Embracing Life’s Journey
By Jamil Fletcher
The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step. For Trey Pressley, the road has been bumpy, but the journey to fulfilling his dreams looks bright. The Pensacola, Florida native has navigated his path through a troubling childhood, dysfunctional relationships, and personal uncertainty in pursuit of a successful modelling and acting career. Trey openly shares how his spiritual faith, a love for fitness, and support from some very special people has helped guide him as he prepares for a big year in 2018.
SWERV: Tell me about your journey from fitness training, to modeling and then acting.
Trey Pressley: This question is interesting to me because all three of these things started at an early age with me. I just had no clue that it would be what I actually do for a living. I grew up going to Church every Sunday. I used to love singing in the choir and going to Bible Study. My grandmother said at one point she thought I would grow up to be a preacher. This is where it all began. I was very active in all church functions so whenever there was a play, a speech or they simply needed someone to lead a song; I was the guy for the job. My grandmother used to make it even more appealing to me because she would offer money to the grandchild who did the best job presenting their speech, I always won. I loved being on stage speaking and/or acting out a part. It was easy and fun to me. I loved entertaining. This all continued throughout my adolescent years but then I started caring more about my appearance.
I started to learn the importance of fitness and healthy eating. I had no clue about how to eat healthy nor did I know anything about working out. This is when I took it upon myself to learn. I used to go to wal-mart and buy Men’s Fitness/Men’s Health Magazines and I would sit and read. Then one day I asked my Step Father if he would get me a weight set for Christmas and he did. I kept reading and I would apply what I had read. After a while I noticed a difference in how I felt and how I was looking. I loved it. Some would call this being conceded, I call it having a high self-esteem. As time passed I continued to teach myself as much as I could to better myself. When I went off to Florida A&M University (FAMU) I took this knowledge along with me. I started going to the gym. I would watch what other people did and then apply their techniques. I would stop and ask questions about how to build certain muscles or how to lose weight, etc. I just continued to learn as much as I could and I kept growing.
Then one day I saw a flyer on campus about model tryouts. I was like hmmmm ok. So I tried out and got rejected. This was cool but I knew that I had to pursue this more. When I left FAMU and moved to Tampa, Florida I looked into model training. I signed up for John Casablanca. At the time I thought I was doing the best thing for my career. I did learn a lot, however, I didn’t need them to make it. I eventually stopped going but I continued to pursue it. I started doing local fashion shows and I applied what I learned from my training. At some point I was like “I am good at this.”
The journey continued from there. I ended up moving to Atlanta, GA and then back to Tallahassee, FL. I stayed in school and also continued to pursue my modeling career the entire time. The problem was I was broke, lost and had no clue of what to do. This is what motivated me to join the United States Army. This is by far the best decision I have made in my entire life.
The Army saved my life. It made me grow up and I was able to focus on what I wanted to do in life. After 7.5 years I knew it was time to go. I had graduated with my BA degree in Psychology, I was stable and I knew what I wanted. So I made the decision to get out and pursue my dream. I moved back to Atlanta immediately to do just that. I had no clue where I would start, however, one day I received a message from Joseph James Hall about working with me because he believed in me. I was very skeptical because I had been told this many times before but soon after they would show interest in something else that I wasn’t willing to participate in. With all this at the back of my head I still wanted to see what he was all about. He actually invested in me like no one else had done before. He is the person who got me started. I am so blessed to have him in my life. Since then I have been on the cover of two books by Todd V. Harris, casted in SWV’s music video for “Ain’t No Man,” was a cover model for Gent’s Magazine with Cynthia Bailey, cover model for The Unleased Voice Magazine in Memphis, TN, and I landed my first role in a movie by Brandon Holland called XXI O’Day. I am so blessed to be a part of so many wonderful projects. But the highlight of my career, and a dream come true, was shooting my first full length commercial for the Apeel Collection; thus highlighting a new underwear campaign. This exciting event was followed by The Ultimate Apeel Magazine cover shoot. There is so much more coming in 2018 so stay tuned.
SWERV: Is it hard to get respect as an actor coming from the fitness and modeling fields?
TP: I would say yes it is. This is in any industry though. When I first started modeling it was like I had to prove myself to be worthy of being called a model. Questions would be asked as if you were in an interview. So now that I am getting more into acting I have to do my homework, show that I’m serious about this, take acting classes, etc. If you aren’t ready people will eat you alive.
SWERV: What types of roles do you prefer – action, dramatic, romantic, villain, etc..?
TP: I can see myself doing all kinds of roles. I definitely see myself being well rounded. I don’t want to be limited; however, if I had to choose what I wanted to do right now I would say an action film. I am an active individual and love doing all types of physical things so I can see myself being a super hero that is out to save the world from some type of attack. Some of my favorite actors include Will Smith, Liam Neeson, Denzel Washington and Idris Elba. I watch their movies and I envision myself on set in their roles. I’m like “Oh my God. I can do that.” I will definitely be on the big screen soon.
