Brenda Kelly Interview
Article care of www.star-interviews.com
Lemmon: Sum up for those who do not know you, who
you are? Maybe say what you are known for and what
you strive to become but also what you do now as well.
Brenda Kelly: I am best known in the Fitness industry
by my appearances on ESPN 2 Fitness America Shows
for the last two years, my Ironman Magazine Lingerie
spreads (sorry) and their supplement ads in the magazine.
After my Ironman Cover came out last December, my
Fitness Modeling career became a reality to myself,
and my fans. I acquired a mainstream Modeling Agency:
Allure in LA, and moved there last year from Seattle
to do commercial and printwork. I am learning about
the commercial/film business, and have become an actress
and event hostess as well! I love it. I also have
gotten acknowledgment from a very strange phenomenon,
simply by being older each year than the one before!
I will be 43 in January of 2002. Oh well, it is what
it is! I have never felt or looked better.
Don Lemmon: Who was the first person to tell you getting
into pro fitness was a crazy idea? We all have supporters
but you know there has to be one person, without naming
names, that just sucks! Why?
Kelly: It is not lost to me most people in my industry
are mostly in they're twenties and early thirties!
I expected a lot more flack than I have received.
Surprisingly to me, I have been held up as an example
and trailblazer to give others hope and permission
to attempt new and exciting paths in their own lives.
The only resistance I have gotten is from a few who
see me as a threat to their own fears and insecurities.
They seem to be afraid, and I threaten their excuses!
All I can do is lead by example.
Don Lemmon: I have seen you in person so it's obvious
to me that you more than belong and stick out in fitness
but what directed your attention to the industry itself
as a profession and how did you originally see your
part in it?
Kelly: I was not looking to find a different profession,
or find such a welcome. I had been running fitness
programs, and teaching exercise classes in the Seattle
area Health Clubs with much success for 17 years!
It got so it was not challenging me anymore. I had
competed in the National Aerobic Championships in
my late twenties, and remembered how much I had enjoyed
the intense training, and preparation. I was 39 when
I decided if I ever wanted to compete again, I had
better do it before my body might not be able to handle
the strain of the routines. Women's Fitness looked
like just what I was looking for. I hunted down my
ex mixed pairs partner from my Aerobic competition
days, Marc Castillo. He had a training facility and
was training groups of athletes for all levels of
competition. I still remember his words to me when
I came to him. He said, â€This is
the hardest thing you will ever do.â€
He was right! I thought it was just an addition to
my everyday life. I was caught offhand when it ended
up being a lifestyle. Don Lemmon: Your 5 favorite
websites are: Brenda Kelly: Mapquest! (I'm new in
town), Beautifitgym, Getbig, Ironmanmagazine, and
Don Lemmon: Got a secret you want to share? Tell us
something nobody knows about you but only because
they haven't asked.
Kelly: I'm not really a blonde!
Don Lemmon: What's your craziest experience in the
sport or maybe witnessed happen but didn't participate
in? Something juicy and unethical!
Kelly: I and other women I know have been chased around
and hit on by various judges, promoters, writers,
and the men athletes. It is all well and good if the
interest is genuine, but I remember one time when
I was with my friend, Brandy Maddron this guy tried
and tried until he finally used the â€its
my birthdayâ€ line! Lucky for us
Brandyâ€s hubby, Aaron was close
Don Lemmon: Anything embarrassing ever happen to YOU
when trying to look cool? What? A heel broke? Your
top slipped? You said the wrong thing?
Kelly: At the 1999 Emerald Cup I had a Hawaiian/Tahitian
theme fitness routine. I started out swinging poi
balls, a Maori implement. I remember thinking right
before I got onto the stage: I am going to swing these
things faster than I ever have before! Big mistake!
I am an ex Professional Hula dancer and have NEVER
screwed up during a show! My lesson was; you must
always practice exactly like you are going to perform.
I tangled almost immediately and had to smile and
finish swinging the tangled mess until I could unwrap
them and toss them away! Of course its all on tape.
Thank God for the physique rounds! I ended up placing
second in that prestigious show.
Don Lemmon: Your biggest lie ever is:
Kelly: Did I say I'm not a true blonde?
Don Lemmon: What's the grossest thing you ever ate?
Was it because someone said, "Hey, taste this!"
and did you get even with them for it? Or did you
want to try it?
Kelly: I use this Echinacea herbal throat spray. It
works like magic when I get run down. It might be
the most horrible taste in the world. I make my friends
use it when I see they need it. I like to watch their
faces after. Hey, what are friends for?
Don Lemmon: What's the hardest and yet easiest part
of dealing with the sport?
Kelly: If I can keep in mind remain detached from
the outcome of any event, or project, I have always
found success. You canâ€t find better
odds than Always! When I try to over analyze, or control
the experience I typically have a VERY tough time
Don Lemmon: Have the people around you changed since
you got started? Those who weren't supportive, suddenly
are or vice versa?
