Anndrea Nelson, who also likes going by Dre, recently took out some time to discuss her modeling career with me on behalf of Pop Culture Spin. We delve into topics such as her background, balancing a demanding career while receiving an education, what’s to come in the future, and beyond. Check out our Q&A below and be sure to follow Anndrea on her social media platforms linked at the bottom of this article.
Pop Culture Spin: Anndrea, thank you for your time on this interview. To begin, how long have you been modeling?
Anndrea: After I graduated college I started promotional modeling in San Francisco and then began fashion modeling after moving to Los Angeles a few years ago.
PCS: Where are you from/based and how would you describe the type of kid you were growing up?
Anndrea: I’m from Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California. I was always a bit shy and goofy growing up, during high school I was a good girl keeping up with school and devoted to playing competitive soccer. Once I began attending college at UC Santa Barbara, I decided that to make the most of my experience I couldn’t waste time being shy or insecure so I pushed myself to be more social, free spirited, and adventurous.
PCS: Was the modeling line of work something you always envisioned doing?
Anndrea: Well when I was in high school flipping through Teen Vogue, there wasn’t racial diversity in the models. I always wished I could model to show that racially mixed and ethnically diverse girls who don’t fit into the cookie cutter image are just as beautiful. After graduating UCSB I was working in an art studio in the Bay Area which I loved, but I knew I’d always regret it if I didn’t at least give it a try. So I packed up my car and drove down to LA to pursue fashion modeling. Thankfully now the industry has progressed and many cultures as well as sizes and alternative looks are featured.
PCS: What aspects of this profession do you appreciate the most, and also, what type of modeling is your preferred style?
Anndrea: I appreciate the opportunity to work with new teams of people, you get to network and experience each person’s unique talents, which in the end all come together to create beautiful art. I don’t have a preferred style, but I do love to play dress up, fashion look books and themed shoots are always fun because you get to bring out the personality of the wardrobe, and maybe try something on you might not have ever worn otherwise.
PCS: I see on your website that you’re also working on your education. How is that going at the moment?
Anndrea: I’m in my first year of the part time MBA program at UCLA Anderson, and it’s been the most incredible and challenging experience. It’s helped push me to new levels mentally, physically and spiritually. Mentally because my business experience is all street smarts, not book smarts. Now it’s all business with economic, finance, and accounting, oh my! Numbers are not my strength but that is what’s great about it, because I’m outside my comfort zone. Physically it takes discipline to be working and studying diligently for 60+ hours a week while managing personal time for cooking, cleaning, fitness and other day-to-day necessities. As a result, it’s driven me to seek out spiritual guidance, such as mindfulness, meditation, and affirmations to find emotional strength and balance.
PCS: Is managing to balance work with school ever problematic?
Anndrea: Absolutely. Each week I’m working multiple jobs, scheduling group meetings and having to keep up with homework. Trying to build an education and career simultaneously can be stressful and you have to choose a priority. By choosing school as mine, I’ve held back from pursing new opportunities in modeling. Rather than having fear of missing out I’m confident that I’m focused on what’s most important for me. I’ve adopted a more eased spirit towards the pressure of managing it all, trusting that as long as I give my full and sincere effort everything will work out for the best.
PCS: Is modeling your primary long term interest or do you have other aspirations you’re hoping to turn into a reality?
Anndrea: I‘d love to continue modeling long term but I’ve always enjoyed juggling multiple careers. Recently I’ve become more involved with politics, first working on a state senate campaign and currently volunteering for Bernie Sanders. I’d like to further explore my options in politics, public policy and nonprofits. Ultimately my goal is to make a positive, meaningful difference in our world and I’m open to any opportunities that can help me achieve that.
PCS: When you’re not working or in school, do you have any other favorite sort of activities?
Anndrea: I have little free time since school is in session, so my favorite activities are mellow: practicing hot yoga in my bedroom, home cooking, or Netflix and cuddle with my cat. This summer I look forward to exploring LA, taking a few trips, and catching some sun, music, and memories with friends.
PCS: So readers can learn more about you, if you had to pick a handful of words to summarize your personality, which ones would you choose?
Anndrea: Silly, down-to-earth, thoughtful, versatile, kind, positive.
PCS: Would you like to mention anything exciting coming up here in 2016 or should we wait and see?
Anndrea: I can’t say for sure what’s in store, but I always pledge to make each year better than the last. This year is extra special to me because it’s my golden year: I turned 27 on March 27th, and so far it’s been the best year ever! Each day brings more blessings. I’m grateful to have major support from my family and a healthy heart and mind to achieve my dreams.
PCS: Thank you again for your time on this interview. Before we finish, can you please state where those interested can find you online?
Anndrea: Thank you! It’s my pleasure.