Shooting Kylie Dancer Jason Beitel
Andrew made a comment on the Kylie Minogue "I Should Be So Lucky" post yesterday about meeting Jason Beitel, which got me thinking—it's been pretty fun watching this guy's rise to cult-like status amongst the fans of pint-sized singer over the years.
Jason's been touring with Kylie for some time now. If you've seen her shows, you probably know him best a bit more dressed down, like this:
He's also the dapper one who's been paired up with the singer during the "Hollywood moment" of slow songs on this American tour.
When I became photo editor of Instinct magazine back in January 2004, Jason was the very first cover model I worked with. The first week of February that year, the graphic designer (who, if you read the comments here, often anonymously comments and calls me "lady") and I drove up to Sycamore Cove Beach in Malibu and put this poor guy through the wringer.
We had Jason shirtless pretty much the entire time, sprawled out by the crashing waves and draped over driftwood near splashing water. Again, it was February, and even by Los Angeles standards it was still probably only 50 degrees.
Of course, we weren't being malicious by any means—we were shooting Jason as our swimsuit issue cover guy. But, his lips were turning blue halfway through the day.
Anyway, super sweet guy. Not an arrogant bone in his zero-percent-body-fat frame. I remember him inviting us all to some dance performance he and a friend were doing later that night, but I think I just went home and listened to a Sugababes CD the graphic designer had lent me.
In the end, we had to bump Jason out of our swimsuit issue. Stupid us—we realized the cover shot we did was such a close-up, you couldn't actually see any swimwear.
It worked out great for him, though. He got moved to the June issue, which was traditionally the biggest seller each year.