“Seven Questions with Cali”

— September 21st, 2006 —

I recently did an interview with this lovely lady by the name of Charlene (aka Cali). She was a delight to speak to. Found out that we had a few things in common. Not only does she like some of the same music, she’s a big martial arts flicks fan. So, I had to put her onto Tony Jaa and a few of his movies (Ong-Bak and The Protector).

Her interview has yet to run at HipHopDX.com, but I did convince her to do “Seven Questions…”

So with no further ado, heeeeerrrrrrreeeeeeeeee’ssssss Cali!!!!

 

RRR: If you could do any other profession other than what you’re doing now, what would it be and why?

Cali: I always wanted to be a veterinarian when I was younger just because I have a deep love for animals. Then I realized that not all situations in that profession end in happiness! I would probably go into a severe depression if an animal died under my hands. Yikes!

RRR: Being a model leaves you to be the subject of hate and speculation wherever you go. What has been one time where someone overstepped their place and you went Naomi Campbell on ‘em?

Cali: Well… I don’t feel that I’m at a level of being recognized as a model in public so it’s very seldom that I receive hatred off the bat like that. Now, when people are told or find out that I do model… the worst that has happened so far are just snickers or rude looks and that’s more so with women. Now with men, the worst has been obscene calls or texts. It gets irritating but I ‘m pretty calm for the most part. I don’t go off on anyone really and when I try, I end up saying something silly so no one takes it serious anyway [laughs].

RRR: It just seemed to be a coincidence (unless you’re stalking me) that we both ended up in New York at the same time. Can you go into a little bit of what you’re doing and what are your thoughts about NYC, since you’re coming from California?

Cali: I was out there to visit friends for the most part. It was a highly anticipated visit. From the small dose that I was able to take in, NYC is a great place, very alive, good times shopping, and a lot of attractive men. Not better or worse but there’s still no place like home.

RRR: The “urban” modeling scene is different in comparison to those of mainstream pageants. The “picturesque” woman is a totally alternate vision as to what we like to see. But knowing that probably didn’t limit your goals of wanting to be a model on the pages of Vogue. Name one time where someone in the modeling biz tried to smash your aspirations and what do you believe you’ve done so far to prove the doubters wrong?

 

<>Cali: Of course, as a young kid that was all I saw, Vogue Magazine and supermodels were “the video chicks” of that time. I am well aware of my physique and where it will work in this business and where it will not. So, I never dared to step to a huge fashion modeling agency and that’s not what I wanted to do when I got into the biz. However… even doing the urban modeling thing, I have ran into a few people who have said I didn’t have what it takes to get into videos or magazines and that I should just resort to porn. No… I don’t find myself trying to prove those doubters wrong. I do what makes me happy and I do what I feel will benefit me and hopefully others in a positive light. Doubters will be there regardless so I try my best to not invest in them.

<>RRR: Albeit that you’re single, beauty still attracts. Adding to that that you are a model, people can see all that you’re working with through your pictures and whatnot. I’m sure the celebrity’s come knocking. Who, in the industry, has ever tried to get on with you and were they successful in doing so?

<>

Cali: I’m not really out there like that to be honest. But living in Los Angeles, you can’t help but to run into a few people. I won’t give names but there have been a few. Some were comedians and there were a few who are NBA players in the league. They weren’t super successful, it was mostly just handshakes and hugs.

<>RRR: In your “About Me” section on your MySpace, you say that you want to be an “inspiration” to others through your modeling. How do you plan on achieving that goal? Also, what trials and tribulations have you went through in order to inspire those who wish to follow in your footsteps to a better path?

<>Cali: I plan to do it by not being conformed to just bootie shots. I am an artist too, I love to draw and I have done modeling work on more of an artistic avenue. So I want to show people that having a range is great and it can work. I want people to know that bringing a little bit of your own “self” into your work can be just as attractive and even more so meaningful.

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RRR: A lot of things are happening out here in the world. Most of us, young black folks, aren’t being hip to what’s going on – choosing to look at BET and MTV for our news. Do you believe that such a lack of knowledge of what’s happening can cripple us, as a race? If you do, and since you want to be an inspiration to others, what could you do to help aware our younger generation to what’s good?

