“You’re perfect just the way you are. “
Describe your art in one word?
If your life thus far had a soundtrack, what three songs must be on it?
Feeling Good – Nina Simone
Baby Girl – Chloe X Halle
Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels – Todrick Hall
You have a fantastic sense of timing in your delivery of lines. Can you share your influences?
Thank you. My comedic influences would be Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Regina Hall, and Dramatic influences I would say are Viola Davis, Regina King, Meryl Streep, Jessica Chastain
In some parallel universe, do you ever imagine that “Tonya” grew up to work at Mythic Quest? We are big fans of both characters, and we like to imagine that this is a continuation of her life in Brooklyn.
I love that. I mean, honestly, that would be brilliant to know that Tonya came from Bed-Stuy and found her way into STEM. I support this narrative and hope to see young black girls in this field.
There are moments from Everyone Hates Chris that are real tear-jerkers between the laughs. Do you ever watch yourself on tv and get a good laugh or cry?
‘Ya know, I haven’t sat down and watched an Everyone Hates Chris episode in years, but I can believe there are some genuine tear-jerker moments because we were creating something so unapologetically authentic to the black American family experience. I do watch Mythic Quest episodes every week; I’m a huge fan of the show, and I have to pinch myself knowing that I get to be part of something so special. I love anything that can provide a good belly laugh and turn right around and have you holding back tears. That’s good storytelling.
As I understand, your role on Mythic Quest not specifically for a black woman. Can you briefly discuss the importance of representation in your roles?
The type of representation that I find vital is seeing people of color just having an ordinary human experience. In television and film, we have often witnessed, Black characters falling into the trap of being a trope and/ or a prop to tell their white counterparts’ story, which was previously acceptable. However, we are much more than that. With Dana, I love that this is a young Black woman operating in this predominantly male-dominated space without her Blackness being the main topic of conversation. Sure, we acknowledge it when necessary because (duh), you can’t ignore it; it isn’t followed by this caricature silliness. We want to see more human behavior, human stories, human romance, human experiences, and they happen to be Black.
What advice would you give a young actor experiencing colorism?
You’re perfect just the way you are. You are enough and don’t water yourself down to fit the standards of others. Be you.
What is your dream role?
I would love to tackle something gritty would be a dream. Diving into a character that struggles with addiction of some sort. Also, something physically challenging. Action perhaps? 😉
What book has played an influential role in your life?
Maya Angelou – Letter to My Daughters
Describe a perfect day.
Wake up with the sun. Coffee, cuddle up on the couch reading. Workout, get my body moving. A mi-day afternoon, long outdoor walk with my partner or a close friend with deep conversation. Finish it off with a park day or beach moment.
# # #