Models

South African Interviews

Tamika Interviews Grant Ross


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Arriving at Seapoint’s very cosmopolitan little café, Giovanni’s, I am met with the confident and good-looking smile of local actor and personal trainer, Grant Ross. Fresh from his trip to India for an acting job, the newlywed looks the perfect picture of health, wealth & happiness. We order our cappuccinos and I begin my interview:

Tamika: So we are both from PE! Where did you go to school there?

Grant: Yip, that’s correct! I went to Alex.

Tamika: And when you left school, what did you do? Did you come straight to Cape Town?

Grant: Yes. I studied my degree in Live Performance at AFDA and found myself doing a lot of modelling on the side! Acting is my passion, so after my degree I enrolled in some courses to hone my craft. I did classes through my previous acting agent, Samantha Bernhardi, and I also did Bjorn Steinbach’s course in the Meisner technique. I took his classes for a year.

Tamika: Brilliant! So that was your training for acting?

Grant: Yes.

Tamika: What would you say it is that you do primarily?

Grant: Acting for film. But I love all forms of acting. Currently I’ve been getting a lot of work in creature performing. I’m also a personal trainer at the Virgin Active gym in Greenpoint. I did modelling also for many years but put that on hold. Now I’m slowly getting back into it.

Tamika: What are some of your most memorable roles?

Grant: A Portugese TV series that I did. I played a South African cop. That was shot in 2008 here in Cape Town. It was called Despertar. I also love my ‘creature performing’, which is actually what the job I did up in India entailed. Think ‘Gollum’ in Lord of the Rings! A documentary I was involved in a while back also stands out for me. It was shot in 2007 here in Cape Town. It was called The Sinking of the Lusitania. I played a British TV reporter.

Gollum from Lord of the Rings

Tamika: Have you done any commercials?

Grant: Yes I have. Coca-Cola, Spur, T-Com & Tiger beer stand out.

Tamika: Have you won any awards?

Grant: Yeah sure, at school I was nominated with my colours for drama, at AFDA I was the only actor nominated for the Dean’s list in my 3rd year. I was nominated for ‘Best Supporting actor in a 3rd year film’ whilst only in 2nd year and won the award for best play in 2nd year, where i played 3 characters in a single play. I was also nominated as ‘Best Presenter’ in South Africa for the KTV Yamaha Young Talent Presenter Search a few years back.

Tamika: What’s in the pipeline for you at the moment?

Grant: Well I have the premier in Durban for the Bollywood Film Action Entertainment I was just recently in. I did creature acting in that – I played an Animatronic Gorilla! I’ve also written my own short film as well as been approached to star in 2 other scripts currently under development. And, of course, personal training takes up a lot of my time.

Tamika: Who is your agent?

Grant: Paula Pursch.

Tamika: Do you also model?

Grant: I did model but I realised that I was working more as an actor and therefore wanted to focus more of my time on the one thing that I am more passionate about – acting. I will be looking into it again in the near future.

Tamika: What are your favourite South African films?

Grant: The Gods Must Be Crazy, There’s a Zulu On My Stoep, Mr Bones, Tsotsi, Faith like PotatoesDistrict 9, Invictus.

Tamika: Where do you party, usually?

Grant: To be totally honest, I’m all partied out. I started quite young – having an older brother and sister – so I’ve pretty much done it all and experienced all that nightlife has to offer. Don’t get me wrong though, I love a good jam when I get the chance to. There’s nothing better than to let your hair down and jam to one of Avicci’s tracks – that man is a legend! But I have definitely become somewhat of a chilled out person, so where I used to party hard, I now enjoy watching a great movie, writing scripts, reading a good book and focusing on how I can gain more knowledge to push myself further into reaching my goals. I really enjoy my sleep now hey, I mean seriously! It’s like just thinking of going out jolling after working so hard just doesn’t sit well with me. I know I sound like such a bore…. it’s just, well, time is precious and I’d like to use it wisely. Getting my sleep in gets me prepared for a productive day ahead!

Tamika: What’s in the boot of your car right now?

Grant: oh, um…bags, clothes and training gear. There’s also boxing gloves, skipping ropes and a gear lock – cant be too careful hey 🙂

Tamika: Do you have siblings?

