Saturday, March 19, 2011
URBAN SATURDAYS EXCLUSIVES: INTERVIEW WITH SASHA SHANTEL BENNETT
Urban Saturday it is an we in the streets of London, hanging out with the lovely Sasha shantel Bennett. Sasha is a UK model, presenter, writer, editor and business woman. Model managed by Pink ‘N’ Black Entertainment, Sasha is sponsored by American clothing brands “Babyphat” and Apple bottoms clothing and Sleek hair. After winning Miss Flavour 2008, Sasha became a well-known figure head within the industry mainly for her strong work ethics, positive attitude and the support she shows others around her. She’s is an editor for Inbox magazine and also editor and C.E.O of her own positive lifestyle magazine InspireLS. Join us on the quest as we find out more about this multi-talented Super Woman...
UVB: Hi Sasha, i want to thank you for creating time to do this. How are you?
Sasha: I'm great thanks for asking.
UVB: Tell us about yourself? Where are you from originally? And what was it like growing up in your neighborhood?
Sasha: Well I am a writer and editor of two online magazines- the first is called In-spireLS it is a magazine dedicated to promoting positivity and the talents of others. The second is a men's lifestyle magazine called Inbox and it covers all of the elements a man magazine needs including articles on gadgets, career, sport, finances and gorgeous women!! I am also a model I have modeled since 2007 and I have achieved a great deal to date. Right now, things are moving faster now I am under management. I have been signed to PinknBlack events since December and since then I modeling has been coming back into the foreground. I have just completed a major photo shoot for my official website http://www.sashashanteluk.com launching in April. It will my modeling, writing work and a number of other special projects.
UVB: What inspired you into the modeling industry? What was your experience like on your first shoot?
Sasha: I got into modeling because it looked exciting and I knew it would help me get out of my shell! So far, so good. My first shoot was for a urban magazine that was around at the time in the UK called RTW Magazine. It was a great opportunity and from that very first shoot, things have progressed further. I have done a great deal since that first shoot in 2007. It was very scary at first and because there was so many women in the room. It was slightly intimidating. But, it was that shoot that started me off, so I am very thankful for that.
UVB: How long have you been modeling? What was your first big break, and do you think that has accelerated your career as a model?
Sasha: I have been modeling since 2007, since that point I have modeled for a number of clothing brands, featured within online and print publications, won a beauty contest and much much more. Although, I am not very tall, I have also got modeling work for high fashion and I have ventured into commercial modeling too. The plan is to keep moving in that direction. Since being signed to management, I have also secured sponsorship from two major clothing brands - BabyPhat and Applebottoms, as well as hair sponsorship from SLEEK hair. The plan is to get into more magazines and to expand my brand as much as possible. The sky is definitely the limit.
UVB: People tend to think modeling is all too easy booking shoots, posing for the camera and getting published. But they never really know the preparations, networking and work been put into it. Can you share with us and other upcoming models the challenges you have come across and how do you stay positive minded without letting all the drama get to you?
Sasha: I am always about remaining positive. This is probably why I created an online magazine that people can read to get inspiration and to get the push they need when things are not going as planned. Modeling is not easy. On my own, before having management, I did very well on my own and this was down to remaining respectful to all I came into contact with, researching those I was working with, expanding my portfolio and being open to trying to ideas and concepts and learning when to say know. Sometimes people offer you work, but do not want to pay you. The important part is that your know your own worth. Not being tall has always been a challenge; however, I refuse to be overcome by barriers. If you cannot do something- I could never be a catwalk model. The important but is that you work on what you can do and work at being great at it. Self-belief is what helps you to see past the challenges and to see opportunity in all obstacles. No one said it would be easy, but the truth is, deep down, would you really want it to be? What is most vital is that if you want to do something, you need to wholeheartedly believe in it, and then naturally everyone else will too!
UVB: In addition to modeling you’re also a writer, career adviser, mentor, presenter, editor for mens lifestyle magazine inboxmagazine...can you tell us more about inbox magazine and your column what is all about?
Sasha: I am the Editor of Inbox Magazine- a magazine for men that covers all areas of male lifestyle. It is for the male who wants more out of life and wants to improve and enhance every area of their lives. I have been blessed to be apart of this project and it is nice to be recognized for my writing skills/talents too. My main job is to edit the content of the submissions made by my Inbox Writing team. I will also be writing an Editors page and when possible conducting face-to-face interviews with the best artists within the Urban industry. I have experience in Presenting, something I would like to do more of this year. I also work as a Careers adviser- this helps me get the money to achieve my dreams and luckily I'm pretty good at it too.
