Eric Bendross: I’m Eric Bendross and I’m here today with exceptional talent, Beautiful Model, Actress and Recording Artist: Dominique Reighard.
Dominique Reighard: Heeeeyy! (smiles and laughs) Thank you for having me.
Eric Bendross: Absolutely…Dominique, first I want to thank you so much because I know, literally, you just got off the plane from L.A. Thank you so much for giving us this interview. The first question I want to ask is: how did you get started in the business?
Dominique Reighard: You know what; I’ve always had a dream of modeling, acting-singer, just kind of being your ultimate entertainer and I just woke up one day and I said I’m going to do it! I’m going to follow the dreams that I had growing up as a little girl. And, you know, I think the most important thing in anything you want to do in life (is) do your research, study! …know everything you need to know about what it means to be in front of the camera as well as behind the camera, behind the scenes… And I studied, I started reaching out to people, I kept trying out for America’s Next Top Model. I think I tried out like six times and I kept… they kept telling me “no” and it got to the point where I would walk into the casting and I would know everybody and be like: “Hey, girl!...What you doing?!” “Yeah, I’m back again!” (laughing) So, keep trying…you know, as long as you keep moving forward and making steps, moving forward something will always pull through so consistency is the most important thing and doing your research. So, that’s where I started.
Eric Bendross: Now, you’re obviously a go-getter. I mean you just mentioned about how you tried out and tried out for America’s Next Top Model. What has been your motivation?
Dominique Reighard: I don’t want to have any regrets in life, everything I do in my life I begin with the end in mind. At the end of the day I want to say that I’ve lived this life to the fullest and did everything that I’ve ever dreamed of doing and more importantly I want to set that same example for other young girls out there as well as for my daughters. So, I know if I don’t follow my dreams and set the standard like up here (pointing upward) then I can’t expect them to do it (laughs) I’m all about producing results and doing the things that feel good and living my life with passion.
Eric Bendross: Absolutely…now, please share with us some of the experiences, the highlights of being on America’s Next Top Model?
Dominique Reighard: Well, I must say it’s a crash course of kind of what this industry is like in some regards…because yeah, you get criticized but you get criticized even worse in this industry. You know, I’ve gone to shoots and you think the judging panel on Top Model is bad you have no idea (laughs) it’s just…it’s life, you know, everybody is going to have an opinion… me, per se, you know, I’ve just been like a sponge, soaking it all in… you know, all the feedback; I’ve made it work for me and not against me …Tyra has really shown me how to just kind of step outside of the box as far as shooting and learning everything I need to know behind the camera as well as being in front of the camera. It’s a crash course of what this industry is like. It’s tough!… it just is what it is and it kind of got my feet wet with things. So, I would say Cycle 10; got my feet wet…modelville; okay, doing my thang! And then you know; All-Star Cycle: okay, that’s fine; I know what I can do! Tyra…if only she knew what she was creating over here (laughing).
Eric Bendross: Nice!... (laughing) So, tell us about the new single: “Main Chick”…?
Dominique Reighard: Yes! Main Chick is featuring one of my girl’s named Diamond from Crime Mob and it’s a fun, kind of like… I would say it’s Pop and it has that guitar and this little Rock-feel to it but you know, it’s saying I want to be your main chick! It’s a female speaking to her significant other as well as letting that other female know: “Hold up, Honey! I don’t know what you’re thinking but…” (laughs) So, it’s a fun song, I know a lot of females out there…we’ve all been in that situation before so I wanted something that the ladies could feel and that they would… you know, something for the ladies…like a lady’s anthem… like something that, you know, that I feel.. that “I’ve been in that situation” and “I understand”. And I think gentlemen can relate to that, too, as well but it’s a fun track. You know, I had fun working with Diamond and Derek Blanks shot the music video.
