Thursday, December 17, 2009
VH1 Interview: Extra (For The Love Of Ray- 2)
I know you delineate between “Extra” and “Sharmisa,” but can you explain their differences?
Extra is kind of my alter ego. Extra is loud, crazy, outgoing, she says exactly what’s on her mind, she doesn’t care if she hurts anybody else’s feelings. She’s just extra everything. And that’s kind of the total opposite of me. If I had to go on the show being just Sharmisa, I’m quiet, I’m shy, I’m very caring, nurturing and understanding. I have a very religious side, of course. I’m just Sharmisa.
Yeah. It seemed like you weren’t Extra all of the time. It seems like there was a conflict between Extra and Sharmisa. Do you think that’s the case?
I was kind of struggling with some of the things the girls were saying about Extra, and I came to the realization that, “OK, I’m Extra, but nobody is going to realize that I’m Sharmisa.” I came to the realization that it’s the same person, physically. So I kind of chilled back after the Extra side, and just kind of tried to show Ray who Sharmisa is. Because if he did pick me, and he did end up falling in love with me or whatever the case may be, I wanted him to actually know what he’d be getting. [I’m] not some wild party girl. He’d be getting a homebody nurturing woman.
And somebody who’s a lot more introverted than Extra announced herself as being.
I think that’s because I did like Ray a lot, and I feel like I wanted to show Ray a softer side of me, not someone that’s always talking. I wanted to show him that I was able to listen to him. But our time together wasn’t really anything to listen to, so that put me in the position to have to create a conversation. There wasn’t any physical chemistry with this. I didn’t feel it, and I’m not sure if he felt it, but he probably didn’t. I just felt I had to create something, so that’s where all the cooking came in, the poetry, all the games. There was time that we spent together off camera. I mean, it was only a couple of minutes, but we did have meaningful conversations. Ray wasn’t interested.
When watching it, though, it really did seem like neither of you were connecting.
I understand how some people could see it that way, but the audience isn’t reading deeper into the poetry, how you’re actually displaying your feelings through poetry. How actually spending time making a four-course meal is showing somebody that you care. They’re saying, “Oh, she’s not saying anything to Ray!” I actually was, but the way I was represented by VH1 was that I was this really loud, over the top girl, but I was shy when it came to Ray.
Speaking of that kind of duality, early on, Heartbreaker took you to task for putting forth this sexually charged image, but also being very religious and openly reading the Bible.
I’m kind of upset they played that. I don’t think that anybody, or any person, or any network should exploit someone reading the Bible. However on the flip side, I know I’m going to contradict myself, but there’s actually no relation in doing the splits and reading the Bible. Because that means that you’re saying, “Oh, just because somebody does the splits, they can’t be a Christian.” I went into the house with the mentality, “Whatever Ray wants, I’m going to give it to him.” And when Lava was boring him, I was like, “Let me spice it up a little.” Was I over the top with the splits? Of course. After he named me “Extra,” yes, I’m going to take it the extra mile. I don’t think that it was fair for everybody to criticize me for reading the Bible and doing the splits. If anybody reads the Bible, they know that God can save everybody.
Are you saying that people who do the splits need to be saved?
I’m saying that anybody can be saved. If God can save a crack head who’s been doing crack for 30 years, he can save that person and change their life around, then he can change anybody. But my thing is, it was a show. Should I have handled it differently? Maybe. Would it be different if I had done the splits in jeans? Was it because I had on a dress and my pink and green underwear was showing? You see what I’m saying? It’s a lot of things that can be flipped or twisted from that. So I just ignore it.
Why go in the house displaying your alter ego in the first place?
I had to flip into an alter ego because I don’t have any interest in so many of the things that the other girls have interests in. My focus is English. As everybody saw, I’m a writer. That’s what I do and a lot of people feel that writers are nerds or boring, and I don’t think that’s the case because we have the biggest personality, or the biggest imagination, ever. If I had gone into the house as Sharmisa, I would have had about 20 books on me. I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on Ray. I would have been interested in reading and writing.
