In the entertainment industry, people often wear many hats and take on multiple titles. What would you say your “title” is? ie. How do you define yourself? My most favorite title is: “wife, mother and a lover of God and people,” but career-wise I define myself as a writer-director-producer.
What drives you to do what you do in the entertainment industry? The thing that drives me to do what I do is a passion to convey stories that inspire people to care about each other, and hopefully, move them into positive action. I really miss the ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ concept I grew up with. I am not interested in preaching to people, but I would like to produce thought provoking content that makes them think for themselves.
What’s the key, in your opinion, to having staying power as a professional affiliated with the entertainment industry? Do what you love, be a person of integrity…and NEVER GIVE UP! You can move on if your heart is truly no longer in the business, but don’t leave because you feel defeated.
What makes you unique in what you do? My decision to only create entertainment that enriches the audience in some way and honors the fact that they’ve spent their hard earned money on a ticket. That doesn’t mean sugar-coating stories, but rather giving people a well rounded view of the consequences of a character’s actions – whether those consequences are good or bad.
What advice would you give to someone who might be looking up to you as a mentor? My advice to anyone is that they are important, their voice is important and they should always live their truth. Because if you don’t know who you are and what you stand for you will be tossed to and fro. To paraphrase an old adage, ‘if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.’
How has your affiliation with WIFTA helped you to pursue your professional endeavors? By existing!!! It has made it easier for me to find like minded professionals to network with, as well as invite them to join WIFTA. The SCAD/WIFTA luncheon is an example of an event that helped me meet some really awesome people like Nancy Prager, a fellow WIFTA member and a phenomenal entertainment attorney; and Linda Sherbert, the screenwriting instructor/teaching artist at the Alliance Theatre.
Is there anything else you’d like to share? This is your time to “pitch” yourself (business, projects, ect.)! Our documentary, the TRUTH the PAIN the SACRIFICE: an actor’s reality, just won BEST DIRECTING in a Documentary at the Hollywood and Vine Film Festival.
I hope to present one of my plays, Daddy’s Maybe, this year at the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival so I will be looking for cast and crew once I find out if we’ve been accepted. Then I’ll definitely look to WIFTA’s actor and crew database to help with staffing.
Also, Atlanta Producer, Tonya Wilder and I are working on an unscripted project.
If someone is interested in connecting with you, how can they do that?
website: www.gloryfilmworks.com ;
photo credit: Debra Simmons, Diamond Dust Photography