This month we are continuing to celebrate woman making moves in the entertainment industry. Lucky for us the multi-talented performer Princess Bey took time out of her busy schedule to give us an exclusive interview. In this interview Ms.Bey shares with us her inspiration, how she feels about the lack of diversity in media, and so much more.
1.What inspired you to start acting?
I started acting in middle school. I’ll never forget the first day I walked into drama class; I was taken by this inexplicable feeling. I knew then that I’d found my “thing”. I was 10 years old.As an adult, my inspiration comes from life and the beauty of experience. We see people every day but we never know what their true story is, or what drives their actions and behaviors. As an actor you have the privilege to bring these stories to life and share their journeys with the viewer. Each time I make a new discovery I learn something about myself and that contributes to my personal growth. That’s enough to inspire me forever.
2.What would be a dream role for you?
I can’t say there’s one dream role in particular; it’s important for me to be able to run the full gamut in regards to “types” of roles. I really want to star in an action film though! Anything that would challenge me to master a new skill set would be beyond fulfilling.
3. What has been the biggest struggle for you entering into the entertainment industry?
Time and balance. Between my day job and being a mom, it’s difficult to make castings, rehearsals, and shoot dates work. This industry is demanding and if you’re not available when needed, there’s always someone else who will gladly replace you. Thanks to friends and family, I’ve been able to make it work thus far.
4.This year, the Oscars have been under attack for the lack of diversity in nominees. How do you think we as people of color can change media to include more diversity?
I can go on for days! In short, I think that as people of color we have to make ourselves more relevant and gain more buying power. We have the talent, but I feel that as a people we lack the confidence and resources to put our work out. We need more Shonda Rhimes’, we need more solid material, we need more risk takers. We need unity. Could you imagine what would happen if people of color who are in positions of power, leadership, and influence should band together to create a platform for our artists? We would be unstoppable. But we’re afraid.
5.You recently acted in the web series “What Happened to Love”; could you tell us more about the series and your character?
“What Happened to Love” is a webseries that highlights the relationships of a few young couples and their friends. It’s interesting to see their highs and lows, and the issues that affect young Black men and women in the dating world. My character, Mya, is a lot like me; she’s a hardworking professional with a great sense of humor but she’s also feisty. She’s very loyal, but you definitely do not want to cross her. She can go from zero to a hundred faster than the speed of light. With this project, I had a lot of freedom to improv and ad lib so I brought a bit of my own personality to the screen. It was fun!
6.What advice would you give to aspiring performers?
I still have so much to learn but there’s two things that I will say: be resilient, and be free. Resilience is key because that’s what’s going to get you through when you feel like everyone and everything is working against you. Be confident. The moment someone else believes in you more than you believe in yourself, you have a problem. It’s going to happen plenty of times; just know that you have to take a second to refocus. Be free. It sounds simple but it’s not always easy. We all have inhibitions, we live in a world full of judgment, and we are constantly seeking approval. We are afraid and we want to be accepted. Guess what? Let it all go. Be true to your work. Don’t be afraid to explore. Go deep and don’t hold back. You’ll be surprised at the outcome; freedom is inexplicably exhilarating. When you get on stage or into an audition room, remember that it’s YOUR show and you’re just there to share your truths with those before you. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’ll always be 100% correct.
7.You have acted on screen and on stage. What can we expect next from you?
My friend and I wrote a short film titled “In|Sex” and we are in the final stages of production. It was cool because aside from writing, casting, and co-managing the project I also play the lead role. I hadn’t been behind the scenes on a project since directing and producing plays in college so it was good to delve back into that aspect. We are planning for a April release of the short, and in the meantime my partner and I are working on our next project. We’re building a team of ambitious creators and our goal is to put all of our talents together, learn everything there is to know about filmmaking, and create a platform for our people to put out high quality work. Look out for our release party within the next two months!