Grant: Yes I do. I have a sister in London and a brother in Cape Town.

Tamika: What does your family do?

Grant: My brother Craig is a sound engineer and my sister works as an assistant for Corporate and Investment Bankers in the UK. My mother is now the underwriting manager of Mutual and Federal in Port Elizabeth. My father, Ronnie Ross, who is not with us anymore was a man of many talents. He was an actor, singer, TV presenter, radio presenter, rally car driver and a business man. Where my mother was an actress, dancer and a singer.

Tamika: What is your health routine like?

Grant: I’m a health fanatic, period. I love exercise and I am very careful with what I eat. I usually train 5 – 7 times per week, this involves weight training and high intense and low intense cardiovascular workouts such as swimming, running, and hiking. I follow a strict eating plan during the week and on weekends I let myself go a little so as to enjoy what life has to offer. I find that a healthy balance is very important in life.

Tamika: Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

Grant: To be honest, I would love to see myself working consistently in my industry, where I do not have to worry about where the next paycheck is coming from. I would love to be working in my own country as an actor and seeing the industry and culture grow  alot bigger. I would also love to have a family with 2 kids and travel the world giving them what I was not fortunate enough to have as a child.

Tamika: What is something interesting about you that your followers don’t know?

Grant: God is the center of everything in my world. I draw my strength from Him. Also… I’m afraid of the dark and I’ve never eaten a tomato in my life! I love kids and I am addicted to computer games. I built my first computer at 14. I know…GEEK!

Tamika: Haha! Name a place you love.

Grant: I have only ever been to London and India and India takes the cake. It’s amazing to see how different their culture is. The food is out of this world and there is such a variety of dishes. Their film culture is also massive! They are shooting 300 full length features a year, which means that there is so much work for actors that side. Even though they are so poverty stricken, they are a country that is still so happy.

Tamika: Do you do any charity work?

Grant: I serve my community in a leadership position at a church in Sea Point called Life Church. We hold a youth games evening every Friday night for youth between the ages of 14 and 18 years old, where  we open our doors to any youth in the area no matter who it is and no matter how broken they are. We play games such as Xbox, table tennis, snooker and just really connect to build relationships so we are able to to speak into these kids’ lives and set them up on the correct path. Our aim is to keep them on the right track and off of the streets. So many of our youth today are  homeless, or without a father and/or mother. This often causes them to feel unloved… pushing them in the direction of gangs, drugs, alcohol and crime.  Our mission is to show them love and help them to understand that they are worth something and worthy of greater things by empowering them through the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

Tamika: What do you tell yourself when you walk out of an audition?

Grant: “You gave it your best, it’s not up to you anymore.” I don’t like to sit and think about it; I move forward and remain positive.

If you want to follow him on Twitter, he goes by @GrantRMross

You can also check him out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grant-RM-Ross/129728607119416

❤ My Work, Modelling

Top Model at The Hilton in London


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Being in the heart of London as a South African representative for Top Model 2012 was a huge honour for me. The whole experience was something I looked forward to for quite some time! All in all it was two weeks in the UK – one of which was entirely dedicated to the runway show and its surrounding PR and events. What a fabulous adventure it was. Held at The Hilton Metropole in London, the show featured models from all around the world showing the designs of renowned designers & labels. These included Gianni Lilliu, Luna Sky, Analili New York by Daisy & Mac Bermuda, Fabryan, Eva Grygo, Wot The Frok by Naomi Quarrinton, Garcia by Daisy & Mac Bermuda, Remus Uomo, Gingerbread and Omar Mansoor, who showed at London Fashion Week 2012.

Probably my favourite evening leading up to the show was the VIP Pre-show launch party held at a nightclub in SOHO. It was such a radical nightclub! I loved the floor. Everyone was there – models, judges, sponsors, stylists – and we all just met each other and partied the night away.

The theme was “Naughty or Nice” and, well, I bought some devil horns, a bowtie and a tail:)

The winner was an awesome girl from Nigeria, Tarmar, who I became great friends with!

See another article I wrote about my time in London: Here We Go, London, as well as some incredible things I’ve been involved with since: My Adventures Since London. I had an amazing time in the UK. On one of the days we managed to go to Buckingham Palace –

I thought I saw Harry peeking out from one of the rooms….!