Kelly: Yes, and no. I remain surprised at the people
around me who have switched back and fourth. The ones
who I thought were supportive at first are the ones
I thought would always be. Unfortunately this is not
so. I am blessed to have the support of people who
I never dreamed would be a force in my life. I have
much to be grateful for in them.
Don Lemmon: I have been asked that 1000 times. Are
the dieting extremes really healthy? Is it something
one can do forever and then tell me, what is your
most frequently asked question and what question makes
you crazy, but you somehow manage to remain composed
when asked? Like what drugs do the girls take?
Kelly: The dieting extremes are not practical, or
to be desired unless you are educated, or being monitored.
I have seen athletes screw up metabolisms, physiques,
and mental perception of their bodies. If I could
give any advice here I would beg people to forget
the drastic short cut drug use, and panic mode dieting
down. If done properly these drastic, dangerous methods
are not needed. You can have a beautiful, sexy physique
year round. Unless you are a professional level bodybuilder,
the â€bulk upâ€
phase need not put your body into an undesirable shape.
My friend Valentina (2000 Ms. O.) looks camera ready
around 90 percent of the time. When asked by the public
whether I take drugs, I am amazed. They really just
assume all of us do. If they knew any better, after
seeing me and talking to me the question would never
be asked. Unfortunately women who take drugs do not
get away without some sort of side effect. Some of
the negative ones include lowered voices, bad skin,
receding hairlines, hair growth on face and or chest,
enlarged clitoris, and aggressive behavior. Lots of
these are permanent! If athletes are doing drugs,
(and we know they are), they know the risks, and have
made an educated decision weighing the pros and cons.
Don Lemmon: Is there a job or a gig that you were
offered but passed up in the past that we would find
interesting because it has nothing to do with Bodybuilding?
Like bagging groceries or something? I used to sell
carpet, delivered newspapers, worked at a gas station...
Kelly: I also delivered newspapers with my girlfriend
at the age of 15. My worst job was working as a waitress
at a family diner during high school. It was awful!
The men would pinch me behind their wives, and children!
I could never remember who ordered what, or where
my tables were. What a mess! I thoroughly admire good
waiters and waitresses now.
Don Lemmon: Some people think you appeared overnight.
How does it make you feel to see people less talented
or not in as good of shape as you handed something
overnight? Does it give the wrong impression to those
on the outside looking in? And why do those who never
had a chance to begin with complain so much?
Kelly: I do get asked where I have been a lot. Any
success I have had in the Fitness Industry has been
honestly surprising to me. I donâ€t
want to sound ungrateful, or unrealistic. I tend to
be very cautious about my expectations. This is complicated
by high standards I tend to put upon myself. I have
tried to stop the unproductive wondering of why. I
donâ€t get to know why. I have met
many beautiful, talented women. Some are younger than
I, have more talent doing gymnastic fitness routines,
more symmetrical physiques, and are taller! What does
this mean? Not a thing. Hopefully I can be of help
in some way to their desires. There is plenty of room
for us all. If you want in, then walk in! I have worked
my ass off and walked many a dark road to the light.
I answer to no person.
Don Lemmon: Your crowning achievement in life using
what you have achieved so far will hopefully be what?
Kelly: If I can motivate, and inspire people to start
making their decisions from a place of trust and faith
I will be doing what I need to. I realize I seem an
unlikely fitness star. What more proof would one need
that anything is possible? I intend on pushing the
envelope as far as I can.
Don Lemmon: Tell me a joke:
Kelly: What does a clairvoyant, agnostic, insomniac
spend their time doing? Answer: They lay awake at
night wondering if there is a dog.
Don Lemmon: Favorite music album of the year so far
and what do you listen to most?
Kelly: I like Dido and Janet this year. I like a huge
variety of music. From James Taylor, Van Morrison
to Santana, U-2, and the Boy Bands!
Don Lemmon: Tell me something about the industry you
are in people forget.... and something they do not
Kelly: I think many people think the athletes look
like their contest photos all of the time. The photos
in the mags are all taken when we are all in the most
extreme shape. When I go to Golds down in Venice,
I see many name competitors who look just like everyone
else! We have bad hair days, breakouts, and occasional
off-season weight gain, too!
Don Lemmon: Once that is off your chest, what other
thing would you change about your industry if you
could without hesitation?
Kelly: The rigid politics. I realize there are politics
in every walk, but the fitness industry doesn't even
try to gloss or hide these. I'm talking about judging,
promotion of athletes, and fighting between organizations.
They are so glaring they hurt our sport. A sport I
Don Lemmon: Who is the most intriguing person in your
business besides yourself?
Kelly: Timea. I love her spirit. She says precisely
what is on her mind. She has grown into a popular
athlete and successful fitness siren! All by pure
desire and hard work. Her concur of English alone
Don Lemmon: Tell me the last good movie you can remember
in a long time that you saw in theaters, and the video
you watch the most:
Kelly: I thoroughly enjoyed Shrek, Chocolat, and Memento
this year. I still watch the Die Hard Movies!
