Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.
“Watch what happens” when Bravo introduces 24 new aspiring models on a new reality show. Make Me a Supermodel will be hosted by Niki Taylor and Tyson Beckford, with the winner taking home a cool $100,000.
Ronnie Kroell, who is a full-time student at the University of Illinois at Chicago along with being a part-time model and actor, plans to take home the top prize.
JN: So, what do you think that it takes to be a supermodel and why are you the man for the job?
RK: (Ronnie Kroell) Anyone can be a ‘model', but to be a “supermodel” is truly an honor. It takes a strong sense of self, a desire to be successful and the courage to make it happen. When you hold a title such as “supermodel,” it means something. It means that your hard work, time and energy are being not only recognized, but looked up to.
I view being a supermodel as an opportunity not only for personal success, but a greater opportunity to share that success with others and to make a genuine difference in the community. It is important to not only be a supermodel on the catwalk, but to be a super role model. I have wanted this title for over 10 years now and believe I have what it takes, but I will let America be the judge of that. I am honored to have gotten this far in the competition and look forward to this exciting adventure!
JN: How did you get involved in the show?
RK: Well, I have to send a shout out to the people at Craigslist.org. I oftentimes find modeling and acting work on Craigslist, but one day several months ago now I saw the audition notice for MMASM. I decided to go check it out and my good friend German Rubio encouraged me to just be myself and have fun with the audition; well, I had a great time, met some amazing folks, and the rest is left unwritten...
JN: What is your background and what do you plan on doing if you don't win?
RK: I am currently a full-time student at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying political science but, in addition to my passion for politics, I have a strong passion for the arts. I started a not-for-profit organization called 4+1 Productions back in April of 2005 and our mission of “Bridging Diversity through the Arts” is being shared with the community one person at a time. I work with an incredible team that inspires, challenges and motivates me to continue to follow this path wherever it may lead.
If I do not win this show, at least I will be able to walk away knowing that I took a risk toward following my dreams; that, in and of itself, is an accomplishment. If it's not in the cards for me to be the next supermodel then it is not the end of the world as I know it. It will just challenge me to achieve my goal in a different way. I t is all too easy in this confusing world to lose sight of dreams and to get stuck in a dark place, but as I always say, “If you do not give up on your dreams, your dreams will not give up on you.”
JN: Do you plan on staying in Chicago?
RK: I have learned many lessons in my short 24 years of life and one of the biggest lessons has been not to carve plans into stone. There was a time when I thought that I would never leave Chicago, but I can't say that that holds true today. Chicago will always be home to me because it is where I was born and my family and friends are here, but if work called me away I would probably answer. One thing is for sure though: I will be on the plane back to Chi-town to look after 4+1 Productions on a regular basis as I have poured my heart out into this organization as have many others.
JN: Do you go out to the bars and what is your favorite?
RK: Well, I used to actually work at a bar called Minibar. I was honored to have been one of the individuals that assisted with opening the business and I am proud to see it growing and becoming more successful everyday. I would encourage everyone to stop in and try the panini sandwiches, great vodka infusions and live music! One might say that I hold some bias, but even so, it is a great hangout! If you can't find me at Minibar, you may catch me at my other favorite, Hamburger Mary's. What I love about both places is that they attract a mixed crowd of people and diversity is right up my alley.
JN: Are you currently single?
RK: Yes, I am currently single and realizing, after a long string of serial monogamy, that my focus needs to be on me. I have a lot to do and learn as a single man before I can truly give of myself in a relationship; not to mention whomever I do decide to ultimately date or partner with will have to be understanding of my unpredictable schedule, need for freedom aquarian personality, and insatiable thirst for spontaneity.
JN: Does it make you nervous to think that you will be kept on or voted off on the show by home viewers?
RK: No, not in the slightest bit, to be honest.
JN: How would winning change your life?
RK: To me, winning this show would not only be a personal victory, but one that I would share with all those who have supported my dreams from the very beginning. As good old Abe Lincoln said, “There is no such thing as a self-made man.” Those words ring just as true today as they did when he said them so many years ago, as I am thankful to have been inspired by and advised by incredible mentors. Without a doubt, winning this show would bring many changes to my life and to the lives of those around me—some not-so-glamorous, but I believe mostly good, changes.
Not only would I be able to provide my parents with a happy retirement, pay off the college tuition bills and see more of the world, but I would be able to fund my vision of “Bridging Diversity through the Arts.” Many critics told me as I was creating 4+1 Productions that I had it all backwards and that I was supposed to make my own fortune before turning my focus on humanitarian efforts, but I thought differently. I started 4+1 Productions because the passion to make a difference was strong in my heart and winning this show would open doors personally and professionally that I have only dreamed of walking through. I am excited, thankful and truly humbled by this opportunity. Let the competition begin!