America’s Next Top Model All Star (& ANTM Cycle 5) and one of my absolute FAVORITE people, Lisa D’Amato, took some time out of her busy schedule to send her thoughts, exclusively to the Yak, regarding bullying and the Anti-Bullying movement.
We would like to send a personal thanks and shout out to Lisa for taking the time to tell her story and be a part of this important movement. In an effort to join forces and increase awareness, we encourage you to share these stories with your friends and family and encourage continuous efforts to make a difference! We all are capable and we just hope that this motivates and encourages each and every one of us to take a stand and put a stop to bullying once and for all. YakkityYaks, don’t talk smack!
Here is Lisa’s story:
[singlepic id=676 w=320 h=240 float=]When I was in elementary school, I was dealing with a crazy unmothering mom, a dad with a heart of gold, and a divorce and custody battle. My mom trying to win us over just to spite my dad and on top of that I was a kid that had no friends. There were these girls that would call me names all day everyday: ugly, stupid, disgusting etc. I was the girl who played tether ball by herself and would think about how to make these girls stop. I thought of the greatest plan! I was gonna buy them each a really nice Christmas present from Sanrio Surprises (Hello Kitty stuff) (I was in 4th grade) in hopes that they would lay off of me a bit and maybe be nice to me. I saved all my birthday money amd garage sale money and wrapped really cute stuff for them after months of saving and gave them their gifts. After I gave them their presents with nice cards expressing how I’d love for them to be my friends, I ended up being an even bigger laughing stock of our whole 4th grade as the outcast trying to “buy friendship”. Everyone started asking me for presents laughing. I’ll never forget how horrible it was to be me and wished I could just disappear from life all together.
This didn’t stop for years. My mom won the custody battle and my sister and I’s life became lives of fear and pain. When you are coming of age and know that you are different then the rest it is heart breaking. There comes a point in your life when you kinda just snap and realize that maybe you don’t want or need their approval and wouldn’t want to be like them anyway. It comes kinda as a break down but truly it’s a break through!!!
Be you TIFUL! If God wanted us all to be the same then why would he make us so different? Life is beautiful and it IS because of the ones that are so different: YOU! WE are the ones with the strength and power to be the voice of change and acceptance so that we can make the world a better place- not “THEM”.
Don’t stop dreaming and don’t stop working towards your dreams because this is your life not theirs. We all have our own individual journey’s, including theirs, but ours has a lot more bumps in the road to train us to be that much more powerful. They can buy their happiness by being weapons of mass consumption but they can never buy thick skin like what we have. We are indestructible because we have earned it and we own wings now! 🙂 We were put here to teach the ignorant and share beautiful stories of hope and courage. If anything, don’t read this as a message of “being accepted” but more of a message that you were brought here to be THE voice of love.
Now really, you see how silly these stupid bullies are? Calling Lisa ugly? Come on now! I wonder, where are these bullies now? WTG Lisa!
America’s Next Top Model Premiers tonight, Wednesday September 14, (9/8c) for their brand new All-Star Season, and we got the wonderful opportunity of sitting down with one of the All Star Models herself, Lisa D’Amato!
Lisa was originally on season 5 of America’s Next Top Model, and was probably most known for her edit as the “crazy girl”, but let me tell you, she is one of the most interesting, talented, genuine people that I have had the pleasure to chat with!
Here is a video to remind you (not that you should need any reminders) of Lisa’s Introduction to the judges on Season Five:
She spilled her thoughts to us on her original season, what it’s like to live with all the other models, what to look for on the new season and what she has been up to lately (which is a lot!)
The Yak: What have you been up to since your season of ANTM?
Lisa: After ANTM, I continued modeling for the clients that knew me and loved me. I really wasn’t new clients’ cup of tea, especially after ANTM loved to indulge in my “party girl” footage, if ya will. All good though! I booked the lead role in a play called “Rumors” where I played a character named Trina and worked with major TV sitcom actors from Family Matters and touring comedians. It was amazing! Not to mention I put out music videos via youtube which garnished millions of views. You might remember my song Ace Of Spades as well as other tracks like My Name is LIsa and Can’t Touch It which graced Perez Hilton’s site, and were also featured on HBO’s Entourage. With music and performing as my specialty in the performing arts, I have been touring the last 4 years nationwide. My album La Puchinetta dropped back in 2009 around the same time I went on VH1 and Dr. Drew’s Celeb Rehab where I tried to shake the image of being an “alcoholic” which ANTM helped label. Luckily for me, it was a life changing experience because I got therapy for childhood trauma. Our society has a very unhealthy relationship with alcohol & drugs in general! After watching people detox and serious life therapy, I have the upper hand in education on the subject and couldn’t be happier or healthier. :]
The Yak: How did you get chosen for your original season?