<>Cali: I agree with that and yes I do believe that it’s crippling us as a people. No matter the race. Since television is never going away, I feel that we need to make a better effort in using it as an educational tool. Try to make it work for our advantage. Play CNN in the class rooms, cafeterias, and the workplace. I think parents should reach for documentaries and books instead of rewarding kids with sneakers and video games. You just need enough to spark that conversation and maybe that will generate movement. What’s going on in the world is definitely not all positive but I feel that people need to be aware and grasp an understanding to why things are going on.

<>I feel that we as a people have settled a bit, consumed with the materialistic and unreal. We have become afraid of having our own opinion, debating and comfortable in thinking what we know is just enough. I myself try to get involved in promoting or doing events that are for foundations or causes I support. Using the internet as an aid, I sometimes post blogs or bulletins on topics I feel are important; from global to community issues, news, health and even well being. Outside of that, my family and I send money to the Philippines to help build homes for the poor. I plan on extending that to helping kids go to school… especially my relatives there. That’s how I hope to inspire. Since moving to the South, I hope to get involved in some volunteering as well.

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14 Responses to ““Seven Questions with Cali””

  1. Cali Says:

    Hi Kev. Thanks again. Haven’t been to Best Buy yet to buy those movies but im on it!

  2. Audrey Says:

    She’s both brains and beauty and she ought to be a role model to several young girls out in the world now-a-days. From the picture, Charlene (aka Cali) is, as you can all tell, a gorgeous girl but from her interview you can really see how her personal qualities is just as beautiful as her outer appearance. Good luck with everything. I hope it all turns out well for you no matter where life takes you, you deserve it. Miss you girl!

  3. Patrice Says:

    Cali is GORGEOUS!!! She is a strong black woman and knows exactly what she wants out of life. Most of the female models today are pretty much clueless with nothing else to offer. She is the complete opposite. Cali’s a platinum package!!! I say handle your business girl and continue to stay focused.

  4. Joe Says:

    Ong-Bak was tight. Dude is off the hook. He should have asked more questions to show how artistic and intelligent you are. I know you tried to put it out there and he should have caught on to it and asked more about it instead of who is hating on you and which celebs have tried to holla at you. Still a good interview though.

  5. Andre' Says:

    Great interview. I feel that it shows all aspects of Ms. Charlene. From your beauty, to your artistic side, and also including your intelligence and concern for world issues. Please continue to move forward no matter where you are: East Coast, Down South, or here, home on the West Coast.

  6. Devonte' Says:

    Damn girl… your picture shows how beautiful you are, but the interview just shows there is more to beauty that whats on the surface. It’s amazing what insights you can gain about a person even from the shortest of interviews. Keep it up!!

  7. mariana Says:

    Cali,

    just wanted to let you know I read over this interview, compared it with the DX interview, and was pleasantly surprised. The DX interview did your views no justice, which sadly enough is done too frequently these days. Also girl, that picture right up there, you know the one minus the professional lighting and all that stuff does you just as much justice IF NOT MORE than those ones on DX. Just remember that. I respect your views, I might not agree with everything you do, but I just ask that you put extra effort into spreading ideas like this out. Don’t let people cut out the real talk when you say it.
    Just like I tell everybody I know, say what you gotta say loud and proud or else you’re just wasting good ideas.

  8. Alicia Says:

    I say she is really really unattractive. And she isn’t profound either.

  9. J Says:

    Her Beauty only compliments her Intelligence, how often can you say that! Fact of the matter is Cali’s a beautiful person in every sense of the definition. If you can’t see the depth and insight that she clearly has, then you’re either not paying attention, or just don’t want to see. Regardless I’m feel her words are thought provoking and inspirational. And she’s a dyme! Too Bad DX couldn’t capture Calis greatness the way this interview did.

  10. jacklyn Says:

    i love you char!

  11. jacklyn Says:

    i love you char! southern cali misses you!

  12. COUSIN JACKIE Says:

    my lil cousin has brains and beauty i looove you and miss you everyday..

  13. SLAYER Says:

    Yea, i went to school with her. shes a little bit of alright. but im radical, huh ms. banks? jokes.

  14. aunt dee Says:

    char as always I’m so proud of you…people will hate regardless that is why we are living in this kind of world but the way you respond makes the difference..Do what you doing and keep up the good work ..I wish this people will have the chance to know who you really are ..take care always and we miss you…mahal na mahal ka namin

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