Bounce Your Way To Success
Photos by Volker Fleck, HMU Ricardo Ferrise
Brande, welcome to the Kandy family. How did the shoot with Volker go? “It’s what I expected and more! I’ve always wanted to work with Volker and was happy that Kandy gave me the opportunity to do so”.
Brande Roderick broke onto the scene in 2000 when a competing magazine first opened the doors through which she would begin achieving her childhood dreams, “Being in Playboy was something I’ve wanted to do from a very young age. It’s almost a given that a young woman would aspire to be a Playmate when your mother tells you, you were named after a Playboy model.”
Leveraging the exposure she gained as a centerfold and cover model, Brande quickly began amassing acting credits, appearing in commercials, television series and films. “My first major network show was Beverly Hills 90210; that really started it off for me”, Brande recalls. Was she nervous at all stepping in front of the television camera? “I’m always nervous! I think when you want to do well at something there will always be nerves. I recently heard an interview with Alec Baldwin and he said that all great actors still get nervous; it’s what drives a great performance.”
What does Brande do when she is not in front of the camera? For starters, she is an author and in 2010 she wrote a book. “Bounce, Don’t Break is part advice and part memoir. It’s my guide to life, love, and success”, Brande says. “For many years, the younger Playmates had been coming to me for advice – career, relationship, health and beauty, etc … I decided to finally put it all down on paper. I really wanted to help the younger generation with my stories and past experiences so that maybe they could learn from the good things and avoid some of the bad things”. And the primary message Brande hopes someone would walk away with after reading her book, “I would hope that they would take away that you can reach any goal you set out to achieve, as long as you put the work and passion behind it”. [Editors note: you can purchase a copy of the book on iTunes, Amazon, BN.com or on Brande’s web site www.branderoderick.com.] If another book lies in Brande’s future it won’t be a sequel to Bounce, Don’t Break, “No follow up book, that book was a lifetime in the making. If I were to write another book, it would be a children’s book. I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book”, Brande states.
… We’ve patiently waited for the conversation to turn to the Donald. Mr. “You’re Fired” himself … Donald Trump! How did Brande handle the Donald? Was he the soft Donald when he fired Brande or was he the hard ass, you failed, get out of my boardroom Donald? “What you see is what you get with Donald. He doesn’t sugar coat anything. He’s a very honest and open man. I loved working for him. However, he does know how to make you sweat in the boardroom, he’s very intense. And yes the hair is real”. Ok, Brande, starting slow. Warming us up. Hair, nice. But what about those competitions, real or staged? “Everything you see on the show is real. Moods and egos etc. are heightened because of the tiring work schedule; therefore, people are bound to bite each other’s heads off. It’s inevitable”. Even the work days/work weeks? “It was a very intense 5 weeks. They work you on average 18 hour days, six days a week; we were all very exhausted by the end, but what a rewarding experience”…
Ah, but maybe Mr. Donald Trump has a soft spot as opportunity knocks twice for Brande. “I got an email from NBC producer Chuck Labella asking if I’d like to come back for All-Stars! Did he even have to ask?Of course I wanna come back! I was elated and overly excited! Ok, a second chance. First important decision, the charity. “I played for Promises 2 Kids.” Brande states. “I wanted to play for a charity that helped children … that are unable to help themselves. So, I researched all the local children’s charities and set out to tour facilities and meet some of the kids. I wanted to be able to see where the money was going. They are such a wonderful and loving organization. They are here in San Diego, helping foster children and severely neglected and abused children”.
Charity is chosen. Next plan of action what is going to be the strategy? “I decided to go in with guns loaded! I knew the competition would be fierce. So I went back and watched over 70 hours of CA episodes to size up my opponents and prepare myself for all the possible tasks that may be thrown my way”. And fierce it would be as they brought in Omarosa! What was Brande’s take on Omarosa? “… Omarosa plays the villain very well; it’s what made her a star so of course she had to come back and play the part. Was it hard to play with the villain on your team? Absolutely. But, in the end, it is just a game and the truth of the matter is that, now after the show is over, the cast member I see the most is Omarosa. We actually work together a lot”.
She’s got Omarosa on board. How did CA All-Stars turn out for Brande? “The two times I was project manager I had the misfortune of going up against the person who won all-stars and the runner up, Trace Atkins and Penn Gillete. That being said, Trace and I made history by raising the most money on the show, up to that date”.
… Does she ever hear from any of them? What do you say Brande? “I stay in touch with most of them. Marilu Henner, Claudia Jordan, Latoya Jackson, Dennis Rodman, Lil’ Jon, and of course Omarosa”. Could the third time on CA be the charm? Would she even go back for another round with The Donald if they called? “Absolutely! No question”! Well, we guess that answers that.
… Women love their shoes. Trust us on this. So naturally when we heard Brande was in the shoe business we had to know why. “A friend of ours Michael Lamb loved the shoes and he had to wait until he went to Italy and he would stock up on them because they didn’t sell them here in the US. Well, he got sick of having to go to Italy for his favorite shoe so he asked a group of us if we wanted to set out on this adventure with him by bringing Pantofola D’oro to the States; we fell in love with the shoes and said yes!
Brande’s business interests do not end with shoes. She loves her water, especially the alkaline water. “My manager knows I’m into living an alkaline lifestyle and brought the water to my attention. I didn’t even know they made bottled alkaline water therefore I was very excited about it. He contacted Alkaline88 and told them how much I loved their water and asked if they would consider working with me. And, obviously the answer was yes”! Alkaline water is very trendy right now and there are quite a few of them out there. What drew Brande to this particular brand? “Alkaline88 is the very first and only bulk alkaline water on the market. Therefore, the cost is less than all the other brands and you’re saving the environment by using less plastic. Since I started drinking Alkaline88 I noticed my skin is more hydrated. I have more energy and it helps with my heartburn. And, the best part is that it helps me to feel full through the day, not to mention I love how clean and smooth it is”.
As we mentioned earlier, Brande is involved with a San Diego charity called Promises 2 Kids, their web site is www.promises2kids.org. This past December Brande hosted Platinum Events annual toy drive which collects toys for a charity, Promises 2 Kids was this year’s recipient, and sponsored by Kandy Magazine and Alkaline88. “The event was amazing! Got to sit on Santa’s lap, watch the beautiful Christmas angel sing. I had so much fun. It was a night of reminiscing with old friends and meeting new ones. I hope they ask me back to host next years. We collected almost 500 toys”!
Let’s recap fellow readers. Brande has worn the shoes (no pun intended) of a model, actress, author, reality tv star, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. Do you care to venture a guess at what she views as her biggest accomplishment in life? If your answer wasn’t motherhood, you guessed wrong. “Motherhood is my best accomplishment. But yes it is a juggling act. I do my best at trying to find that good balance between being a mommy and a businesswoman. It’s not always easy, but I love it”…
Download the January issue of Kandy Magazine to read the entire interview with Brande and to see her entire pictorial. Available now on the iTunes Appstore Newsstand, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore for Kindle. Also, available online at Magzter.com. Search Kandy Magazine