Lisa: My friends sent in an audition tape that they recorded for me. I had never really watched ANTM or TV in general. I think the reason I got chosen was because I was real and didn’t have preconceived notions about how I was going to be. I didn’t have a filter and my life story was interesting. I was very blunt and didn’t apologize for it. Going thru the long casting process, I found a lot of the girls to be fake and “playing a role” for the cameras. I was just me. Plus, I have been in the industry since I was 11 or 12 years old and understand the whole “paying dues” thing and I didn’t complain much. That why I think I got chosen.
The Yak: Are you looking forward to the new cycle of ANTM?
[singlepic id=637 w=320 h=240 float=left]Lisa: I’m looking for redemption. Hahaha! Also, I think there is no better way to set the record straight about who I am and what I represent more than to go straight to the source. I am a MULTI- TALENTED hard working inspiration to so many people. I drank some nights on cycle 5 because I thought I should have fun while I was there not thinking I would be exploited as an “alcoholic.” So this time around, I’m ready for some competition. This season is a branding season to find that triple threat and I’m actually MORE than that. My business card unravels to the floor- so bring it! :] I sing, I dance, I act, I rap, I’m a seamstress, I’m a business women, and I’m a model. Don’t talk about it! BEEEE ABOUT IT!!!! The proof is in the pudding my friends. I’ve been living, doing ALL of THESE THINGS my whole life… Preparation Meets Opportunity is the key. I’ve been waiting for this.
The Yak: Were you excited to be asked back for the new season?
Lisa: To be asked back definitely felt good, but truly, ANTM really hurt me. I was devastated after it came out. I didn’t even watch my season after a couple episodes aired because I saw how the editing was going… I didn’t have to! People on the streets would say the most hurtful things to me. Since then, my life DID change for the better because of ANTM. Thanks to them I got to get therapy from Dr. Drew. Childhood trauma is something that weighs on your shoulders your whole life so I got to get through that.
The Yak: What was the experience like the first time around? Fun? Stressful? Was it less stressful the second time around?
Lisa: Cycle 5 was definitely every emotion I’ve ever felt, personally, for me. I was the outcast, I was good at challenges & photo shoots, all the girls hated me and talked shit about me while I was being super nice to them. I was constantly trying to stay positive and have fun while my childhood trauma’s soar spots were constantly being poked. I also was new to how reality shows worked. On cycle 5, I truly felt like I was getting backed into a corner a lot of the time which is why I was always fighting that and running around trying to keep my spirit up! Now I’m smarter and it’s only about checkmating these days. The tables are turning as they should.
The Yak: How was the experience of living with all those other girls?
Lisa: Cycle 5 was a nightmare living with the other girls. They were so insecure and immature and it showed with jealousy and backstabbing. The All-Stars seemed to be A LOT different. They are all more comfortable in their own skin. They have more experience and confidence and aren’t as threatened by every breath they take. It was refreshing! The All-Stars airs tonight so I don’t know what went on behind closed doors but we all know how it works now. :]
The Yak: What is Tyra like? For the matter, how do you feel about all the judges and Jay Manuel?
Lisa: I have mad respect for Tyra! I understand her position on the show a lot better and I feel she is starting to change for the better. I was mad angry at her for years but now I understand things a little differently. I think Tyra has a big heart, it just gets misunderstood, and different strings pull her in different ways. We are all a work in progress and mega stars and moguls are no different. Tyra is someone I’d love to look up to as much as I do Dr. Drew. So far so good. Miss J is one of my favorites… I think he and I just understand each others diversity better than most and he appreciates mine- I love that! Jay Manual is SOOO Talented. Soo Sooo talented and incredibly smart also. I wish things could be funny, not only when he says them sometimes, but that’s coming from a clown that wants that spot light too I guess. Nigel is so handsome! He knows it, though- I hate that. Hahaha! He really hurt my feelings when I finally watched cycle 5 but I understand now that they have their “roles”. I really like Nigel now. On Cycle 17 Nigel and I have a moment of clarity and it was refreshing for me that he went there with me… you’ll see. :] And, Andre hmmmm……. I always felt like on Cycle 17 at all the panels that Andre didn’t like me. I felt like he doesn’t understand me and doesn’t want to either, which kinda sucks cuz I think he is the cutest teddy bear ever. All I wanted to do was give him a big hug. But, I guess we’ll see! lol
The Yak: What was your favorite photo shoot on your season? What was your least favorite?
[singlepic id=639 w=320 h=240 float=left]Lisa: I would say that my favorite photo shoot on Cycle 5 was the superhero shoot. I love adrenalin and taking risks, so putting on a harness and getting raised up in the air and acting as a superhero is my JAM! I loved the country shoot also. That was fun!
My least favorite shoot was probably the plastic surgery shoot only because I had to listen to the other girls talk about how old and ugly I was while I was shooting. That sucked. My pic was great though! Haha!
The Yak: Looking at the upcoming season, anything we should be paying close attention to?
