Love or Fear?
The Journey of Brad Murphy
/PnV Network Interview
By Tom Peaks @MrPeaksNValleys
On some occasions when I do these model interviews, you come across someone who opens up their soul, exposing themselves for the world to see. Such is the case with NYC-based Brad Murphy. In my pre-interview research, I found someone I knew had a story to tell. And Brad did not disappoint. He is a man seeking to open up his spirit and turn off his mind. And one who wants to live without casting or receiving judgment. This is PART ONE of a riveting interview that takes you on Brad Murphy’s life journey to achieve individuality.
Brad, let’s start with the basic info. Weight/height, eye/hair color? Your hometown and current city of residence? Who represents you?
Roughly 185 lbs and right under 6’4”. Hair is dirty blonde, hazel eyes. Home town is Phoenix, Arizona because it played the largest role in my childhood, but my current place of residence is New York City. I am represented by Soul Artist Management.
So, I believe you are first generation Irish American. What does that mean to you?
I was born In California but my mom immigrated to USA from Ireland to get away from the IRA battles. While my dad was born and raised in Phoenix Arizona, he still has strong Irish blood and some Native American. I noticed at a young age I had serious passion that most people around me don’t have and for that I am very proud. Passion is everything in life. And what makes us, where we came from, and why we are who we are is important to understand…at least for me I like answers.
Brad, you’re proudly a momma’s boy. Tell us why she means so much to you.
Remember that passion I spoke of?? Well since day 1, and definitely as a baby was really intense and my mom saw that early and worked a lot on helping me control that energy and being more calm; and now it’s in everything I do. Embracing the passion that I was blessed with and being careful how it’s projected. She also taught me things I don’t think we can learn from any other places than from strong woman. I get this feeling in my heart I get when I think of her; a sense of patience, tolerance, compassion, serenity, joy, acceptance…. I got the biggest crush on my ma, she has been my rock my entire life, and for that I want to give it back to her and onto the world. Everything I am today is a big thanks to her.
Tell us about your childhood. Were you always the superstar?
We moved a lot cuz my dad got relocated to 4 different states that I called home where I eventually ended up in Arizona at age 9 and grew up there mostly. My parents knew they had to keep me busy, so for as far back as I can remember, and by middle school I had played almost every sport from tennis to hockey, to swimming, to bowling… ice hockey stuck with me though where I played for 14 years and developed a lot of teamwork skills, and was always one of the better on the ice so leadership & competition became a big part of who I am.
I always found my own way, in everything that I do; stand for, and am about. Always had a strong sense of individuality and doing my own thing… –Brad Murphy
No one can tell me anything about what I am or who they think I am because I have always had strong passion for who I am for as long as I can remember. I remember vividly at 16 in tears running in the rain because of a bad break up… saying to myself that I work really hard on myself and if anyone is going to resent me, that’s their fault…not me. I will never change for anybody.
How many times in your life have you suffered from a severe existential crisis…if ever?
The biggest impact of my childhood that happened in my life is I lost my best friend, pretty much little brother at age 23, where he was just barely 21. I had very few strong friends I could call best friends growing up. And after high school me and “that” friend, Dallas, became like brothers, he used to always tell people we were brothers… I never had someone look up to me like that to that point. The crazy part is I looked up to the kid just as much. Simply because of the respect he gave me. He saw me as a friend and brother in ways I didn’t even know I was. He made me who I am today as a friend and role model to people. He was one of my first best friends that loved me unconditionally and he is in a better place now. At least, I have to tell myself that. He can’t walk this earth anymore…. So every step I take now is for us. I have one tattoo, and it’s on my wrist, and it’s to remind me to be that best friend, that brother to everyone. And to be natural and not to try to be anything. I think about him every day. I feel blessed to have been affected this way.
Dare I say in getting acquainted with you, Brad, you seem like a man who would be an outstanding minister. You give such motivating talks about how people are connected and the importance of love. Typically, models are more invested in talking fitness…it’s almost cliché. But, you are more connected into emotions and faith. Where does that come from?
