Subscribe to this Podcast- The Shipping Room Podcast

Published April 1, 2016 as part of weekly podcast series I started entitled Subscribe to this podcast.

Recently, I had a chance to chat with co-hosts Tamar and Christine about their hit podcast: The Shipping Room! It’s fun, it makes you think, and it makes you believe that there is someone out there for everyone. The ladies chatted about shipping, how they started, and who they ship. They drop a new episode every Thursday which can be found on iTunes.

You can also find them on twitter at @shippingroompod and on tumblr.

How did you get started? Why the shipping room?

Tamar: I had been a guest in a friend’s podcast a couple of times and really loved it and then I briefly hosted a Shameless podcast for the EW Community blog and I was officially bitten by the podcast bug. I loved it and I wanted to create something original and fun. It was June of last year and by that point I’d been writing about television long enough to have noticed a pattern: people respond most intensely to stories about couples. “Shipping,” or following and rooting for one’s favorite couple is a huge part of being a fan. I knew I wanted my podcast to focus on this aspect of the TV viewer experience.

Christine and I had met a few years earlier through Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s website hitrecord.org and had kept in touch via social media. She was also enmeshed in the TV world, writing and blogging for various sites, and I knew she’d be the perfect co-host. I emailed her the idea and within a couple of weeks we were up and running.

Christine: I’ve been an avid listener of podcasts for years and it’s a medium I love. It’s like listening to a radio show where every segment is something you’re interested in. Television is one of the things I have the greatest passion for and I knew I wanted to do a podcast centered around television, but I was still a bit wayward in pinpointing exactly what that was and who would actually want to take a podcasting journey with me. And then coincidentally, I got an e-mail from Tamar saying, “Hey, do you want to start a podcast?” and everything seemed to fall into place.

I think “shipping” is something that every television watcher can relate to, as romance tends to be the beating heart behind most popular television series. Tamar and I really wanted to take back the negative connotations that can often be associated with the term “shipping” and engage our audience in real and analytical conversation about tv relationships, not just the things that many think “shipping” is about, like, “OMG OLICITY” or  fan-fiction and things like that. Yes, Oliver and Felicity are an amazing couple; we’re going to talk about WHY and what the writers are doing that makes theirs a relationship we root for, and look at it from a critical standpoint. I think our listeners have really responded to that.

How often to you record your podcast?

Tamar: We record weekly, usually only a couple of days before the episode drops. Sometimes we get a little ahead of schedule to work around holidays or vacations, and though it’s nice to have a little breathing room, I do like to record near our release date because we often discuss some current events and respond to listener feedback which is difficult when we’ve recorded well in advance.

Christine: What she said. :)

What are your favorite episodes?

Tamar: Ahh this is such a hard question! I am really proud of all of them, but I think my favorites are the Jason Katims episode – we discussed Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, and Roswell – and our Beverly Hills, 90210 episode. Also, one of the best experiences I’ve had doing the show was having Keiko Agena join us to talk Gilmore Girls. That was incredible and the episode came out great.

Christine: As someone who has been an overly-avid fan of Gilmore Girls since the series started back in 2000, getting the opportunity to discuss the show with Keiko Agena was an insane experience for me and a memory I will treasure always. We recently released an episode with Demi Adejuyigbe where we discussed Jane the Virgin, which is another one that was so cool for me, as I’ve been a fan of his as well from his own podcast, Gilmore Guys. And I can’t not mention our first mailbag episode…our listeners sent in incredible questions that really put us on the spot and it was so much fun to have such a great dialogue with their leading for an episode.

What are your plans for future episodes?

Tamar: We try to find a variety of topics that interest a diverse audience. We alternate between tv show-centric themes and more general topics. As far as future episodes, we have been trying to incorporate listener feedback as much as we can. We have an interview episode scheduled where we’re going to pick the brain of a TV writer and see how shipping affects the writers room. We’re also going to cover some fan favorite shows like Gossip Girl and Sex and the City. Additionally, we’re working on lining up more fun and exciting guests.

Christine: We’ve also got an episode coming up where we discuss our favorite musical moments from some of our favorite shows and it’s an episode I’ve been looking forward to recording for a LONG time.

Who do you ship?

Tamar: For my biggest ships to date, check out our first episode, where Christine and I list our top 10. Right now I’m really into Alicia & Jason on The Good Wife.