A few days after jet-setting home, I had to down a Redbull and take myself off to The Loop Nightclub in Cape Town to MC the Traffic Clothing Winter Collection Fashion Show. This time I was behind the microphone and not on the runway 😛 It was a show put on by Younique Concepts – started by one of South Africa’s top female DJ’s Vanessa Holliday, in this pic below. Also in the pic below is the owner of The Loop nightclub, Mark Lifman. It was an incredible event run by a very efficient and professional group of people – all at Younique Concepts. There was a HUGE crowd and amazing music by Monique Pascal which the 10 models supplied by Twenty Management modeled to. There were brilliant prize give-aways from the likes of Rikkis Taxis, Traffic clothing and the Pepper Club amongst others. Sponsors/contributors for the night included GQ and Glamour Magazines, Redken, Gordon’s Gin, Vida e caffè, Le Chocolatier, Soft Lips and more….

Brand Promos

The FCM Fashion Party March 2012


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The FCM Fashion Party held at Club 169 on Longstreet this past Saturday night was a huge success. Arriving to a glass of champagne and a leopard print goodie bag filled with delights – including the latest copy of the Marie Claire magazine, a lip gloss, a sparkling water, free beauty treatments and more – I was impressed with the party that was awaiting me.

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South African Interviews

Tamika Interviews Justin Munitz


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Arriving at Salt Deli in Bantry Bay (a little late I must admit), I’m greeted by the charming smile of my next actor… Justin Munitz.

Actor, model and entrepreneur, he has done loads of commercial work and had his first film debut last year. He’s travelled to Paris, London, Berlin and Milan for modelling and studied acting at New York’s famous William Esper Studio.  Now actively involved in the film industry here in Cape Town, I met up with him to find out a bit more.

Tamika: So where are you from originally?

Justin: Cape Town.

Tamika: Where did you go to school?

Justin: Herzilia High.

Tamika: What did you do after school?

Justin: I studied Marketing and Economics at UCT for two years and then did four years through Unisa. I finished in 2003.

Tamika: What kind of training did you do for acting, if any?

Justin: I actually first got into the scene through a modelling agency. The first ever modelling agency I belonged to was ‘Goodski’ – for extreme sports. That was my first introduction to TV Commercials. That spawned a haphazard modelling career for years, where I changed agencies a couple of times and travelled around Europe! But there came a time when I realised I started booking more commercial work than print work and it was through the commercials that I realised that acting was what I wanted to do. At 29, I attended the Screen Actor’s Studio here in Cape Town for a year. I also did workshops with Bjorn Steinbach. And I took myself to New York to do their Summer Intensive programme at the William Esper Studio. Along with practical experience, those were the places where I honed my acting skills.

Tamika: What would you say it is that you do primarily –acting for theatre or for film?

Justin: I am acting mostly for commercials these days. But of course film and television are what I’m focused on.

Tamika: Name your most recent role – what film was it, when was it and what was your role?

Justin: Ambassador 2, featuring my good friend Siv Ngesi, last year (2011). I played a corrupt businessman involved in illegal ivory poaching. We shot at a game reserve in Pietermaritzburg as well as in Cape Town.

Tamika: Have you done any commercials? If so, what?

Justin: Yes I have. I’ve done mostly car commercials; including for the BMW M3, Opel, Audi and VW. Then there has been for LG here in South Africa and LV Insurance in Europe. And recently there’s been Black Label and Nescafe Gold.

Tamika: What is the most recent you have done?

Justin: A Miller’s commercial.

Tamika: What’s in the pipeline for you at the moment?

Justin: Continuing with castings and auditions for film and television. Aside from that, what keeps me most busy is my photography work. I started a business called “#justshootme” and my main niche at the moment is new born babies and events. I have a Facebook page for my photography where people can go check out my work if they like! My website is hellobaby.blogspot.com. Apart from photographing and editing, I’m also a personal trainer – people come to my studio here in Bantry Bay and I do what is known as “High Intensity Interval Training”.

Tamika: Who is your agent?

Justin: APM since 2010.

Tamika: Do you also model?

Justin: Yes I still do, with Pure Management.

Tamika: What are your favourite South African films?

