Born and raised in Burke, Shannon Rusbuldt’s favorite childhood memory includes walking to Terra Centre Elementary School on a "walking bus." Students who lived the furthest away from the school would meet together to walk to school while picking up more students along the way.
Years later, Rusbuldt is now walking the runways as a fashion model in New York City.
When Rusbuldt is in her hometown, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and living in her favorite piece of apparel — her jeans.
How did you first become a model and then make the transition to television and film?
I attended a modeling/talent convention called Proscout in Washington, D.C. when I was about 19, where I received a great deal of interest from agents. It was then that I decided to pursue modeling. My mom took me to New York, where I met with over 10 agencies before signing with one. I then worked my way up the ranks. Now, I am with Elite Models and I love the people I work with. Although I am not a full-blown actress, I have had the pleasure of working in film and television. I hope to have more acting opportunities as my career progresses.
What is your favorite thing about your work as a model/actress?
I love working with different people virtually every day. I also love working as a sort of a chameleon. One day I will be the girl next door in an ad for Target or Macy’s, and the next day I’m a glammed up high fashion model wearing Vivianne Westwood on the runway.
What are some challenges you face?
Jobs are never guaranteed so I have to work hard and prove myself every day in the marketplace.
Name one or two of your favorite people that you have worked with.
Aside from my bookers, who I work with everyday, it was great working with Miles Aldridge when I was shooting for Vogue. He’s a very talented photographer. I absolutely love working with Tommy Hilfiger. He is the ultimate professional who truly loves what he does and has mentored me throughout my career.
Who were some of your major influences in your life and career?
My parents, Bob and Barbara Rusbuldt, are the biggest influence in my life. They taught me what’s important in life, and to appreciate everything I have and not to take myself too seriously. They also taught me to never give up on my dreams.
What is one of the most memorable moments of your career?
The day I was offered my contract with Elite I got stuck in the elevator on the way out. I was so excited about the contract I totally didn’t mind the 25 minutes I sat on the floor waiting for someone to come rescue me. When the doors were finally pried open by a man with an ax, I had to jump out to the floor below because I was stuck between floors. Everyone was asking me if I was OK. I couldn’t stop smiling and was in a really great mood. They must’ve thought I had a screw loose.
What are some projects you are currently working on?
Everything I am shooting right now won’t come out for months, but I just had a three-page spread in the New York Post, was on the cover of Nocturno Magazine and shot for Cosmo international. I played a model in the movie "Sex and the City," which is now out in theaters. I’ve also just finished shooting a pilot for a TV show about modeling.
What are some future career goals?
I feel like every day I achieve something new or overcome an obstacle I have reached a new goal. It’s amazing how I can look back on where I started and see how far I’ve come, yet I’m constantly setting new goals. I don’t have a specific job in mind as long as I am working with people who enjoy what they are doing, however a Vogue cover wouldn’t hurt.
What do you miss most about your hometown when you are working abroad or anywhere away from home?
I miss my friends and family, but I also miss how clean everything is in Burke. New York City is a far cry from the sidewalks in Northern Virginia where you can walk barefoot without the bottoms of your feet turning funny colors.
Where is your favorite local hangout?
When I come home to visit I usually meet a couple friends up at Glory Days. While we are there, we usually run into at least eight other people we know. It’s always a fun time.
Describe your ideal day of relaxation.
Any day I’m not working is a relaxing day. It’s nice not to worry about what I look like or have my hair tugged at, face made up and stand in high heels for hours with flashbulbs in my eyes.
Describe your idea of the perfect pair of jeans.
This is my territory. I live in jeans. J-brand is one of my favorites because they are flattering, but of course I have my favorite pair from Abercrombie that are about 8-years old with a million holes in them.