I started acting and singing professionally at the age of 3. My mother tells this story of how when I was at Sea World once as a kid I wouldn’t stop tap dancing and singing during the Shamu show and when the crowd went wild for Shamu, I assumed it was for me and took a bow. She knew then I was a born performer and I had my first audition the next week. I was lucky to work steadily through my childhood. Mainly being the Ethnically Ambiguous singer in the background of the lead. As I grew up, I knew I had become the Ethnically Ambiguous Best Friend in my own life and had to make a change. I had to take the narrative in the direction I wanted. That’s when I began to make content. As a filmmaker and writer, I made roles and statements that I wanted to see. With Stand Up and Podcasting, I found my very own bold voice. It has enriched my life as a performer more than I can possibly see. If you don’t see it, create it.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
I think being other is always a challenge. It’s what confusing people. And in my industry people want to know how to market you. Being a Bi-Racial Woman who is curvy, I didn’t fit in many boxes. Or I fit into to too many. I had to be proud of those boxes and to say if they don’t see a place for me I’m ready to create the space to show them. Creating your own content is liberating and it truly brings the diversity we need to see in this world. Tell your stories. Someone out there is going to be so glad you did.
What books are you currently reading?
So I am a book addict. Currently I’m making my way through two series, Bitter Root (A graphic Novel) and the Wayward Children Series. I am also reading The Body Keeps the Score and The Power of the Voice. The Libby App is my everything. For those who don’t know it’s the library on your phone. Kindle and Audiobooks for free. It’s really changed my book budget for life, now I can buy more action figures.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?
As cheesy as it sounds, I wish I knew that I was the asset. That my uniqueness was what made me stand out in a good. And If I wasn’t hearing “yes” that I could make my own. Making content truly set me free. I also wish I had known that asking isn’t annoying if you do it in a respectful way. Reaching out to people asking how to do things. I mean the first radio show I did I just had an idea and the gall to ask if they would put us on air. Same with Comic Con. I asked how to submit panels and then pitched. It’s always a “no” if you don’t ask. But if you ask, it’s a strong maybe.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
Don’t hold yourself back. A lot of times we judge our own worth, and say “when I do this and that” or “when I reach this weight or this social media number, then I’ll try and push for something in my career.” Don’t wait. Don’t give yourself some silly “when I”. Instead work on the “when I” but go for the goal today. Work toward it today. Get the headshots. Write the script. Email those agents. When I’s can hold you back more than any casting room. Taking action, even small steps is better than postponing until you deem yourself worthy. You are worthy now. So make the darn thing. Email the darn person.
(Photo Credit: Ben Cope)