A few years ago, my career goal was to create a talk show where I would feature different celebrities, their success stories and new projects. Not much has changed, I do love all things media; however, I am more so behind-the-scenes now. But, that's a different story for a different day.
I'm here to tell you all about the time I gave celebrity interviewing a try.
While studying Journalism and Media Studies at Bennett College in Greensboro, NC, one of my amazing professors gave us an assignment to interview a "Video Vixen". I immediately thought "Omg I want to interview Melyssa Ford". While walking to my dorm room, I contacted her via Twitter.
Me: Hi @MelyssaFord I have a class assignment to interview a Video Vixen. Would you be interested?
Melyssa: Sure, I'll send you my email via Direct Message
I was stoked!
A few weeks later we hosted a Skype interview. I was 19 years young and inexperienced when it came to interviewing. I was nervous and slightly starstrucked. However, I was grateful for this opportunity. She was nice, gave great insight and schooled me on her hustle.
She was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. She was studying Forensic Science when she was asked to do her first music video with Little X. She would make a$1000-$1500 for just wearing a bikini, extra cash that goes a long way for a college student.
There was a ton of projects she turned down like Dr. Dre's 2001 The Chronic Album, in addition to videos for Nas and group Mobb Deep, just to name a few because they didn't fit into her class schedule.
Her career began to take off so she moved to the States. Music videos turned into magazine covers and calendar features. She began to brand herself and more doors began to open. She began hosting shows on BET and ESPN and landed a few movie roles.
Melyssa then moved in a different direction by putting on her activist hat and helping to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS within the African American community as well as working with girls with low self-esteem. Melyssa says, "Times have changed so I don't recommend other ladies taking the same route I did." She recommends aspiring models to avoid the 'Video Vixen' route.
I appreciated her transparency. She gave insight on how the industry has the ability to throw road blocks at women. "We, as women and women of color, have to always work harder," Ford says.
Check out our full conversation below.