Coming into Her Own: Kai Morae

Friday, 30 April 2010 19:36 Written by  Bonita Holmes

Kai Morae, the 20-year-old daughter of actress and model LisaRaye McCoy, is bursting onto the scene with their new reality show The Real McCoy. While the Chicago native enjoys the perks of being “LisaRaye’s daughter,” she is working hard to make a name for herself while trying to remain as normal as possible. Morae is a sophomore at Santa Monica College now where she is studying computer science. She lives in Los Angeles, and her current projects include modeling and hosting seminars for the advocacy she does with young girls. Morae wants to continue helping girls understand that they can be just as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside.


GlossMagazineOnline (GMO): Tell us more about the advocacy you do for young girls ages 14-21.

Kai: I’m not a skinny girl; I’m a healthy child. With society nowadays, they make it seem like you have to be skinny, otherwise you’re not pretty. I feel like I can talk to most girls and let them know you can still have the confidence of a supermodel even though you’re not that size. If you have confidence, that will help you succeed in so many different areas of life; it’ll help you in your relationships, it’ll help you in your career, it’ll help you in your life and it just helps you all around.


GMO: Do you think it’s more important for you to be a plus-size or regular size model?

Kai: I don’t because most people don’t realize when you see plus-size models, you see a girl that’s about a size 12 or 14. To me, it’s just thick, it’s not plus-size. I don’t think I’ll ever be skinny; I don’t want to be skinny.


GMO: What kind of work have you done with these girls?

Kai: We’re trying to get seminars together now.


GMO: What are you currently working on?

Kai: Right now the main thing that I’m focusing on is my modeling and maintaining my weight because I’m in between “normal” and plus-size so I’m trying to figure out where I want to go with that. School—that’s my main focus, as well trying to get out of school. [Laughs]. Work--I’m starting to do events, going to parties, and we just got the news today that The Real McCoy aired at 1.6 million viewers.


GMO: Are you with an agency now?

Kai: No, I’m not with an agency right now. I’m trying to focus more on me. I feel like you have to work on yourself first before you can [dedicate] yourself to anything else. I’ve had plenty of offers, I just don’t feel like at this point in time I’m ready or that I need to be signed.


GMO: What do you plan to do once you graduate from college?

Kai: I used to have my whole little five-year plan together, but because so many things have been changing, I feel like my life’s career is on a different path now. So at this point in time, I’m starting back at square one. I don’t really know exactly what I want to do or how I want to do it anymore. I’m just taking it day by day. No matter how major anything gets, I definitely want to finish school.


GMO: Do you feel any pressure because of who your mother is?

Kai: I don’t think there’s a certain amount of pressure because I feel like people think I get [ahead] because of it. I do get connections because of it, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t work for what I get and what I do. You work, I work, and we all have to get our money somehow.


GMO: You studied abroad in London and Switzerland. How was that?

Kai: It was really cool; I went through my last two years of high school in Switzerland. I graduated when I was 17, so being there since I was almost 16 it was crazy being on your own you have to grow up. I’m an only child, so I’ve always been independent, but that’s a whole new level. It was so much fun! At first I didn’t like it, but my reasoning wasn’t right. I missed my friends [but] I came back to realize that most of my friends were doing the same thing that they were doing before.


GMO: How long has it been since you’ve been to Chicago?

Kai: I was born in Chicago. That’s my hometown. I live in L.A. now so I’m back and forth. I go home to Chicago maybe every three months.


GMO: How old were you when you officially moved away from Chicago?

Kai: I was maybe 9. I was 9, but you know I haven’t been in L.A. my whole life. When I was 13, I moved to Houston,and then like I said when I was 15 and a half, I moved to Switzerland so I’ve been everywhere.


GMO: How do you feel having the cameras follow you all the time?

Kai: At first it was kind of awkward but [then] you get used to it. You become like family with your crew members. They’re always there, and it’s like being with your friends all day.


GMO: Are you videotaped every day?

Kai: Three or four days out of a week. It was originally supposed to be a 28-day shoot, but it ended up being three months because it was so spread out.


GMO: How has it been growing up as the daughter of LisaRaye?

Kai: You know what, a lot of people ask me that and it’s crazy, but that’s my mom!


GMO: How is it juggling relationships?

Kai: With friends, it’s a bit hard because you never know what their motive is; you never know what they want. You have to kind of scope people out; it’s a trial and error type of thing. Certain people I can’t take certain places, certain people I can’t do certain things with. It’s just, you never know. In high school, I made my own friends, I’m very sociable, I made my own friends, everything was fine, and then I had a talent show and my mom came up to the talent show and you just noticed how people treated me differently after they realized who she was to me.


GMO: Did you like being the only child?

Kai: I love being the only child because my dad has other kids so it’s like when I want a brother and sister, I can call them up.


GMO: Explain what you mean about not just wanting to be looked at as LisaRaye’s daughter.

Kai: I’ll see someone and they’ll say Kai, Lisa Raye’s daughter. That’s not my name. I have my own identity; I’m doing my own thing. I don’t want to be looked at as just Lisa Raye’s daughter. Yeah, that’s who I am as well, and it shouldn’t be a label on me.


GMO: Do you plan on getting into acting anytime soon?

Kai: Not really because I feel like with acting, I feel like I know everything per say. I feel like I’ve been through it already because I was always on set, I was always there. I was always with her at auditions, and I always helped her with her lines, so I feel like there’s nothing else for me to learn about acting.


GMO: How is your aunt Da Brat?

Kai: It’s actually Da Brat’s birthday today (April 14). We’re praying for her. We talked to her and she’s doing so good.


GMO: Everyone already knows who LisaRaye is. When people say Kai Moroe, what do you want to come to mind?

Kai: I want them to think of someone that is not only a pretty face but is also trying to do things. I want them to understand that I’m not just one dimensional. I want them to understand that [I’m] doing something. Nowadays with some many people being so young minded, a lot of people aren’t doing a lot of things, and I want to let people know that I’m one of those girls that has her head on straight that has beauty and brains and [I’m] going to do something with it.


Bonita Holmes

Bonita Holmes

Bonita Holmes, a native of Chicago IL is a sophomore at Columbia College Chicago majoring in journalism with a concentration in News Reporting and Writing. She has worked for many publications such as New Expressions and The Mash, and she plans on changing the scope of media.

Bonita can be reached at