Tell us about your IMTA experience:
Being a contestant at the IMTA competition was the best decision I ever made. I enjoyed every second of it. I was extremely excited knowing that IMTA was an opportunity of a lifetime. To perform in front of so many different industry professionals in the same room, is not something that you get to experience often. It was such an exhilarating feeling going into competitions and walking out of the room, or off the stage, and feeling truly positive about my performance. Although the competition is nerve wracking, I knew that if I wanted to be a part of the entertainment industry, this was my moment to shine. I got along with many of the other contestants at IMTA, and although I wanted to get to know them more, I knew that if I were to spend the night hanging out, it would take away from my concentration on winning the competition. Luckily after much hard work and preparation I walked away from IMTA winning Actress, Singer and 2nd runner up Model of the Year. It was the most incredible feeling to be on the stage holding the award that I dreamed of receiving. The most memorable moment for me occurred after singing "Endless Love" with DeShawn Hill on stage. I looked out into the crowd and to my delight, DeShawn and I were graced with a standing ovation. I will cherish that moment for the rest of my life, because in that moment I knew there was nothing else in the world I would rather be than a performer.
What have you been doing since IMTA?
Once the competition was over I signed with IMG Models in New York. It was a great experience working with IMG and modeling for different companies, however, I knew that I didn't just want to be a model. I wanted to really pursue acting and singing. Soon after my contract was up with IMG, I signed with Shirley Grant Management and CESD talent agency. Since signing with both agencies, I have been working a good amount in the entertainment industry. I have been on numerous National commercials and campaigns such as Macy's, Powerade, Blackberry, Axe and a few others. I have made appearance on such television shows as House of Cards, Elementary, Law and Order, and a few other new shows on MTV and Alloy TV. I am currently starring on a Nickelodeon television show titled Nick Studio 10. I also sing in a band, and perform every weekend at different venues around the tristate area.
How did competing at IMTA help your career?
If it weren't for IMTA I don't know if I would have made it this far in my career. I always hear many stories of entertainers trying to make it in the industry by sending their headshots out to different agencies, and going on random casting calls through online casting. Having an agent send you on auditions and facing rejection can be tough, but not having an agent and trying to find success in this career on your own is much more difficult. IMTA gave me the access to put my talents on display to industry professionals. Luckily I walked away with an agent who believed in me. IMTA provided me with a foot in the door; one that I have relied on to work my way up in the entertainment world. I am extremely thankful for that.
What did you learn at IMTA that helps you as a working professional today?
After being a contestant at IMTA I have learned so much. The most important thing I have learned is that hard work pays off. If you consistently put yourself out there, take risks and prepare yourself for every audition, success will come back to you in the end. I remember not having a lot of confidence going into IMTA and doubting my abilities. IMTA gave me the support I needed to believe in myself. It gave me the thick skin that is necessary in this business to face rejection, and to continue to strive for your goals.
What do you like most about starring on Nick Studio 10?
Starring on Nick Studio 10 is amazing. The best part of it all is that I have the most fun in the world. I go in to film and get to do the silliest of things, like having a bobbing for meatball contest. I leave the set everyday with a huge smile on my face, excited for what the next day will bring. The thing I love most about being on Nick Studio 10 is that I get to be myself. My cast members and I are asked to improv off one another and play out, and create meaning for the skits given to us. We bring ourselves onto our on screen characters, and we truly have the best time together.
What advice do you have for future IMTA Contestants?
My advice to all future IMTA contestants is that you shouldn't go to IMTA to focus on one thing. Take risks and apply yourself to every competition at IMTA. It is so important to really be open to all the different fields as an entertainer. Compete for modeling, acting, explore dance or music. You want to be well rounded because the more you do the more opportunity you will have at IMTA.
What is something most people don't know about you?
One thing that people may not know about me is that I love traveling. I always make it a priority every year to go away to learn about different cultures. Exploring different cities and countries makes me so happy.
Thank you Gabrielle for sharing your thoughts and experiences on the industry and IMTA. We wish you all the best and look forward to seeing all of your accomplishments!