Your new movie Crisis
Function - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell
us about your character in it?
Well, I would say lost yet strong! Yeah, I think that sums her up well.
What did you draw upon to
bring your character to life, and to what extent can you identify with
would say the main thing I can identify with is the fact that she is a T1D
(type one diabetic). This is because I, myself, am a T1D and have been for
almost 16 years now! Everything else was just a matter of how I saw myself
if I was in her shoes.
As far as I know, Crisis
Function involved quite a bit of improvisation, especially on your
part. So do talk about that aspect of your movie for a bit!
That was the fun part! Especially if the other actors had lines to
deliver! No matter what I said, they had to follow up with their scripted
lines! So SOMETIMES I might go COMPLETELY out of character! The fun was
when they stayed in character no matter WHAT I would say or do!!!
are in quite a few fight scenes in Crisis
Function - what can you tell us about those, and how were they
that was difficult! My fight background is boxing! And Andrea's character
was not a "fighter" exactly! So it was really a matter of
curbing what I was trained to do and deliver it the way Andrea would! THAT
was a challenge for me! And sometime resulted is MANY takes (so sorry
Nathyn, Dragan, Valerie and Chris)!!!!
How did you get involved with the project in
the first place?
Nathyn presented me with this idea of shooting a feature length film in 3
- 5 days! I almost laughed but I know Nathyn. If he has an idea, it WILL
get done! How? Well that is usually the only that to be solved! So he
asked me if I would be interested and I said SURE! I mean I do have to
admit, I LOVE a challenge and this seemed like a great challenge!
What can you tell us about your
director Nathyn Masters [Nathyn
Masters interview - click here], and how did you two first hook
up? And please also talk about your other projects with Nathyn for a bit!
you are trying to show my age! LOL! I auditioned for Nathyn I believe it
was back in 2009? I think for Nightevil. She was one of the principles in
his film Epitaph: Bread and Salt. I remember being nervous because I had
not been cast in ANY lead roles at that point and I felt like I might be
wasting my time by going in to audition. I bet you can imagine my surprise
when Nathyn told me he would like me to play Nightevil! I am not sure if
he knew it at the time but he had cast me in my FIRST lead role EVER!!!
Since then, Nathyn has kinda just cast me in things! Other than Crisis
Function, I had just finished my scenes for the feature The Perfect
Letter, and then Nathyn asked me if I would be interested in playing
opposite him in a sequel to Wages of Sin! Now THAT will be a HUGE honor
for me!!! WOW!!! I have to admit, I am extremely excited about that role!
Nathyn Masters shooting Anita Nicole Brown
far as I know, the film was shot in a mere three days - so how stressful
was that, and what can you tell us about the shoot and the on-set
atmosphere as such?
mean besides it feeling like a party? Kidding! It was a lot of fun! One of
the sets used was my place as well as a few locations from The
Perfect Letter. Using my place and my neighborhood made it easier to
shoot because the owner of the store down the street from my place knows
me because I have been in my place for about 10 years. So when we walked
in, they just looked, smiled and carried on! After we finished they asked
me later what did the film look like! But everyone just had fun really! I
wanna say it was kinda like a reunion of family because we all joked and
laughed and just enjoyed being on set and helping make this film a
reality! And there was a LOT of laughing! Maybe from being deprived sleep
on my part but there was so much laughter!!! 13 - 16 hour days can do
Any future projects you'd like to
are three definite projects on board! Leaf Blower Massacre 2 (directed by
Anthony Cooney) is currently filming and I am sure everyone is dying to
know what and how my character fits into the sequel! But I am not telling!
have also been cast as a lead in the stage play SuperNatural
written by Victor Gulley! And rehearsals are going to begin soon because
we will be in Kansas City in August for the play! And I am so excited
about that! And, of course, there is the sequel to Wages of
Sin, in which I get to kick some butt and get mine kicked as well
alongside Nathyn Masters!
may be 2 more projects as well but final confirmations have not been
completed yet so once they are, I will be ready to brag about them!
What got you into acting in the first place, and
did you receive any formal training on the subject?
be honest, I don't know! I mean I was always a character at home. And
growing up in my household, we did it ALL!!! We danced, sang (not always
good - lol) and just had fun! My family never tried to put out the desire
to be whatever we wanted! As long as we maintained good grades! So after I
graduated college and began working. I made the decision that if acting
wasn't for me it would be because I worked my ass off and yet it didn't
happen. NOT because I never tried! And almost five years later, here I am
being interviewed by you!
far as training, I tested into a few advanced classes at Act One
But I would say Molli Benson is who I would give credit to! She is my
coach and she is based in LA. She would come to Chicago to teach three-day
workshops and I was blessed to have been able to work with her! She is one
TOUGH cookie but she can and WILL bring the best out of you IF you are
willing to listen and work hard!
you still remember your first time in front of a movie or TV camera, and
what was that feeling like?
a kid, nope. I don't really recall! But as an adult, it kinda felt like I
was where I was meant to be! It felt.....normal! Like I was made for
Black Women Don't Deserve to be Loved
Do talk about your filmwork
prior to Crisis Function
for a bit!