UVB: And you also C.E.O of your own positive lifestyle magazine In-spireLS. What inspired you into branding your own lifestyle magazine, and could you tell us more about it...the features, interviews and different columns?
Sasha: In-spireLS is different to other online magazines. 100% dedicated to highlighting the good people are doing. Too many magazines sell gossip and although if we be honest, negativity sells, there is a definite market for positivity. This is very big within the US but the UK are catching on. I thrive off celebrating the hard work of others and this magazine is a celebration of this. I started my own magazine because I desperately wanted a creative space where other writers could join with me in my vision. So far I have a team of 15 writers based within the UK and US who contribute on a monthly basis. The plan is to one day get the magazine in print. Until then we will be growing our fan base and readership. The magazine has sections including: Wonder woman, Supermen - these are interviews with female and male talent who are working hard within their chosen career field. 1 2 watch- a section dedicated to promoting up and coming talent, positivity articles, a poetry corner, book reviews, etc. The sections are endless and it's only going to get better.
UVB:Do you feel like you living a dual personality a 9-5 job and you modeling on the side. And how do you manage both from clashing with each other?
Sasha: Modeling happens evenings, weekends, and if I need to book leave or time off this is always done without an issue. I cannot say I am a MODEL because that would be my full time career. I say instead that I can model and when I do, I get and accept only paid work.I work on a number of projects at once and often suffer from a lack of sleep. The truth is, you need to be passionate about what you are doing. When you are not born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you need to make the opportunities happen. I work around it because I know that I will get the end result I have been working on for years.I don't have a dual personality, because these are all sides of me. I am a multi-faceted individual- no alter egos needed. :)
UVB: The biggest misconception about me is...?
Sasha: That I am stush. Or that I only date white men! The amount of times I have heard this!
UVB: People would be surprised to know that...?
Sasha: Even after all the things I already do I still have more skills and talents! all will be revealed.
UVB: When you not in front of the cameras working the set, writing or on a job what do you do?
Sasha: I read magazines- I buy around 5 weekly. I am a blogger and I also contribute to other online sites. I love fashion and am a self-confessed spender when it comes to buying clothes and make up. I love eating out and networking events. That's me to a tee!
UVB: Whats the first thing women compliment you for when you strutting your booty down the streets? What part of your body gets more attention from guys?
Sasha: My bust and backside. I look very slim, but I am blessed with ample amounts of both!
UVB: Whats the craziest thing a fan has done to get your attention? And what would be the appropriate way to get your attention suppose someone was tryna get with you?
Sasha: I have great supporters and luckily I only get collages made of my images and shout outs on TWITTER- check back in on me if I get more famous! To get my attention, just carry yourself with respect and treat me like a lady- that's all I ask for.
UVB: What features do you find most attractive in men or women?
Sasha: In men, a good smile, a defined body, a great personality and brains. They NEED to have ambition too.
UVB: Is you single or taken? If taken how does your man handle the drama you get from modeling and if not how would you react supposing you was dating someone who couldn't deal with all that?
Sasha: It's complicated right now. But, the main answer to this is, I do what I want to do. Accept me or walk. We only live once, I want to live a colorful life with no regrets.
UVB: What are your guilty pleasures you cant live without?
Sasha: sweets. This goes to explain why I always have toothaches!
UVB: Some athletes do breathing exercises before the big game, some people take a 5 hour energy drink before the meeting. How do you get ready for a big shoot? Is there a special ritual you have?
Sasha: I play music that will make me happy and excited. All my favorite tracks get played on my ipod. Good music always get me revved up!
UVB: What projects have you been apart of? And what projects should your fans be on a look out for?
Sasha: There are a number of online features my management are working on. I am working on expanding the magazine and launching another venture with a family member. I will be expanding on my role as Editor of Inbox magazine. Launching my website, bringing to light another talent of mine that I recently discovered and resuming my studies to become an exercise teacher! In terms of what I did previously google me! you will be surprised!
UVB: Speaking of projects, the buzz around is your website would be launching soon, can you feel us in on all the juicy bits to expect?
Sasha: It's my creative space, featuring press cuttings, behind the scenes footage, blogs, new photo sets, links to my writing and much much more. You won't get bored of this site in the slightest.
UVB: Where can the readers and fans find you online?
Sasha: Keep up with me and my work on the following links.
UVB: Final words to fans?
Sasha: Thanks to everyone who reads this inteview and thanks to urbanvixens for featuring me!
And here is a little video teaser for you readers of the lovely Sasha Shantel Bennett
Interview by Dani Reid
Default photo courtesy of Koshmophotography
And special thanks to Katie Ryan and Pink N Black Entertainment
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