How was it working with Tyler Perry?
There are not too many Tyler Perry’s out there who can give you a job opportunity based on a hunch. He saw presence and believed in me. Even when I wasn’t working on set, he gave me a place to learn the technical side and see what he was seeing from the production side because working in front of the camera is very different from working behind the scenes–you get a very different perception.
He was an amazing mentor and motivator.
The number one lesson I learned from Tyler Perry is to create your own opportunities. This is one of the reasons why whenever I am in between jobs, I am not in panic or desperation mode. He told me, “Don’t wait for someone to give you a job, you’re a smart girl, you come from a business background, create your own work.â€
So overtime, I developed an arsenal of opportunities in comedy, drama, reality shows, etc. I’ve aligned myself with people who are passionate about writing, creating dialogue and scripts. I paint a picture for them andÂ come up with amazing presentation documents. Â I’ve been very fortunate to have people placed in my path who need help bringing their ideas to life. Even when I have a job, I’m creating my next one.
What is the most difficult challenge you’ve faced so far?
Staying motivated is the biggest challenge especially when you don’t see the next job on the horizon. Â But you have to Â remain faithful that you’re doing the right thing, you’re in the right place and the opportunity will manifest itself into great things. Sometimes it doesn’t come when you want it to. For years I felt like I could do something beyond comedy and I had this visualization on my vision board.
You’re preparing for the TV One premier “For the Love of Ruth,â€ a film inspired by the Biblical story of Ruth where you play Ruth Sommerling, woman who was orphaned as a child and currently residing in a women’s shelter, she has lived a life filled with pain and disappointment. Unlike your other roles you bring a lot of emotion to this character. What can we expect? How did you get into such an emotional space?
Filming this movie was an amazing experience. This type of role was on my vision board. So when it landed in my lap I knew it was something I could do.
I really had a Denzel “Gloryâ€ moment because a tear came out of nowhere. I’ve never had to cry on cue so this is one of the most character driven roles I’ve had to play because it’s raw and real. Also, my mom fought her own battle with Cancer (I’m blessed to say she beat it), so I also drew from this experience.
The cast and TV One, was like coming home to family. They’ve been very positive. With that kind of support system you can’t fail.
Watch “For the Love of Ruth” on May 9th, airing on TV One.