Clarissa Burt has done it all. Entrepreneur, TV/Video producer, public speaker, author, writer, inventor, award-winning actress and entertainer. By the age of 19, Clarissa was signed by the Wilhelmina modeling agency in Manhattan. Then, off to Paris and Milan she quickly began appearing on over 250 magazine covers such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan, as well as on most of the major runway shows in Milan, Paris, New York, and Japan. This led to work for cosmetic houses Revlon, Dior, and Clarita, Helena Rubenstein and her selection as the worldwide “Face” for Orlane Cosmetics.
Clarissa has performed in numerous movies including the memorable Xayide in The Never Ending Story, part II, and as Giulia in the award-winning Caruso Pascoski. Clarissa has also appeared on hundreds of television shows and in 1999 founded her television production company, Numen International. Her productions have included The Miss Universe Pageant and World Sports Awards. In 2001, the Clarissa Burt Hair Product and Facial Cream Lines were successfully launched on Home Shopping Network, Italy A leading authority on beauty, image, and self-esteem, Good Morning, Italy called upon Clarissa to host the popular beauty segment, Clarissa Suggests.
After 25 years in Europe, she returned to the United States where she hosted her own radio show entitled Clarissa Burt Talks interviewing entrepreneurs and thought leaders. The LA Fashion Magazine brought Clarissa on board as Beauty Editor and Editor at Large for their 2012 launch. She is currently launching The Clarissa International Model University and The Clarissa International Model Search Awards. In November of 2011, Clarissa became a collaborator for the International Model and Talent Association (IMTA) and is now actively scouting for models and all talent.
SOCAL Where were you born and raised?
Clarissa I was born in Philadelphia, moved to Texas for a few years, and then moved to New Jersey where I graduated from high school. At age 18 I moved to NewYork City and took a job as a secretary for a menswear company in the Garment District.
SOCAL You were a successful model as a young adult. How did that come about?
Clarissa I sort of fell into modeling, nothing dramatic, no aha! moment. Working as a secretary, a lot of people told me I could be a model. After enough people kept saying it, I had test pictures taken and went to three agencies: Ford, Elite, and Wilhelmina. I was accepted at two and chose Wilhelmina. Six months later I’m in Europe.
SOCAL Much of your career to date was overseas. Please tell us about some of your experiences.
Clarissa In Paris, for my first time, I was just a homesick kid. Life as a fashion model is often mostly lonely. As I became more established and successful it seems that opportunities just seemed to open up. I guess I was ready to ‘see’ them.
Another would be my first cover. It was for Italian Cosmopolitan. It came after a full day, straight through the morning, into the evening and then some of shots they did of me at 4 AM became just what they wanted and that was my first cover.
SOCAL How did you become a talk radio host? Tell us about some of your television work.
Clarissa As I got better known as a top model, who could also sing and dance, I was often an invited guest on local television programs, eventually became an emcee and started my own production company that included talk radio that I hosted.
SOCAL I’m still looking for some kind of aha! moment, perhaps in your case when you knew that you could attain any goal you set your sights on?
Clarissa Along the way, I began to use my celebrity status to help others and gained recognition that resulted in two audiences with Pope John Paul. When a kid from Philly gets an audience with the Pope, I guess nothing is out of reach, nothing is impossible.
SOCAL Tell us about your production company.
Clarissa I am currently producing The Fashion Coalition L.A. – a series of fashion events in Los Angeles. I am starting my own television channel on YouTube (to launch Oct 15) to teach people a look good, feel good, be good, & do good philosophy. My target audience is girls and young women to help them live their greater good.
SOCAL You excel in so many areas. What would you like to be best known for?
Clarissa Leaving behind a world of esteemed beings living satisfying lives.
SOCAL What advice would you give a young person considering modeling as a career?
Clarissa Enjoy yourself as a model but have plan B ready.
Editor's Note: When in her presence, it is easy to get the impression that Clarissa is Wonder Woman come to life. Anyone who knows her will agree that while we don’t know exactly what her future will look like, Clarissa Burt is a force of nature that will continue to successful, all the while doing good for others.
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