I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and was exposed to the arts at a very young age. My mother put me in dance classes at Mayfair Academy when I was four years old. This was my introduction to the world of the arts. My mom also took me to see performances of all sorts throughout my childhood, and saw that I participated in a fair amount of programs and workshops that centered theatre and dance. It is no surprise that I became a lover of the arts before I could even neatly write my name.
When I was 12, after 6 years of swearing that I’d be an open-heart surgeon like Daniel Hale Williams, I realized I actually wanted to perform for a living. This new endeavor took center stage. There was nothing else I thought I could love more. That year, I was blessed with the opportunity to dance in the Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker and attend Ailey Camp. Both those experiences helped solidify my decision. Being swept off my feet, I knew for a fact that I loved the stage and the beauty of performance. I continued dancing and was cast in a few community theatre productions, which only made my love grow even more. Then things shifted a bit when I turned 14, and moved to Miami with my mother.
I continued to study dance, but halfway through high school, I joined the PAVAC Drama Program at Miami Northwestern Senior High, after deciding to ask if I could audition. I was so excited to be accepted, but didn’t realize how glad I would be about this choice for years to come. During the two years I spent with PAVAC Drama, I grew so much as an actress and overall performer. I was pushed and challenged and had a great time in the process. Upon completing high school, I decided to take studying my craft to another level.
In 2007, I was accepted into the amazing Howard University and its Theatre Arts program. Thrilled about this new endeavor, I moved to DC and began to pursue a BFA in Theatre Arts. I took vigorous courses in acting, dance, music, and voice. I had the opportunity to learn a myriad of things and perform in plays like The Bluest Eye (which I also got to do abroad in Santa Domingo), Zooman and the Sign, Sirens, and Mixed Babies. During my time at Howard, I also participated in several other shows and creative works. Howard also led me to summer opportunities, including dance intensives at Debbie Allen Dance Academy and Deeply Rooted Productions, and reconnecting with the American Black Film Festival which I was introduced to while living in Miami. This re-introduction would lead to me working at the festival for seven consecutive summers as Assistant to the founder, Jeff Friday, Talent Manager, and Seating and Talkback Coordinator. Each of these opportunities enriched the awesome experiences I was already having within my normal curriculum. The four years I spent at the university and in the theatre program helped mold and shape me into the woman I proudly am today. Taught by wonderful professors, I learned valuable lessons inside of the classroom, was enriched culturally, grew tremendously as an artist, and gained a lot of confidence about actually going out into the world and being a professional actor.
Upon graduating, I moved back to Chicago to start my career and it has been such a rewarding journey. I’m continuing to grow and learn and really take in every opportunity. I’ve also had the opportunity to perform on stages at various theatres including (but not limited to) the Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Remy Bumppo, Northlight Theatre, Writers Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, American Blues Theater, Sideshow Theatre, Rasaka Theatre, and Congo Square Theatre. I have had the pleasure of interacting with students, teaching performance, speaking about the business and mentoring. Each of these experiences have given me something invaluable. I have also been blessed to portray characters in several short films, feature films Range Runners and North of the 10, various commercials and television shows including Shameless, The Chi, Chicago PD, Soundtrack, Chicago Med, APB, Embeds, and Chicago Fire. Collaborating with so many artists to tell stories has been the joy of my life and I cannot wait to see what is to come.
I have always appreciated the amazing support of my wonderful and loving family, as I’ve taken this journey. I carry their love with me, as well as the legacy and spirit of my beautiful grandmother. I am also beyond grateful for God's undying love and the gifts He has given me. It is of extreme importance for me to use these gifts and fulfill every bit of my purpose. And I will. One of my favorite self-written quotes is, "Tell yourself the truth and watch it become a gift of freedom." I work to take that advice everyday.
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