Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Read the article here:
I am very grateful for Mass Appeals' Wayne Hodges for taking the time out to interview me about my career successes! Also I would like to personally thank Shawn Edwards (channel 4 news and Wayne Hodges), for having our film promo, for upcoming film Father's Day? in their Kansas City Urban Film Festival!
You can read my exclusive interview here:
Thursday, May 26, 2011
What pains me even more is that I truly had the talent, yet lacked the confidence-and I wouldn't find out that my wants and beliefs differed greatly until years later. So I waisted years asking myself "why?" Why didn't I book the role? Why can I book smaller roles and not major ones? Why am I not consistently booking? Why should I go with a major agent and get loss in the shuffle? (This was such a foolish thing) Why not search for a boutique agent?
My answers to these questions never came close to the truth. For me, it was my hair- "That's right, maybe they want longer." Then it was my teeth- "Picture guy, when you are retouching, can you take out my gap...just a little", "I have picked up weight", "I'm not what they consider "beautiful" so I won't submit for that role"....and all these things that would flow through my mind. It all came down to one thing. I was a nut! I didn't believe in myself, my talent, my body, my smile, or my hair. How in the world could I walk into an audition and feel conviction about the role I was reading for. Sure, some roles were an exact fit for me, the lines rolled trippingly off my tongue as if I created the words myself. Those jobs, I couldn't help but book-luck some would call it- and with that came a bit more confidence of course. But, I was still so far from believing in self that I could play a leading role, be nominated for an Oscar and win! It was ludicrous really with the talent I possess.
I was even further away from receiving what I wanted because I never allowed myself to relish in the small successes of booking small roles, because "it wasn't where I wanted to be ultimately." I remember when I first booked a role on "Law and Order: CI", and I can recall the moment of heat surging inside of me when my agent call to tell me I booked the job. I was so excited! Soon as I made my first call, the person asked me, "How many lines do you have," or maybe it was, "Do you have a big part?"....I immediately sank-my spirit and my joy plummeted. I had only booked a U5 (under 5 lines). So my happiness for the success I had lasted a total of 60 minutes....maybe.
The truth of the matter is, I should still be happy for that one role! It was the role that made me eligible for SAG. It was the role that went on IMDB. It was a role that attracted agents, managers, and casting director's attention, it is the one role that MANY people think (thanks to my fans), "Squeaky is doing it!", because they are major fans of L&O:CI. I should still be happy because to date, I am still getting checks for this U5 role. It was the role that when I first learned I had book the job I was elated about, because I was going to be on TV. Which was my goal in life anyway!
I learned sometime along the way, that we have to celebrate every small success. How else will we appreciate the larger ones. Let's face it, no matter how big the jobs are that we book, if we are ambitious, we will always be looking for more, bigger and better opportunities.
I worked on changing my thoughts about myself. To change my beliefs, I learned to visualize myself on TV and in film. I learned to accept myself through the eyes of other people who would rant and rave about my work, since I hadn't thought enough of my skill to believe I could actually become what I wanted. I made affirmations that I would say daily about myself and my wants that I wanted to change into beliefs, and into realities. I would say them right before I went into an audition too. I would tell myself aloud 3 things that I love about myself right before walking in. I begin to say, "I deserve this". I also thought on the people who were playing the leading roles that I wanted to play. Then I thought on people who were quirky, and odd and overweight, people who had bad hair and weird eyes. And stuff like that, yet they booked the lead role in films and on Television.
So I share with you some of my affirmations:
I deserve this role.
I am beautiful and perfectly perfect.
I deserve to have have millions of fans.
I deserve to have millions of fan mail.
I can carry a film from the beginning to the end and have viewers in awe of my work.
I can play roles with depth.
People talk about my work and how it is done in excellence.
Producers love me. Directors love me. Casting Directors love me.
I'm the next best thing!
I can win an Oscar.
I am a star.
I am red carper worthy!
Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I am Victorious!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
- "Thank you for being brave enough to discuss the elephant in the room"
- "How dare you all publicly air out the black community's dirty laundry?"
- " I used to make my mother father's day cards as a child"
- "As I watched this video, my chest swelled up with hot air.My nose started burning and sharp pain shot up to my head, and made my eyes water. But I wouldn't dare cry. "
Why is this topic so taboo? Why are we continuing to ignore the elephant in the room? Why are so many black children fatherless in today's age? Because this is a hugh issue, that's why! It needs to be addressed.
Ashley Shante' (Writer, Director, Producer) and myself (Asst. Director, Producer) have decided to use our creative talents to get the message across to help change the well-being of the children within our communities.
You can view the PSA and help donate to our film making process by clicking here.
