A Safe World w. Danielle Gilman | Boston, Massachusetts PDF Print E-mail
Angels - Interviews
Written by Khalid "Bless" Bey | Editor in Chief | As Seen in NY Times Bestseller: Rat Bastards   
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A quick walk to a much loved store.  A trip through center city. Maybe a stop at Cheesecake Factory, her favorite restaurant. She isn’t a picky girl but she knows what she likes. One thing she doesn’t like is to see the homeless that pepper the sidewalks. If she should happen to pass a Forever 21 nearby, a chance to shop at her favorite clothing store would push her closer to heaven on earth. She jokingly declares her heaven on earth to be Nutella. Truth is heaven on earth for this angel would be a world that’s safe for her and her friends. A safe world, where she and her friends can ride around reminiscing over old times listening to Destiny’s Child.  I guess I should tell you her name now… Danielle Gilman.



“I was born and raised in Massachusetts,” eagerly she announces. “I moved to Florida during high school and came back all of seven months later, switched cities a few times once being back in Mass but [I’m]right back in my home city.” Her town as she details is like Cheers; everybody knows your name. “Everyone knows everyone here which is good and bad at the same time,” she says, “but there is tons to do. I don’t have to drive all over hell and back to get anywhere, anything I could possibly ever need is all fifteen minutes driving time one way or another.” Growing up in Massachusetts, Danielle was admittedly a tomboy. She’d grown up with six boys, she the only girl on a dead-end street; this was her world. “I was the biggest tomboy ever,” she confesses.



That changed one fateful day in a ‘Limited Too’ clothing store. Danielle was just seven years old, a tender age for anyone, when she was approached by one of the district managers. The manager asked her to model for them, donning their fashions as official ambassador. “Ever since then I have kept going with all the jobs that I can possibly get. She looked up to, albeit enviously, all the models who were at the top of their game. Some people have made a big deal of her modeling yet she remains well-grounded. “Suddenly everyone wants to be my friend,” she says of what changed after becoming a public figure. “But not much otherwise.”

Betsey Johnson, a fashion designer with a penchant for ending her shows with a cartwheel, also happens to be a company Danielle would love to work with. “I actually wore one of her dresses to prom,” she recalls. “I have such a unique style and I love clothes that can express that.” She admits to possessing “one of the most hyper, outgoing personalities ever. I’m always wired and ready to go.” I like the thought of her being continuously charged. Danielle then confesses to being allergic to caffeine. “People never understand how I always stay awake and am ready for whatever gets thrown my way!”



Wherever she goes, whatever she’s doing, there is someone who is always close to her heart. She doesn’t want to take up too much of the interview discussing her four year old son Jacob, but it’s important that we know; Danielle cannot live this life without her son. “Having him hug me and kiss me and tell me he loves me is the most precious thing ever,” lovingly she utters these words. It’s these little unforgettable moments of paradise with son that she treasures. Even her workout regimen revolves around their mother and son activities. The simple yet demanding act of chasing her energetic son around is a fitness routine in itself. His very birth gave her life purpose and direction. And as her source of newfound motivation, “everything I do is to make a better life for him,” she says. “I am motivated to be the best mother I can be.”



With her goals is sight, Danielle has jeopardized her weight, school, certain obligations and rarely has free time. Some early sacrifices were silly but it’s something one learns along the way and its well worth it to do what you love. “Losing weight is tough and while I am nowhere near overweight, in this industry I am,” she says. “In order to book shoots, sometimes there is no flexibility and I have to be there when it is or I lose out on the opportunity.” Being a natural redhead gives her a slight advantage. She fits a certain profile, a specific look that I like and seek out from time to time. “I can also take criticism which makes me stronger,” she adds, remarking on what separates her from other models. “I can’t tell you how many times I have seen models give up due to one little comment.” Shame.



Modeling isn’t all she does of course. “I have my degree in accounting,” she tells me, “and am pursuing a further degree in computer science. I love anything that involves technology. Also, I am professionally trained in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and modern. Dance is my outlet and I love performing!” Dancing is a multi-day weekly activity that contributes to keeping her toned and healthy. She also tries to visit the gym as often as her hectic schedule will allow.  As mentioned at the onset, Danielle loves to shop at Forever 21. “They get new clothes in every week and the store is so huge with tons of options,” she says. “Not to mention the prices are affordable.” And a party to kick it and let loose, can occur anywhere as long as she is with friends.



Danielle opts for “Extraverted, Sweet, and Real” as the three words to best describe her. Laughing she talks of her sign and what about it fits her perfectly. “Now I’m gonna sound like I’m crazy,” she says, “I am a Gemini and it fits me perfectly because at times I can be a bit up and down emotion wise. I am sweet but I have a wild side.” She admits she laughs at herself a lot, something that makes me think she is a little crazy. “I am a klutz and the messiest eater you may ever encounter.” Not sure if I’m ready to witness small bitten morsels descend from between bites, landing on whatever pretty she happens to be dressed in. There is a small chance it would be an adorable sight. Her honesty is a delight, making me like her tremendously.



Certain that I am not the only person to like and admire the natural redhead, she tells me what she thinks people like about her the most. “I’m not two faced,” Danielle ventures. “I won’t be nice to you one second and talk behind your back the next. I’m all real, all the time.” This I like more than anything. Even other models express their admiration on occasion. “When other girls are just starting off modeling,” she considers, “and they tell me that I am an inspiration to them; I am amazed that I had that sort of impact on someone. I love offering advice to them.”



Defining beauty as a combination of confidence and kindness, she further states, “You could be the most beautiful person in the world, but if you’re mean, then you’re ugly.” Being this is Angels Playpen; I ask her what her idea of an angel is. “Someone who is selfless,” she answers. A very clear and direct response, she seemed armed with it as if she knew I’d ask this.  Her own beauty comes from Russia and Eastern Europe with something mysterious she received from her mother whom she says was adopted. She does know she’s a hundred percent Jewish and a trip to Israel would be the ideal getaway. “I feel that being in a place that’s so holy would give me a great sense of peace and relaxation.”



As far as men go, she is first to notice how a guy handles himself, paying close attention to his posture. She checks to see if he is comfortable and happy in the setting he’s in and how he interacts with others around him. A man with adequate intelligence is draw; if he is incredibly smart then he is already a leg up on the competition. Bad hygiene could well be a deal-breaker at any given moment says the girl addicted to Carmex lip balm. Myself, I have a thing for Nivea. A Chap Stick obsession could bind us during winter months, she, hopefully becoming a friend. She believes men and women can have a genuine friendship between them as do I. All my friends except a rare bunch are female. With this thought I welcome her to Angels Playpen where our only purpose is to explore heaven on earth.