Friday, November 20, 2009

The Redemption of Mr. Romance

**Below is a blog post from none other than Charles Paz! Charles was crowned "Mr. Romance" at the Romantic Times Convention 2009. I am so excited Charles agreed to write a piece for my blog! Thanks Charles....Ladies...Enjoy!**

(BTW...that lucky lady in this picture is not me. ;)

"You have to fall, Before you can Rise....."

Redemption. An act of redeeming or the state of being redeemed. Deliverance. Salvation. In one time or another, we all have gone through this in our lives. We fault. We fail. We fall. We then realize what we could do to make things better. To right our wrongs. To redeem ourselves. We then proceed to take that path to success. To prove to ourselves just what we can accomplish. And to silence the nay-sayers. No matter how many obstacles come our way, we are fueled by the desire to break through those barriers in our quest for greatness. This is just one example. This is just one story. This is my Road to Redemption......

Lets begin this at the 2009 RT convention. When most of you last saw me, I was onstage. Flashing lights. Holding trophies and having the biggest smile on my face. Not only winning the Mr. Romance title, but also winning the Readers Choice Award. I have never won anything in my life! I was very grateful and humbled by the events that took place not only that day, but the whole week as well. It truly was an awesome moment of triumph in my life. Even afterward--it was great. People coming to me and saying they would love to have me on their book covers. Authors wanting to do interviews with me for their web-sites. Even had "Agents" tell me all the things they wanted to do for me and how to market me and basically, make me a Star. I was on cloud nine to say the least. But, like a cloud, I had no idea this feeling of greatness would soon slowly evaporate and disappear.
Fast Forward to end of June. The time had come to where I got to shoot for Dorchester’s cover. New York here I come. I was very excited. Had the plane ride and got picked up at the Airport. I felt like a Star! Things were great. I met the wonderful People at Dorchester Publishing's before the photo shoot. Awesome. Then came time for the shoot. Some people from RT were also gonna be at the shoot and do a 'behind the scenes' sorta story about it. "Wow, this is really cool ", I'm thinking. I had a blast during the shoot. The model was gorgeous. Atmosphere was great and I was still on that Cloud Nine that I was at the RT convention. I stayed in NY for a few days. Saw some old friends and did some shoots in Long Island and Brooklyn. I finally got to work with one of my favorite photographers 'DeVores Vison' and felt like nothing can stop me now. I could not have been any more wrong.
Before booking my flight back home to California, my "Agent" convinced me that I must fly to Florida first and shoot for an Author and other projects that will be Good for Me and it will Make Me Look Better in the Readers Eyes.

I was at such a financial struggle at the time and barely scraped up enough money to afford the plane ticket there. I got on the plane and didn't even have enough money in the bank to pull out a $20 from the ATM. I thought to myself…It’s OKIt’s an Investment and these people will not steer me wrong. It will be for the best and work itself out in the end.

So, I arrive in Florida, and it was the beginning of the end. The story that RT did about the 'behind the scenes of a cover shoot' got picked up by some on line blog site. Pretty mainstream I guess, with lots of readers. I could only stare at the screen when I was reading some of the comments being left by people. What a Joke read one of them, Looks like Mr. Romance should be called Mr.Doughnut, read another. Pathetic. Lame. Fat. Worthless. The list went on and on. Reality was driving an 18-wheeler, and blind-sided me from the back. I had so much confidence for once and I actually felt good about myself and who I am…at least…up until that point. I then started to question my achievements and thought, Did I really deserve this?

The doubt grew greater while I was shooting in Florida. My "AGENT" kept telling me… maybe when you are in a big budget studio and actually do a real photo shoot, then maybe you could be somebody. It was solidified when the comment also came out that... if it wasn't for them…I would be nothing and that I wouldn't have been chosen as Mr.Romance back in April.
The plane ride back home to Cali was a very long one. With thoughts of self-doubt consuming me as I sat there in seat 22E between the Mother with her crying Baby and the businessman looking over papers. It’s bad enough to have total stranger tell me I'm nothing while hiding behind a computer screen, but to have the people who I trusted with my career and actually cared for in real life tell me I am worthless is a whole different story. Where do I go from here?

The following few days were hard. I was reminded of a Time to where it was an accomplishment just to wake up in the morning. I spent most of the day looking at the ceiling while I lay on the floor in my bedroom. The concerned knocks at my door from my Mother seeing if I was OK. She knows what her son was going through. She has seen this before. That lost look in his face. That look of despair and uncertainty. It hurt her more knowing that this was something that she could not fix, like every mother who cares about their children, hopelessness was the feeling that she had. But she also knew that as low of a point in my life as I was, this was not the worst I have been and that look of sadness in her face turned into a grin. Your planning your next move aren't you? she asked. I looked at her and grinned. Of course I am. And I know exactly what I'm gonna do.

Everyday was a struggle in itself. I would always call walking on the stair mill breakfast. People in the sport of Bodybuilding know that the last week is the most critical. Everything you have worked hard for can be lost within the last few days and in an instant, you can go from first place to not even finish over night. At the beginning of the last week, I weighed 220lbs. By Friday, I was down to about 207. Come morning of the show, I was down to 193. I dropped fourteen pounds overnight! I was dehydrated and struggling. It finally came time to walk onstage with my group. Every step was agony. Each pose I hit also drew a smile from my face. Why you ask? The answer is simple. I was onstage. I achieved my goal. All the people who doubted my potential and wanted to see me fail could not take that moment away from me.

