Where are they now?
After a few years of teeny, humble beginnings with a handful of gamer models including L337 Lauren, TipperQueen, and others, Charisma+2 made their first calendar in 2009. Here is a look back at the girls featured in the calendar as well as other veterans of the agency. We will continue to add on to the bottom of this article as we have time to archive these for updates.
By far, our most well known vet is Lauren “L337Lauren” Berggren Bleszinski. She, Adelle Starr, and Tiffany Green were Yvonna’s first gamer models after being in the top 5 with her during Miss Video Game finals in Montreal Canada. Although it remained a challenge to convince game studio marketing departments that their fans would prefer booth babes who actually played games and could speak about the games with firsthand knowledge, the girls banded together in a way that few female gamers did back then. They were not interested in silly gossip or backstabbing, they were about community building, personal growth, and just having fun together paying games. That sentiment has stayed with everyone through the years. Charisma+2 would like to give a tip of the hat to some of the founding members of Charisma+2:
Getting her start in the industry through Charisma+2 as a Quakecon girl. Erica “Rika” Hollinshead-Stead got to meet the CEO at the time, Todd Hollenshead ( it’s funny their names were almost the same though no relation). As is very common, the developers at id software found out that the C+2 girls are also quite sharp, skilled gamers, and good people. The prettiness is just icing. Through this, she was able to get an interviewed for QA position and with a bit of time became Senior QA. She did such a top notch job, she was able to take that experience and move up to being a producer at Trivie.
L337Lauren- won Miss Video Game, while in game dev school joined Charisma+2 as the first model, was a Fragdoll Candidate in ’07, worked for Astro in ’08, was QuakeCon girl in ’08, did a great job on an interview that Yvonna requested for her at id software, was hired at id and worked there on the Build team until getting swept off her feet by Cliff Bleszinksi, whom she married this last August (it was an amazing and perfect wedding with game themes, wild safari animals, and one of the most wonderful couples evar. Below is a picture from her first photo shoot. Yvonna, Lauren, and Jim Brown did the shoot guerrilla style with Lauren wearing a fabulous WoW cosplay she had made herself only a few days before (and finishing up on until the last minute). Not bad for a first shoot, eh?
Kelly “TipperQueen” Kelly Law-Yone Harrop first came to the attention of Charisma+2 through friends raving about her mad Guitar Hero skills. Having been onstage with Bill Gates and Slash, TipperQueen was no stranger to the spotlight and fell right in to being a gamer model. It was exciting to see girls holding their own against guys in the gaming world, as she did frequently with Team Pandemic, but was not entirely as common five years ago as it is today. On top of that, Kelly is beautiful, competent, and sweet as can be. It was QuakeCon 2009 when Marty Stratton asked Yvonna for a reliable, assistant for him during the crazy large LAN known as QuakeCon. Kelly fit the bill perfectly and through her impressive reliability landed a job at id software under Marty as an assistant producer. In 2012, she married Jonathan Harrop of Gamestop and yep, the gaming continues.
To this day one of the most perfectly beautiful girls to ever grace the ranks at Charisma+2 is Deanna Sarkar. Beyond that, Deanna has the voice of an angel. She has always been much more interested in being a thespian, so Charisma+2 had always felt grateful to have her on board. Not without game credits in her own right, such as motion capture for Aliens: Colonial Marines, Yvonna found Deanna via her husband, Dan Sarkar, who is a weapons artist (most recently designing the gorgeous and very cool weapons in Halo 4). After getting booked for 2K at E3, they were so impressed with her, they flew her across the country for a one day event. She was also booked for xbox live featuring Carnival Games. Despite being in demand, Deanna could not resist putting her first love of theatre to the main stage of her life, though, she does enjoy doing cosplay cons with her hubby. She sports an amazing Sonja Blade!
Yvonna spotted Ashley “Twinkl3z” Scroggins via the Racing scene in Florida. She enjoyed racing irl and in games. Within a year, Ashley moved to Dallas, became a QuakeCon girl, and has been doing gaming promotional modeling and events all over the country ever since with Bethesda, Square Enix, AMD, and ECA. This beautiful model also has a heart of pure gold volunteering for charity work with Operation Supply Drop and others. When she first joined C+2, she was established in racing games and Guitar Hero but was a total noob in FPS games. Now? She invites people to join her stream in quake live (where she will own you) and FireFall (her latest addiction).
A photo on the wall in December of the Calendar, Leigh-Ann Cox produced one of our regular shows on her youtube called Gamette Make-up. She modeled with Charisma+2 while going to Game dev school majoring in Level Design. This last year at the Borderlands 2 launch party, she got to meet L337Lauren in person, who Leigh-Ann thanks for the inspiration to go to dev school.
Leigh-Ann, pictured at The Aliens: Colonial Marines launch party loves being a developer and remains a good friend to Charisma+2, even joining in on events when she can. Leigh-Ann currently works at Gearbox Software.
Faye was an absolute joy to be around and reliably competent in ever assignment. I recall her doing a great job interviewing Charles Martinet (voice of Mario) at the E3 Nintendo booth in 2009 for C+2magazine. She did an amazing job, however, it was my first time behind the camera instead of in front of it and we lost audio somehow! But you can still see how enthusiastically yet professionally she handled herself here in the video. She also was the voice of Lulu in 2009 in League of Legends. You can see her IMDB credits here.
Faye went on to be in the reality tv show WCG Ultimate Gamer where she made it to the Grande Finale episode.
Currently, Faye is a Live Services Internal Communications Coordinator at Riot Games and still pursues Voice Over work whenever possible.
There are so many of the Charisma+2 models who have gone full time into game development, tech, or marketing, like Annie, Kayla, and Rika. Others have gone on to form their own agencies and groups or to carry on with game hosting careers like Nikole. It is with great pride that I get called upon to give recommendations by game development executives who have come to trust the professionalism that we have been careful to protect here at Charisma+2.
Below is a glance at our original site. Want to view the flash that used to be on the homepage? YOu will get a kick out of seeing some of our regional models and to know now how far they have come :) http://charismaplus2.com/home.php