Andria Lea: Thanks for having me! On fame- it's hard to really know how many people know of you or how they perceive you so I don't really think of myself as famous even though some others might. I know I have many fans, and for that I am thankful. I'll always be just Andria to myself no matter how many great trips I go on or how many magazines I appear in. I try to remain humble no matter what I achieve or what opportunities I am given, because I have a long way to go before I'm where I want to be in the entertainment industry. I feel once you start to get a big head is when things start being taken from you.
R: People may be surprised to find out that you're much more than good looks. You have a passion for helping animals and a professional career in the medical industry. When did you decide to get into modeling and why?
AL: I dabbled in pageants, modeling, and bikini contests when I was in high school and college and really enjoyed it. But with my sights set on veterinary medical school, education was my priority. Fast forward to a few years ago after I graduated from nursing school and became an ICU nurse. I finally had some free time to pursue modeling again and I'm so glad that I did. I feel like I've accomplished quite a bit in the last few years- a Maxim En Espanol feature, calendars, multiple international trips and magazine features. More importantly, it led me into TV hosting and interviewing, which is my favorite thing to do and what I am pursuing the most right now.
R: You've always been ahead of the curve. In college you were in student government, a sorority, on the dance team and in the Pre-Vet Med Club. What do you think drives you and motivates you so much?
AL: It must be my Type A personality! I have always been an over achiever, a perfectionist, and very competitive at everthing I do. Settling for average isn't in my nature. I thrive on being busy and work very well under pressure. But I will add that I am still able to relax and have fun in the process.
R: How are you able to manage your time so well? It doesn't leave much time for a personal life or even down time. It seems like you're always on the go.
AL: Did I mention I have a Type A personality?! haha Along with that comes organizational skills. I am super organized and have time management and multitasking down to a science. Being balanced is very important to me so I make sure to actually schedule personal and family time. If I schedule it, then it gets done. I don't want to be so busy worrying about the future that I don't enjoy the present because I have been very blessed in my life. Sometimes it can be hard to make myself stop and do nothing without feeling guilty though. That's when I take a vacation to the mountains or scuba diving with my husband and come back refreshed and ready to conquer the world again!
R: It's refreshing to see a personality like yourself who isn't just all about him/herself. I've seen your website AndriaLea.com and I can see that you have collected a few stray dogs along the way. Do you find that being in the public eye as much as you are helps to raise awareness for something you believe so strongly in?
AL: Absolutely! I love modeling and hosting, but what I love even more about it is that I can use the exposure to educate people on what I am most passionate about- animals. The importance of spaying and neutering and adopting from shelters, prevention of animal abuse, and advocating for endangered species to name a few. It is my way of using my involvement in what some consider a self centered industry as a positive thing for animals. And I do it from the heart, because it's what I truly believe in.
R: Tell us how you got started with After Hours, Kansas City's late night talk show. Did they find you or did you find them?
AL: I found them on myspace and sent them a message. One business meeting later, I was part of the cast! It was meant to be and has been such a great experience for me. I have gained a lot of hosting experience and have made many friends and contacts along the way- including you!
R: When you and I did our red carpet video for REVEAL TV we stopped in the middle to suck helium out of a balloon. Not only are you comfortable in front of the camera but you seem very comfortable in your own skin. Where does that side of you come from?
AL: Well, modeling swimwear and lingerie sure helps- once you've done that then everything else is no big deal, haha. But seriously, I have been a performer my entire life- from home videos and photoshoots as a child, to being on my high school and college dance teams, singing in public, you name it. Being in front of cameras or large crowds of people has never phased me. And with every interview I do, it just gets easier and I can really allow my personality to shine through.
R: You have a passion for traveling and I think I read somewhere that sushi is your all time favorite food. How would you rank the sushi here in Kansas City?
AL: You know what? I have only eaten sushi at one place in Kansas City and it was good but not amazing- I wont mention any names! I need to go to your restaurant section and find some other good places to go. I am lucky because up north of the city where I currently live is an incredible sushi restaurant. So I never have to go farther than 10 minutes from my house. I'd reccomend the Sunshine roll- it just melts in your mouth.
R: I know you're short on time so I'll wrap this up with two quick questions. Your career has taken you to many different places. What is one place that you have been to that just sticks out in your mind and why?
AL: Man that's rough. It's a tie between Spain and Jamaica! I love them both. Spain for the culture and architecture, Jamaica for the beautiful beaches, sunsets, and the scuba diving.
R: It would be a shame to lose you to a bigger city but I'm sure you would do better with your career in a city like LA or New York. What keeps you here in Kansas City?
AL: I would definitely have a lot more opportunity in LA or NY. Both my husband and I are originally from Kansas City, so our families are here. We will actually be moving in less than a year- not sure where yet, but it won't be LA or NY. He's in the military, so for now his job determines where we live. It's all about compromise. I just have to work a little harder than others to build my career as a result.
R: Andria, thank you so much for sitting down with me today. On behalf of our readers, we wish you the very best. We will definitely follow your career. Feel free to swing by anytime you have time and tell us what's going on.
AL: Thank you Travis, it was my pleasure! Make sure to keep an eye on www.andrialea.com to keep up to date on all my latest endeavors.