A few years ago I worked with a 21 yr old model named Maria Kanellis who had just arrived in Miami Beach from a small town in Illinois. She was trying to make it in the modeling world.
I shot her a couple of times for her portfolio.
She tried very hard to make the modeling thing work. But she was cursed. Seems she was just too damn sexy for this market.
(One day as we were walking across Collins Ave. after a beach shoot she literally stopped traffic.)
After about 5 months in Miami she decided to pack it in and loaded up her little car to drive back home to Illinois.
But fate interceded in Memphis where she’d stopped to attend attend a casting at a club for a reality TV show.
Before you could say “g’day mate” she was on a plane for Australia where she was one of 12 women starring in a TBS show called “Outback Jack.”
She didn’t win but once back in the states and ended up on another show: the WWE’s Diva Search.
She didn’t win that either but she somehow convinced the folks at the WWE that their muscle-bound travelng road show wouldn’t be complete unless they hired her.
She got the job and became a cast member on the WWE’s Monday Night Raw playing a ditzy backstage reporter.
Chances are you’ve never heard of Maria. But that’s because you’re too busy listening to WLRN and going to the opera.
But there are millions who take this wrestling stuff very seriously. Don’t ask me why…I just report, you decide. But Maria’s name and the WWE are two of the most popular searches on Yahoo! week in and week out.
Well, this month all of Maria’s hard work paid off. She landed on the cover of the April edition of Playboy along with a 10 page layout. Congrats to her!!!
Maria said in the magazine of her decision to pose: “I love my body these days, right down to the freckles…” Can’t argue with that Maria!
In her hometwown of Ottawa, Ill. the local paper reported that the magazine sold out almost immediately.
(see top of post for my shot of her along with her playboy cover)