From Jock to Model: JP Calderon


Once known to many as a fun loving college kid with a close bond to his friends and family, the professional volleyball player’s life quickly changed as he dared to broaden his horizons and follow his heart on a path the finding his true self. JP Calderon, began this journey by taking on the gruesome outdoors experience of Survivor. Born to a family rich with Costa Rican heritage fused into the beach style living of Venice, California, JP Calderon fell in love with his environment and anything outdoors.  The fascination led JP to his first love, a career as a professional volleyball player. In living this life, witnessed by many, as the steps of the average straight guy, JP was not being true to himself and sought to finds was to explore more of lives amazing options. From the challenges of “survival of the fitness” on Survivor to the Editorial & Runway challenges on Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, JP finally was able to be honest with him-self and embrace the new journey of his life. He made his way into the homes of millions and easily became the model we love to see in editorial spreads as an inspiration for being comfortable in one’s new found skin. I had a chance to chat with the well coiffed and fit JP Calderon, on his new found identity, freedom, and zest for life and his 2nd & 3rd loves (his boyfriend and dog).

How did you decide to start modeling?

Since I was younger, I always wanted to model but I didn’t get much support from my dad. I actually went on a test shoot and thought I did very well. So, when I got home, I showed him the proofs, he took the pictures and tore them up. He thought it was “gay” and “weird.” He didn’t understand the purpose of male modeling. So, I made the choice to just stick with sports.

After being on the Survivor, the opportunity for Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency presented itself, I decided to take the chance. I have since been able to make a career of this and my father changed his mind and now is amazed at the fact that I get paid to take off my clothes and pose, (smirk)… He actually said to me one, “How cool is it that you get paid for showing up and taking pictures in your underwear.”

Are there any campaigns that you dream to be apart of?

Oh My Gosh, are you kidding me… Dolce & Gabanna, Versace, Armani – many have the creative, edgy, and Avant Garde shoots, I would love to do it.

What your most memorable moment?

I would say, “COMING OUT” was a huge thing for me. It really started with Survivor. The show actually allowed me to open my eyes and learn more about myself. It really freed me by knowing that I had options and I controlled my choices.

Did you plan on using J.D. Modeling Agency as your platform to “Come Out?”

No, not at all. It’s kind of weird. When I think of how it was just happening and falling into place, i actually cringe. But, I think I was just ready for it to come out and I wanted to be over it.

How have your been received by your family and your friends?

Well my friends said that they always knew and was just waiting for me to admit it. As far as my family, my brother has been one of my biggest supporters and the rest of my family have come around to being extremely supportive as well. At this point, they are excepting of my boyfriend and me, but of course, it’s like the elephant in the room. We don’t talk about it.

How long have you been with your partner?

Hmmm, we’ve been together four loooong years… LOL. He’s looking at me, like “oh really” …. LOL.

Would you have done anything differently throughout your career?

First of all, I don’t have any regrets. So, I wouldn’t do anything differently. But if I could go back, I would change some of my actions on Survivor. If I would have known the things I know now, I would have played the game a little differently.

What can we expect from you in the near future?

You can find me in a lot of editorials. Modeling is going really well and I have a few new projects in the works, a couple reality shows that are being developed. So keep watching!

Special thanks to: John @ Continuum Entertainment Group

About the author

Maurice J. Lawyer has written 332 articles for BE Entertained Magazine

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