A GoPride Interview

Ronnie Kroell

Ronnie Kroell interview with ChicagoPride.com

Wed. January 9, 2008  by Jerry Nunn

Ronnie Kroell

chicago's ronnie kroell competes to be next supermodel

photo credit // www.bravotv.com
“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!

To meet more of the cast, go to www.BravoTV.com .

Article provided in partnership with Windy City Media Group.

Interviewed by Jerry Nunn. Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.