Read some of the controvery on BOSSIP
Also, if you need advice about the subject matter in any way, please contact the National Fatherhood Organization
Dear Diary Productions
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Justiin Davis (Boardwalk Empire), Osas Ighodaro (Miss Black USA 2010), Lawrence Saint Victor (Remy of Guiding Light), and Roz Coleman( Frankie and Alice, with Halle Berry), are just some of the noted actors that are involved in the PSA. The PSA drives on the sad, but large percentile of children who grow up fatherless, with an emphasis on the 64 percentile who are African American .
Our stories about growing up fatherless are similar, yet different. But the passion we share to get the message of it's affects out are the same!
Check out the video and tell me what you think. Support us too! We need your help to get our message out.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
By Squeaky Moore of XI Magazine Online
Posted on 07 Mar 2011 at 11:29am
This is exactly the approach Alexis Nicole says she took when she wrote her sophomore album, Loves Last Stand. “It involves a lot of heartache, [that] was the fuel for writing the album,” says Alexis Nicole. “When I write, I write from experience, so anything I have put pen to pad [to create], I lived it. I think that any music that your listeners or the consumer can relate to is timeless music. There are but so many subjects you can write about, but if you can find away to touch the listeners and fans in the way they feel like ‘oh this song is exactly what I’m going through right now,’ or ‘this is exactly how I felt when this happened to me,’ your music will be timeless, because it’s not about what’s trending right now.”
For Alexis Nicole, her second album is about the ups and downs of relationships and all that comes with it. “So my creative process was just living life!” When I asked her to elaborate on how she came up with the title, she said, “The Cd in itself is about love, the ups the downs, the heartaches and heartbreaks, and the overall concept of being in love and falling in love.” She named it Loves Last Stand, because she felt that no matter what the decision is, when you love someone, you have to stand for something. “Either you’re going to take a stand and say, ‘even though I love you, I know we are not suppose to be together,’ or you take the stand, ‘I love you, and you are the last person on this earth that I want to be with.’ No matter what, you have to take a stand.”
Alexis Nicoles’ music on both her freshman, and sophomore album stem from her experiences, but what distinguishes her recent album from the first is its commercial appeal. “This album was a big step up from the last. The first album was acoustic, there really weren’t many elaborate tracks, and it used more piano and drums—just natural sounds. Whereas the second album takes on those sounds and adds a level of commercial approach, which is radio friendly.”
Though she wrote all the songs on both albums, she feels Loves Last Stand“is an album with something for everybody.” Native of Richmond, Virginia, (home of Chris Brown and Trey Songz), Alexis Nicole began singing at 3 years old in the church choir, and overtime, what began as a hobby became a pursuit. “It didn’t hit me until middle school, ‘I’m kind of good at this!’ And then, in high school is when I made up my mind that this is the career I wanted, instead of it being a hobby.” Though she started in Gospel, “it was a smooth transition into R & B,” says the soulful singer. “I started singing in the church choir, but I always had a love for soul music. I was always an Anita Baker, Gladys Knight, and Debra Cox fan when I was younger. I love God, but I don’t think that Gospel music is where I fit. When I initially branched off, I started doing Neo Soul Gospel and eventually I switched all the way.”
Eventually, Alexis Nicole made the move to Atlanta to pursue her dream, grow her music and to attain a stronger fan base. “Since I have been in Atlanta, my song writing has really picked up. I have been doing some collaborations and really big stuff down here that I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do in Richmond. I asked her to describe the music market in Richmond, VA, to get a sense of why she chose to leave and why she chose Atlanta over other cities to pursue her dream.
“I don’t want to call Atlanta the land of opportunity, because you still have to work at whatever you are doing, but it is certainly a lot more open to fresh music, new artists, and there are many opportunities to perform, to go out and to mix and mingle here than there was in Richmond. The market in Richmond is weird. Like in Atlanta, the artists have a distinct sound, or perhaps, D.C., Baltimore area artists there have a distinct sound. Richmond is influenced by many different states. It’s not as southernly influenced, as it is northern. Still, there is not really a particular sound per se, so the market in Richmond is kind of weird because whatever filters through other markets is kind of how it is picked up in the city. They are starting to do a lot better, the local artists, in creating their own sound.”
Needless to say, Pop and R & B Stars Chris Brown and Trey Songz were stars that rose from the trenches of Richmond, VA. They have unique voices and commericially, trendy music. Because of their success, I wondered if they inspired Alexis Nicole’s creativity. “I respect both Chris and Treys’ music. We actually share acquaintances. I wouldn’t say they inspire me, because we are in different boxes musically.”
