|Joanie Dodds, greenobles.com|
You never know who you might just bump into on the NYC subway late on a Friday night … that’s why it’s best to keep your eyes (and ears) open! A few weeks ago, I was waiting for the train home when I looked a few steps to my left at a girl who looked SUPER familiar. I got on the subway and realized that I did recognize her – she made it all the way to the final two in my all-time favorite season of America’s Next Top Model. After introducing myself via Twitter following our brief encounter, Joanie Dodds – runner-up of ANTM season 6 and now DIY Network TV star – agreed to answer a few short questions for me.
Read about her ANTM experience and her version of a perfect world here!
What have you been up to professionally since your time on America’s Next Top Model?
As soon as the show finished airing in May of 2006, I moved the very next day to Los Angeles. It was a great decision. I have never looked back. Granted, I had to sleep on couches and save up for a car over a few months, but I made it happen. I lived with Lisa D’Amato for about a year as well. She is amazing. I traveled in 2008-2010 to Hong Kong, Milan, Taipei, Seoul, Geneva and London to model. I am so happy I did that. What a wonderful time to experience life. In 2009, I started hosting a home improvement show called, “Run My Renovation” and now the show is in its 4th season! I’ve been really lucky.
What did being on ANTM teach you that either took you by surprise or challenged you?
ANTM taught me, most importantly, that this (modeling/TV) is a business. It’s tough, it’s political, it’s hypocritical, it’s a lot of NO’s and maybe’s and people blowing smoke up your a**. But just as equally, it’s a lot of the same from me. I had to get tough, get smart, and learn how to get my foot in the door and keep it there. I am glad ANTM was so eye opening.
What did you learn about yourself while on the show?
I believe the most important thing that I learned about myself was that I had a lot of growing up to do. I had no idea who I was or where I was going. I was closed minded, one sided, and felt “force fed” as far as beliefs and state of mind. I definitely had a small town mentality. So much has changed. I have most certainly opened my mind and my heart to so much, and have grown substantially.
It’s no secret that the world of modeling is full of pressure, stress and expectations – what makes it all worth it to you?
I think what makes it all worth it is the rush of performing. When you get booked and you walk into the room to begin the photo shoot or the runway show, the fun for me begins.. it’s all an adventure. A new makeup artist, a new hair stylist, a new photographer – all new people to experience. You become a character, a figure of their imagination. It’s very fun.
If you could say anything to a young girl aspiring to live in NYC for the very first time, what would you say?
Don’t be naive. My third day in the city for the first time (2001), I was approached by these two normal looking guys, who wanted to buy me coffee and told me that they wanted me to meet their friend who worked at VH1. They wanted me to follow them into some building. Something didn’t feel right. I saw a beat cop and asked for directions right in front of them, and they ran for it. I was lucky. Be safe, keep your guard up and stand by your morals.
Who do you look to in life for guidance, inspiration or a solid foundation?
I look toward some really great friends and to some authors. I don’t have a super strong family core, so my friends I hold very dearly.
What would a perfect day look like to you?
A perfect day would be a champagne brunch overlooking the beach, 76 degrees, hanging out with friends, then maybe some shopping, and a pedicure, and some sushi for dinner. I love to just relax on a perfect day.
Imagine you could change the world in any way you pleased (no financial or location constraints). What would you do first?
I would honestly make it so everyone was equal. Everyone could travel, everyone could eat properly, have water, and have similar amounts of money in their bank account. I can’t stand that 99% of us are barely making it, and not lucky enough to travel and experience the world. Its also a shame some people can’t eat at all.