You model, act, and I see you are an artist as well? Tell me about each, please. How did you get into the industry?
Art has been a skill of mines since an early age. I always loved arts and crafts like creating pop-out cards, popsicle houses, sketching cartoon characters, “bubble letters”, and buildings. But I didn’t tackle portraits and original creations til my early 20s. Then they seemed so difficult, now it’s one of my favorite parts about drawing. Capturing the emotion behind a portrait or picture is what I love not just mere duplication. My modeling and acting career allowed my art to get more exposure by setting up vending tables, meeting other artists, and networking at the events.
In 2008, I went to my first casting call and was completely unprepared. Needless to say, I didn’t get that gig. But it definitely prepared me for the next one. I’ve done runway, print and promotional modeling, which I did as a hobby for a couple years. Then, I was selected to be a model in Power92’s Surround Sound of Fashion Show, and got great exposure. This made me get more serious about it as a career and has proven to be a great decision. Since, I’ve been in numerous fashion shows wearing designers such as True Religion, Puma, Andrew Christian, Zoo High, among many others.
As for being an actor, last year I was approached after a fashion show and asked if I would be interested in acting. Prior to this, I hadn’t thought about acting and had no experience, even in high school. But I accepted the invitation to the acting class and found my new passion.The teacher said I was a natural and got me a small role in a play; from there I made some great connections. Shortly, I was cast in my first lead role in the play Love Jones: The Chicago Stageplay. This created an even greater opportunity. A writer came to me after the play and cast me in another lead role for Standing in the Shadows of Love which allowed me to work with great talent [such] as Tommy Ford, Jennifer Holiday, Dave Hollister and Donald Gray. I love it and this is only the beginning.
You are a jack of all trades, how do you manage everything?
God! Faith! Prayer!! These are definitely major factors and then there’s my mother. She helps remind me of things to do and take care of them when I’m unable to- due to my many projects. I love her and don’t know where I would be without her. I also have some good organizational skills, which helps tremendously and I’ve been this way since I can remember. Knowing how much I can handle is what keeps me from over extending myself; yet my passion for success makes this threshold much stronger. Great relationships with the people I work with is another piece to the puzzle, because they are understanding of my schedule and that is truly appreciated.
What inspires you as an artist in general?
Life is my major inspiration. My life experiences and the life experiences of others, is what I draw from. I appreciate all forms and facets of art from natural art to abstract, from dance to poetry. I just enjoy the artistic expression and freedom. I feel it’s needed in life to expand the perception of reality, and gain greater control of the mind. Living in moments with a child like view is what I think adds to my creativity, and I just put it on paper or bring it to a character or down the runway.
What is one of the best ways you feel you can impact the world?
Through my art and in my character. I want my art to affect people in a positive way or at least make them recall one’s own experiences. I feel that by expressing my creativity in a positive manner it will then have a trickling effect on people. With the enhancement of creativity, problem solving will come easier and greater solutions can be obtained when it comes to societal issues. Also, art has no boundaries, it can be a release from the rest of the world. Art, meaning all forms, is an escape to serenity on Earth.
We are God’s children and what parent wants to see their child fail. We were born for success. Its all about perception, greater perception comes from thought, thought can expand through creative expression.