1. You were pretty much modeling your entire life and worked as a fashion stylist. Tell us more about that. We don’t get to hear much about you pre-ANTM.
- Yes. Very true. I actually did everything. Not only have I modeled since I was 12 but I was also doing commercials, acting gigs, dancing, gymnastics etc. I use to draw fashion illustrations for fun and I also didn’t have much money.. ever, so I would create my own creations and sew them. A wardrobe stylist heard about me and asked for a meeting. Before you knew it, I was designing wardrobe for Babyface, the dancers and band for his whole world tour before I was 21. I also made the costumes for Spongebob’s live action scenes for Patchy the Pirate and mermaid outfits for the likes of Jennifer Love Hewitt. If you go to IMBD, there are two Lisa D’Amato’s. One being a wardrobe stylist. Styling was an amazing learning experience not just for fashion and funtionability but also learning about the “corporate side of things” and what they think is approvable- couldn’t stand that part! (LOL)
2. On ANTM Cycle 5, you were portrayed as insane, insensitive & arrogant. Do you feel like you’re misconstrued in some way?
- I personally don’t think I was portrayed that way. Everyone’s perception is different, I guess. But, the way I was depicted…some things were definitely hyper exaggerated. I think they definitely indulged in things that they knew were good for ratings. And, in the end, after all the things I’ve learned through the years you still need to be completely responsible for what you did on camera. It IS a TV show. It IS entertainment. Period. It is a hard pill to swallow because your best interest isn’t at heart, but you can’t blame the beast for being one. If you don’t wanna get burned stay out of the kitchen. Or get educated.
3. Like for example, the memorable heated argument you had with Coryn on Cycle 5. Would you say that was an example of you being misinterpreted?
- No. That happened, but she definitely didn’t deserve the last word in the editing because she didn’t get it. I did. And, she got sent home soon after. Little things like that can really get under your skin. It takes growth to let it go and move on. So many little things in editing can make you wanna tear your hair out, but at the end of the day you gotta address the facts: Time frames, story lines, editing, and IT’S ENTERTAINMENT first and foremost.
4a. Also on Cycle 5, you exhibited your alcohol problem. Do you still struggle with it and what do you think was the main driving force behind that addiction?
- My so-called “Alcohol Problem” is not MY alcohol problem but a SOCIETY PROBLEM. A cultural problem. I drank because I was frustrated. I drank because I was sad. I drank because I was happy. I drank because I was at the club. I found out from Dr. Drew (of Celebrity Rehab) that this is an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and that I was an “addict”. Well, I’ll let the ‘sheep-ple’ label me whatever they want, but if I had a problem with alcohol, we all do. I was raised by our society. I was raised by billboards and advertisements. Drinking alcohol is in every 3 songs on the radio, it’s in every movie when they are stressed, it’s on billboards, advertisements, in the clubs, magazines, TV shows etc. Chelsea Lately’s every 3rd joke involves being drunk and proud of it. I love her, but just to show an example of all the subliminal messages. We live in a culturally addicted nation where we celebrate numbing ourselves. Going to Rehab, I learned that I was one of the lucky ones. With a traumatic past, I could have went down darker roads, but instead I got more education on the subject and now I have the upper hand. People like to raise their noses at me because I “went to Rehab” while they are swallowing their Zanax, snorting their cocaine, being binge drinkers on the weekends and yet I still smile at them and ask how their day is! I feel so blessed to have had that experience. I was never detoxing from anything, but the therapy was priceless. I am the best I’ve ever been and I’m only getting better. The only problem is, I see our world’s problems from the outside now and it is a bit overwhelming. It is much easier to deal with life when you can put all your effort into trying not to feel anything. It makes me sad how deep in the thick we are in our substances. Everyone is on something. It’s sad but I don’t wanna preach all day.
4b. While you were on Celebrity Rehab, you spoke about the abuse you endured as a child. Would you care to talk about that and possibly say what really helped you to get past that?
- Well, I am one of the 250,000,000 kids in our world that were raised in physical abuse. That number doesn’t even include sexually, or mentally abused kids. It is the American way to sweep your problems under the rug and buck up. It’s the American way to say if your life sucks, it’s your fault. Our country doesn’t have affordable rehabs, hardly anyone can afford insurance, far less therapy. If you come from a past like mine then you know you feel defeated before you even had a chance to stand on your own. This is why I think the US is getting flushed down the toilet. We are one of the leading countries that profits from sorrow and others pain. When I realized that all the people that were truly ruining my life definitely weren’t better than me or deserved more than me or had more drive than me it made me angry because they DID have more than me! At some point in my life, I snapped. I truly felt like I was drowning. I then just began to believe that I was living on bonus time. Like I wasn’t even suppose to be here anymore and whatever I did from that point on was going to not give a FUCK! I had nothing to lose and I was going to get what I wanted because my heart was gold and I deserved it. I’m a huge supporter of ‘freearts.org’ and I am on a mission to be a part of the answer instead of the problem. It’s not about me anymore. It’s about those kids that I look in the eyes of and see such beauty and resilience and hope. I used to be such a hopeless hoper. Those kids oil up my gears. It’s captivating to watch them smile.
5. In comparison to the person you were in Cycle 5 to Cycle 17 and who you are now, what do you think were some of those major changes?
