Hol­ly­wood’s singing her praises

When Cape Town’s Rox­anne Jooste hit the lot­tery – a trip to the US – lit­tle did she re­alise how her fate would be­come in­ter­twined with Hol­ly­wood. To­day, she is mak­ing her mark with a top model agency, host­ing a YouTube talk show, and has bagged an act­ing

The Star Early Edition - - TONIGHT TELEVISION -

OUTH African pre­sen­ter Dalen Lance’s younger sis­ter – Rox­anne Jooste – is fly­ing our flag high in the hills of Hol­ly­wood.

Some peo­ple dream big, but never re­alise their dreams. For this tal­ent, noth­ing was go­ing to stand in her way, not even the word, “no”.

Her jour­ney may have started as a chance act, but it snow­balled into some­thing more.

She ex­plains: “In 2009, I won a trip to the US through a ran­dom stu­dent lot­tery. The news of me win­ning the trip was quite surreal, as you can imag­ine. It was an all­ex­penses paid trip, whereby I ended up work­ing at an elite sports camp in New York for nine months. And the US is quite fast-paced, which was quite a chal­lenge to adapt to, es­pe­cially with me not be­ing with my fam­ily. Be­ing the baby in the fam­ily and be­ing com­pletely sep­a­rated was not easy at all.”

After find­ing her rhythm, that fire in her belly to make her mark in the in­ter­na­tional Mecca of all things en­ter­tain­ment was ig­nited.

Of course, in that dog-eat-dog en­vi­ron­ment, a thick skin and dogged­ness akin to Arnold “I’ll be back” Sch­warzeneg­ger ( The Ter­mi­na­tor) is what got Jooste to where she is now.

She laughs: “Well, let’s just say my tena­cious at­ti­tude came into play once again. Wil­helmina Mod­els turned me down twice. When I ba­si­cally walked into their of­fices for a third time, the head agent came run­ning up to me and shouted: ‘We do not do walk-ins’. She called se­cu­rity on me. As I was be­ing es­corted out, I turned around, ran back into the of­fice and said: ‘Please, take my model card as this is all I wanted to drop off…’ Again, she called se­cu­rity, but she took it.

“Three weeks later, while my

Sfamily were vis­it­ing, I got an e-mail from them. God’s bless­ings, once again! I have done an ar­ray of beauty and life­style cam­paigns for them.”

Among her projects was a Dior cam­paign.

Now NDB Pro­duc­tions, the company be­hind The Millers, The Kingstons and Fame in the Fam­ily, are also in­volved with her YouTube talk show, Rox­anne Meets.

She ex­plains: “It is a show that I cre­ated and am co-pro­duc­ing with my brother Dalen Lance and NDB Pro­duc­tions. It is cen­tred on one-onone in­ter­views with es­tab­lished and ris­ing fig­ures in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try and showcases some of the coolest hot spots in Hol­ly­wood – ones that you don’t find in your tour guide book.

“It’s a four- to six-minute show that fo­cuses on peo­ple and places that you will not see ev­ery day ei­ther by turn­ing on your TV or in your travel guide. It’s a show that re­veals a few se­crets that the stars don’t even share with the pub­lic. I’m not try­ing to be any­one but me and my show is just my take on the things and peo­ple I have con­tact with, who just hap­pen to be a few movers and shak­ers in Hol­ly­wood.”

Ex­pand­ing on her guest list, she notes: “The first episode fea­tured Don Ben­jamin, a for­mer Amer­ica’s Next Top Model con­tes­tant. The sec­ond episode fea­tured Sam Jones III, from the TV shows Smal­lville, Blue Moun­tain State and ER.”

And Jooste is very hands-on with this baby of her hers.

“I do most of the book­ings as I have a large net­work of con­tacts in the in­dus­try. I book tal­ent based on what’s hap­pen­ing or about to hap­pen to them in the in­dus­try.

“For ex­am­ple, the Don B in­ter­view took place just be­fore he did the Keshia Cole mu­sic video and the re­lease of his hit sin­gle with Eric Bellinger. I plan each show ac­cord­ing to my guests’ avail­abil­ity and usu­ally prepa­ra­tion starts two weeks prior.”

While she isn’t try­ing to be the next Oprah or Ellen De­Generes, she does catch the re-runs of their shows.

On bag­ging a role in The Choir Di­rec­tor, she shares:” It’s a movie by New York Times best-sell­ing au­thor, Carl We­ber. The movie is set to be re­leased on the big screen in April. I play the role of San­dra Gianetti, a women mar­ried to a pas­tor but who ends up sleep­ing with the en­tire com­mu­nity, which is quite crazy. It fea­tures a cast of well known ac­tors.”

While she is mak­ing her foot­prints in Hol­ly­wood, she hasn’t turned a blind eye to op­por­tu­ni­ties on her home soil.

She of­fers: “I def­i­nitely will be vis­it­ing South Africa very soon and, yes, if the right op­por­tu­nity arises I would most cer­tainly work on a few projects. In fact, I’m in talks with some com­pa­nies as we speak.”

And, that’s a wrap on another lo­cal suc­cess story in Hol­ly­wood.

TALK­ING POINT: Model, ac­tress, pro­ducer and talk show host, Rox­anne Jooste, right, with guest Don Ben­jamin on Rox­anne Meets.

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