As one of the leading characters on the Disney channel sitcom “Dog with a Blog,” Blake Michael seems to be laying out a burgeoning career path–haphazardly or not–in hopes it will lead him to ultimate success as an actor. At just 18 years old, Michael has already been working in the entertainment industry for approximately 15 years. “I fell in love with acting when I was three years old after seeing a commercial with a lil boy in it. I wanted to be that kid,” Michael recalls. That year he would garner his first commercial job. “It was an ad for the Froggy Flashlight–a lil camping flashlight,” Michael laughed. With the commercial under his belt, he had accomplished his first goal of wanting to see himself in a magazine or picture. Michael later went on to book spots as an extra in films, book modeling gigs, make music video appearances and act in short films.
Having started at such a young age, Michael admits that even with his supportive parents, progressing in the industry has not been easy. “There are tons of roadblocks and obstacles. I actually feel it’s tougher for younger kids because there’s just so much more competition,” Michael said. “An audition would call for a nine year old boy with brown hair. So generic. Of course there was going to be tons of kids going after that part,” he added.
shirt DIOR HOMME
boots BEN SHERMAN
Luck has clearly been on his side. In 2011 he landed the role of Tyler James on the Disney sitcom Dog with a Blog. As one can assume from the comedic title, the show is centered on a dog named Stan, who blogs and, yes, talks. The tweens love it! The sitcom premiered in 2012 and has been rated number one for the Fridays 8:30p.m. timeslot among young kids ages 2-11 and tweens 9-14, according to the Nielsen ratings. The show has also been nominated for its first Emmy. “We’re in our third season now and as a whole I think the show has evolved and matured. In the beginning the characters weren’t well-defined but now as episodes build you learn so much more about them,” Michael said. Playing the character Tyler James, Michael is allowed to tap into his inner prankster. Yet he still yearns for Tyler to be in a serious relationship. “Viewers have never seen him struggle with the conflicts of a relationship. He’s chased after young, cute girls, but as Tyler is growing I’d like to see him play more of an older brother role and have true relationships,” Michael confessed. This could easily happen if the show’s producers continue to allow Michael to contribute input as he has in past episodes. “It’s really cool! Our show is open to suggestions for the development of the characters. I’ve even written jokes that made it to the final draft.”
jeans MARC JACOBS
His involvement in the writing process is an additional step toward what he calls his “super passion.” “Ultimately I plan on being a director. I’d like to go to film school and one day combine all of my passions–acting, music, cinematography and directing—to do my own film and produce some kind of score for it,” Michael said. As he progresses into manhood, he continues to diversify his talents. Along with being a DJ on the side, Michael works on the No Kid Hungry campaign that was established to end childhood hunger in the US.
When it comes to his personal style, Arts and Craft street wear is his latest obsession. “I love those asymmetric hem cut shirts. They’re cool for layering and wearing under jackets. My style is evolving though. If I’m really dressed up, I’m in a button down shirt. If it’s casual, I’m in tank tops and gym shorts with cool kicks…or I’ll be wearing my street wear stuff.”
Michael’s relaxed demeanor and honest candor leads one to believe he may be a former child actor who can transition successfully into adulthood. While reminiscing on advice he has been given, he thinks back to the words his third grade teacher gave him on the last day of school that year. “I’ve received a lot of great advice over the years, but what she said that day stuck with me. She said, ‘Never forget who you are.’ I’d like to think that I haven’t let fame or popularity get to me.”
words EDRIC ROBINSON
photography SHARON MOR YOSEF
fashion ENRIQUE MELENDEZ & ASHLEY ELIZABETH FOR ENA CREATIVE AT BLACKBOARDGROUP MGMT
grooming FRANKIE PAYNE FOR OPUS BEAUTY
production AJ CRIMSON FOR BLACKBOARDGROUP MGMT