- In cycle 5 I was married to the moment. I was having so much fun being spontaneous and raising eyebrows. I didn’t give a FUCK! (LOL) I still don’t in a lot of ways. I was living with so much fakeness in the house that I was rebelling. I was a lead competitor but it was my own fault that I got eliminated. I wasn’t making the best choices. On cycle 17 I practiced the perfect balance between spontaneity and being married to my future…thinking ahead all while staying true to who I am and my character.
6. Now, tell us about your experience in Cycle 17 in comparison to that of Cycle 5.
- I feel so blessed that the show (Tyra, CoverGirl, the Jays, Nigel, Ken Mok etc) saw my heart, my passion, my goals, my drive, my intentions, and listened and HEARD my story. That, I think is the real tear jerker for me! I’ve felt like all these years I’ve been running fast! Really fast, but on a mouse wheel and actually getting nowhere. It truly is validation that you can come from nothing, come from negative nothing, and make it on top.
7. During Cycle 17 we got a taste of ‘La Puchinetta’. Who is ‘La Puchinetta’? Explain what the inspiration behind that name came from and how you would describe your musical style.
- I made up the word LA Puchinetta. LA= the city I live in (Los Angeles). Puchi= was slang for that hot chick at the party that the boys want but can never touch. Kinda like a tease. And Netta= was a slang word that my old stylist mentor used to use and refer to me as. It’s like a tomboy. A girl that doesn’t give a fuck, likes to get dirty.
There you have it! ‘LA Puchinetta’!
8. What inspires you as an artist in general? Whether it be modeling or song writing.
- Everything inspires me. Hate inspires me. Love inspires me. Life inspires me. I am a leader and I always have been. I want to make the impossible possible. The people who inspire me are the ones that do that: Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs, Madonna, even Lady Gaga etc. I love the controversy that comes with pushing the envelop towards progression. That INSPIRES ME! Because if it makes the ‘sheep-ple’ think, regardless if they hate it or not, it still makes them think! I kinda wanna flip people’s brains in different directions like a rubixcube. I am a performer first and foremost, so if I can make people think through a visual image, to a song, to a role, to an interview, to a poem, to a performance in anyway- that is what I’m going to do.
9. Music seems to be a big part of you, would you still consider becoming a supermodel and still pursue singing?
- I do it all and always have. Yes, I have singles and 2 albums out, but I also have been working on a ton of other projects as well. Music doesn’t have language barriers which is why it speaks to the masses. Maybe I feel like I owe music so much because it played a big part in saving my life. Music is your best friend, your lover, your mirror. I love being a part of that. I love performing it to audiences as well. You can feel the love.
10. How did you feel when they called your name, and moments before during the silent bit in the finale episode to announce the winner, what was your immediate thought?
- It’s like that whole plucking flower petals thing….you go back and forth: “do they love me, or love me not, love me love me not.” I knew that if I won I would truly take the win to where it needs to go because 2012 was already going to be a huge breakout year for me in this industry. I couldn’t be happier that they want to piggyback on all my adventures. Winning the All-Stars was definitely the icing on the cake and I truly feel blessed. I truly do feel that some type of higher power was pulling strings for me. Maybe it was my grandpa who said my heart was star of the family. Who knows. I do know this, I will not let anyone down.
11. Tell us more about your fragrance that has been released as a part of the ANTM endorsement.
- My fragrance is now called ‘Dream Come True’. I wear it everyday! It smells beYOUtiful and I couldn’t be happier with the scent. It smells a bit like a mix my NEON scent that I created on the show. I will be doing a metro city nationwide tour in Targets and other specialty boutiques to do in-store signings and meet everyone in their hometowns. You can also reserve your order at http://shopdreamcometrue.com and I will sign those too. Hatch Beauty really did their thing and helped create a beautiful scent for all those young girls (or boys) that want to feel confident enough to pursue their dreams. It is remarkably magical. I couldn’t feel more flattered to be the face of this scent. Brittany(Brower) and Laura(Fitzpatrick) got to smell it the other day and they were fighting over it! It almost dropped on the floor. It was hysterical! Hahaha!
12. What other plans or projects do you have underway?
- I don’t like to talk about it but rather be about it, but I will say this. 2012 is definitely going to be a huge year! It was going to be already but now it’s going to be HUGE!! I am a woman of substance and drive on a mission- that is unstoppable. I dare you to doubt me. I do recommend all those iPhone users to download my FREE iPhone app: ‘Earth To Lisa’, so they can watch my EXCLUSIVE footage of my wild adventures in Hollywood. This is just the beginning and everyone can have the front seat to it all.
13. Last but not least, advice for all those aspiring models out there struggling to make it.
- Modeling dreams are such a hard subject to give advice on, because lets face it, it is a shallow industry with specific specifications but I will say this. In terms of anyone’s dreams, I do think that investing in one’s own future is the most rewarding experience. I think everyone can create their own opportunities and blaze their own path but if you’re looking for the easy way out, you’ll probably get just as easy an answer which is no. You gotta pick your own battles and then own them at the end. It ain’t an easy world out there. Real talk.
Watch out for my new music video for my song ‘WHIPLASH” produced by The Cataracs! <3 Lisa