is a LOT to talk about! So let me keep it to principal roles! I can
honestly say I loved every role I have ever been cast in! The web series I
filmed in Miami called Black Women Don't Deserve to be Loved
(http://youtu.be/P-sOoWFRTRI) was a very difficult character to play
because of the title alone! But as I read the script and began to
understand the purpose, I was very excited to work on the series! And
Danie A (writer of the book) and Stephen Spikes (director of the web
series) as well as Raw Leiba (co-star) made my experience worth every
I would HAVE to speak about a comedy I got to work on called The
Losing Game (https://vimeo.com/52364835)! This was a funny
one about two
rivals after the same guy! And the funny situations that come about will
make you laugh! I was blessed to work alongside Tiffany Renee Johnson and
Shavar D. Clark in this short film (written and directed by Cameran
Battley) but the experience was so much fun!
The Path Not Taken
I believe I have to also speak about Midget Zombie
Takeover!!!! This was too interesting to be cast in only because I
do not usually watch this kind of films! So to be cast in one was ironic
to say the least! But Glenn Berggoetz (writer and director) was amazing to
work with and his writing and the way he works with each actor to bring
out their individual strength was cool! Not to mention this was another
out-of-state project for me because it filmed in Indiana!
there is the inspiration film The Path Not Taken by Preston
Heights! That was a film that really pulls on your heart! It is all about
choices we make and the consequences. So I was honored to have been able
to play a part in such a film!.
feel like I am leaving out so much more! But if I commented on ALL the
films I have ever been cast in, you would have a book instead of an
interview! So I am sorry in advance for the projects I have not mentioned
but know that ALL the films I have been cast in is what have gotten me to
where I am at today!
Besides being an actress, you are also a
model and dancer, right? So what can you tell us about these aspects of
your career, and how do they compare to acting/help you as an actress?
I guess you can say that! I began in the industry as a model. I competed
in a few LA competitions (and yes, I got to go to LA 3 times for those
competitions) but then I realized the modeling world is NOT ready for
someone as crazy as me! Plus the rules and regs as to what a model is
supposed to look like was not me. So I branched into acting and realized
this was where my people were!
that has a history to it. After I was diagnosed a T1D, I was also hit with
diabetic nerve damage in my legs and feet and lost the ability to walk for
about a year! This was during my first year at college when I was
regaining the ability to walk, and by the spring semester, I noticed a
swing dancing class offered! I had ALWAYS wanted to take swing dancing but
since the whole diabetic complications, I was scared. But I took the class
anyway. Nicolle Wood was my teacher and BOY was she amazing! I ended up
going out to a lot of the swing dancing spots and met SOOOO many amazing
dancers! By a miracle, the nerve damage disappeared! Although I know
dancing was not the reason, I say it was and that is why dancing has been
important to me!
believe BOTH has helped me so much! Dancing more so because social
dancing requires one to be a bit brave! You take a risk in asking someone
to dance and having to be rejected! OR you are made a fool on the dance
floor because you might dance with someone more experienced than you! But
being able to just take the chance and dance gave me the ability to not
have that fear in my acting!
would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to
bring your characters to life?
Black Women Don't Deserve to be Loved
because I have actually been through SO much in my life, I have found that
unless I am playing a demon, I can usually relate something in the
characters with my actual life! And yes, I found that odd as well but it
is true. I think acting allows us to embrace a side of ourselves we may
feel we can NOT express! So when I get to act, maybe there is that side of
me that needed to come out even if just for one film!
how would I describe myself as an actress? Well, I am just enjoying this
amazing ride! I embrace every opportunity I am given to be on set or on
stage! And I just love what I do and I am blessed that I have people you
enjoy what I do as well and support and believe in me!
Actresses (or indeed
actors) who inspire you?
this point, I would have to say Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson! My
reasons? Well very personal and simple. They both lost people in their
life that were very important to them and yet they managed to move forward
and keep going! In 2009 I lost my mother and in 2012 I lost my twin
brother. And I have to admit, I almost stopped acting. I was ready to just
give it up! They were my inspiration! My mother was a model and my twin
was the aspiring actor! So it was hard for me to want to continue! But
knowing that Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson managed to push on helped
me as well! Not to mention both my mother and twin brother told me if I
ever gave up they would come back for me!!!!
Your favourite movies?
anything action film and I do love those damn psychological films as well!
If I HAVE to name a few...
Puppet Masters, Outbreak, The Negotiator, any of the Die Hard-films, OH,
and I am obsessed with Hackers!
and of course, films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
don't "deplore" any film, but those mushy love stories and such
are not really my cup of tea!!!!
Facebook, whatever else?
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
HAVE to say this but my goal is to change how T1D's or anyone with a
"disability" is treated in the film world! I was honored that
Nathyn decided to make the character of Andrea a Type 1 Diabetic who wears
an insulin pump because I was recently placed on an insulin pump! I was
concerned about the fight and the pump being visible in the film because
almost all productions I have worked on usually have me hide the pump
somewhere on my body! But not Nathyn! He put it out there for the world to
see and to me, that was a small victory! So expect MORE!!!! Diabetes is my
superpower! My driving force and my inspiration as well!
Thank you for extending the invitation!!! It was amazing!