I grew up getting made fun of a lot and I never could understand why…. I worked hard at who I was to people… Was in my own head a lot growing up, thinking and wondering why people treated me differently… why I got picked on. Always looking for answers and it brought me to be more compassionate and tolerant towards people. Remembering the pain and isolation that I felt then… it’s like I give twice as much as I expect from people now. All things lead to me wondering why people treated me this way but more importantly why they treat people in general this way. What was the reason for hate when I so strongly just wanted to love. I began simplifying life and asking myself what is it that connects us all, what is the common emotion that we all strive for. Underneath everything we have love or fear. We can choose to act out of those two emotions…Love or lack of love, which is fear. And fear is against my religion.
“You are a model, so you must be conceited!” Do you think that’s the perception of Brad Murphy? How do you keep from judging people superficially?
Judgment is a trap… When we have expectations for anything in life we take ourselves away from seeing things as they are. I rather take things with an open mind and open heart, with no expectations, and I let people prove themselves to me. Also situations because if anything is meant to be; it’ll be. Expectations set us up for disappointment… I choose to live without disappointment and more gratitude. Many people are still working on finding their own gratitude within themselves, searching within for their own perception on life… so they judge, and discriminate because like I said before; confusion. so really they’re losing…not me. I choose compassion and tolerance with people, versus judgment and expectation. Keeping people from judging isn’t possible…We worry so much about what people “might” think, but ya know what, they’re going to think it anyway, so fuck it.
What does being open-minded and open-hearted mean to you?
Taking people as they are. And situations…Without judgment or expectations. Just live willing and able to take in anything from people and situations so I can then take is as it is, not how I perceive it. When we have expectation or rules on what we see, and how things should be…. we miss out on the truth of whatever it is. The truth is what stands, the obvious. Take nothing for granted…if we have expectations we will take much for granted.
I’ve heard you say when you post shirtless or sexy images that it’s not for the attention, but rather artistic appreciation. Explain.
The eyes and body speak louder and more true than anything that could come from the mouth. I got into modeling for the art of expression. I was at a time where I wasn’t really doing anything special with my life nor was I extremely happy with the challenge anything was offering me so after hearing my friend say I should go to this audition and that I had “a look” that they liked, I thought why not. Come to find it I fell in love with modeling… or should I say the art of expression. I found so much of myself in that lens because it challenged me to look within me. Speaking with no words, and just the eyes and body the truest way of communication there is. I feel most people lose the point of any art because of the overwhelming feelings they receive… thus judging because they don’t understand what those feelings are. That’s what modeling taught me; for the 1st time in my whole life I felt like the camera was asking, “who are you?!” When I stand in front of the camera or on stage acting, I feel like looking back at me is everything that never understood me. Like I am hearing the question… “Why are you here? I’m sorry, who the fuck are you? I don’t know you!” and let me tell you, I got something to say about who I am. I feel like modeling and acting is the only place where the world lets me be myself.
You like to explore all forms of self-expression. Tell us how you do that.
I feel alive when my mind shuts off and I am just being. Music has taught me that. I get the same feeling from letting go as I do in melody of music, or when in yoga and relaxed, or when playing the piano, or dancing, or playing hockey…. I thirst for things that open up my spirit and turn off my mind. It feels organic, I feel so alive. Like the feeling of adrenaline, or being weightless. Like no worries in the past and present, just living in the moment. The feeling love gives us with another person. The sense of everything is going to be ok, “I have right me, and that’s all I need.” Anything and everything that expresses myself without thinking I enjoy doing. Being natural, don’t try…just be.
COMING SOON: Part Two of Brad Murphy.
You can find Brad Murphy on Social Media at:
Photographers featured in Brad’s Interview Part One include: Parcel Bernier, Steve Burton, Andrea Marino, Hard Cider and Bruce Weber.