Justin:  Heel Against The Head, starring Bill Flynn and Paul Slabolepszy.

Tamika: Where do you party, usually?

Justin: Caprice and The Reserve.

Tamika: What’s in the boot of your car right now?

Justin: A sandbag weight to hold down my lighting equipment!

Tamika: Do you have siblings?

Justin: Yes I do; an older brother – the best life coach in South Africa.

Tamika: What is your health routine like?

Justin: Very good. My personal training obviously helps with that.

Tamika: Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

Justin: In terms of acting, I think the South African industry is in its infancy for film. If it continues at the level it’s going, hopefully in ten years it will have the infrastructure to support my acting goals.

Tamika: What’s one interesting thing about you that your followers don’t know?

Justin: I can be quite shy.

Tamika: Name a place you love.

Justin: Clanwilliam.

Tamika: Do you do any charity work?

Justin: I plan on getting more involved with charity in 2012.

Tamika: What do you tell yourself when you walk out of an audition?

Justin: I keep a journal and write down every casting I go to and how I felt about it.

If you want to follow him on Twitter, he goes by @JustinMunitz.

You can also check him out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/justin.munitz or  #justshootme

Brand Promos

The FCM Fashion Party in Longstreet


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So the big event right now on everyone’s lips is the up-coming FCM Fashion Party. In case you didn’t know, ‘FCM’ stands for “Ferial’s Closet Makeover” – a Couture designer label, hot on the South African scene. All clothes are designed by the talented and sassy Ferial Dawood.

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❤ My Work, Microphone, Modelling, On-Camera

On-Goings in the Film Industry


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Blue Bikini + Blonde Hair

So things in the film world have certainly heated up and I’ve gotten quite a bit of work as well as gone to a great deal of castings and auditions in the past two months. One thing about being an entrepreneur in this industry is you have to keep networking and keep going out and creating your own opportunities. Getting to castings through agents is awesome, but you can’t only rely on them. You have to get to know what’s going on in your city in your industry, and make sure you are attending those events and passing around your business cards! You have to use social media to spread awareness of your brand and your services. Don’t underestimate word-of-mouth. You have to keep up communication with old contacts and build up relationships with new ones.

  • Network
  • Create your own opportunities
  • Know what’s on in your city
  • Research
  • Business cards
  • Social Media
  • Communication
  • Relationships

For those of you who are wondering what a casting looks like, well this is it. In Cape Town, there are different casting studios around town.

Casting

I booked a commercial for Fortuneo bank in France which I shot two weeks ago – the product is a credit card. I really enjoyed it! Looking forward to more!

What I’ve also recently been busy with is shooting for “Death Race 3: Inferno”, the new instalment of the “Death Race” feature films. It’s directed by Roel Reiné and the screenplay is by Tony Giglio. The production company working on it here in South Africa is Moonlighting Productions (http://www.moonlighting.co.za/). My role in the film is a member of Olga’s Pit Crew. I met some of the actors starring in the film including Luke Goss and Danny Trejo. What great guys!

I’ve MC’d a couple of events in the past few weeks – one for a selection of up-and-coming designers in the “FCM Fashion Show” at the trendy ZAR nightclub here in Cape Town, and another for a Varsity College function. It was a group of students who were completing their final year practical assignment. For those of you who don’t know what “MC” stands for… it’s short for “Master of Ceremonies”.

Tamika Doubell

I really love MC’ing – I love organisation and structure, so overseeing that an event runs smoothly is my forté! It’s a very rewarding experience. For fashion shows specifically, I love helping the DJ select the playlist for each designer. I also love the research aspect of each designer and their label – their influences, their target market and how they got where they are. I enjoy communicating that to an audience as the models walk by. The welcome is my favourite part of the event, as it’s my job to set the mood for the night. What really works nicely is if the organiser has something to offer the guests such as canapés, cocktails, gifts or a raffle later on. I must say that being part of these events makes me want to be involved with event management! Looks like sooo much fun (although stressful, I’m sure) You can view all the pictures from the events here: FCM Fashion Show and Cutting Edge Fashion Show.

