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Draya Michele


Tuesday 4th, August 2015

Draya Michele

Turning Adversity Into Opportunity

By Marcus Blassingame

I first met Draya Michele on the popular social network Twitter

(www.twitter.com). She was referred to me by other models for a feature in Black

Men magazine. I thought nothing more of her than a cute girl with a nice amount

of followers, so I followed her as in any normal social networking response. Not

being a fan of the direct message (DM) option—and apparently missing some

messages from her—I basically got "cussed out," which began our journey.

Seeing her potential of establishing fans through Twitter and the U-Stream

Video channel, I decided to take a chance with this unorthodox talent and signed

her to my talent development company, TSD Agency. Needless to say, the

conventional talent development methods and process went directly out of the

window with Draya—it all became about timing. Draya has a gift of resilience and

staying power, where she has the ability to be frowned upon based on her

unconventional choices and activities, yet, succeed where others would have

been excommunicated.

For some time, VH1 had their eyes on Draya—all based on a submission

that I did through film director, Melvin James—which eventually landed her the

role on “Basketball Wives: LA.” Draya was cast to be the outcast of the

show—the polar opposite of the rest of the cast. She was the one who posed in

bikinis, appeared on blogs for dating celebrities, and lived a carefree

lifestyle—the exact stereotype that the wives of ball players loathed. Labeled a

groupie, gold digger and home wrecker, Draya became the dartboard of negative

actions for the rest of the cast. However, through her wits and resilient talent to

survive adversity, Draya swiftly became the most favored character on

“Basketball Wives: LA.”

In season two of the hit reality show, Draya showed an amazing display of

growth. A career woman, full time mom, charitable volunteer, spokes model,

designer and entrepreneur, Draya has begun a 360-degree turnaround of her life

and image. Her business ventures include: Spokes Model for Secret Kisses

Lipstick line (www.secretkisseslipstick.com), Mint Swim bikinis and swimsuits

(www.mintswim.com) and Fine Ass Girls—a quirky cool and trendy skully hats

and T-shirt line for girls (www.fineassgirls.com).

As the content of the reality genre is considered too controversial for most

women's magazines, Draya again overcomes that adversity appearing in Hype

Hair, Today's Black Woman Style Report as well as, on the covers of Pure Dope

and Fabulous Salon Styles magazines. She's come a long way from the men's

magazine market and has a promising future in mainstream-type press and

media.

The conflict between Draya and the Govan sisters arose from a rumored

interlude between veteran ball player, Gilbert Arenas—who was the father of

Laura Govan’s children. Laura continues her dismay for Draya, and of course

Gloria being her sister, has to side with her.

In the second season, Draya is also haunted by the "original Draya hater,"

Jackie Christie, where verbal shots and a few minor blows were cast—one of

which was caught by Draya's good friend Malaysia Pargo, who seemed to place

herself in the middle of squabbles between the cast in effort to diffuse the

altercations.

Amongst the “BBWLA” array of messes, Draya was promised a cover for

by a well-known men's magazine that went out of business and was attempting

to resurface under a different title. The deal had been in negotiations since

season one, and Draya arranged for the shoot to be aired during the second

season.

Draya arrived to the set of her shoot only to find one of the new cast

members, Brooke Bailey, in the make up chair. To be clear, there was no

problem with Brooke, but it was in poor taste for the magazine to not

communicate with management of the change in plans instead of blindsiding the

talent. Walking off of the set is what any self-respecting talent would have done,

which Draya did.

This occurrence lead to a series of disputes between the two, as Brooke

assumed that Draya inhibited her chances of being in Black Men Magazine (if

that were true, then why are the Govan sisters being featured?). When or why

this delusional assumption came about confused everyone but in all was never

true. In fact, Brooke's behavior actually makes scheduling a feature somewhat

difficult.

In the end, the show reveals the true heroines, villains and victims. Draya

continues to turn adversity to opportunity and now an attractive brand

ambassador of products and fashion. In this spread she is wearing designers

such as the silk print jacket by Members Club (www.membersclub.com), body

chain by Laurel Luxe (www.laureluxe.com) and Nicolita Swimwear

(www.nicolitaswimwear.com).

Find out more about Draya at www.drayaface.com, www.tsdagency.com

and follow her on Twitter (@drayaface) and Instagram (@sodraya).