Christine: I’m pretty vocal in every episode about my insane love for Leslie and Ben from Parks and Recreation. Though they didn’t make my Top 10 list, I pledge my allegiance to Team Jess (and Rory) always and forever. And as for recent favorite romances, I just finished a binge of The West Wing and Josh and Donna are just the ultimate in frustrating will they/won’t they romances. They would have bumped someone from my Top 10 a few months ago, for sure. Right now I’m bingeing The Good Wife and I think I’m obsessed with Cary and Kalinda.

If you had a dream guests who would it be?

Tamar: Oh man, I have so many!! Talking with Keiko about the show she was on was so much fun, so I’d love to have more actors come on. But based on our subject matter, I think my dream guest would be E!’s Kristin Dos Santos.

Christine: I’ve made it known how desperately I want to have Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights, The Good Wife, Hart of Dixie) on our show. But I’d also love to have someone like Janel Moloney (Donna, The West Wing) on our show, an actor who’s actually half of an incredible TV romance and ask them about that experience.

Any advice?

Tamar: Have a clear idea of what you’re going to talk about. Tangents can be fun on podcasts, especially when the hosts are enjoyable to listen to, but in general, I think listeners want to hear a clear conversation on a given topic. Being as prepared as possible before you record is invaluable in keeping the discussion flowing and focused.

Christine: Don’t be discouraged if you start small. Our show started very humbly as far as numbers go. We’ve done a lot of self-promotion and worked really hard at getting the word out about the Shipping Room, and after 7 or 8 months we’ve really built a great audience, one that keeps growing every day. It takes a lot of time and perseverance. So if you start out and think no one is listening, rest assured that someone WILL listen. Just give it time.

What makes your podcast stand out?

Tamar: This is probably a better question for our listeners than for us. It’s hard for me to know. The one thing I will say that I think our audience notices is that we are very committed to interaction with our listeners. We believe it enhances our show tremendously to get listener input and we try very hard to respond to tweets and email and to engage our audience as much as we can. I don’t know if that makes us stand out, but I hope it’s something that they enjoy as much as we do.

Christine: I think based on the feedback we’ve had, we stand out because we talk about tv over a glass of wine. When we talk about a show or a couple, it’s really like listening to your friends talking. We’re very active on social media with our listeners and continue the conversations there. If a listener hears us say something in the car and wants to comment on it, they can head over and we’ll gladly continue that dialogue. We’re approachable and fun, I think, and that’s something that I sincerely hope we never lose as we continue to grow.

Exclusive Interview -The FNL Show Podcast

This Article was published on 4/8/2016

Texas Forever!’ If you don’t know that saying, you’re missing out on one of the most beloved TV shows: Friday Night Lights. Fans (myself included) loved watching Coach Taylor, Tami, Saracen, Landry, Street, and bad boy Tim Riggins go through their daily struggles both on and off the field.

Even though FNL ended in 2011, fans can continue reliving the show by listening to The FNL Show. They recap each episode and light-heartedly discuss their favorite and not-so-favorite characters, story arcs, and themes. Recently, I had a chance to speak with The FNL show’s co-hosts Simran and Imogen about their fun podcast. Podcast episodes are available on iTunes, and you can follow them on Twitter .

What made you get into podcasting?

Simran: I feel like the main reason was because we were already fans of the medium, and it was more or less just finding what we wanted our podcast to be about. We both have a pretty heavy interest in TV and film, and it’s something we talk about a lot so I guess it was only fitting that that’s where the source for our podcast was drawn from. We also realised the more we thought about doing one the more technically accessible it was, you really just have a decent microphone and access to Garageband and you can pretty much get something tangible from that.

Imogen: I mean we honestly had no idea if the idea was insane or not, but it was something we both really wanted to try. We’d always talked about starting a podcast but felt like we didn’t have the credentials to do so. Then suddenly we were like, well who cares, let’s just give this a try – it will be fun, and who knows, maybe someone will actually listen.

Why Friday Night Lights?

Simran: Well, Imogen was already a huge fan of the series and had watched it multiple times, I on the other hand was first introduced to the namesake through the Peter Berg film, which I watched quite young and really just didn’t quite grasp the themes or gravity of the film. So when she said we should watch it I was pretty against the idea, but eventually gave in, and began to really like it. By the 6th episode, I think it was, she was pretty much like we should do a podcast and in that moment it didn’t seem like a ridiculous idea and there it began really.