Eric Bendross: Nice, nice…it’s definitely about keeping it real…
Dominique Reighard: Most definitely! (exhales in a bit of laughter) I want my music to be stuff that people can relate to. It’s constantly evolving. You know, I have another single coming out called I Feel Like Someone Tonight and we’re working on that project right now and it’s…after listening to On Top of The World then Main Chick when you hear I Feel Like Someone Tonight; you’re going to be like “What happened?! Is that really her? Aww…hold up!” (both laugh) So, you know, I will say this: I’ve been very consistent at keeping that shock factor in everything I do… Because, you know, it’s unexpected…you just like: what is she going to do next? so…
Eric Bendross: Speaking of which; I mean you have these projects…any other projects? Films? Or…? Any more modeling? What’s down the road?
Dominique Reighard: Right now, I’m getting ready to tour and working on my album…be hitting up all of the Gay Pride Festivals and performing, you know, my two singles: On Top of the World as well as I Feel Like Someone Tonight which will be out soon. So I’m excited about that and I’m getting ready for that and… yeah, when I step out…!! (laughs) so, that’s what’s on my plate right now and there’s a lot of other projects in the works but that’s something I can speak on right now at that the moment.
Eric Bendross: Any particular photographers that you really enjoy working with?
Dominique Reighard: I work with Derek Blanks a lot in Atlanta. And I also work with Manny Roman, he’s in New York and he actually use to be from Miami (laughs), a Miami-based photographer and he’s in New York now. We have a great friendship and working relationship and I’ve worked with him over the past…oh, my gosh, I don’t even know how long… it’s been a long time! (laughs) but I’m open to working with new people and I work with new people all the time, I love shooting…every time I shoot I learn something more about myself. And it’s just something you can just keep pushing and I love being creative and becoming characters and just having fun, it’s fun for me it’s a great way to express however I’m feeling and artistically express it through shooting, you know, as well as I love writing and singing and that’s another form of expression for me so to combine the two; it’s fun!
Eric Bendross: How do you feel about being a role model for youth that have the same aspirations as yourself?
Dominique Reighard: It’s an overwhelming feeling. It’s a… You know, when I think about that before I go to sleep at night, it gives me that much more motivation to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning. (laughing joyfully) You know?!! And I love having that responsibility. I’ve always told a lot of my personal friends and family: you know, maybe one day I might be a motivational speaker. I have no idea. I’m just thankful that I have this platform and that Tyra’s given me this opportunity to have this platform for me to have a huge international fan base. And, you know, it’s an overwhelming feeling to know that people look up to me and there’s a lot of other young girls and young guys out there that look up to me. It’s a great feeling and it keeps me pushing to work harder and to do more and to be more not just for myself but for everybody else, you know? …just passing the inspiration on, it’s a domino effect or at least that’s what I’m trying to create.
Eric Bendross: And you mentioned your children…how’s the new addition doing?
Dominique Reighard: She’s doing very, very good. And she’s in Atlanta right now (laughs with delight).
Eric Bendross: Alright…and last question: how do you effectively balance family and career?
Dominique Reighard: You just gotta do it! You just…I just do it. I just go. My schedule gets hectic. Things get too crazy but I think... you know, I work really, really hard and I invite the challenge…it is a challenge but like anything in life; it’s also rewarding and you know, it’s so funny I’m working off an hour of sleep right now! (laughs) I said I only had an hour of sleep, I’m like: good LORD! (laughs) but no, you gotta just keep going! I mean that’s what life is about, you can sleep when you die and when you’re living your life with passion and more importantly on top of the world…I mean sleep doesn’t…where’s that in the equation? It’s not anywhere in the equation so, I just… I work really hard. I just keep going. And I’m blessed to have a family, I’m very blessed and... it gives me even that much more push to keep wanting to do more and to be more! And I invite the challenge (laughing) and I’m doing it!
Eric Bendross: Thank you so much, Dominique …truly appreciate it.
Dominique Reighard: Thank you!…appreciate it.
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