When did you start acting?
I started acting in 2010. I landed my first role on a show called Single Ladies on VH1. Funny story about this job - when I say this was my first ever experience into the acting world, I mean it. I learned about the audition process, casting directors, being put on tape and feeling super awkward about it all. I learned my lines pretty well though and was off-book. So I guess that was a great thing at the time for a first-timer, but I didn't get a callback. Instead, I got a call from a friend that was doing the makeup on set of the show and urged me to come to set to meet the director. He said " I told her so much about you and I know you are exactly what she is looking for." As I arrived, he greeted me and introduced me to Stacy A. Littlejohn. To my surprise, I was what she was looking for. She auditions me and crazy enough, I already knew the lines because the sides that were given to me were from my very first audition. Full circle, right! She gave me my first role, and that's how my journey began.
How did your acting career unfold?
My acting career unfolded when I was a dancer in a film called Bolden. While on set, I fantasized that I was the one playing the role of the main character I was dancing behind in 2010. After wrapping, I didn't hear anything about the film until 2014. My agent called me with news that the director was going into reshoots and casting four new characters and said he wanted to see me for an audition. By this time, I had three shows under my belt (Single ladies, The Originals and Nashville). I told my agent lets go for all four; something has to stick. And to my surprise, something did. I got a call from Dan Pritzker, the director, along with casting director. He wanted to offer me a role, and what made this moment even more unbelievable is that I was being offered the role of the character I fantasized about playing back in 2010. I couldn't believe it. I was just offered a role to star in a movie I had once fantasized about staring in. Bolden released May 3, 2019. So I hope you guys got to see it. It's such an amazing movie with an amazing cast. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity as Bolden marks my first Flim. I've since moved to Los Angeles and now have four projects that I've worked on. Running out of Time debuted Dec 1st, 2018 and I have Dear Frank, Howard High, and The Restauranton the way.
What attracted you to begin a career as an actor?
I honestly didn't have an attraction at first. I was so immersed in my dance career that I didn't even know I had the talent hiding inside of me. I knew I was very intuned with my body and emotions as a dancer, and I didn't lack being vulnerable just from my life experiences alone. I guess it really hit me that acting was something I should be doing right after I booked my first role. The experiences made me feel like I was dancing, but now I was able to use my words to be even more expressive. I felt so connected with myself. As if this new world had opened me up to learn so much more about myself and others. I enjoyed playing in the space, the stories I was given, and the inner connection I was making with my work. Acting became very therapeutic in a way, and I am so thankful to be blessed with the talent to tell stories.
What was the biggest audience you have performed in front of?
The biggest audience I ever performed for I would have to say, was with Beyonce for the last taping of the Oprah show. Still an unbelievable moment for me to this day .
What advice do you have for new actors?
Don't let the word "NO!" stop you. Get up every time and keep pushing. Someone will see your star just as you do and they will guide you along the way. They will cheer for you, pray over you and wish you nothing but the best. Those people are who you keep close as you shut out the rest. Keep your focus and remove all distractions. The work is for you to do and as long as you are doing the work, no one can take what's already set out for you.
Who is your favorite actor, and why?
I have so many amazing favorites. I mean how can I just choose only one, when I have so many that have influenced my work. Meryl Streep is the mother of empathy. Regina King, Viola Davis, Angela Bassett all know how to pull at your heartstrings. As Halle Berry brings the sexy, Queen Latifah brings the queen. Kerry Washington brings the conviction as Zoe Saldana brings the superhero I always dreamed of being. As far as the men, Denzel Washington, Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson. My list can go on. I am proud of those that have paved the way for me. They have taught me what it means to breathe life on screen and on stage.