Imogen: I cannot tell you how many times I begged Simran to watch FNL. Anyone who has tried to recommend a show to someone who refuses to watch it will understand my frustration, and will appreciate how hard it was to hold back an “I told you so,” when he finally came around to loving it (BUT I DID TELL YOU SO!). Like Simran said, a few episodes in we realised how much we had to say about each episode and the idea just fell into place. A few weeks later we were recording!

How frequently do you record your show or is it live?

Imogen: Because we’re quite a new podcast, we’ve been trying to record at least twice a week to get as many episodes out as quickly as we can. This way, listeners are able get a better idea of what the show is all about. From this week though we’ll be recording once a week.

What’s your favorite episode of FNL?

Simran: This is actually a really hard one…Ok, there are quite a few that rank up there for me but at this time there’s one that is popping into my head and this is somewhat of a spoiler, so you’ve been warned. I love the episode titled, “Underdogs” from Season 3, where the Dillon Panthers get to state for the second time in three years and lose…I don’t know why but the scene where Tim steps onto the field and leaves his cleats just stays with me so I’d say right now if I had to single a favourite out that would be it, although my opinion is always subject to change haha.

Imogen: This is so, so hard! I think the Pilot has got to be one of my favourites, which is such a feat because pilot’s are so rarely that successful. It just sets up the mood of the show so well, and gives you these characters who are so real, and in many ways already fleshed out, you just immediately understand and connect with them. Episodes “It’s different for girls” (season 1) and “I can’t” (season 4) both tackle female-centric story lines we see in teen-dramas all the time, but FNL always manages to do it a little differently, and in such raw ways that feels true to the show. I also think “The Son” in season 4, where Matt’s dad dies, is such a terrific episode and showcase for Zach Gilford.

Do you watch the episodes together before you record or separately?

Imogen: Originally when I showed Simran the series, we watched the entire thing through together, which was fun because it’s always entertaining to watch someone experiencing a show you love. Now we watch them separately, so when we come together for the podcast it’s the first time we’re hearing each other’s thoughts on the episode.

When do new episodes drop?

Simran: Like Imogen said earlier, the first few weeks of putting out episodes we just wanted to get as many as we could out. This was mainly because we wanted to get over the jitters of recording and we thought diving in would be a good way of doing that. We are now starting to feel a bit more relaxed when we record so we are aiming to have episodes out our Monday nights, which would be Americas Monday mornings.

Who are your favorite characters on FNL?

Imogen: The best thing about FNL is that all the characters are pretty great, even if it takes some of them a little longer to be fleshed out and become loveable. From the get go Coach and Tami are incredible, and act as the moral centre of the show. Matt is also such a sweet, amazing character. Tim Riggins is obviously a great bad boy, because he’s hilarious and charming (and of course has that heart of gold)…we end up spending a lot of time every episode talking about Riggins because it’s impossible not to! I also love Vince from the later seasons! It’s a shame he doesn’t get as much love as the characters from seasons 1-3 because he’s great, and managed to get the viewer invested despite the fact he gets thrown into an already-established series half way through.

Simran: Imogen makes a really good point in that you could have a place in your heart for nearly all the main characters. But If I had to choose one I would have to go with Matt Saracen. He is just amazing, he is a high schooler who is just taking on so much at his age and he never really goes off the edge. The character is so grounded and you just cannot help but pull for him in pretty much every situation you see him in. Also, Just piggy backing on Ima’s point about Vince, he really is a great character, and I would probably say that’s a major testament to the show and it’s writers, as well as Michael B. Jordan. You genuinely end up caring for him, and he doesn’t have the advantage of say Matt who had already had 3 seasons worth of familiarity with the audience.

You know there’s going to be a FNL reunion at ATX this summer? Will you be going?

Imogen: The ATX reunion was another reason we were so keen to start the podcast – we realised it was the 10 year anniversary of the show, and that there was a reunion coming up, and thought that it was a fitting time to be revisiting the series. We WISH we could be attending the reunion but living in Australia means this is sadly out of the question.

Simran: It’s funny that you mention this, ATX actually played a party in our deliberation of whether or not doing a podcast on Friday Night Lights was just a prisoner of the moment idea or whether it was legitimate. Sounds lame, but when Imogen told me about the reunion, I took it as a sign and off we went haha.

