Year 2020 was a dumpster fire; yet it was a year of cultivation and growth. It is easy to talk about the negatives and troubles of the past year, but what will give us strength is pivoting to the positive and finding the joys. In 2020, I was able to make this website, work on eleven different sets, and network as an actor, performer, artist, and more. Additionally eight projects that I had previously worked on were released - four of the eight were acting jobs. Continuing into 2021, I am staffed up as an art and props department assistant for a pilot tv show, and I am booked for an acting job in March. Even though it does not feel like much at this moment, and I wish the world was reopening more quickly, the words that my wise best friend Ayla Zangana spoke to me last week still resonate: “slow is still a speed; you’re still moving forward”. I keep reminding myself that I am lucky to have jobs in this industry. I specifically moved to Atlanta, Georgia to pursue this industry, and I am succeeding.
To showcase some of my reflections from this year, I was interviewed by SHOUTOUT ATLANTA. You can click the article title below to read the interview.
Furthermore, below are some of the questions and answers they did not include in the article as well as some photos from various sets that don't break any NDAs. May this give you a tiny incite into my overly artistic, academia mind.
Do you have a favorite quote or affirmation? What does it mean to you / what do you like about it?
“Feisty Women Are My Calling” Florence Pugh. I LOVE Florence Pugh. If you haven’t watched Little Women directed by Greta Gerwig, stop what you are doing and go watch it. Everything about that movie inspires me, and this specific quote inspires me because it makes me reevaluate characters that others may deem frail. I am constantly in awe of women and the fire that they hold. I like to believe that I am a feisty and fierce woman, and I strive to bring that energy into the characters that I portray.
What’s one thing about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
The amount of time that goes into working in this industry. On average I am working on set for 14 hours per day, 60-70 hour weeks. And as an actor, you are only really acting the moments between “action” and “cut”. Ten percent of the time is acting; the rest is prepping for wardrobes, building the elements of psychology, memorizing and rehearsing the lines, getting ready for the piece itself, and once the piece is over your job is to find your next job and go through that whole audition process. Mahershala Ali explains it perfectly; during an Actors Roundtable he said, “[Acting] is such a minuscule part of the experience that you have to love it that much.” Because of the working time commitment in this industry, there are many sacrifices that have to be made.
What is the most important factor behind your success / the success of your brand? This is such a beautiful question because everyone’s idea of success is different. So I think an important factor behind my success is being able to define - and redefine - what “success” means to me. Constantly making goals, aiming for new accomplishments, and putting in the work is what creates success. When I was younger my idea of being a successful actor was that I could pay my bills, buy any takeout food I wanted, and take care of my dog. Based on that definition, I am a successful actor. Last year I earned more money working in the film industry than I did working my side jobs; that created a new level of success. This year my name will be credited on major tv shows and movies that I worked on even though no one will see my face on screen. Those credits are a new level of success. We have the power to label what our successes are. Just because the people in my hometown can’t watch me as the next break-out star on a Netflix original, doesn’t mean that I am not successful at this moment. I am working. I am growing. That is success.
Other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
Choosing who to allow into my inner circle! I have many social circles, but having my inner circle, filled with people who are able to listen to my vulnerable thoughts, bounce creative ideas off of, who check into my heart posture and hold me accountable to my beliefs and
goals, is vital to my health. The people in my inner circle are not human copies of me. They all have diverse backgrounds and provide me with honest thoughts that allow me to grow and better myself. They are my gravity.
Why did you pursue an artistic or creative career?
My lovely grandparents; it’s all their fault. Haha. They used to take me to the theatre, museums, different book readings and events at our public library. They are teachers - so is my mom - and they are constantly trying to learn about culture and the change that is happening in the world. They taught me the importance of human connections and exploring the arts. In the end, it was my decision, but my grandparents were the driving force without knowing it. I love creating and pursuing art; I can’t imagine my life without it.
What do you want your legacy to be? What do you want people to remember about you?
Kindness and love. If that can be my legacy that is what I want. I don’t need people to remember me because of my talent or in regards to something I accomplished. When I’m remembered, I hope they remember how they felt around me. I hope they felt happy, beautiful, and that they could be fully themselves in that moment.
Until next the blog... Stay safe kiddos. Happy New Year! Wear a Mask. xoxo