Don Lemmon: How often do you see concerts and what
was the last one attended? Anyone you've seen often?
Kelly: The last concert I went to was Tom Petty at
the Hollywood Bowl. The one before that was Southern
Culture on the Skids last New Year's Eve at the Knitting
Theater. Both Killer! I've seen the Blue Man Group
Don Lemmon: The TV show you most watch is and the
one you would love to have role on is...
Kelly: That's easy, X Files! I would like to do an
E! â€Wild Onâ€ Thing.
Don Lemmon: When I was bodybuilding, I was around
270 and had abs but wasn't nearly contest ready. I
was about 10% body fat. My next question involves
being looked at like an alien or something. Being
that big, people treated me like an animal, prejudiced
me at times. My family was afraid I would crush my
nieces and nephews or something when we wrestled...
That and Steroid comments abound... I was drug free
by the way. And rock stars, I know many that are drug
free, but no one wants them near their daughters.
Models. Sure, they have the advantage over men, but
do women treat you different than they should? Are
they quick to judge? Can you relate? Why?
Kelly: I never had the physique I have now until I
started weight training. I have always been pretty
in a non-conventional way, but adding the Fitness
Model physique in the mix has created completely different
reactions from men and women. Some just forget all
manners and stare rudely, some give me the VIP thing,
some are outwardly contemptuous, and abrasive. Before
people seemed to get used to my different (non-Caucasian)
looks gradually and tell me after a while how pretty
they thought was. Like it was a slow revelation. Now,
it seems instant. I am not used to it. I wonder if
I ever will be. I am the same person. Sometimes it
gets in the way of meeting people. Although I must
say I have stopped trying to over compensate by being
overly nice and careful. I have a lot of joy in my
life, and I act like it. People will make up their
own minds. If they have a problem with me, I know
the cause lies in them; it is not for me to change.
Don Lemmon: Tell me what you ate yesterday (or today
for that matter):
Kelly: I eat pretty much the same things for breakfast:
egg whites, chicken, and veggie scramble. Sometimes
I add rice. For lunch I ate chicken fajitas, no sour
cream or guacamole. I had two soy lattes, and baked
ziti with meatballs from Hard Times Pizza. I also
munched on goldfish here and there. Not a perfect
eating day, but not over the top either.
Don Lemmon: What type of weight training or aerobic
schedule do you keep? You donâ€t
have to go into detail, but teach us something. Do
you go for speed, time or distance?
Kelly: I have to get my cardio in since I donâ€t
eat perfectly. I alternate running for 40 min. with
stationary biking for 1 hour. I ride on level 1 or
2! I go for time. I've been known to run slower so
I donâ€t have to add distance! I
do one of these 5 days a week. I do squats and push-ups
for two weeks or so before any bikini type shoots.
I had to loose some of my muscle when I decided to
pursue a mainstream career with my acting and modeling
Agency. There is more work for a more streamlined
look commercially. I am on a mission to find that
balance to portray fit women as sexy and desirable
to mainstream America. I still am the buffest one
in the room at the casting calls I go to. There is
no sense to this. I am not even a naturally muscular
person! In fact, I'm small by all fitness standards.
In Hollywood, I am a â€â€bodybuilder.â€
If they could only see a real Bodybuilder!
Don Lemmon: What was the worst pickup line you ever
heard... And did that pickup line work? What one do
you use? We all have one! Mine is usually "Hey!"
Gets their attention. Laughs.
Kelly: The â€its my birthdayâ€
one I told you about before was so lame! Pick up lines
are lost on me. I really donâ€t want
to play games. If you want to talk to me, please do!
I am outgoing so a lot of times I will speak first.
I like learning about people, and their lives. Where
they are from, what they like. I usually just ask.
Don Lemmon: If you were anyone else who would you
be (even just for a day, a good day) or who did you
emulate growing up? Do you still emulate or try to
be like them now?
Kelly: This is a hard question. I have learned that
what I might think looks easy, or desirable are never
what it seems. I never tried or wanted to be anyone
but the best Brenda I could be at the time. I have
enough work to do with my own struggles and plans.
Too much to add in anyone else's! I have always admired
my Mother's strength and level of composure. Yes,
I hope to emulate her in this.
Don Lemmon: What did we forget?
Kelly: I am happy to report the Grand Opening of Brendakelly.com!
After two years, five designers, and two servers!
Please come visit, drop me a note, join my Fan Club,
or just enjoy the view! I have some exciting and motivating
galleries, videos, tips, and a personal diary. I leave
you with my motto: Extend Yourself in the Physical
and Mental States. One Cannot Excel Without the Other.
Lemmon: Anything else?
Don Lemmon's Nutritional and Exercise Know How
Brenda Kelly" It's pretty drippy over at my house.
No one seems to even have gutters in this town. I
think there's a small error you might want to change.
The joke part: What does a dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac
do? Answer: They lay awake at night wondering if there
is a dog. Oh, I'll be on KSEX tonight at 5. Wish me
luck fending off the tunnel topic!
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