The Redemption of Mr.Romance was fueled by all the negative things that were thrown at me and from the critics. I'm learning now that it’s not about the looks, or the trophies, or proving people wrong. It’s about being who I am because in the end that is what matters most. I find myself now not necessarily trying to become a man of much success, but rather, trying to become a man of value to the people I surround myself with.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Charles!
Want to Friend Charles on Facebook??


Sara Humphreys said...

Thanks for blogging Charles! I loved your story. You're a doll!

Samantha Gail said...

Thank you for sharing your story of this past year's sky-highs and depressing lows. Wishing you the best of "good advice" and looking forward to April in Columbus. I've got a box of Kuba Kubas with your name on it!

Diana Cosby said...

Mr. Paz,
Thank you for sharing your journey. I love your comment in your blog, "It’s about being who I am because in the end that is what matters most."
So true. Being true to ourselves, digging deep to find who we are, what truly matters in our life defines us, our character. To me, dreams are essential, but it's not so much what we achieve as whose lives we can make a positive difference on during our journey. Each day is filled with blessings, if only we stop to look, to appreciate even the smallest blade of grass that dares to be grow, to thrive when surrounded by naught but dirt.
Congratulations on your achievements, overcoming the challenges to pursue your passion. Sounds like you have a great mom, that too is fabulous. Take care, have a wonderful holiday, and I wish you continued success!
Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN Ret.
Romance Edged With Danger

Becke Davis said...

Charles - This is a great story. I feel horrible that you had to go through the ordeal of reading those nasty comments. What's wrong with those people, anyway?

I think a lot of authors go through the same sort of crisis when their books come out. Take a look at some of the comments on Amazon - people hide behind their anonymity, and some of those comments are absolutely brutal. I know authors who've actually stopped writing because they were so devastated by the cruel comments made about their books.

Writing is very personal, no matter what genre you write for. You're opening up yourself in ways that are hard to describe. Your modeling is also very personal. You're putting yourself out there in much the same way as a writer does.

It's wonderful when you achieve a degree of fame, but there's a downside, as you've discovered. Imagine what it's like for celebrities, who get this every day. I think you just have to shut your mind to those confidence-killing comments and focus on your strengths.

What have those commenters done with their lives, anyway? You are putting everything on the line to try and succeed in a competitive and difficult career. It's never just talent that wins the day -- it's perseverance, too.

You've got a lot of supporters in the romance community, Charles. You're a class act and I hope you find lots of success.

Helen Hardt said...

Oh, sweetie -- I loved this post! Thank you for sharing. I could tell you how authors face the same type of scrutiny, but Becke's comment already said it all ;). I've felt it myself. Anyone -- from a model, to an author, to the President of the United States -- who puts him/herself out there knows this. The public sometimes forget that beneath a celebrity lies a real person with real feelings. But you've put yourself out there, and that makes you more courageous than those who choose to "review" you negatively. Revel in that, and in all of us who admire you!

I'm looking forward to meeting you at RT this year!


tholix said...

Charles ~ It's amazing how people can sit on the other side of a computer screen and judge you like that...without even knowing who you are. Unfortunately, some people just aren't nice, won't always like us, and will be critical of matter what. So, be true to yourself, have faith, and love matter what!
Thanks for sharing a piece of yourself with us : )
Good Luck in all of your adventures!
Your new friend,
Cathy Cook

Nicole H. said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing your story!

Nicole's Book Musings said...

Thanks for sharing your story! Very Inspiring!

Unknown said...

One of the your most prized gift Charles when all is said and done, is that heart of yours, which will have everyone beating to a tune they can't deny.

Secret confession - I was one of those superficial people that wondered what was so fascinating about Charles Paz at RT 09, there were in my opinion looks-wise, body wise other ideal candidate for Mr. Romance, infact I didn't vote for you :-(

In retrospect I made one crucial mistake in the casting of my vote, how could I forget PERSONALITY, the soul ingredient. A lesson well learned because nothing speaks romance louder than a male character who can still show his heart against all odds.

Regardless, of the haters, whatever there title, there were many of those who loved you and still do and I for one can truly say the right Mr. Romance 2009 was crowned. So stay true to your heart and continue to show your "True Colors...":-)

Let me know which cover book has Graced Charles Paz and considered those books sold. :-)

With deep admiration a fan and dear friend Romancia Love

Koko Brown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Koko Brown said...

Ditto Diana! What do you have in this life if you don't have self-worth?

Charles David you are revolving from the grasshopper into the master:)

Keep on trucking I can't wait to see what other hurdles/obstacles you tackle.

Erin Sinclair said...


Your blog left me with a feeling of sadness. 1) because you seem to have soul in what is ostensibly a soul-less industry (i.e., Hollywood and those who feed off its abundance); 2) to think of yourself as valueless is heartbreaking.

YOU ARE SOMEOBODY...somebody's son, hopefully loved and treasured beyond measure; somebody's significant other, adored and desired; somebody's friend, to be called upon for a hand up, to be there for when the world is beating you down; you are somebody in the eyes of the God you choose to worship, a precious, valuable being who was created in beauty and unending love; you are somebody to your siblings and your children, who need a loving role model to keep them safe and teach them unconditional love. YOU ARE SOMEBODY.

A woman I greatly admired, who was not known for her beauty and indeed suffered numerous insulting indignities, not only from her husband but the alleged friends she had around her because she was not considered beautiful had this to say, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Her name? Eleanor Roosevelt. The quote is from her auto-biography 'This Is My Story' released in 1937. I have always found her to be one of the most beautiful women I've ever studied because of her courage and soul.

Erin Sinclair
"For love that's out of this world!"

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