A warm and sunny Miss June brightens the Sunshine State
Since Kara Monaco appeared last August in our Women Behind Bars pictorial featuring sexy bartenders, guys wandering near her watering hole in Orlando, Florida have been unusually thirsty. "People come in every night wanting me to sign something for them," she says. "The owners loved it, and while I thought it was sweet, it got a little overwhelming." Kara, who describes herself as "a bit shy and reserved until you get to know me," found a way to deflect some of the attention. "I have a co-worker who looks enough like me that people think we're sisters," she says. "At one point, when someone came in and asked, 'Are youKara from Playboy?' I said, 'Oh no, she's right over there.' She got to play my body double. It was funny."
Such shyness, however, is seldom more than a temporary condition with Kara. Though the petite 22-year-old starts out quiet, her emerald eyes light up before long, and her friendly laugh turns into an exuberant cackle. This is especially true once you get her going about life in the Sunshine State. Tourists, she says, are easy to spot "because they're always sunburned"--a detail she first noticed while fulfilling a tour of duty working in Mickey Mouse's playground. "I dressed as seven different characters, including Cinderella, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland and the Little Mermaid," she says proudly. Kara also danced in the Disney World parades, a not unexpected distinction on a résumé that includes years of dancing and gymnastics and a stint coaching a competitive dance team. "It was a jazz-funk, hip-hop kind of thing," she says. "That's what I do best."
One thing you won't find Miss June doing much is hanging out in bars after work. "After being in that environment all day I'm done with partying," she says. "I love going to Miami, where these pictures were taken, but the city is a little crazy for my taste. I'm more of a homebody now."
A homebody but not boring. Kara never lets her relationships become routine and predictable. "Being spontaneous always helps," she says. "Surprise your significant other by making dinner or preparing a bubble bath for both of you. I try to keep things spicy." So when this bartender is finished pouring shots at work, does she then call the shots in her relationships? "I'm in charge, but I make him think he is," she says with a sly grin. "The one thing I won't tolerate is cheating. I warn guys I date that they get one chance with me, and if they cheat it's over. I've never cheated on anyone, and I want the same respect."
This summer Kara wants to learn how to wakeboard, a sport that will separate her from her constant companion, Chloe, a teacup Chihuahua she carries everywhere in a pooch purse. Their relationship is very L.A.--a city to which the aspiring actress is thinking of moving. "I've set goals, and I hope within five years I'll be doing something actingwise, whether it's a film or a TV show," she says. "I would love to do something totally opposite from myself that even downplays my looks, like Charlize Theron's role in Monster." Her five-year plan is hardly a deadline, however. "I don't think I would give up after a certain amount of time," she says. "I'll just keep trying."
Kara is one of a number of Sunshine State sweeties who have become Playmates recently, including Miss May, Jamie Westenhiser. The two girls are actually friends who met on modeling assignments prior to appearing in Playboy. Unlike Jamie, who wants to make her home in Florida, Kara has more wanderlust. "I might use some of my Playmate money to finance my trip west, after I visit somewhere I've never been before," she says. "Right now I live with my mother, who raised my sister and me all by herself. I'm trying to convince her to move with me. She's a personal hero and someone whose advice I take to heart. My mom has been very supportive. When I first asked her what she thought of my being in Playboy, she kind of gave me a push and said, 'Go for it.' I always try to."
Photography by Arny Freytag and Jarmo Pohjaniemi