SWERV: You are very open about the challenges you faced during childhood. How has that
experienced informed where you are today?
TP: Being a young African American Male growing up in America is already challenging but when you add family problems on top of that it can be overwhelming at times. Although I wouldn’t change a thing about my past because it has made me a better man today, the same type of issues can have a negative effect on others. I know growing up I really disliked my father because I saw the pain he put my mother through. I don’t really want to go into much detail but to me my father could have been a better husband and father to me and my brother. We were his family but I think he was too young and naïve to realize what he had. They were both young and learning as time passed. When they separated I remember being so happy. I was like thank God. Then they both got remarried and they both had little girls.
I was blessed to have positive male role models in my life to set an example for me of what a man is supposed to be. My grandfather, Morris Moorer has always been there for the family, his kids and beyond. He would get my brother and I up every Saturday morning to go out and work. He made me into a hard worker and he showed me how to treat a woman. The man is the head of the household and is supposed to do whatever he needs to do to make sure his family is well taken care of. That’s what he did for me. When my mom married my stepfather Stanley Caldwell, he did the same thing. He treated my brother and I like we were his children. I never once questioned his love for us. To this day they both continue to be there for us all. I am glad to say that because of the positive upbringing I had I know the importance of forgiveness and how holding on to things can stress you out and kill you. I have forgiven my father for all that was done. He is a much better man and father today than he was in the past. I would be lying if I said I was completely over all of the past, however, I know that day will come when we will sit and talk about everything.
Everything I have been through has made me into the man I am today. I am caring, loving, kind, forgiving, smart, resilient, ambitious, hardworking, etc.… I can go on and on. I say all of this to say that I was blessed to have had people there for me to pick up the slack. The men in my life taught me the importance of a woman. Even my Uncle Clarence was a great example. Because of all this it drives me to complete my mission, make my dreams come true so I can take care of my queen/my mother Rose Caldwell because she deserves it.
SWERV: Has it been difficult for you to maintain a relationship while you pursue your modeling/acting career?
TP: I can only speak for me when I say this but maintaining a relationship while pursuing a career in modeling and/or acting is definitely challenging. This is the one of the main reasons I stayed single for so long because I was giving 110% to my career and the grind that it takes to make it. Getting to know or starting a romantic relationship with someone takes time and energy. That’s time and energy taken away from your craft. So now you are only putting maybe 50 to 60% of your energy and time into your craft and the other 40 to 50% into your potential partner.
So now comes the emotions; if you are getting to know someone who has no clue what it takes to make it in this industry, they don’t understand why you are gone so much or they don’t want you to take a role because the role calls for you to share a kiss or sex scene with someone else, etc. This can definitely be a problem. If you decide to take the role anyway you may feel that you have disrespected or completely ignored how they felt about you doing this so you may or may not be able to perform fully because you aren’t completely there in the moment. If you can’t perform then it’s on to the next. Time is money!!! Some people can do it and not care but I care so much and love so hard that if I knew my other half had an issue with something it would bother me. So you have to make sure that they know what they are signing up for before deciding to go any further. It takes hard work and dedication to make it. Your partner should be your biggest cheer leader and support you all the way. If they don’t you may need to reevaluate the situation.
SWERV: Tell me about the pictorial calendar you are producing for 2018.
TP: I am working on a 16 month calendar from September 2018 till December 2019. The name of the Calendar will be Enigma which means: a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling or difficult to understand. The name describes me to the fullest. I am such a different specimen. I’m not the type that likes to be in a box, I want to break barriers and show the world that you can do whatever you want to do. The work that will be shown in the calendar will be all new images and show me in a different light. It’s very sexy, edgy yet tasteful. The body is a piece of art so that’s what this calendar will represent, my art. I’ve always wanted to do a calendar and fans have been asking for it so I have to give them what they want. I am so excited and can’t wait to share this piece of work with you all.
I just want to thank all of those who have been by my side or who have helped me in any way along this journey. I have met and worked with some amazing people, lots of whom I call family now. I would not be where I am today without all of you.
I’m looking forward to 2018 and what God has in store for me. I plan to continue to work on my craft in modeling and acting but I’m also looking to start and finish my workout video so stay tuned. _____________
Follow Trey on social media: IG – trey_pressley, Twitter- trey_pressley, Facebook – Trey Pressley,
Facebook Fan Page – www.facebook.com/treythemodel
Trey Pressley’s Favorite Things!
Favorite colors: Black and Red
Favorite musical artist: Beyonce
Favorite Film: I love all types of films but Little Shop Of Horror is my favorite.
Favorite TV Shows: Law and Order – Special Victims Unit, Empire, Star
Favorite Sports: Tennis and Football
Favorite Restaurant: Del Frisco’s
Favorite book: The Bluest Eye (Toni Morrison), The Kou (Todd V. Harris)
Favorite Things to do on a Date: Something very romantic like a home cooked meal, with some wine.
Something very intimate at the house. I love just having one on one time with the one I love.