cynthia 2*Recently, I ran into “RHOA/Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Cynthia Bailey at the 2nd Annual “My Dream Speaks” award benefit and silent auction.

The veteran supermodel was on hand as the host for the evening. It’s not everyday one gets a 1-on-1 with a star a from top-rated cable television show, so I was all set to go with my RHOA questions. But first I wanted to know how Ms. Bailey came to be involved with the noble event, and why.

“I came because my BFF Kithe Brewster, I believe he is on the committee, invited me to be here tonight. He felt this was something I could represent well because I have traveled the world in my modeling career and I am well aware of the importance of knowing another language other than English  I know that I would have definitely benefited had I known Italian or Spanish or German throughout my modeling career.”

Has Cynthia really learned her lesson about the importance of a second language? Well, not entirely. Does she know a second language?

“I sure don’t! But a little bit of Rosetta Stone can change all that,” said Bailey. “I am an example of someone who has had success, but I believe I would have had more success had I been able to communicate in the language of some of the countries that I worked in during my modeling career.”

“I traveled more when I was younger because the job required me to travel more,” she continued. “I’m in my 40s now, so my real job is with ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta.’ However…however, I definitely still have a modeling agency and I still do jobs. I just don’t work as much because of my busy schedule.”

cynthia 1It’s one thing to watch a person on television, but seeing Cynthia in person and one can’t help but notice the grace of her movements and class choice of words. I asked her how she felt her positive  attributes stood out a midst the sometimes chaotic “RHOA” scenario.

“I think that being a part of the cast of ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’, I definitely try to exemplify class, I am the voice of reason in most cases, I do have morals and values and things that I just won’t do or at least won’t do on T.V.”

“When I decided to be a part of the show it was just a great business opportunity. I have always looked at it as a great platform to use to have a voice, and be invited to host different events and to be able to speak and to inspire and to be able to open things like my modeling school, the Bailey Agency of Modeling and Fashion. That show, ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’, gave me that platform and that exposure to be able to branch out and do a number of different things.”

Class and style aside, some women just can’t get along their female counterparts in everyday situations. I would imagine the drama multiplies exponentially with every minute a camera roles. Cynthia admits, despite her attempts at always trying to take the high road, sometimes you gotta get gritty.

“I’m apart of an ensemble cast so I’m dealing with six very strong personalities. With that said, I always try to take the high road, take the classy road. However, if a situation causes me to step out of my class lane and go into ‘let me get you together’ lane, then I can certainly do that. But at that point, when you have exhausted all possibilities to be reasonable and rational with someone, then people look at it like ‘Oh, we’re glad you stood and did what you had to do’. They don’t judge you because they know that once you’ve exhausted all possibilities to be a lady, and you have to not be one, then what happens next is much more forgivable.”

bailey logoLater in the interview I asked Cynthia if there was anyone she had run into during her time on the show who she initially did not see eye-to-eye with, but has grown to respect over time. Judging by her response, I assumed she had been asked that question in the past. She had an assumption as well.

“I assume you’re speaking about Kenya Moore. When Kenya and I first met we definitely bumped heads. However, I do think Kenya is by far a very smart business woman, I think she is a great addition to the show. What makes the show work is that we all have different personalities. What I won’t do, someone else will do. That’s what makes it work. So, I never want to judge anybody’s hustle. Whatever works for you, works for you. I stay in Cindy Bailey’s lane.

“I can only be responsible for myself, and that’s pretty much what it is with a grain of salt. My cast has a lot of great business things going on. They all are very intelligent women and, you have to remember, this show is first and foremost entertainment and if it is not entertaining then we will be cancelled. I think it’s fair to always keep that in mind. I think you really get to see a lot. I think the essence of my true character comes through whether I’m just sitting down kicking it or doing business. I think that speaks volumes. For the rest of the cast? If they’re good with it, I’m good with it.”

While I wasn’t “speaking” on Kenya specifically, it is clear that a lot of other people are. Another subject hot on the lips and fresh off the gums of the blog-osphere is the Bailey Agency School of Modeling. There are rumors circulating of its pending demise. However, rumors are often wrong. Cynthia told me that the overwhelming popularity of this endeavor was her biggest concern.

“I had the vision to open up my school. In my mind, I was opening up a little school in Atlanta that would pretty much be for the locals. I wanted to make it a school instead of an agency because most of the girls who were coming to me for information, I found that many of them wanted to be a model but really couldn’t tell me why they wanted to be a model. They had no education about the business. If you want to be a doctor, you have to go to med school. If you want to be a model then you have to have some kind of education to be successful in a business like this.”

Atlanta is fast becoming a world class city thanks in part to the exposure granted that magnificent burg by reality television shows such as Bravo’s “RHOA” among many others. That popularity has proven somewhat of a double-edged sword as far as recruiting local modeling talent to the Bailey Agency School of Modeling is concerned.

“When all was said and done, I never saw how much potential my school had. Now, because of the show, people from all over the United States and all over the world, are coming. We get most of our students from out of town. We don’t have that many locals. They all come from different states, which I wasn’t prepared for but it’s all going really well.”

Show business is all about fame and fortune, but it’s also about using and scamming people as well. That is another prime reason Cynthia Bailey says she was moved to open her school.

“Another reason why I opened the school is it was just organic to who I am. I’ve been in the business for many, many years. I’ve seen a lot, done a lot and I think I’ve had great success in this business. I have a lot of knowledge to pass on and I just want to pay it forward.”

“I’ve heard so many horror stories about people trying to get into the industry, and people getting scammed for money, and all of this happens because people are just ignorant to the business. They just don’t know any better. I felt a responsibility to open up a place where we can be a haven for that kind of creative talent. Not just for modeling. If you want to be a make up artist, a photographer, a hair stylist, a fashion stylist, a designer, pageantry. I’m really trying to branch out.”

I will never claim to be an expert on modeling schools, but that itinerary is about as extensive as any modeling school class schedule that that I would ever imagine seeing. Photography? Pageantry? Really?

“The reason why I chose pageantry is because some girls come in and they don’t know their right foot from their left. Everybody can’t be a model and that’s just the way it is but I wanted to offer another outlet. Something that would still promote high self-esteem and confidence. Pageantry is another way to do that.”

So…uh…yeah…about those rumored school closures? Barring any unforeseen  extinction level business catastrophes, the Bailey Agency School doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

“And we just celebrated our one year anniversary. I know it seems like we’ve been around forever but in reality. We just celebrated our one year anniversary and are expanding the size of the school. If you want to know more about the school log ont to www.baileyschooloffashion.com or follow me on twitter at cynthiabailey10. I follow back!”