Lisa: The All-Stars season is truly an adrenalin rush. It kept us on our toes the whole time… it was like circus in the fast lane. NO JOKE. Which, I couldn’t have loved more. It was fun to have things move closer to my pace. I’m on the go at all times and it was fun to get the other girls to move at a faster pace. You will have to pay attention to everything!!! Don’t blink!! Hahaha!
The Yak: Rumor has that you had an album hit the streets?
[singlepic id=638 w=320 h=240 float=left]Lisa: Yep! My Sophomore Album Flippin’ The Bird is out NOW on , Rhapsody, ShopLisa, EVERYWHERE. I have songs produced by The Cataracs, Aqua, Colin Hartel, Cisco Adler etc. This album is HOTTT!!! Whatever country you live in, you can get it! You can also get a signed copy if you want from ShopLisa.com!
The Yak: What are your influences musically?
Lisa: Madonna, Pink Floyd, and Michael Jackson are my main influences.
The Yak: How long have you been doing music?
Lisa: Music has been a huge obsession since I was a tater tot, but I have been professionally seeking it since I was 17 and signed to Maverick Records through my modeling agency. I’ve actually been signed 3 times… I guess 4th times a charm, hopefully. Although, I do love doing things independently also. Free reign to do whatever you want is nice! :]
The Yak: What made you decide to do music?
Lisa: Music chose me. Music is one thing I never get bored of. I love writing songs, recording them, dancing to them, performing them. Music is my mistress. And, I hope to die on the dance floor. :]
The Yak: Are you going to continue to do modeling or do you have other plans in future?
Lisa: I will aways do photo shoots, I will always perform whether it be music, acting, hosting, everything. Hollywood has always been my stomping ground and for good reason. I always will be doing things in the Entertainment Industry because my heart was married to it before I had anything to say about it. I’m working on quite a few projects but don’t wanna talk about them just yet. You’ll have to wait & see :]
The Yak: Is acting in the plan?
Lisa: I love acting! I trained 2 years at Playhouse West and 2 years at Howard Fine along with tons of workshops! I’d love to do more acting. When the right opportunity presents itself, I will tear that shit up! Hahaha! Until then, other projects have my full attention and I can’t wait to share them with the world.
The Yak: Do you still keep in touch with models from your previous season?
Lisa: Bre and Kim and Jayla from time to time… not much though. We all lead our own lives.
The Yak: You have so much energy. How do you do it?
Lisa: It’s gotta just be in my genes because my sister has 3 kids and she wears them out! I’ve always been incredibly active and a cross country runner, so that keeps my energy up too, I guess.
The Yak: What do you suggest to all the young girls who want to get into modeling, any words of wisdom for them?
Lisa: Sure. Modeling is such a narrow and limited career choice, not to mention the need for specific physical appearance specifications. It is a shallow industry because it has to be! That being said, I feel like girls want to model because of the “fame” and “glamour” but it is a lot of hard work and it’s a tedious schedule. If a girl has what it takes in terms of physical appearance, I say go for it but with parental supervision and if not, all these young girls and boys should really focus on what they actually really like to do. If you want to be in front of the camera, take some acting classes or workshops etc. I think our culture today is more about becoming “famous” more than it is about honing your craft. My main question for girls is what do you want to do? If they say be famous… well then we have a huge problem in our society.
The Yak: What has been your scariest moment in your modeling career?
Lisa: Hahaha! I have the most embarrassing. I was in Milan doing a HUGE fashion show for Sebastians International and they chose me to come down in this huge theater on a swing from the ceiling and fly over the whole audience… I had JUST started my period and just realized it when about to lift off into the audience and I was wearing a beautiful white flowing gown… After I was finished, the crew took off my harness and I made a huge stain on the dress and the SWING!! I made a joke about it and laughed it off but I went in the bathroom and cried for a sec. I was sooo embarrassed. I felt so bad :/
The Yak: What has been your happiest moment in your modeling career?
Lisa: The happiest moment in my modeling career was when I booked my very 1st National Guess Ad Campaign. I knew my world was going to change for life. Unfortunately, my mom ruined that for me and I never got to do it. The 2nd was when I booked a German catalog job where I made $5,000 in 4 hrs. I really needed it at the time. It was like God sent! Also, when I booked my very own commercials for H&M and Coca-Cola. Those were big moments for me… Those were all before Top Model, too!
The Yak: What’s next?
Lisa: What’s next is the true Redemption. It is the icing on the cake. You’ll have to wait and see. I am the best I’ve ever been and I think it shows. :]
The Yak: We think it shows too! Thank you so much Lisa! You are most awesome!
Lisa: To everyone – Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and to check out all my fun adventures and my MUSIC! Also, check out my youtube videos of my parody nail salon called “Da’model Nails” featuring ANTM alumni on lisadamato.com!
And of course don’t forget to watch me on ANTM All-Stars on Wednesday nights on the CW… I might just surprise you. :]
What an incredible girl! Have something to tell Lisa? Sound off below, then be sure to come join us in the forum HERE for ANTM and all other Reality Show Chat!