What is one thing on the show, that you wish had happened, but didn’t?

Imogen:This is a tricky one – mostly because I think this show is almost perfect. I guess season 2 is the season most people cite as having issues, and I wonder if they had been able to finish out the season properly (it was cut down to 13 episodes because of the writers strike) whether it would have redeemed itself and wrapped up nicely.

Simran: I actually have two things: I would have liked more of a follow-up on Smash after he finally gets to college. I think in the final season you catch a glimpse of him playing for Texas A&M but you never really hear about how he transfers or anything. Also, I would have liked more insight into how Vince handled Coach leaving at the end of season 5, as their relationship was so important in the later seasons.

Do you plan on doing interviews with anyone from the show?

Imogen: If they’d have us! I’d love to speak to anyone who was involved with the show – not just the actors, who I think are always the first people you think of, but all the behind-the-scenes staff who made it such an incredible series. I’ve read up a lot on the show, and there was just such a clear vision for the look and feel of the show, I’d love to learn more about how they actually created that reality.

Simran: Completely agree with Ima on this one. I would love to get more of an insight into the writing of certain characters throughout the show, we mention it a bit here and there on the pod but we really do appreciate how the writing of the show didn’t resort to cheapening any of the characters. I think a great example of this is how they characterise Tyra to begin with and then they eventually define her in a way we both felt was quite refreshing for a network TV show in 2006.

Who is your dream person to have on your podcast?

Simran: Ima is gonna give me a hard time on this, but I would love to have Bill Simmons. I’ve been a long time fan of his podcast and I know he’s a pretty big fan of FNL so I wouldn’t mind talking it over with him haha. Also I am a huge NBA fan and talking some hoops wouldn’t be too bad either.

Imogen: Oh lord… only Simran would pick Bill Simmons over someone actually linked to Friday Night Lights. Hmm, if Taylor Kitsch could come in character I’d love to interview Tim Riggins! It would also be amazing to pick the brains of the creator of FNL, Peter Berg, or really any of the producers or directors. But honestly, Michael B Jordan would be my dream choice – he’s such a great actor, and not only could he give us the scoop on FNL but I’d love to ask him all about his work in film post-FNL.

What advice would you give to new podcasters?

Simran: We are still quite new to podcasting, so I’m not sure I’m qualified to give advice yet (haha) but I feel like just going and doing it and getting over the notion that it’s crazy is the best advice I could give at this stage. You can find recording equipment at a fairly decent price, and there are heaps of tutorials on YouTube on how to edit. If you fail it’s no big deal because for someone who is new to podcasting the stakes aren’t really that high, it’s easy to just start it off as a bit of fun.

Imogen: This is super obvious, but definitely pick a subject that you’re genuinely interested in talking about episode after episode. I’ve always looked at it like, ok well even if no one listens, I have an excuse to talk purely FNL with Simran for a couple of hours every week, and that’s awesome.

Spotlight on Jennifer Lawrence

Here’s a story I did on November 16, 2015 on Jennifer Lawrence’s  Great Fashion Sense for Fashionweek.com

Spotlight On…Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence
Credit: Famous/ACE/INFphoto.com

At 25, Jennifer Lawrence has already had a career most adults would envy. She’s an Oscar-winner and the lead of the hit Hunger Games franchise. Lawrence is also a spokesperson for Dior.

Which brings us to this epic dress!

While promoting the final film of the Hunger Games saga on Nov 4 in Berlin Germany, the American Hustle star wore a purple Dior gown that was nothing less than flawless to the film premiere.

It’s a purple wonder with a plunging neckline that fits her perfectly. The chandelier earrings and the actress’ up do make this look a winner!

 

 

Exclusive Interview Bello Sanchez

On Oct. 19, I had the privilege of speaking to former America’s Next Top Model’s Bello Sanchez about his career for Fashionweek.com

Exclusive Interview: Bello Sanchez of ‘America’s Next Top Model’

Bello Sanchez’s journey in modelling is an amazing one. From being teased during his childhood, to now walking the runways for famous designers such as Marco Marco and Zachary/Nathaniel,  the outspoken America’s Next Top Model contestant is a fan favorite.

FashionWeek.com’s Michele Villery recently had a chance to talk to the blue-eyed stunner about his amazing adventure and what life is like after being on America’s Next Top Model.

