Fashions, Fros & Finds: Local Artist Places in the International Model and Talent Association Convention 

By Megan Davis

Jeremy Holloway

The Truth Contributor

Jeremy Holloway has more than a dream.  In this year 2020, being hailed as the Year of Vision, he has a clear picture of what he wants to accomplish, and works diligently to complete his vision in concept, progress and fulfillment.

 Last month, The International Model and Talent Association (IMTA) Convention was held in Los Angeles at the downtown Westin Hotel. Toledoan Jeremy Holloway followed in the footsteps of another local native, actress Katie Holmes, whose participation with the local Starbound Talent company informed both actors of the IMTA event.

The International Model and Talent Association employs hundreds of fashion and talent agents, personal managers, casting directors, network representatives and music producers who have a long-standing rapport of excellence in judging and scouting new talent for new models, actors, singers and dancers to work in the fashion and entertainment industries. Along with Katie Holmes, other actors who have competed at IMTA include Ashton Kutcher, Eva Longoria and Jessica Biel.

Holloway is a singer-songwriter, having recently released his album No More Delay, an intimate playlist of reflective and worshipful music that he shares as worship leader at Solid Rock Missionary Church in Blissfield, Michigan. Last week he shared his musical gift in honor of the survivors of multiple earthquakes in Puerto Rico, at the Light of Hope prayer vigil and fundraiser held at Braden United Methodist Church.

In addition to being a recording artist, he published his first book entitled God Wants You to Smile Today: 25 Epiphanies of God’s Goodness — Secrets to Living With Radical Peace, Joy and Hope, which explores the healing and inspiration found in the simple expression of a smile. Holloway’s voice and smile garnered him the honor of winning  third runner-up for best songwriting award, best commercial and a runner’s up for Best Male Actor of the Year 2020 at IMTA. He said, “I am happy to announce that out of quite a group of amazing people, I was humbled to rep Toledo in these categories! I am still so amazed.”

His career in education has given him the opportunity to teach abroad in South Korea, being awarded as International Teacher of Excellence; and in various cities throughout China and locally at The University of Toledo and Lourdes University. He received a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish and a bachelor of education degree from UT. He taught Spanish at area schools and later graduated from the University of Toledo with a master’s degree in English as a second language.

Holloway’s passion for mentorship, leadership development, and goal-setting set him on a path to pursue a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction whereby he has passed the defense of his dissertation last week, making him eligible for graduation this May. Upon graduation and becoming Dr. Jeremy C. Holloway, he was asked what his future plans are: “There are many options, but one of them is become a professor in a university.  While doing this I want to continue to write books, release albums, and do acting when the time presents itself.  I also have my own media marketing company, Sm3x, so I plan to keep doing this as well.  I feel blessed to be a blessing in any way that I can.”

Fear isn’t a part of his mindset, as he may be found affirming himself and others with positivity to fuel his goals and dreams. He is soft spoken, yet energized with enthusiasm for life, love and the pursuit of real joy.

Holloway is young and wears Free Form Locs, he plays the acoustic guitar and may be seen in a suit and tie or jeans and a sweater. When asked about the significance of his hair, he replied, “My hair is a statement. My hair means freedom.  It’s a reminder that I am free and beautiful just the way I am and that there are others out there that suffer and don’t have anything and my hair is a reminder that I’m not here to serve perfect people, but people that look different from me.  But in a nutshell, it represents the most valuable thing to me, and what I want for every person: FREEDOM.”

No matter what he wears, he is always clothed with a smile.

In the midst of a time where society has gone into policing anything possible, including black hair, Holloway described his hairstlye’s impact on his professional career. “The key words here are “MY professional career”, not someone else’s.  Sometimes I believe we are waiting for someone else to tell us how we are supposed to look and act.  That I believe, is the wrong mindset to have. You have to be happy with how you look. Honestly, I never thought about that much because I am not interested in a job that would affect my professional career in any way than the way I want.

“I’m sure if I applied for the wrong job, I’d receive a negative effect, but the effect that I receive the most is that people ask me if I am an artist or musician, and to that question I feel honored. My hair in a sense, filters out the people who are secure within themselves from the people who aren’t.  Those who are secure about themselves and do not feel the need to impress people they don’t know are the kind of people I want to be around. I find that people who don’t want to superficially impress others are attracted to my style, so I’m thankful for that. If you don’t feel that way, unfriend me, unfollow me, whatever you need to do.  I understand the importance of blending in and there are times for that, but that I believe, is to a certain extent. Be who you are, and be around people who love that about you.”

If you mention his honors, that include the 20 under 40 recipient in 2017, his numerous recognitions in the local community and from educational institutions or his recent accomplishments, it’s no wonder why Jeremy Holloway would smile. But his greatest achievements include balancing his professional and creative careers with his beautiful family.

He explained, “There are two words:  God’s Grace. One thing I try to do is keep my priorities straight: God first, second my wife, third my children, and then my work. I’m learning that if you keep that order straight, God will take care of the rest. One of the other things I would say is do what you love to do. When you do what you love, you will find yourself energized when you use the gifts that God’s given to you.  Then know when you need to rest. My family helps keep me balanced, and that helps me a lot.”

Holloway resides in Toledo with his wife Kayla, and their children.