It's 2021 be encouraged!
Two years ago I was swimming in the comforting waters of mommyhood pretty disconnected from the acting community. My daughter was getting older and I realized it was time to get back to my passion. I decided to amp up my commitment to my creative life. My spirit knew it was time to follow my creative desires and I am so grateful to have a team (agent, Craig Holzberg of Avalon Artists and manager, Susanna Griffith) that stays ready. With this renewed commitment things started to move. Straight out the gate I booked an understudy role in Lynn Nottage's play SWEAT at the Mark Taper Forum; then I found my way to Shondaland with a role on FOR THE PEOPLE. I then went out to South Coast Rep to the world of Julia Cho's AUBERGINE. There were various readings and benefit performances along the way and I felt like things were picking up. Then suddenly the pandemic hit, everything stopped and we all had to stay in the house. It seemed as if I could lose the momentum that I was gaining as an actress.
Suddenly George Floyd was killed and we were all home to witness eight minutes and forty-six seconds of his horrific murder. There I was along with the rest of the world at home with my thoughts, fears, anger and rage - feeling EVERYTHING on a cellular level. I had to take action, I needed to pour my energy into something. I took my teen daughter, a photographer and cinematographer out to capture an artist protest. While I was driving home I was filled with so much emotion, wondering what can I do and it came to me clearly: my calling is my art, my calling is to heal, my calling is to create community, so that is what I decided to do. I wasn't sure where to start, so I was quiet. After a beautiful meditation, I received a text from my former school mate and friend Ken Weiler asking me how I was feeling? His question prompted my starting place. I called together a few friends and created a safe space for diverse people to come together and have the difficult conversations that were on the hearts and minds of people everywhere.
I then saw an instagram post for an online class at BGB that focused on the needs of Black Artists. I applied and was accepted. It was the container I needed. I was holding space for others in my group and I needed a space held for me and I found that at BGB. Ashley Rideauex, Eric B. Anthony and BGB provided a space that was unapologetically Black, warm and buzzing with fabulous talent.
When the class was over my agent called me with my first quarantine self-tape audition. I wanted a Black man as a reader and I had my new community of Black artists from BGB to chose from. I looked down the class roster and texted Clinton Lowe. He said, "I'm available in the morning." We did that thang in 10-15 minutes. I sent it in and BOOM booked it!
Now, let me tell you I have auditioned for this casting director twice in the past two years and did not book, I came to an emotional life in the room and everything, like that means anything, that will be a different post - lol. Each time the casting director told my manager that she liked my work, but still no booking. Be encouraged when the same casting director calls you back, it's a sign that you booked the room and the role is coming. Be encouraged when people reach out and call at the right time. Be encouraged when you see an opportunity because you don't know where it might lead you. Be encouraged when you find a new community of people that are passionate about their craft. Be encouraged in this time of uncertainty. Be encouraged - while at home during this pandemic I self-taped and booked from the basement.
Stay hopeful, stay diligent, stay creative and stay loving. Stay in the house and book the room!
P.S. Share this with your friends and let's get through this together with JOY!