Alumna Kelsey Lee serenaded by Chris Brown

By Meaghan Sands

A Cal Poly Pomona alumna was granted the opportunity of a lifetime and is expanding her talents in ways she never expected.

Kelsey Lee graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s of science in hospitality management, but recently she was offered the chance to play the female lead in Chris Brown’s music video, “Fine China.”

This was the first music video she had ever done and she was surprised that she got the part.

“I was extremely excited and blessed, but I didn’t really grasp the concept of them wanting me and me getting all this exposure,” said Lee. “It was a very surreal feeling.”

According to Lee, about one week before the music video was shot, she got a notification from her agency, Next Model Management, that she was being considered for an audition.

About four days later she found out that she got the audition and two or three days after the audition she found out she had been booked as the female lead.

The day after that, she got the script. The next day, they shot the video.

Lee did not play the typical voluptuous club girl in the music video. Instead, she was cute, fun and flirty.

“I wasn’t too worried about what the public would think about it,” said Lee. “I wasn’t worried that it was going to be portrayed as scandalous or anything.”

She liked the way the video turned out despite the fact that it was unoriginal.

“It’s all kind of very cliche,” said Lee. “I mean we’re sitting there, supposed to be Chinese, but we’re eating sushi.”

She had never voiced to her agency that she wanted to do videos, but since this was different than most, and would be filmed more like a movie, her agency thought it would be a good opportunity and experience.

Lee is thankful that she had this opportunity and has learned a lot from this experience, both personally and professionally. She stresses how important it is to stay grounded in these situations and to remember where you came from.

According to Lee, this experience has given her agency a lot more confidence in her, showed how diverse she can be and that she has potential to get involved in different types of projects.

“I hope it’s a door that’s going to open up more doors,” said Lee.

During college, and before her role alongside Brown, Lee worked part-time for Abercrombie & Fitch and was casted in 2009 for their “Back to School” shoot.

In the summer of 2011, she got the opportunity to sign with Next Model Management after a recruiter from Abercrombie and Fitch said she should get an agent.

Upon graduation, she needed to decide which one she would like to pursue: modeling or hospitality management. She would not be able to do both.

One of Lee’s goals coming out of college was to work full time in some aspect of the hospitality industry, but she had so much fun working with Next Model Managmenet that she wanted to take the modeling as far as she could.

“If I can take it and roll with it and make something of it, then that would be amazing and kind of a dream come true that I never really had,” said Lee. “I want to take advantage of the opportunity I have on my plate.”

Lee has currently done work for Skechers, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch and Domyos.

Besides furthering her modeling career, Lee also works part time for the small catering company, My World on a Plate.

She is training in sales and management and would love to become a full time employee once she has taken modeling as far as she can.

Lee is also an active alumna with the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha, of which she was a member when she attended CPP. During her membership she served as the sorority’s ritual chair and won the award for “Most Inspirational” among her sorority sisters.

“She did so well and she looked great in the video,” said Sophie Martini, a fourth-year psychology student and ZTA member. “I’m really excited for her and I know that this is something she is really passionate about so it’s really awesome to see her succeed.”


Erikka Leon/The Poly Post


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