Name: Amarachi Odinma-Maduka
Agency: Luxe Talent Agency/Jl.Model Management
Claim to Fame: Odinma-Maduka is a contestant on Thick House. She is also a signed model and commercial talent. She has been featured on FoxSoul and in Nylon magazine.
Amarachi Odinma-Maduka’s path to the entertainment industry began in a church pew. Her sister was spending a Sunday morning taking in the word when she was approached by an agent struck by her beauty. Her sister told the inquirer she was too busy serving the lord to strut the catwalk. “She’s actually a pastor,” Odinma-Maduka told HelloBeautiful.
The agent, Julie Lewis, inquired if she knew anyone else who might fit the bill and she suggested her sister who had moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in media. “We did an interview and she signed me right there,” said Odinma-Maduka. “She is one of the top plus-size modeling agents.”
She was excited about the opportunity but slightly nervous about how it would impact her efforts to tell others stories on-air. She was also worried about whether or not she would make the cut.
“I was a little hesitant and shaky to transition and some modeling because modeling is such a personal and close knit outlet, as far as exposing yourself, your insecurities. So it was actually kind of tough cause I’m used to being the one, asking the questions and not being the center of attention to modeling, being the center of attention. You know? At that moment it’s on you. It’s not on somebody else. So it actually was a little bit of a challenge,” she admitted. Securing her first paid gig helped her have faith.
“The first gig that I booked was a small photo shoot,” she said. “It wasn’t even about the money. It was about the fact that I actually was booked as a model. And that’s really when I started to have this confidence like, oh, okay, I might be able to do this plus size modeling thing.”
“Once I booked that, I was like 10 times more confident on, ‘well, okay. I can book that. I can book anything,” she added. To increase her chances of finding work she focuses on “keeping my portfolio up to date with fresh photos.” She also takes chances to refresh her book by working with new photographers looking to establish themselves. “I don’t turn those type of gigs down because they’re helping me as well,” she said.
“Sometimes I take 20 minutes a day and just do some walking and posing in the mirror. You know? That’s professional development because if you stay ready, you never have to get ready,” she continued. She also prioritizes seeking feedback. “I’ve been on many auditions where I didn’t get callbacks, but I use those tips and the things that I did in the next audition.”
She has been going on an increased number of auditions after recently signing with a new talent agency. “Lux Talenti is my new commercial company. They actually found me through my modeling and they’re a great company,” she said.
She hopes her increased exposure from appearing on The Shade Room’s modeling competition show Thick House, where she is one of several models fighting to take home the prize, will lead to her solidifying a career as a talk show host. Several models including Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum have turned modeling into hosting opportunities. “I want to have my own talk show,” she said. “That’s my ultimate goal.” Her family is thrilled to see her working towards that goal.
“My sister, Michelle, she is so excited,” she continued. “’I’m like, SIS, this is because you were doing God’s work.”
“It led to me being a part of the team. And now these great things are happening,” she added. “One little recommendation or one referral can take you from zero to hero.”