When Denise Boutte left her hometown of Maurice, Louisiana, a small town with less than 700 residents, she had no clue she would land in the TV and film industry. Performing on stage in theatre and working side by side with media mogul Tyler Perry, Boutte states, “I like to say that acting found me. While watching and enjoying movies back in Louisiana, I never once said to myself. One day I am going to be just like her—an actress.” So it’s funny that I watched Tempestt Bledsoe on the Cosby show and years later we actually worked together. I had more of a practical dream that I would do something great for myself that would take me out of the backwoods of Louisiana. Little did I know, I would come to have an amazing appreciation for how I was raised.”
On the heels of Boutte’s latest movie “For the Love of Ruth” airing on May 9, on TV One, BlackEnterprise.com caught up with her to learn more about her journey from advertising to acting.
BlackEnterprise: Tell us how you transitioned from the advertising world to the entertainment industry.
Boutte: I was working in Dallas, TX with several different advertising agencies and several of my clients wanted me to be in front of the camera. I kept getting these on camera opportunities. Finally my boss at the time, said to me, “You’re getting a lot of work on camera and you needed to figure this out.” So I took a leap of faith into acting.
You’ve landed really good roles in theatre, films like “Why Did I Get Married,” and the now syndicated TV series, “Meet the Browns, “and you’re currently preparing for the release of “For the Love of Ruth.” Can you share some wise words about manifesting your ideal career?
When you’re working in the entertainment industry as soon as you finish your gig, you’re searching for your second opportunity. For me, getting comfortable with acting had to come from working on stage. I was very fortunate to work with Fran Bascom. She did casting work for Days of Our Lives and was one of the first people to give me a job. She was casting for a play, so I began as an understudy at a small theatre in Pasadena, CA. I was able to hone my skills and get up in front of an audience and perform. The play was an amazing experience. A little over a year later I found myself in front of Tyler Perry, auditioning for Why Did I Get Married and later Meet the Browns.
You have to get up everyday as if you have a destination. Although I was very fortunate in that I didn’t plan this for myself–opportunities just kept appearing. I listened to the voice inside that kept saying “Why not? Try it.” So I got on set, it felt very natural and I was intrigued. At times it was uncomfortable. But I always say, even if you’re fearful of something; if it gives you that excitement and awakens something inside of you, see what that’s about.
Don’t wait for things to happen. Regardless if you have a 9-5 job or not, get up everyday as if you already have one and make sure you’re pounding the payment for opportunities.
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