Being laid off, at the very start of 2020, was the best thing that happened to me. Before, I was doubtful of myself, my purpose and my potential. I was an unhappy, 9-5 engineer, with a very narrow view on possibilities and opportunities. But, fast forward to the end of such an outrageous, completely nutty and heartbreaking year, ironically, I'm more fulfilled and joyful than ever before. And it's all thanks to The Carol Hickey Acting Studio Conservatory Program.
Although COVID inflicted challenges of transitioning us from in-person learning to virtual classrooms, the experience was nothing short of amazing. That familial community and support was still there. For me, both as an artist and as a person, this year of intense training has been all things transformative, inspiring and uplifting. Ironically, if it hadn't been for the pandemic forcing everyone to shelter inside, we wouldn't have had half the opportunities to meet such an expansive and knowledgeable network in the industry.
Throughout the year, I was able to focus on my craft as an actress and nurture my inner artist in ways I hadn't before. This year, forced me to slow down, to breathe and literally be one with myself in the moment. The conservatory shifted my perception on what is and what can be. With the help of conservatory, I've tapped into my destiny of being both a filmmaker and storyteller. I realized that, while I want to explore being different characters; I also wish to create my own characters, produce diverse stories, and direct. That is why during quarantine, I launched my own production company focused on diverse story-telling with strong female leads in front of and behind the camera. With taking this step, I was able to write 3 short films, a TV pilot, and began work on a feature. Along with writing, my emotional range has expanded and I've gotten lead roles for both a comedy and drama short film. From voice training, I tapped further into the power of my vocal range and got cast in a musical, something I never thought was in the cards for me.
I truly cannot thank Carol, and the other actors in this program, enough. Carol saw this spark in me before I was able to envision it and trust it in myself. I used to struggle with thinking I wasn't enough, but I now walk away knowing this couldn't be further from the truth. I am enough and am the representation I wish to see. I walk away, confidently, knowing how to approach this work and authentically capturing a character's being. I allow my body to be a vessel for work to move through. I've been inspired and transformed this year and I hope it will inspire other little black girls to boldly create as well.
Conservatory leads me to embrace 2021 with open arms and a virtual hug. I'm planning to relocate at the start of the new year and am open to the New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and/or New Orleans's market. I am currently looking for representation in any of those markets. Wherever I may go, I look forward to continuing to direct, produce and write my own projects as well. If I can reach one person with my art, then everything endured during this pivotal year was worth it. Life is brighter, fresher and all things I want from it are possible. I know that now. I feel that now. This is only the beginning and I am ready. Thank you for your time and consideration.