with HIV/Aids charities such as God’s Love We Deliver and Project Open Hand, AIDS Service Center and tons more. 

This year he was named as one of DNA Magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive”. This is no surprise with examples of some of his modeling jobs, Mr Mackenroth is a hot piece of ass.

"I already had 4 Facebook accounts, a fan page and a website. I just couldn't fathom it. So I just started tweeting random jokes. I have a couple of dumb ass videos on YouTube of me lip syncing like a fool as well." says Jack Mackenroth

“I already had 4 Facebook accounts, a fan page and a website. I just couldn’t fathom it. So I just started tweeting random jokes. I have a couple of dumb ass videos on YouTube of me lip syncing like a fool as well.” says Jack Mackenroth

Besides his modeling and dressing celebrities such as Heidi Klum in his designs. He is also a competitive swimmer, setting a national record in 2006 at the Masters World Championships in Stanford, California. Jack continues to compete in the most elite level in swimming, and has competed in the 2009 World Outgames held in Copenhagen, Denmark and the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne, Germany where he earned seven medals.

So what else has he been up to? He’s currently writing a personal memoir, “Making Lemonaids”.  He is also a commentator for the LOGO network at seasonal New York Fashion Week events. And is a guest comedian on The Twirty Dozen website (www.twirtydozen.com/jackmackenroth/).

But I wanted to know even more, so I asked him a couple of questions.

I follow you on Twitter and re-tweet some of the zany things that you tweet, because they’re just so funny. Tell me more about The Twirty Dozen.

Jack Mackenroth: The Twirtydozen.com is the genius brainchild of Jamie Capria (@MrFornicator). He recruited me to do stand-up because as you mentioned I only tweet jokes. There are a TON of hilarious people on Twitter. There are 12 main comedians and then a bunch of back-ups for when some of us can’t make it since most of us are not professional comedians, yet. Everyone was recruited from Twitter. The tour starts this year. If you are not following me at @jackmackenroth you are probably living on a commune off the grid. Now I’m addicted to Twitter and I  just made the top 4 nominees for BEST GAY TWEETER in the National Lampoon Twitter Awards.

How did Jack the comedian come about?

JM: Well I’ve always been funny in my head. I used humor at a very young age to deflect the bullying because if I made fun of myself first then no one else could. And my whole family is hilarious. When Twitter first started I thought, “Oh God–another social media tool that I have to use.” I already had 4 Facebook accounts, a fan page and a website. I just couldn’t fathom it. So I just started tweeting random jokes. I have a couple of dumb ass videos on YouTube of me lip syncing like a fool as well. If Google+ takes off I’m gonna shoot myself in the face.

How different will “Making Lemonaids” be from your Twitter Timeline?

JM: Well “Making Lemonaids” is an actual memoir ‘based’ in truth. It tells a chronological story of my messed up life from beginning to present day. Its funny as hell but it’s also very sad and serious in parts. I come from VERY humble beginnings and I’ve had to deal with a lot of crap, including living with HIV for my entire adult life. So I choose to do it all while laughing at myself and others. Mostly others.

Besides swimming is there any other sport you’re good at and would do competitively?

JM:  I absolutely SUCK at every other sport. Is skin care a sport? I’m good at that.

What other sports  do you wish you were good at?

JM: I wish I was good at synchronized swimming, rhythmic gymnastics and professional cheer leading. I’m only half joking. I like to keep it gay all the way. Any sport with balls that doesn’t involve my mouth just terrifies me. Oh, I can lift heavy things to make my boobs big.

Tell me about your new clothing line.

JM: I’m currently working on a new lifestyle brand for men and women with my friend Rex Tegelaar. He has a line called Beach Life (http://www.caligoodlife.com/) and he wants to start another one that is vintage inspired and relaxed with fun prints and design details but not over-designed. I’m very excited about it.

How did you decide to start doing activism about HIV?

