Story and interview by Matthew Shack
Ivonnah Erskine...Ivonnah Erskine...Ivonnah Erskine. (Slowly shaking head and smiling)
Personally, I am going to enjoy writing this story much more than most.
Why? Because...WE knew Ivonnah before she "blew up like napalm".
YOU know her from some of the HOTTEST videos to date:
Method Man & Busta Rhymes' "What's Happening", Avant's"Read Your mind", Ghostface Killah & Missy Elliott's, "Tush",Twista & Kanye West's, "Overnight Celebrity", Keyshia Cole's,"I Should've Cheated, Jay-Z's, "Excuse Me Remix", T.I.'s, "What You Know", Sean Paul's, "Like Glue", and as the lead in Tony Yayo & G-Unit's, "I Know You Don't Love Me".
She been featured in Maxim, King, Vibe, XXL, Stuff, Black Men's and...The Flow.
Ivonnah is currently starring in Nick Cannon's new sketch comedy, "Short Circuitz" and has been on the hit show, "Wild N' Out" for all three seasons.
Ivonnah is not only a friend of ours...
She is a genuine and unique person who believed in herself enough give The Heisman to the naysayers, move from New Haven, Connecticut to L.A. with nothing more than a dream, a beautiful face and a boatload of acting ability. She is the perfect example of "the girl next door" who went to Hollywood and got discovered.
Now?...She's a star!
*A very special shout out goes to Arica Adams over at Hazel Eyez Modeling for all of her love and support to us and representing "our girl", Ivonnah to the fullest.
TFM: In a short period of time, it seems like you’ve done quite a bit in the video industry and you have now segued into television. Tell us a little bit about how easy or difficult it was to go from one art form to the next.
IE: I hate giving this answer because it was really easy for me, but it was only because of my situation and how I met Nick. Usually, it would be a lot tougher [to accomplish] because it’s really not easy to go from one to the other unless you have a really strong team or something behind, pushing you that I really don’t have myself.
TFM: Please explain the normal process of things in this regard for a comparison
IE: Specifically the auditioning process is pretty tricky because there are a lot of pretty girls and a lot of talented girls, especially out here in L.A. Everyone comes here to be an actor, model or singer. So you would have to put up with that and tricky auditioning processes and waiting for people to call you back. Then after calling you back, you have to go in for a second interview and things of that nature.The fact that I work on two of Nick’s shows, it was easy for me to go from one show as one of the models, to him saying, “Ok, Vonn you can act, come on and do some sketches on this show.” As where someone else would have had to go though the whole audition process.
TFM: In regard to your video career, was it similar? Did it fall in your lap as well?
IE: I went on one audition and I went to see this lady who I had met whose kids were to be featured in a lot of commercials and stuff like that. She took me to her kids’ agent in New York and like the next day, they called for me to go on an audition for a video. I went and I booked it. And I booked the lead in my first video. So once you book leads, they just always hire you for that you know what I mean?
TFM: Well, life isn’t meant to be fair you know? (Laughing)
IE: (Laughs) I met Nick in an IHOP in Houston…literally. When my friend started working for him, [Nick] remembered my face. From not even meeting him..I saw him in IHOP and he said I had a “bad attitude” but I was just hungry. And he literally remembered walking by me and saying “Hi”, and I said “Hi” and whatever. A year and a half later, my friend was his assistant and saw my picture in her portfolio and was like, “Oh, I’ve seen this girl before at IHOP.” And he was like “Tell her I want her to come and do the show.” So, that’s how I got, “Wild N’ Out”. Everything I’ve done have kind of been like an accident.
TFM: That sounds like that was SUPPOSE to happen. That doesn’t sound like an accident to me.
IE: Yeah, it was God’s plan, but I didn’t audition for it. A lot of girls ask me, “How was the audition process?” And I’m just like, “ I don’t know?” (Laughs)
TFM: Do you think that trend will continue with your acting career?
IE: I hope it does because I hate auditioning. But, I know I’m going to have to. (Laughs) It’s a like trickier to get into the movies.
TFM: Out of your whole collective work, what do you consider to be your best?
IE: Hopefully my best will be "Short Circuitz" because it’s actually me acting. The show is like, In Living Color or Mad TV. So it’s me playing a few different characters.
TFM: What do you consider to be your best physical feature?
IE: Hmmm...my lips or my legs. It’s a cross between the two.
TFM: How tall are you?
IE: I'm 5’7.
TFM: What are your measurements?
TFM: What pet peeves do you have regarding men?
IE: Men that don’t have manners. Men that don’t know how to be gentlemen. Men you have to coach and train.
TFM: Give us one of your "patented" beauty secrets.
IE: I use Vitamin E on my eyes; I look like a grease ball every night when I go to sleep.
TFM: What’s the worst pick-up line that's been tried on you?
IE: (In a man's voice) "I have a group and I have this video that they’re doing in a couple weeks…can I get your phone number?" (In her own voice) No…you can get my agent’s number. (Laughs)I get that a lot.
TFM: What advice would you give to all of those aspiring models out there, who are trying to follow in your footsteps?
IE: Work hard! Don’t let anyone discourage you and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it, because there are just being "haters".