Erica: Southern Beauty & Charm

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(Erica—remember this name. She’ll be in major movies one day).
Where She’s From: This Montgomery, Alabama-born beauty, Erica Rutledge tells The Black Star News, “I was a military brat, so I grew up in overseas, Panama—Panama on base, then in the Deep South at a base in Columbus, Mississippi.�

She adds: “The most important advice my parents gave me was to always trust and obey God and to stay focused on whatever I want to accomplish, because it will happen. I just turned 24 years old in September. I’m a well-balanced Libra.� One look at Erica sums it all up.

She graduated from the University of South Carolina in December 2004 and received a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Theatre. “After I shot with photographer extraordinaire Paul Lawson, I began to build my portfolio and started to send out my pictures for castings,� she explains. “I started to get jobs and after posting his pictures along with other photographers that I’ve shot with, such as Majiq and Kevin Stewart, on Modelmayhem, Myspace, I even had clients contacting me for castings just from looking at my pictures. Promoting myself also helped me launch my career.�

Where She’s At: Erica has been familiar with the catwalk since her junior year of high school. Her persistence has paid off handsomely so far. She’s a GlamaGirl Promotional Model for Celebrity Model Photographer Shawn Dowdell’s GlamaGirl project. She was a feature model in Big Keyz’s music video, “Say What� and she dances with Complex Concepts, the renowned group, in Columbia, South Carolina. This past summer, Erica was featured in CandiJewels Magazine.

Erica looks forward to the heights she has yet to climb professionally. “I consider my career to be at the point before the peak or climax,� she says. “But it takes patience and dedication. I have a feeling that something great is going to happen soon!�

Where She’s Heading: Her plans are to get more involved in acting. Since her minor was in the Theatre, she’s been acting in plays since her preteen years. “My aspirations are to be on the cover, in the spread or feature of major national publication like BlackMen’s, King, FHM, Jet, and so forth,� Erica confides. “I hope to act in films directed by John Singleton, Clint Eastwood, and other groundbreaking directors.� Erica would prefer films that aren’t moneymakers, but ones that “make you think and appreciate the craft of theatre and acting.�

The entrepreneur in her also called for her owning a modeling agency, shooting models, and helping them develop their portfolio and place in the industry. “I deal with challenges in the modeling industry everyday and that’s just being patient and waiting on my big break,� Erica says. “It’s a tough business and you have to have tough skin to survive and I’ve learned that daily. I conquer this by having confidence in myself and never giving up when I’m ignored or told, ‘no.’�

“If you’re pursuing a modeling career you need brainpower and beauty,� Erica cautions. “Successful models like Tyra Banks, Melyssa Ford and Buffy the Body combine brainpower and beauty by being entrepreneurs and by venturing out and doing other projects, which rakes in more money for them. A model can be beautiful, but if she doesn’t have the brainpower to know how to promote herself and know the ins and outs of the business, then her looks alone are not going to help her succeed.� She adds, “Also a pretty model with a nasty attitude, and with no brainpower is a ‘Double No Succeed!’�

Erica’s Words Of Wisdom: “Believe in yourself first, because if you don’t then one else will!�

Erica’s Secrets Of Success: “Be professional, kind and humble at all times, because you never know who’s watching you or who may be standing right next to you. If they notice this then they may hook you up with a gig. I know this because I’m speaking from experience.�

Erica’s Favorite All Time Three Movies: “Love Jones,� “Magnolia,� and “The Shining.�

Erica’s Favorite All Time Three Books: “The Holy Bible,� “A Time to Kill,� and “Disappearing Acts.�

The First Three Things Erica Would Do As President: “Slowly start sending back troops from the war in Iraq—it’s pointless! Worry about our own problems and dilemmas before we stick our nose in other countries’ business, and try to stop the spread of AIDS.�

For more information on this beauty, check her out at

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