She says artist like Lauren Hill, who came in, and paved the way and changed the game, inspires her. “Lauren changed the game as far as ‘image’ is concerned. What it, [image], has to be and needs to be, and she’s even changed the game regarding what is considered radio music now. She definitely is my inspiration.” Alexis Nicole also says she’s inspired by people like Monica and Brandy, “those are the artists who inspire me. I wouldn’t say they, [Chris Brown and Trey Songz] are inspirations to me, but they are motivation. Knowing that we came from the same proximity and location and seeing the work they put in and where they are now, helps me to keep going and work hard, because I can see that success comes from that.”
Alexis Nicole is certainly no stranger to working hard. In fact, as an independent artist, every day is a grind. She says that her process as an independent artist is a feat. “It’s very tough. Because when you don’t have a label backing you, there are many things you have to do on your own and you’re stuck with having to get it done because you don’t have the label’s connections. So it’s a lot of groundwork. It is really hands on.” However, the upside of being an independent artist is “having complete creative control over my music and where it goes.”
Alexis Nicole does it all, even creating her own treatments for her videos. “It is helping me to develop a strong, business mind.” Taking advantage of social medias and social networks has been a win for her on her journey to fame as well. “I can post something and reach more people than I ever could on foot, so it has definitely helped with getting my music out. It can be a great tool if used properly. I just utilize them all when I’m doing a video or dropping a mix tape or a new song. It’s like instant feedback, so I’m definitely grateful for the Internet.”
After conversing with Alexis Nicole, I learn that she is a straightforward, no-nonsense, well thought out chick. She certainly knows what she wants out of life and is willing to pound the pavement to get it. I respect her grind and I strongly believe it will pay off soon.
Check her out for yourselves citiXIns and tell me what you think of the up and coming R & B Soul Sister! Click on the links to hear a few of her tracks. You can also follow Alexis Nicole on Twitter, check out her Youtube, Myspace and of course hit up her website.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Since, I was mentioned in my Director's Blog, (about the pre-shoot), thought I'd add his to mine. Read if you want...and Stay tuned for shooting day, blogs. I believe they will go well.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
- Tell them your name and give them a unique take on what you do.
- Tell them something interesting about you. Talk about a personal tibit in your life that makes you feel natural
- List your recent activities and credits most proud of
- practice role playing
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
In her first ever written, comedic, one-woman play, Canady uses pop culture as the basis of her social commentary regarding the media. Canaday does this from varying perspectives; men, women, White people, Black people and Latinos, just to name a few. She transforms herself into ten diverse and relatable characters through which she tells the story of how the public – her main focus being black women - are controlled by the media. She draws from her various life experiences to play all of these different characters, in which she questions what it means to be a black woman.
The fictitious story revolves itself around the life of a girl named Rihanna who is preparing to audition for the lead role in the new music video of rapper, 40 Ounce’s new hit, “Gutta Money, P**** and Rim Chicks.” Using witty lines like “encouraging fathers to leave their daughters so they can develop strength at an early age,” Canady catches your attention and keeps it. From playing a prostitute turned author, who tells what it is like being a ‘hoe’ in her new book, “Confessions of a Super-throat,” to playing a girl who is trying to prove she can be the hottest white girl on the set of a music video, Canady uses these and other brilliant characters to express herself through her writing, which stemmed from her anger at women in mainstream hip-hop and leadership positions.
“I became upset at women like Ophra Winfrey and a few others…not so much upset [at them], but the limitations they have as women in the public and
“It’s a lived thing, a cultural thing. Another element in the play that is thrown in your face [is] particularly what it means to be a black woman and the politics that go along with that. What it is to be a darker skinned black women, and a lighter skinned black woman, you know, and what comes with that. As a browned skinned women with ‘good hair, ’ I get certain privileges or certain [acting] roles. I get asked all the time ‘what are you?’ Having my identity always questioned and on the table, I decided to write about it in the play. Everyone’s identities are questioned. All of the characters and how they relate to black women are all very different. Some are negative and some are positive. Some use black women to justify their own actions. It’s a play that looks at where black women would be ten years from now if we keep going the same way we are going in the media. It focuses on the image of black women throughout history and how we all play a role in it.”
“I used a lot of social gazing and improv; asking myself a lot of questions. I also used a lot of material that came from actual women auditioning for rapper/producer Diddy and Plies. Even from my own experiences of some of the things they ask in the audition room. [Requests] like ‘do your tricks’ or ‘take your shirt off,’ … just the degradation that goes with putting yourself out there as a woman.”
From the writing and media, to the directing and acting, Marjuan Canady’s play, “Girl’s, Girl’s Girl’s,” delivers engaging storytelling with wonderful characters that we are all probably very familiar with and can most assuredly relate too. All of these things definitely make for first rate theatre experience.
You can learn more about Marjuan on her website, “LIKE” her on Facebook and follow her in Twitter!