IN CONVERSATION WITH GAGE GOMEZ
Interview by Jana Letonja
Model and premed bio chem student Gage Gomez isn’t a typical influencer as he’s raised money for cancer research and childhood cancer with Sloan Kettering. Recently, he also opened an art gallery in NYC and has acted in the film ‘Jane’ in 2022.
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Gage, you are a premed bio chem student and are currently taking a gap year. What made you interested in becoming a doctor and what makes you contemplate if you’ll be going to med school next year?
My journey towards medicine began with shadowing a friend’s father, an orthopedic surgeon. I pivoted from aspiring professional athlete to sports medicine, driven by a love for sports and helping injured athletes recover their dreams. Balancing this with opportunities in acting and social media, like signing with the Jeffries, has made me reconsider the timing of attending medical school. I’m planning to take the MCAT and apply when applications open in June, but will decide on enrollment based on the evolving landscape of my current ventures. I have 3 years to matriculate after acceptance.
You have raised money for cancer research and childhood cancer with Sloan Kettering. Why are these causes dear to your heart?
My drive for childhood cancer research was ignited by a cancer biology course and deepened by my friend’s father’s battle with brain cancer. This personal connection led me to lab work on cancer stem cells and initiating a research fund with Sloan Kettering and Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Social media has been a vital tool in connecting with and advancing causes close to my heart.
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You are using your social platforms to spread awareness on physical health and causes you advocate for. What is your strategy on spreading the word on these platforms?
I advocate for leading by example in promoting both physical and mental health. Authenticity in actions, rather than just words, establishes credibility. My aim is to reflect my true self through my online presence, allowing others to connect with the real person behind the screen.
You have quickly managed to grow your followings on social media with your contents. How do you balance your time between studying, working and social media?
In college, I balanced lacrosse, academics, social media and tutoring. Failing initial bio and chemistry exams was a wake-up call, leading me to prioritize academics for my medical school aspirations. A disciplined schedule, influenced by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s motivational ethos, helped me manage this balance. Eventually, I had to scale back on lacrosse to accommodate my growing social media presence.
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As a premed student, what is your view on social media and its impacts on yonger generations?
Social media’s impact is a double-edged sword. It’s a rich educational resource, but can negatively affect mental health through constant comparisons. The key is to maintain a healthy balance, ensuring time away from screen to nurture real-life relationships and well-being.
In addition to this journey of yours, you recently also opened an art gallery in NYC. Can you share more about it with us? Why did you decide to open it?
I co-opened a creative art space in Gramercy to showcase works from artists I admire. The inspiration came from seizing unique opportunities that arose. It’s a venture born from a passion for art and friendship.
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What do you love the most about art and what makes you connect to it so much?
What excites me about today’s art scene is the diverse avenues available for creators to express themselves, confident in finding an audience. This freedom to pursue artistic passions is truly exhilarating.
You also started an online book club recently. What prompted your decision to start it? Tell us more about it.
I started a free tutoring service for STEM subjects, expanding access to education. Post-graduation, no longer being limited to science texts, I developed a passion for literature, leading starting a book club. It’s a community for shared learning and discussion. I hope for this to grow a lot larger and so I’ve recently hired a couple of really smart and intelligent moderators who are familiar with the backend stuff to help me keep it organized.
I just wanted it to be a safe space for people to share their thoughts and talk about their passions on top of reading. I love encouraging things like this, so I try to reward members with bookstore gift cards. So far, we have read ‘Notes from the Underground’ from Fyodor Dostoevsky, ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt, ‘Convenience Store Woman’ by Sayaka Murata and we are now reading ‘Crime and Punishment’ also by Dostoevsky.
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Last year, you also starred in the feature film ‘Jane’. Is acting something you are planning on focusing more on in the future?
First, I want to start up by saying I’m very grateful for the opportunity that I was presented with and congratulations to everyone who is a part of that film, especially Madelaine Petsch. I think the psychology behind moving from influencer to acting is very difficult, so I’m grateful for where I am at. I do respect the craft very much and the time it takes to develop the ability to draw emotions in front of a camera. And I love learning. To name a few, I really look up to Miles Teller, Matthew McConaughey and Brad Pitt.
As also being a model, what does fashion mean to you? What do you enjoy the most about it?
To me, fashion is about self-expression and freedom. I’m fascinated by watching influential designers create stunning pieces and enjoy attending global fashion events to witness their creativity firsthand.
What can you share with us about your future dreams and goals for your career and life in general?
My future goals include becoming a physician, integrating acting into my life and contributing to education and the arts. I believe in the pursuit of multiple dreams, challenging the notion of a singular lifelong career path and encouraging others to explore their diverse passions.
Talent GAGE GOMEZ @im_gage
Photo and video JAMES EMMERMAN @james_emmerman
Styling and creative direction DONTE MCGUINE @donte_mcguine
Production BRADLEY VOISSEM @bradleyvoissem
Executive producer KENDALL WERTS @projectkendall
Assistant and DP CLAY CAMPBELL @reverendcambell
Video editing NIKITA MERRIN @nikeetz
Editor TIMI LETONJA @timiletonja
Interview JANA LETONJA @janaletonja