Tell me a little bit about your background and what was the thing that made you pursue modeling?

Okay. I’m Dominican and Puerto-Rican. I was raised predominately in Boston. I came when I was 19 years old and I just decided I wanted to pursue modeling. You know? I wasn’t born into the richest family or with a great last name like Kardashian or anything like that. I wanted to make a name for myself. I came out here and had $200 when I came, nowhere to stay, nowhere to sleep. That quickly became $100. The taxi driver ripped me off as soon as he found out that I wasn’t from here and I didn’t really know the value of the LA taxi cab. I said, “Okay, take me to where $100 can shelter me.” He took me to Skid Row and I ended up there.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with Skid Row, but Skid Row is literally a street. That’s it. That’s where you’re living on, is a street with pests and feces and hard blankets and I saw the most horrible things there.  I saw drug abusers, alcoholics, you could hear people getting sexually assaulted at night. It was really bad, especially for a 19-year-old.  Mind you, I wasn’t rich, but I had everything back at home. I had my mum and my big room, I had everything, so I came back.

I came to nothing, but just dreams and $100, and then I ended up going to South Central. I went to South Central in LA. It’s so bad, but I don’t actually know, a lot of people nowadays sort of room for rent, especially LA, New York, if you’re renting a room they’ll have a for rent sign on the door. So I walked through the streets of South Central. This little boy with two big suitcases and big curly hair and I kept knocking on doors and said “I have $100, but I will have a job as soon as possible really soon,” and I didn’t know it was actually true, but I was speaking to him as “if you allow me to stay in your house I’ll give you the rest of the money within the week, here’s $100.”

It took me a lot longer before somebody actually said yes, and somebody finally said yes, and it wasn’t a good situation. There were a lot of Hispanic immigrants and the house was five or six rooms and in those rooms there would be five, six, seven even eight to nine people in there. It was illegal to have a lot of people in one room.

I ended up in a room where I was by myself because I paid $500, yeah it was really bad, maggots were on the carpet and I didn’t have a bed so I had to sleep on the floor with the maggots. Flies would wake me up in the middle of the night and sometimes that happened to go bathe where high school students take a shower in there. Because the shower where I was staying at were so dirty and there was so many maggots. It was really bad, but that’s kind of the gist of how I came to LA.

What was the thing that just made you pursue modelling?

I always liked it. I always did. I always dreamed of booking at, I know it’s going to sound funny, but I remember Tyra from when she was in Victoria’s Secret, and she was an Angel, I thought “Oh my god she’s hot, I want to do that.” That’s, of course, without the boobs and the thongs. You know I wanted to do that, and every time I would open a magazine I was attracted to it. I was always dressing myself up differently. Yeah, I want to do it. I was really awkward growing up, I wasn’t a really fat-looking kid, lanky and skinny and weird that I came into middle school, something happened, puberty was happening and I was starting to look different and people were starting to recruit me, and asking me to model or suggesting that I should, so that’s kind of what happened.

I understand that you got teased a lot when you were a kid, was it those moments, do you think that kind of just helped you throughout this whole process?

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely oh my gosh, that’s a really good point. When you’ve achieved so much you eventually become angry. It doesn’t matter if you’re somebody who retaliates or even in fights, if you get angry and I was the quiet, weird, nerdy person who always got teased, so I became very angry like now and that has helped me, because I hate that and kind of just put that on the back pedal, put that in my pocket. Because I was teased, you’re not going to tease me again, but what you teased me about when I was younger is going to make me now, so now I’m teasing you. It’s kind of my revenge, this is my vengeance.

That’s a good point. So I have to ask you, tell us how you were selected for America’s Next Top Model.

How was I selected? Oh, my God. You know it’s so funny, because I was the only person that was, I think there was one other person who actually tried out for the show, a lot of people were recruited. Most people were recruited, maybe there might be two others.

I didn’t have a job, for like three months and then I got a job, and then I got a job at an arts and crafts store at like $10 an hour, and it was part time, so that wasn’t enough for anything especially after two months when you’re behind in rent. Then the next day, I had plans before the show, but not like this. Someone sent me the schedule for the CW network itinerary of ANTM, and I thought no way, I think they want me to do it, I’m going to go, I’m going to go to all these states, as many as I can, I’m going to drive around. I only have a thousand dollars, I’m going to make it work even though that should be going towards on my car note that’s already late.  I just left and I went on a ride. I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a road trip, it’s a little different because it would be driving to one state and then driving ten hours to wait in line for seven hours to drive for nine more hours to wait in line for six hours and then it would be raining and 30 degrees outside. So that was my schedule, but there was no sleeping for like nine days.

