SONJA PAYNE

by Sherif Awad

SONJA PAYNE
Tanisha Stephens-Intown Imagery

-I am very family oriented and God is the head of my life. I have a wonderful husband of 34 years as well as a 27 year old son who recently obtained his MA in Mental Health Counseling. I have 6 siblings and thankful that my 81 year old mom is present. It has been 11 years ago that  my father passed away and he is dearly missed. I am currently an IT Specialist providing Telephony Services to Auburn University Campus Wide (VOIP Lines via Application Server and OssGate Software, Legacy via Servord/SL100 and Unified Communication via AVST) just to name a few.  I have always desired to be a model, enjoyed fashions, colors, graffiti and creating a style of my own since I was a young girl.  I played with paper dolls growing up and visualized myself as one of the models wearing the unique outfits that I would wrap around the paper dolls. I would also imitate outfits via print work from fashion magazines such as Ebony, Jet, Vogue and Spiegel Catalog. I love matching prints and colors that most wouldn’t wear or think would match.  My mother always instilled in me to be different and THAT I AM!  

-I started modeling at the age of 18 after entering a Model Search Contest that appeared in Seventeen Magazine and was selected to fly to Boyne Falls, Michigan. I had the time of my life visiting Canada and meeting several other young girls from different backgrounds and cultures. 
I met several instructors from Auston’s Professional Modeling Agency and Barbizon who taught us Modeling, Acting and Commercial Classes. It was then, I told myself this could be a great hobby And is something I could really grow to love. Afterwards, I appeared in my first Movie THE FIRST FRONTIER as a background actor by Producers John DiJulio and Bruce Kuerten of Auburn University. I went on to appear in several of their commercials pertaining to the JudiciarySystem and Auburn University Telecommunication Department Telephone Usage. 
I also appeared in several commercials for Tom Lenard another producer of Auburn University especially pertaining to Alabama Highway Safety, St. Francis Hospital, Aviation and Natural Disaster. I then appeared in my 2nd Movie WHITE WATER as a background actor written by Michael Bandy and Produced/Directed by Rusty Cundieff and Dwayne Johnson Cochran.
I’m thankful to Radio Host and Opelika City Commissioner Richard LaGrand Sr.  for providing me radio experience during his campaign, the weather reports and birthday announcements on Hallelujah 9:10 AM now 15:20 AM. 

-My mother named me after the Norwegian Figure Skater Sonja Henie who was an Olympic Champion and a film star. I always admired several great models when I was a young girl, Iman, Beverly Johnson, Grace Jones, Cheryl Tiegs just to name a few. Debbie Allen was a great dancer. I admired growing up and enjoyed watching the family oriented shows “Good Times”, “The Jeffersons”,  “The Cosby Show”, “The Brady Bunch”, “The Waltons”, “The Family Affair” and “The Partridge Family”. I was a big fan of Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams and enjoyed watching “Lady Sings the Blues” And “Mahogany.”

-You must be able to accept criticism from those who are trying to help as well as those
who are trying to hurt.  No matter who or what anyone else says, “ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!”. Yes, it’s satisfying to me what I have achieved due to working an additional full time job as an IT Specialist (40 Hrs. per week) my schedule is Limited allowing me to do as much as possible on the weekends. I am always searching for Tasteful opportunities pertaining to Modeling, Acting, Print, Television, Commercials and Radio Including negotiable compensations.

-I have experienced in the IT Profession where male salaries are typically higher than females.
I think it has a lot to do with the stereotype of a “Woman’s place is in the home” and Man considered the “Head of Household” or “To Bring Home the Bacon”. However, times have changed and there are not always two parents in the household. If a female is capable and able to the same job as a man, then my thoughts are she should be compensated with the exact same pay in any profession.

-The Arts/Entertainment/TV Industry is booming in the United States and especially in Atlanta. I am reading articles where it is mentioned that Atlanta is becoming the new Hollywood. I am extremely proud and inspired by Tyler Perry who has opened the first major Studio owned by an African American.  

-Works offered to me is diligently reviewed thoroughly with my husband and son for a tasteful concept.My work is a representation of my morals and values, background and beliefs. As stated earlier, due to working a full time job as an IT Specialist (40 Hrs. weekly) my schedule is limited allowing me to do as much as possible on the weekends. I am always searching for Tasteful opportunities pertaining to Modeling, Acting, Print, Television, Commercials and Radio
Including negotiable compensations.

SONJA PAYNE
Ralph Williams-E37 Photography

-Currently, I have collaborated with Celebrity Fashion Designer “Thomas LaVone “ and his Director Of Marketing “John Wesley” to model a piece from the Thomas LaVone Collection. 
I recently appeared as a background actor in the new series “Ambitions” by Will Packer and Oprah Winfrey and received a call back to appear in another scene attending the Mayor’s Ball which will air this fall.  I recently appeared on a fragrance flyer for Entrepreneur, Model, Producer/Director, Philanthropist, Ex-NBA Basketball Player “Kenyon Glover.” The fragrance is called “Endless Love” and smells wonderful.  I was also a model in the “Peachtree Street Photography Project” by the late Ralph Williams. My dream is to appear in one of Tyler Perry’s many great works and in the process of searching for his castings.  I am hopeful that I will obtain a print job/s perhaps with a major magazine or advertising company or place of business.  I would love to appear in a tasteful video of one of my favorite R & B Singer “Joe Thomas.” My husband and I love the smooth sounds of Joe Thomas and attend his concerts that are nearby.