Thursday, August 9, 2012

iRealHousewives Exclusive Interview with RHODC's Lynda Erkiletian

President and owner of THE Artist Agency, fashion guru and RHODC star, Lynda Erkiletian talks about her life, career, Real Housewives, charities, dyslexia, family and more in this exclusive interview with iRealHousewives

iRH: Hi Lynda, welcome to iRealHousewives, how are you?

LE: Better than ever. Thank you.

iRH: How were you approached to be a “Real Housewife of DC”?

LE: I was approached by a production company who purported to be looking for interesting, intelligent women in the district to share their personal and professional lives. We did not initially know the show was to part of the Real Housewives franchise.

iRH: What made you decide to be part of the show?

LE: I thought the show would be a perfect opportunity to showcase THE Artist Agency and acquaint the viewing public with the Washington DC fashion industry, as well as the many worthwhile cultural and charitable organizations with whom we collaborate.

iRH: How is life after being on “The Real Housewives of DC”?

LE: In the beginning it took some adjusting to not having the cameras following me around but my life continues to be full; full of blessings and tests, or rather opportunities. And thankfully, both THE Artist Agency and The James and Paula Coburn Foundation continue to grow and thrive, providing a sincerely gratifying outlet for my professional and creative energies.

iRH: Do you still keep in touch with any of your DC cast members?

LE: I am still very much in touch with Cat and Mary, and occasionally I will see Stacy.

iRH: Last time we saw you, you were in a relationship with Ebong, are you guys still together?

LE: My mom moved in last year to undergo cancer treatment and recovery, which was an extremely emotional time for me. I found my main focus became her well-being and I was tapped out physically and emotionally. Ebong and I had a very special relationship that like most had its share of ups and downs. So when push came to shove I had little to give and he deserved more. As many of the viewers came to know, he is an incredible person and bestowed many blessings in my life. I will love him always.

iRH: Are you currently single?

LE: I am currently single (laughs), I have donated that one to the divine.

iRH: Can you give my readers an update on how your kids are doing?

LE: The kids are great! My oldest sons both graduated earlier this summer; Aaron from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and Mihran from St. Joseph's University, where my youngest son, Sam, has just completed his Freshman year. Jessica has moved with her boyfriend to the Philadelphia area and she is currently assisting with the James Coburn Biography that we are preparing to release. And I am gaining a daughter! When Aaron marries his longtime girlfriend, K.C., who has been a beloved part of our family for years.

iRH: You've been very vocal about being diagnosed with dyslexia. At what point in your life did you realize you were dyslexic?

LE: When I was young, not many people were familiar with or considerate of learning differences like dyslexia. I had an unnecessarily difficult and discouraging educational experience and was thrilled many years later to find an academic and professional network of support when my son was diagnosed. It was a blessing in disguise however in that it was the dyslexia that drove me to seek out alternative options in different creative fields. Also the key to success with dyslexia is surrounding yourself with a team of English majors.

iRH: Lynda, I know you've mentioned this on Paul Wharton's show that your Mom is or was battling cancer; can you give us an update on how she is doing now?

LE: My Mom was diagnosed with Level 4 Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in June of 2011. She moved in with me weighing 86 pounds and moved out weighing 106 with a big smile on her face and in full remission. This experience was a bittersweet but valuable opportunity to renew and rediscover our relationship. Her inspirational battle has left her stronger-willed and feistier than ever. She has been looking forward to dancing at Aaron and K.C.'s wedding coming up at the end of August. So needless to say, our family has much to celebrate and be thankful for.

iRH: Before breaking into the Fashion industry, you used to be a backup singer to R&B gospel singer Candi Staton. Do you still have a passion for singing?

LE: Music is a natural part of my life as 3 of my 4 children are musicians. Vocal cords like any other muscle need exercise and if my voice were what it used to be, I would have released a single on iTunes ages ago. But for now I am only singing alone in my car.

iRH: I know you’re the Executive Director of the James and Paula Coburn Foundation. Can you explain what this charity is about?