Tamika Doubell

On the modelling front, I recently did the summer shoot for the Longstreet Fashion Boutique here in Cape Town. I don’t think there is a more iconic street. They’ve just got new stock for their summer collection this season. One of my good friends, Nella Coetzer, took the snaps. You can click here and view them. What I love about the Longstreet brand is that it’s sassy, fresh, stylish & dynamic! It’s very colourful and vibrant..beautiful pieces for daytime. We shot in Longstreet and Kalk Bay. Shortly following the Longstreet campaign, I shot an editorial at a beach in Cape Town with local photographer Seagram Pearce.

Tamika Doubell

Blonde Hair Longstreet Cape Town

Windswept Cape Town

Sunset Beach Cape Town

❤ My Work, Microphone, Modelling

What ‘Season’ Means to Actors


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So we’re at the end of the year and I must say I’m quite excited for season to start here in Cape Town. That’s when a huge deal of castings and auditions happen every week, as filmmakers – local and international – flood to the mother city and start prepping for films and commercials they want to shoot over the summer months and even into next year.

On the voice side of things, I did a great voice over recording in a place called Milestone studios last week and I have another one this week for MWEB. The recording at Miletsone was for a new website where people can book online for restaurants. A very cool idea and the project is called “Come Dine” (www.comedine.co.za).

On the modelling side, I have a photo shoot coming up for a truly Cape Town brand of clothing called “LongStreet Fashion Store“. They are shooting for their new summer collection. I’ve done a shoot for them once before for their winter stuff and I really loved the pics!

❤ My Work, Modelling

Modelling a Philip Treacy hat!


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phillip treacy hat

I am modelling a hat by Philip Treacy this weekend! He has designed hats for Alexander McQueen’s white Haute Couture collection at Givenchy in Paris, for Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel and for Valentino, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan. Famous people who have worn his creations include Victoria Beckham, Kate Middleton, Sarah Jessica-Parker, Emma Watson and quite recently Princess Beatrice of York, who wore one to the Royal Wedding this year. In fact, 36 people wore one of his hats to the wedding. And this weekend, I join the list 🙂 The event is a Royal Tea in aid of ChildLine and Yokhuselo Haven for abused women. ChildLine is a free 24 hour counselling service for children and young people up to the age of 18. It deals with any issues which cause distress for children and young people, including child abuse, bullying, divorce, pregnancy and substance abuse. Children phone in and receive counselling. Counsellors listen and try and help the best way they can. Yokhuselo Haven is a haven for abused women. It aims to provide a shelter for women who are victims of domestic violence. The Royal Tea is a really fantastic initiative to raise money for these charities. The hat has to be auctioned off. I’m going to be very careful with it – the hat Beatrice wore to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding was sold for 81 000 pounds!

Phillip Treacy
Phillip Treacy
Phillip Treacy
Phillip Treacy
Phillip Treacy
Phillip Treacy
❤ My Work, Microphone

MC’ing at the Baxter Theatre


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I MC’d an event at the famous “Baxter Theatre” Cape Town. It was a fashion show. See their website here: http://www.baxter.co.za/

MC stands for “Master of Ceremonies”. This means it’s your job to host the event. This includes:

+ Welcoming the audience

+ Speaking about the clothing they are seeing, such as where it can be found.

+ Pumping up a crowd when the mood drops

+ Ending off the event doing all the Thank Yous and saying goodbye
Speaking to the crowd

There were great South African designers showcasing their work – including labels like LoveValerie, MeMeMe, NoNameAttached, Monsoon and Sissy Boy.

We as the MC’s were dressed by a well-known, trendy fashion boutique called Michiko London.

The vibe was very relaxed – people coming and going between designers – and I preffered it because I was quite nervous!

It was nice to have a co-host with me with whom to banter and have fun. Together we enjoyed the space, enjoyed the crowd and in fact I learnt a lot about local designers right here in CT!

Tamika Doubell and Laurian Nortje Kabongo

I found that I really enjoyed MC’ing/hosting. It’s good to do your research for this kind of job. Make sure you know all about the brands you are speaking about so you can be informed + give your audience the correct information.

Tamika Doubell and Laurian Nortje Kabongo

Another thing I am learning about this industry….. you need a CONSTANT flow of energy! Your energy and enthusiasm in such an instance directly influences a crowd, so you have to constantly be radiant and up-beat as you take an audience through different stages of an event.