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When the ‘freaks’ come out

Jackson Bell

Donna Ricci is a model and actress, but not the kind featured in a

Gap advertisement or guest starring as the all-American girl next

door on such TV shows as “7th Heaven.”


Ricci owns Wicked Talent, an agency representing about 90

so-called “freaks” that work as extras in music videos featuring

Marilyn Manson, episodes of TV shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

and movies like “Queen of the Damned.”


“I help models get a chance to work in a field where they are

normally cast out,” she said.

Ricci, who describes herself as the top-reigning gothic fashion

model, frequently poses for Lip Service and Hot Topic catalogs as

well as Gothic Beauty magazine. She said her popularity throughout

subculture circles became the impetus for founding her talent agency.

“People would e-mail me all the time and I would answer questions

about how to get involved,” she said. “That is how Wicked Talent


evolved, because I knew there was a need.”

Wicked Talent, which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary,

moved from Long Beach to Burbank in November. She said she moved to

be closer to the entertainment industry.

Ricci charges her clients a flat rate of $45 per year for her


“I don’t take commission because I have morals,” she said. “I know

agents who have ripped me off [in the past] and I won’t do that to


anyone else.”

For Feisty Diva, an “alternative” model whose styles can range

from goth to dark raver and even an “anime” look, Wicked Talent finds

half her work.

“Donna is always out promoting us and looking for new

opportunities,” said Fiesty Diva, who lives in Washington, D.C.

Ricci believes that people who are interested in gothic style are

those who like to dress up but think that playing Halloween every day

is ridiculous.

Growing up in Glendale, Ricci said her fascination with gothic

style began as teen rebellion, but morphed into a lifestyle.

“I realized one day that I was too old to try to [tick] off my mom

still, so I realized it was a part of me,” she said.

But Wicked Talent doesn’t pay the bills; it merely funds her

counterculture accessories and activities. Ricci supports herself by

modeling, acting and odd jobs such as baby-sitting children at movie


Deciding to make her business a public service of sorts for her

talent instead of a means of income, Ricci said she is in the early

stages of turning Wicked Talent into a nonprofit organization.

“I’m trying to build a better subculture,” she said.