See the World Through Gage's Eyes
Gage Cass is an artist in every sense of the word. Not only does he create beautiful work in the home renovations he does with his best friends at Hott and Handy, the visionary has a background in dance and aspires to make it big in the acting world. It doesn't hurt that he's completely good-looking, which led to a modeling career. Find out more about Gage below. Then, catch him on the series premiere of Built Monday, January 28, at 9/8c on Style!
How did you get your start in the modeling business?
I was a troubled teenager. Then, I became passionate about dance. I was going to go on tour with Up With People, but I broke my ankle. That dream ended for me. I was still in love with performing, so I focused on acting. While I was looking for an acting agent, I was pushed to visit with the modeling department. I eventually started to book modeling jobs and it stuck.
What are some of your favorite perks of the job?
I love the built-in glamour of it. I prefer acting over modeling. Modeling is strictly based off of how you look and I have hard time accepting that for some reason. There's a lot more to me than just how I look. I tend to want to show that off.
What's it like working with the guys of Hott and Handy?
It's a lot of fun. I never had any brothers growing up. For me, male relationships were more difficult to come by than female relationships. Now that I'm together with these guys, we've quickly become a family. We can rip on each other, but we know that when it comes down to it, we've got each other's backs. We've got a good camaraderie that's not overshadowed by competition, which is what a lot of people would assume. What's unique about us is that we are so drastically different-looking that we don't really compete for modeling jobs so our relationships are very pure. Our relationship is based on fun and mutual respect. Now, we have this added benefit of creating together.
What do you love about working with steel and metal?
Steel is one of the hardest substances on the entire planet. To be able to manipulate one of the strongest materials is a very powerful feeling. It makes me feel like I'm a master of the universe, in a way. When you're working with metal, you have to use a grinder. I love working with a grinder because as soon as you touch it, it creates thousands of fireflies around your body just bouncing off of you. I've worked without a shirt on before, and to feel the sparks hanging off my body is titillating. It's on the verge on painful, but I like to live on the edge of danger and pleasure. You're usually alone when working with the grinder because it's not safe for people to come in to talk to you—you need goggles on and ear protection. It's just you, the metal, the sound and the sparks. There's an interesting smell when you cut metal. It's like the smell of freshly cut wood when you're using a saw or a sander. It releases this slightly burning smell, which is nostalgic for me. It always reminds me about the work that I like to do.
What part of a house do you like to work on the most?
I love doing custom built-ins. That's our chance to express our creativity. We're doing the actual woodworking and construction work, which is very exciting for me. I love to do unique lighting designs as well. I like to help pick out interesting wallpapers. My passion is in being a visionary/designer. Kim [Gieske] is the designer, but I love when I get the opportunity to confer with Kim. Having that collaborative relationship is exciting for me.
What kind of home do you live in? How's the décor?
I live in an artist loft that used to be an old factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was a two bedroom with tall ceilings that we converted into a one bedroom, and just extended one room to be a dining room/work room area. I like bold colors. I always have at least one red wall. I love to have a lot of green. My bedroom right now is an avocado green-and-sand color combination. Two walls are green; one wall is a sandy color; and I put up wallpaper of a birch forest on the other wall so that it feels like the room extends into a forest. There's also a large mirrored wardrobe piece along the wall, which extends the space as well.
Tell me about your nonprofit, Mythic Bridge, which teaches filmmaking to at-risk kids. What inspired you to start it?
Like I said, I was a troubled teenager. It was at that time that I met this man who gave me the opportunity to get on stage. In a very real way, it saved my life. It gave me something to care about. That has directed my life course ever since. I spent a long time in the City pursuing that dream of becoming a star and making it. I had little successes here and there, but I would always come back to this feeling of emptiness. I felt like I was taking more than I was giving. That never sat right with me. I did volunteer work to balance the scale, but I realized that in order for me to feel balanced, I needed to do something more permanent. My best friend and I talked about how we wanted to make a production studio. Our reasons, at first, were not altruistic. We started with the idea of making our own acting jobs and being in our productions. The reality of how hard that can be showed itself. When you have don't have any money, it's very difficult to get people's time. Living in New York and not making money is also very difficult to do. We realized that if we created a nonprofit organization, then we could potentially gain government and state money to help make this happen. And, of course, people could donate their money to a wonderful cause. So, on top of creating work for ourselves, we give back to the youth, who are struggling like we were. It's very important to us that our students come back as mentors to teach the future generation.
What's your favorite movie of all time?
The Matrix. I'm a sci-fi guy. love how it's an action movie but also a philosophical one. In a lot of ways, it's a religious movie, too. I think it's really deep. It touches on a lot of different things.
Who is your favorite actor?
I love Brad Pitt. He has figured out a way to do that ruggedly, good-looking thing, but he also has depth. I feel like the only reason he hasn't won an Oscar yet is because he's too good-looking and the powers that be don't want to give someone that good-looking everything. That's just a curse he has to live with until he gets older. Everyone knows that he's a superstar. No matter what movie he's in, they're all good quality. I really appreciate him for that. I also really love Johnny Depp. If I can be a bit more of a weirdo, I'd want to be a Johnny Depp weirdo.
What's your favorite food to eat?
It would either have to be Thai food or Southern barbecue.
What's been your most memorable splurge?
So far, my most memorable splurge was my trip across Europe. Right now, I am in the process of saving for my wedding and honeymoon, which will be a big splurge. Travel is what I spend my money on.
How has your trip to Europe influenced your style?
One of the interesting things about me is that I have lived in so many different cultures and locations. I come from New York City, so I have that natural city-chic thing going on. I've also lived in Seattle for a long time, which taught me to not be so materialistic and to dress down. I went to Burning Man and did a lot of raves, so I got into the funky, flashy, over-the-top styling. Moving around a lot and traveling has made me a more well-rounded individual. I can be comfortable in a tuxedo at a charity event, but I can also be comfortable in jeans and T-shirt at a dive bar. No matter what, I treat everyone the same regardless of what I'm wearing.
What is your must-have travel essential?
I always take my Pill, which is a portable speaker system.
What are your most coveted pieces in your wardrobe?
I love my gray jeans, camo shorts, Frye boots, new custom suit, shoulder holsters, Coptic cross necklace and my flask.
What jewelry pieces do you accessorize with?
I like my jewelry big, chunky and handmade with a story behind them. I love tribal and Native American pieces. I usually like teeth, talons and feathers to be incorporated in the design.
What's your signature scent?
It's got to be burning wood, steel and dust—or Tom Ford Grey Vetiver.
Catch the series premiere of Built Monday, January 28, at 9/8c on Style!