Clarissa Burt’s Backstory
How it all began…
“Apparently I was born as the say, “vaccinated with a phonograph needle”! I loved to dance, sing , perform and talk a lot! (For those of you who don’t know what phonograph is, it’s the grandfather of the record player….for those of you who don’t know what a record player is…you’re making me feel old! )” – Clarissa
From very early on, Clarissa wasn’t camera shy showing from very early on her prowess with her posing abilities that would eventually become quite useful.
“Whether performing as Mary Poppins in the kindergarten play, as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, as first soprano in the school choir, marching in the school band, twirling a baton down main street, or walking in the color guard, performing was my true passion…. (it certainly wasn’t math or science!)” – Clarissa
It was touch and go for while….
Although in her younger years Clarissa appeared to be fearless, becoming a tween to teen years would accentuate the negative. She was taller than all the boys in her class, gawky with bucked teeth and protruding ears. Oh, and she was extremely flat chested. Due to her parent’s separation, she would move numerous times from school to school. Needless to say, she became withdrawn and unsure of herself. Her parents would reconcile and she would move to Texas at the age of twelve.
Getting through High School
After living in Texas for two and a half years, Clarissa’s family transferred to New Jersey in her sophomore year. She was a good student and worked as a babysitter and a waitress to make her own money, but had few friends and when not at school or work, stayed close to home. Her parents divorced at the end of 1977 after her graduation from senior year of High School. It wasn’t pretty and her world was shattered. Her family was ripped apart. She hasn’t seen her father since.
She graduated high school in New Jersey at Watchung Hills Regional in 1977 and the rest would soon be history! Off to the bright light in New York City shortly thereafter Clarissa worked for some time as a secretary before being discovered by the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency who in 1980 sent her to Paris to work….but there would still be self-esteem obstacles to overcome.
New York or Bust!
In her uncertain world, one thing was certain. She wanted to live in New York City! So in 1978 at 19 years old, she moved to New York to pursue her secretarial career. Her dream, however, since childhood had been to become a model. Her debilitating lack of self-esteem had always held her back. It’s only after the insistent prompting of friends, and her beloved younger sister, Carol, that she goes to take ‘test’ pictures with a local photographer. After sheepishly shopping the test shots to the three big New York modeling agencies, she chooses to go with Wilhelmina and six months later embarks on her journey to Paris and Milan.
Success isn’t immediate, but after about a year of learning the ropes in Milan, Clarissa’s star rose quickly. She was donning the covers of numerous magazines, walking the runway for the world’s most important designers, and known as ‘the face’ for Orlane cosmetics, Carita’, Revlon, and ‘the legs’ for Christian Dior hosiery.
Then the greatest dream of all! TV, Radio and Movies!
Clarissa’s dream of working on television and movie sets becomes reality! She works for Italian television for 15 years as one of the top emcees/presenter in the country on prime time television. She starts her own production company and among the many television projects she produces is The Miss Universe pageant live three hour broadcasts. This cements Clarissa in the fashion and beauty arena as Italy’s go-to ‘fashion and beauty’ expert for Good Morning Italy. Clarissa has performed in over 20 movies and can be remembered in award winning films such as Warner Brother’s “The Never Ending Story, part II,” where she played the Mean Queen “Xayide” and as Giulia in the Italian production “Caruso Pascosky di Padre Polacco”. Moving into radio production, “Clarissa Burt Talks” featured this multi-talented media celebrity on Voice America and World Talk Radio where she interviewed knowledgeable entrepreneurs and prominent thought leaders.
“You’re Only as Beautiful a Your Last Good Deed”