a dream: deconstructed…
When I was five, I moved from Florida to Virginia with my stepfather who was in the Navy, and my mother who’d immigrated to ‘the States’ just ten years earlier. If I got anything from my stepfather it was his foul mouth and comedic timing. Any other talent came from my biological father. My mother made sure I was polite, diplomatic and that I never put anything on a credit card that I couldn’t pay for in cash. She also made sure that I knew I could be anything I wanted to be.
As an only child, I escaped into worlds I created with stuffed animals and fitted sheets. I became fascinated with film when I’d sneak out into the living room to watch late night cable and one night Interview With The Vampire was on. There was something so forbidden yet so telling in my captivation. Performance for me began when I’d put on my denim daisy dukes and dance to Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like A Woman”…refusing to go on unless I had on my special shorts. I became engrossed in the magic of theatre in middle school when I saw a community production of Into the Woods. I was transported and so present. It was in that moment that I knew I wanted to create moments like that, for others.
Halfway through my freshman year at an International Baccalaureate (IB) high school I decided to focus less on S.T.E.M. motivated academics and transferred to the local Arts high school where I became a drama kid. At my IB exit exam the counselor said “But you can do theatre at Yale…” trying to convince me to stay in the program. She wasn’t wrong. But I went to the Arts high school anyway. I remember visiting my new school and feeling like I had just stepped onto the set of Center Stage. There was art everywhere. After graduating, I went on to get my BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. There I had the opportunity to tour children’s theater and perform abroad with The Conciliation Project in uncle tom: deconstructed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. After college, I went on the first national tour of Johnny Appleseed with Theatre IV under the VA Repertory Theatre. Wanting to take the next step in my TV/film career I moved to Atlanta.
Since moving, I’ve been bumped up into a speaking role in American Made across from Tom Cruise, auditioning for the part on-set with the star and director Doug Liman. In 2018, I supported Josephine Langford in After, the film adaption of the successful Wattpad YA novel by Anna Todd. My supporting role in Tulsa, ran for 13 weeks in Regal Cinemas across the country and the film came in 3rd for the highest grossing self-distributed films of all time. The musical episode of Legacies, “Salvatore: the Musical!” aired on CW marking my network television debut and first ever Co-starring role. Click on the Spotify icon below to listen to the soundtrack. You’ll hear me in “Welcome To Mystic Falls”. Most recently, I had the synchronistic honor to play Olympia on BET Games People Play. Check it out on BET+. I’ve booked multiple commercials including a national Shell spot.
Acting for me is presence, purpose and freedom on film, on stage and in my day to day life. Acting came to me as an outlet to deal with a very emotionally chaotic environment, not knowing how to feel and process those emotions properly. Performance gave me that permission. It began as my personal way to escape, but quickly became about finding a way to connect. My mission as an actor is to be a mirror of multitudes to humanity, to tap into our boundless ability for creation, and to serve my audience, connecting globally through collaboration and community. Even if, right now, it’s a little more like, “Here’s your coffee”. Lol.
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UPCOMING: Courtney Gets Possessed with Jordan Brown…co-directed by Jono Mitchell and Madison Hatfield.
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Photo by: Jordan Desamours @jordanshootsfilm