JM: Well I’ve been HIV+ for 22 years so as soon as I was comfortable I started working with AIDS organizations. It was just kicked into high gear when people saw me on Project Runway because there are so few public role models for anyone infected with or affected by HIV. I started getting tons of requests for appearances and questions on Facebook so I focused a lot of my energy on activism and HIV education. I know I would have felt much less scared when I found out my status if I knew of someone else who was in the same situation and dealing with it well. I’m really focused on being visible and vocal. We need to break down the stigma of being HIV+. Now I get about 10 messages a week from people who want help or answers. I write back to every one of them. I take the responsibility seriously because I think it’s vitally important. I just launched a calendar for 2012 where 100% of the proceeds go to amfAR to help find a cure for AIDS. (http://jackmackenroth.com/2012calendar)  

When you were diagnosed what was your reaction and your thoughts?

JM: Oh god. It was 1990 and I just thought I would be dead within 5 years for sure. Everyone I knew that was HIV+ was dying. It was truly horrific. I think I was in shock for a long time. I was such a messed up kid anyway. I already kept all my emotions bottled up so I just added that to the pile. I told a few friends but I didn’t tell my family until 1996 when the medication was better and I was doing really well. I’m definitely one of the lucky ones. Now anyone who is diagnosed with HIV has great reasons to be very optimistic!

As a model what was your favorite shoot?

JM: That’s a hard one. Most shoots are in a boring studio or a freezing location, not glamorous. I’m not Giselle sweetie!!! Back in the olden days when I was a regular working model I had some fun location shoots for Versace in Milan when I was 23, but those days of crazy budgets and extravagant trips are pretty much over unless you are a supermodel. Now a 7 year old can Photoshop a beach into a photo.

What was your most scandalous shoot?

JM: Nothing too lascivious. Especially with physique/swim/underwear modeling there are always photographers that get their jollies by trying to grab you or make comments but I’m quite secure now so I don’t play into that crap. I’ve been asked to do semi-pornographic stuff by photographers that I really respect but it’s just not the image I want to project. We are all sexual beings and I am not judging porn at all! But as a spokesperson for the HIV community I don’t think its what I want to do.

You obviously have no problem posing in skimpy undies, have you always been so confident about your body?

JM: Well I’ve been a competitive swimmer since I was 6 so I’ve always had a pretty good build. I don’t think I was confident about any part of myself until about 10 years ago. Even when I was modeling a lot I was SOOO painfully insecure about being effeminate. Now I embrace it. I can look butch if I don’t move. Or talk. Or breathe.

Do you stuff?

JM: I don’t stuff, I fluff.

How is your state of mind now different from say before Project Runway?

JM: Well G-list celebrity status is an odd thing. People assume you have this fabulous life so they are intimidated and don’t approach you. At the same time they think they know you which is also odd. I TOTALLY don’t believe the hype. It’s all smoke and mirrors. I don’t give a crap about celebrities. They are all just people with more exposure. After being on the show I learned so much about “reality” TV and how fake it all is. But I just had fun with it. I still am.

Who inspires you?

JM: I’m inspired by real talent and hard work. I still feel sad when I think about Alexander McQueen. He was SO amazing. I’m glad Gaga is around. I’m most inspired by the everyday person that keeps going despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Chaz Bono inspires me and I friggin’ hope he wins Dancing with the Stars. Yesterday I saw a man with cerebral palsy struggling on the subway stairs. That inspired me. Everyone has their problems. We need to inspire each other.

What is your life motto?

JM: Accentuate the positives and medicate the negatives. Unless you are HIV positive – you should probably medicate that. And accentuate everyone else’s negatives. It gives you a warm fuzzy feeling.

 

He is much, much more  than just the sexiest man alive.

Jack Mackenroth made a buzz on season 4 of Project Runway. He was very open about his HIV status and walked away from the competition to sort out a staph infection. He is a force when it comes to working with HIV/Aids charities such as God’s Love We Deliver and Project Open Hand, AIDS Service Center and tons more.