LE: The James and Paula Coburn Foundation (JPCF) is a tax-exempt private foundation that supports charitable organizations devoted to the arts and sciences. The mission of the JPCF is to sustain and develop the Coburns’ legacy, as bequeathed to the LA Philharmonic, the LA County Museum of Art, the Clairbourn School, KCET Community Television, the Motion Picture & Television Fund, and Operation Smile, in addition to, charities involved in the conduct of treatments or cures for cancer and the care of indigent cancer patients. The foundation is committed to upholding the Coburns' dedication to local and international advancement through music, art, and education, as well as, physical and spiritual health. Please, visit www.JamesandPaulaCoburnFoundation.org for more information regarding our inspirational beneficiaries and most current projects.

iRH: Any plans for THE Artist Agency to expand outside of DC in the near future?

LE: No. Though we often work with agencies in other markets, THE Artist Agency continues to represent talent and models exclusively within the DC Metropolitan area. Actually the timing of this question could not be more appropriate as last week, it was brought to my attention, that there was an intentional imposter fraudulently using THE Artist Agency's logo and stating that I personally was his business partner. This person was attempting to abuse our trusted reputation for potentially dangerous ends. Because I am all too aware of this industry’s important however unintentional role in human trafficking, I reported him and the fraud to every possible authority and venue of recourse. So if any of you happen to see our logo floating around overseas, please let us know.

iRH: Who is your celebrity crush?

LE: My celebrity crush is still and has been since Remington Steel, Pierce Brosnan.

iRH: Are there any other charities you support or sponsor?

LE: I both personally and professionally work with many incredible charities, including Men Against Breast Cancer, Key to the Cure, St. Jude Children's Medical Research Hospital, Innocents at Risk, Beauty Within, and many other inspirational organizations.

iRH: Anything you would like to say to your fans?

LE: I am so grateful for the fans' interest, insight, and support. RHODC may have only lasted one season, but I have and continue to encounter so many amazing and interesting people who are fans, and I love our conversations on Twitter and Facebook. So, I'd like to say thank you and stay in touch. You can subscribe to my Facebook, follow me on twitter at @THERealLyndaDC, and like my Facebook Fan Page

Stay Connected with Lynda:
Twitter: @THERealLyndaDC
Websites: www.lyndaerkiletian.com www.theartistagency.com

Photo Credit: @TheRealLyndaDC

Note: Partial reposting is permitted with a link back to the original article.

8 comments :

  1. I love you Lynda!! Miss seeing you on TV. Hope to see you on another show sometime.

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  2. i don't have Twitter but I love Lynda and miss the ladies of RHODC. I must say I love this interview, love the fact that Lynda talked about her mom and her dyslexia, makes me admire her even more, such a beautiful person inside and out. Great job iRealHousewives, MAZEL to you both!!
    -Blanche

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  3. Loved the interview, I'm glad Lynda's mom is healthy and in a better place and congratualtion Lynda on your son's wedding. Good things always come out at the end. Hope to see you back on TV soon Lynda, we miss you and love you. - L.S.

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  4. Lynda's story is so inspiring, loved the fact that she took care of her mom, that really tocuhed me, she's such a tough woman, I really hope her and Ebong really get back together, they make a beautiful couple. Wow Lynda I have learned so much about you, makes me respect you even more. Thank you iRealHousewives for a very informative interview, great job

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  5. This was a great interview, often times after a family is hit with cancer, no matter who has it, it takes a toll and it can tear a family apart. I know because I made it a point for our family not to when my daughter came down with it at 3. I commend her for taking such a strong role in her mothers cancer and even though she lost Ebong he was the one who lost out. It sounds as though she is a really amazing person that gives of herself openly and that is rare to find. Thanks for sharing this with us hun you are amazing!!!

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  6. What an amazing woman! So kind, loving and giving. She needs her own reality show!!
    Julia in DC

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  7. loved Lynda on RHODC, great interview! xo

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  8. WOW a lot has happend to Lynda after DC Housewives, I'm glad shes in a better place, great interview!!!

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