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Summer Altice

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miss august, a volleyball champ, is camera ready

Twenty-year-old Summer Altice breezes into LA's trendy Kings Road Cafe for her interview carrying a white puppy. "He's a Maltese I named JD -- after Jack Daniels," she says. It's easy to see why the whiskey-dubbed pooch seems enamored with his fresh-faced owner: She's articulate, educated, unpretentious and an all-natural athletic beauty. As she sips her lemonade, Summer considers each question carefully, her sunglasses unable to obscure her piercing hazel eyes. "Pretty much my entire life until last year was volleyball," says the four-year letter winner from California's Fountain Valley high school. Her long hours of practice landed her a scholarship to San Diego State; she then transferred to UCLA to study communications. Summer admits that her interest in volleyball has peaked. "After playing for eight years, I started to burn out on it," she says. "I didn't have the same love or desire for the game. It had been in my life for so long that it started becoming just a job."

Summer decided to pursue the modeling and acting career she began in 1995 when she won YM's cover girl contest. She signed with Elite modeling agency and landed assignments with Mossimo, Guess, Mademoiselle and Bally's fitness clubs. "The thing about modeling is, if you become a deer in the headlights about the fame, parties and meeting people, it will overcome you," she says. She appreciates it when people tell her that she resembles actresses Carol Alt and Elizabeth Hurley, and she is currently auditioning for her breakout role.

Summer is currently seeing an up-and-coming actor she describes as the most amazing person she's ever met. "He's given me reasons to look beyond Hollywood and to look inside myself and, like he says, 'be the queen you are.' I don't want to tell you his name because people knowing his business is not something he's used to." Can't she give us a hint about the lucky guy? "Is it getting hot in here?" she says with a sly grin.

Miss August likes to hit the town with her friends and enjoy good music. "I host a club at a bar on Sunset on Saturday nights," she says. "I'm a Capricorn -- I love doing things for people." So who helps her get her groove on? "Dr. Dre, Destiny's Child, Fiona Apple and Faith Hill," she says. "I'm pretty eclectic when it comes to music, but I'm more of a hp-hop, ghetto girl. I grew up around boys who were ghetto fabulous, so I kind of acquired the same taste in music. I'm a good singer and if I had the opportunity to do a demo or a song, I would take it in a heartbeat. I can be in a bad mood and put on Janet Jackson's Velvet Rope and -- boom! -- I'm better."

If she could change one thing about her fine self, what would it be? "I talk too much," she confesses. "I'm an open person, but I have come to cherish privacy. The most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me is, 'I want to know the deep Summer; I want to know the Summer nobody else knows.'"


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