Have you ever cried while getting ready for work, yet no one died, you are in perfect physical health and all the bills are paid? Well I have. And that was when I knew things had to change. After fifteen plus years working in finance and making AMAZING MONEY, but pursuing my passions on nights, weekends and fake sick days, I've decided to walk in my destiny. Anyone who knows me for real, or even that follows me via social media, knows I'm NOT the nine to five type, but I guess those acting skills came in handy. Lol
With all I do, many find it surprising when I say I'm an actor when asked what I do. So why do I initially say actor? Simple; no matter what else I do, acting damn near saved my life and I am always going to be an actor first.
As a small child I lived between my mother and my grand parents. I spent majority of my time with my grandmother and grandfather though. To keep me occupied and out of their hair on the weekends, my mother put me into dance and acting classes for kids. I loved it. I had my Barbie ballet box packed to the rim with my stuff and would sashay my lil self off to classes. This then lead to my run on Sesame Street for almost two seasons. From there I would later join a girl group from Brooklyn, singing, dancing and rapping our way to a record deal with none other than Tamar Braxton's husband Vincent Herbert by my junior year in high school. At that point I was mostly singing and dancing, no longer rapping and acting professionally, BUT I was still in most of my school plays as the lead or a supporting character, and would continue to watch TV and movies knowing one day I'd be back at acting.
After a few more failed recording deals, singing for major artists but not getting pay or credit, and several failed love affairs with a few well known musicians, athletes and actors, I landed back in NYC. I was broke, broken and had to start over. Through it all, what was waiting for me to help me recover...acting!
I randomly was asked to play a role in like the most "chitlin" of chitlin plays my first year back as it required a strong singer. As bad as it was...the opportunity to escape my drab and - at the time - ugly life, was a welcome respite. I could take over another person's existence, create the backstory of their life that I wanted to and live in that skin for a while. It was escapism as its best.
Time would move on and the jobs would get less hokey, but as the material became better, I had to get better too. Now many people believe if you are good then just go for it. And yes, I'd trained as a child and was blessed to work with directors that also trained me now as an adult, but I had to take responsibility for my own instrument and destiny and do the damn work. So I began to learn, study and seek training.
As I grew as an actor I was then led to create. Not just with the given characters in my work, but my own work period. A lack of viable and strong roles that spoke to me made me want to write my own. Well, that and a drama filled life that provided me plenty of material. So I began to study how to write screenplays, stage plays and so on. I used my skills from Corporate America to help me get work as a producer and assistant director over time as well. And before I knew it, my life morphed into what it is today.
It's no easy hustle and takes copious amounts of faith, dedication, tough skin (as you will be rejected and likely fail forward a lot) and social sacrifice. But it's all worth it if that's what you really want.
Please note though, if you just want to be famous, rich or be a 'starah' find another hustle. Those can all be bi products of success in this game, but if they are immediate goals you will either quit early or compromise much of your integrity and self respect/self worth for that.
Push, hustle, plan, dream and LIVE family. And slowly but surely (and not without a few battle scars) you will get what you want.