Then why sign up for a reality show in the first place, where people would be expecting something different than typical writerly qualities?
It was another thing to test my abilities, to get outside of my box. And plus, it’s Ray J. As Ray J said on the show, I had a crush on him, and I’m not going to deny that. I’ve had a crush on Ray for several years. I saw the show as an opportunity to get to know him, and for him to get to know me. Did I want to win? Of course I wanted to win. You go on a reality show wanting to win. Did I expect to win? No. After all, I’m still Sharmisa, whether I’m Extra or not. I still have the same heart, and my heart is too pure, my heart is too innocent, my mentality is way different than Ray, or any of the other girls. I’m not interested in sex…I mean, I’m interested in having sex, I’m not interested in selling sex.
What about when you were crying in the interview saying that you cared about him the most? Were those real tears?
Those were real tears, because I did put everything I had into each one of those challenges, and I still didn’t get a date. I put everything I had into every meal I made Ray J, every poem I wrote him, physically handed to him. Was I hurt when he let me go? I was crushed. But at the end of the day, you breathe and you move on. Ray wasn’t into me, whatever. There’s 100,000 guys who want to be with me.
Another point of duality: Ray said that he saw you as a little girl, and yet you were talking about being wifey material, which is an adult thing to do.
Yeah. All of the qualities and characteristics that I possess are that of a wife, because I know that I was put here to be a wife. Not some bimbo, not some trick on a celebrity’s arm, not some homey smasher. No, I’m not any of that. The fact that you see me as a little girl means that you’re not mature enough. You’re not mature enough in your brain to accept a real woman. A real woman is not going to just throw herself at you sexually, and that be all she has to offer. You didn’t see any of the other girls in the house cooking for him, or writing for him. No, you saw them with their tongues down his throat, walking around the house naked, or touching his person.
Do you have any resentment for Ray?
I just hate the fact that he’s so close-minded that he couldn’t see all the things that I was doing was for him in his best interest. He just wants somebody who is very sexual and very physical. And if he had waited and gotten to know me, I’m not saying it wouldn’t have been anything like that, because that’s what a relationship entails. But I’m not going to give you some just because you’re Ray J.
You changed your hair a lot on the show.
Going into the show, I knew they weren’t going to buy me a perm. I’m black, and I have black people’s hair! I need a perm every four weeks. Going into the show, I knew they weren’t going to do that, and they didn’t. I took wigs just in case. And once I became Extra, me changing the hair up every couple of hours was just something fun. It was fun to see what the girls had to say, to see the expression on the Ray’s face. It was very entertaining to me, I would say.
Tell me about your book, The Lust for Love.
My book is a relationship book based on experiences that I’ve had in the past. It’s kind of like an advice book. I have different chapters like “What Men Want,” “What Women Want,” “Playing the Dating Game,” “What To Say and Not To Say,” things like that. It’s basically just giving my fans and my readers an insight into my mentality as far as relationships go, as far as sex goes, as far as my view of a real man and a real woman. And it also shares some intimate experiences that I’ve had. And when I say “intimate” I don’t mean “sexual.” I mean how I got to know love, how I got my heart broke and also some things that happened on the show. Yeah. I’m listing and loving.
Do you have any beef with any of the girls?
Me and Exotica, we had beef on the show. I decided to let that go when I left the house, because I had nothing against her as a person until she started beefing me on Twitter. I’m not following her, so I don’t know what she said, but my followers are saying that she said a couple things. Heartbreaker had some beef on Twitter a couple weeks ago. I just let it go because it’s nothing to linger on. If you don’t like me, you don’t like me. I don’t care if you don’t like me, that’s your problem. I have nothing against you, but you’re not going to lie on me and bash my name. That’s where I’ll get you.
Visit Extra's website: extraluv.com