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
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
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.