thesalting SPOTLIGHT: ben shaul
model . actor . photographer
1. thank you for getting salted ben. very much enjoyed our time together during the portrait session. how long have you been in NYC
I’ve been in NYC since late 1986..by the time this is released it will 35 years! Came on a hunch.
2. we admire all you have accomplished as a model and as a photographer. you have been putting your energy toward acting now, what made you jump into this arena? and we can not wait to see what's ahead.
It’s not new actually. I studied drama in London and through high school before that. I studied from the first days in NYC as well, so it’s a return so to speak...With wisdom.
3. has the modeling industry changed much in your opinion since you started? for the better? for the worse?
Yes the modeling industry has changed, but I guess it always has. Models are the face of fashion. So as design changes and moods move faces and body types alter. I’ve somehow managed to remain current almost the whole last 35+ years and my body shape has changed much..so I fit clothes very well from a fit stand point.
4. you left us to cycle down to chinatown to pick up food for dinner....how long have you been cooking? specialty? what's your cooking style?
I’ve been cooking since I first started skipping school. Friend and I would skip school, smoke cook and play music..My favorite approach to food is Japanese cuisine..
5. how long have you been cycling? do you try to ride every day?
Since I was a young kid, my father was a former UK Olympic track rider..I had my first road bike at 10, it’s in my blood so I ride almost every day.
6. describe the differences being in front of the camera and being behind.
I like to see it as director and actor. It’s a strange and beautiful balance that asks, and requires trust and faith and skill. I truly enjoy both sides. Ultimately I see it as communication.
7. 3 favorite artists?
Egon Shiele, Tony Viramontes, David Bowie. But there are so many more in 360 degrees I could run with.
8. who inspires you?
Real people do.. Parents. Actors. Artists. Athletes. As long as the real stuff is on the surface everyone can and must inspire. Allowing freedom to be your guide leaves no permanent footprints. Freedom inspires me.
9. how do you practice to erase hate in your daily life?
I’m not a hater tbh. Riding always helps as it takes away anything other than what is in front of you.
I believe in the fact that wisdom comes from maturity And so with my years of travel and working in a freelance world for over half my life has prepared me for the fact that hate doesn’t belong on my back.
10. 3 favorite films?
The Deer Hunter. Alien. Training Day. too many to just pick three! also: Close Encounters of the Third Kind. the lead role triggers amazing emotions.
11. last movie you remember seeing in an actual movie cinema?
Ahh. I’m scrambling there. As a member of Screen Actors Guild I saw almost every film last year as I was on the Awards nominating committee...
Last one I paid to see:
The Shape of Water(?)
12. how has your new york experience been during the pandemic? we know you fiercely love new york. tell us why?
I’ve enjoy the new silence . I live in a quite part of BK and the hustle and bustle has become somewhat irritating so for me the slowing down and the sense of peace has been my favorite aspect..I actually dread to full blown return I love to hear the birds..
13. biggest lesson learned so far on your acting journey? biggest surprise?
How real I really feel. I always have been real in almost all my work endeavors, but with acting I find the true senses bursting at the seams. I really look forward to surprising myself more!
14. how do you keep your incredible spirit and fire? and genuine smile and humor? was such a pleasure spending time with you and wish you nothing but continued success.
A calling perhaps. I’m lucky, my career moves, neh career choices have kept every day different From the one before. I’ve traveled the world many times and still enjoy the fact that I can and do work with new people almost all the time, so our collective energy builds. I love working with new young artists who may know my past but not me. I’m unafraid and certainty not bashful..so NYC allows me to be that guy all the time.