Wow, so you literally went from city to city to make sure someone noticed you.
Yes. That’s exactly what happened, and I still applied online and Instagramed and did a video. I did all of that.

Wow, how long was that whole process, Bello?
About eight or nine days. But I couldn’t make it to every single one it was impossible, I couldn’t make it to every single one so I made it to as many as I could, so it took about eight or nine days I remember it being a little over a week and it was in December by the way.

Yikes.
Yeah.

Make matters worse.
Yeah.

When you were chosen, how excited were you? That has to be a thrill.
You know what’s funny Michele, I mean, I don’t know if I was excited. I was excited, let me rephrase that, but it wasn’t a typical type of excitement that a lot of people would expect. It wasn’t a normal reaction, I was very calm. There was a lot of serenity. I just knew it was for me. I had suffered so many years and I went on this road trip not hoping that I would be on America’s Next Top Model, but knowing. It was really weird, I was like “I knew I was going to be on it.” I knew that somebody saw me the right person would choose me and I heightened my chances by doing what I did.

So, I was like “okay cool, yay,” like okay thank you. I think I literally said “okay great or okay cool” and the producer, the casting director or one of the casting directors said “You don’t want to scream?”; and I’m like, “No I’m good,”; “Sure you don’t want to scream?”; I’m like “no, but thank you so much I’m really excited and I can’t wait.” A very calm reaction.

When you were on America’s Next Top Model, we saw that you clashed with a couple of the contestants but to me, it has to be hard with all those different personalities living under the same roof, what is that like?

What is that like? It’s hard. You have, first of all this is the first time where it was actually twenty, beginning it was thirty one people, but twenty people ended up living in the house before the top fourteen. Living with 21 other people from different parts of the States even the world. There were some people not from the U.S. and we don’t know each other, we don’t know each other, all we know is that we’re all competing for the same thing and we all have our guards up, because there are some fake people, and you don’t want to be thinking about other people – it’s a competition, we’re fighting for the same thing.

So it was hard, it was a hard for us and I ended up making a break. I automatically [am] a U.S. citizen because I’m Puerto Rican, but my mother’s children are Dominican, and they came all at once from the Dominican Republic when I was about thirteen, and they all were scattered around the Dominican Republic because my mother didn’t have the money to keep us at one person’s house, so it had essentially we were all strangers living all of a sudden, there were seven of us total including my mom, living in the same house but we didn’t know each other.

So for me this is experience was a part two that, but I didn’t want to live with a bunch of people I didn’t know. It wouldn’t be the first time. So, I was like “these people aren’t going to like me whether I respond to them or not,” this is my second chance at living with strangers and making something work. But no, as you saw that wasn’t the case. They didn’t care for me too much.

I saw things, I was like “oh!”

Hope you don’t think I’m too crazy.

No, not at all. You know what I thought personally, I thought that it was because it happens all the time, when you deal with a lot of personalities in one house and it’s taped, you have that recipe for things to happen, so that’s what I thought.

But, tell us who you were close to in the house while you were there.

In the house I was close to Ava and then she left, and then, you know what actually … I was close to Hadassah too, but that didn’t work out towards the end.

Do you still keep in touch with anybody there?
I stay in touch with Ava, but honestly, Delaney calls me every now and then, I’m open to anybody calling me.  I’m not going to say no don’t call me it’s not that, but not really … I know everybody else keeps in touch a lot more, but no, not me.

What was some of your favorite moment when you were in the house?

I have to say, when we did, when I got partnered up with Courtney. It was really difficult getting partnered up with Courtney, because she lacked confidence and here we have having to sell a perfume using our sex appeal. It was such a challenge. Because it was a challenge because of the person I was working with, and also because it was cold. Here Courtney and I are the thinnest models in the house and we started shooting super early when the sun was out, and now its 8 p.m. we’re in the middle of Malibu and it’s cold, the beach is cold and we’re the skinniest ones and we’re the last ones. So, literally, our bodies just shut down, so we were shivering and every single time the cameras were off as far as recording the commercial, you see me shivering. I’d never shivered so much like that in my life, Courtney too, but as soon as they were like “okay rolling,” here I am acting like it’s a hundred degrees outside and I’m in Hawaii. It was mentally and physically the hardest shoot I’ve ever had to do in my whole entire life and whole entire career.

