“I never thought that I would be turning down a role at this stage in my acting career.”
I received a call back from the director of a stage production I audition for 2 weeks ago. He let me know that I was chosen to be a part of the production and that he will send over my script. I was excited about joining another project for the summer on top of the two other projects I am working on. I received an email today with a copy of the monologue I was supposed to be performing for the upcoming show. To be honest, after reading the monologue, I couldn’t do anything but laugh. Here I am reading another sexualized, seductive, and submissive, ‘ratchet’ character portrayal of the highly stereo typical woman who sleeps around and is pretty damn proud of it! It’s like, I was happy that I did good enough in my audition to have been chosen but on the other hand I was disappointed because this was yet again another negative portrayal of a female character that I try so hard to stay away from.
Since the beginning of starting my acting career, I have been cast for at least 4 different roles that has portrayed the ‘Homewrecker’, ‘Gold digger’ ‘Young Naive’ and ‘Bougie’ type characters. Not to mention the 5th character role ‘Sleezy” I would’ve been playing if I wouldn’t have come to me senses, and end this redundant pattern. I did something in this casting that I was afraid to do in my previous roles because at the time, I was new to this industry and people would tell me all the time, “it’s just acting,” I wanted to be titled as an official ‘Actress’ so I compromised. I went against the very things I personally stand up for. I was pretty fed up, so I reached out to the director and expressed my feelings about the character decision. I was honest, professional, yet firm. I explained that I wanted something that would show a different range in my acting abilities because I didn’t want to consistently be type casted as ‘the promiscuous woman’ I understand that as an actor or actress it is your job to portray all different kinds of character types that may be the complete opposite of who you really are. But, it becomes a personal matter for me when you begin to realize that being stereotyped, labeled, and misconceived doesn’t just happen in my day to day life. It happens in my careers and in the most professional type settings. I began to ask these questions to myself; when I step into an audition room, how do the casting directors perceive me? Is it because I am an attractive young women? Do I give off a seductive type aura? What could I do to shift their judgment? I then had to take a step back and spiritually think about what was going on.
God allows everything to happen in my life for a reason and maybe having these experiences was needed to evoke the realization that we need more positive portrayals of women characters in this industry. God is using these opportunities as a platform for me to shed light. I’ve came to realize that every experience I go through is a testimony for me to share with the world. I am beginning to see that this redundant pattern is a part of my purpose. My purpose to build a legacy and platform for young girls and women of all ages to be recognized as Queens in any position they hold whether personal or business.
So, yes I turned down a role because I stood up for my values, beliefs, and worth.
“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”