So that was my favorite one, knowing that I had to push myself for that and Tyra gave me ten for that.

Wow. Since leaving the house you’ve been working in a ton of shows and I know that you have an important one with Marco Marco, so tell us what has this all been like, it’s been such a whirlwind for you.

You know what, I could not have imagined it to be like this even if I wanted to especially so quickly. New York Fashion Week ended and I walked for them, I did both New York Fashion Week and Style Week, then I did LA Fashion Week, just in the middle of that week, which I’m modelling for Marco Marco for.

I just came in from the Ragtrade in Atlanta, and I walked for two amazing designers down there. I walked for Brendan M Cones, and I also walked for Zachary/Nathaniel.  It was funny because I was wearing a skirt for Zachary/Nathaniel and a corset which I’d never done before, that’s not in my closet, but it was really fun.

I came back [to LA] because I had to do a fitting for Marco Marco. He’s done clothes for Beyonce, Kesha, Katy Perry, Shakira, J-Lo and anybody that he can think of, he’s done stuff for.  He’s making something specifically for me, can you believe that?

Wow that’s amazing!

Yeah, it’s such a compliment.

That is! That’s truly an honor.

For me to walk in his show, he took my measurements before I flew out, and I’m coming to see him later so I can try on the outfit I’ll be wearing.

What are some of your future goals, besides modelling – I know that you recently did a music video. Did I hear that right?
You did. I did a music video with former Pussycat Doll member Jessica Sutta. I’m so excited to have done that. I was an extra and then it was like “oh my God I love you, I love your look.” They kept putting me up in a bunch of scenes, so that should be coming out pretty soon, I think around Halloween, and then she loved me so much she said, “You know what I want you to be my leading man in my upcoming music video,” so I’m also going to be shooting another video with a bigger scene, cheerleading, romantic part in it, so I can’t wait for that.

So you plan on doing a lot more acting?

I do, I want to do a lot more acting. Actually I’m also doing another music video in a couple of days, well on the 20th I’m doing another one. So yeah, I want to do a lot more acting.  I want to heavily go into acting. I like acting.  I have all the passion.  I want to do acting. I would love to do acting.

Fantastic.
I’m going to do acting, I don’t want to, I’m going to do acting, I think like that.

Good, I was going to say don’t just say you’re thinking of doing it, do it.

Is there any advice that you want that you want to give anyone that wants to pursue modelling or their dreams, Bello?
Yeah. Actually, a girl tweeted me this morning as soon as I got off the plane saying “I wish I had as much passion as you did, you had,” so the advice I would give her or anybody else, is do it. I told her, “you know what, you can do it, you’re human, I’m human, we’re both made of the same material – flesh, bones, meat, but we also have the same ingredients, there’s nothing special about me, that’s not special about you. There’s nothing, we’re all the same exact, so have passion, don’t say you wish you had the passion, get the passion, go ahead and get it, tell yourself that you have it.

Tell yourself what you want that goal, that dream, whether it’s in modelling, whether it’s in a different field, if you want to be a doctor. Whatever it is that you want to be, make sure that you do your best at it and that you’re hundred percent there.”

And I know it sounds corny or cliché but just do it! You can do it, if you tell yourself you can, you can. Go the distance, a lot of people are starting to realize and study a bit more, be aware of the power of the attraction or the laws of attraction, but it’s a very real thing. You attract what you put out there, so put it out there and it will happen.

You know what, that is so true, I didn’t even think of it in those terms, but that is so true.
Think about it, we don’t all want the same house so if you sit there and you tell me I want a mansion and a beautiful luxury car, and I want a mansion and a beautiful luxury car and my sister wants a mansion and a beautiful luxury car, we don’t all want the same.  There’s enough for all of us, why do we feel like we have to compete against the same thing? We don’t have to. Your dream and goals are not the same as mine. A lot of people kind of also do that in modeling. “There’s only, so many black actresses or so many brown boys with brown hair and blue eyes.” No, there’s not.  There’s going to be a lot of those, so put it out there.”