My father was in the military, so I moved around a lot as a child. However, I spent every summer in Los Angeles, CA with my grandmother, so I consider myself a true native of Los Angeles (or L.A. as everyone calls it).
I received my undergraduate degree in theatre, with an emphasis in performance from San Diego State University. After graduation, I moved back to L.A. to pursue an illustrious acting career. The “illustrious” thing was a little harder to come by than I expected. In an effort to pay for the numerous acting workshops I took, I became a substitute elementary school teacher. I quickly fell in love with teaching those little ones and went on to get my teaching credentials from Cal State Dominguez Hills.
I was blessed to secure a position with the Los Angeles Unified School District as an elementary school theatre teacher. Guiding and encouraging children to use their imaginations through the use of drama was indeed an awesome experience, but I still had the desire to be a T.V. and film actor. So, I began taking classes at the Groundlings Theatre & School in Los Angeles.
The Groundlings training was intense and rigorous, but I excelled in their program and was invited to join the Sunday Company. I performed in the Sunday Company for 18 months. There, I learned how to create realistic characters, write for them, and perform them every Sunday. I did all of this while teaching and pursuing a Masters in Education from Cal State.
Within my first year of being in the Sunday Company at the Groundlings, I was invited to audition for Saturday Night Live. This was a life changing experience. Although I didn’t book the gig, it did inspire me to pursue acting full-time. I resigned from teaching and began this journey whole-heartedly.
In the three years since I decided to “go all in” I have been blessed to book recurring roles on shows such as, “How I Met Your Mother” and “1600 Penn”. I have also appeared on “Baskets”, “2 Broke Girls”, and most recently, “Bosch”. I have appeared in numerous videos for Funny or Die, including Zach Galifianakis’ series, “Between Two Ferns: the Oscar Edition”, and several web series.
While at the Groundlings, I created my show, “Unapologetically Black” with the help of director Karen Maruyama, which blends my two favorite worlds: Theatre and Education. The show reveals how I progressed through the “Stages of Nigrescence” to achieve a healthy Black identity, which was especially challenging for me as a Black child growing up in both white suburban neighborhoods, and drug-riddled areas of South Central Los Angeles. I share my own family’s painful struggles with drug addiction and how I was able to achieve my goals in spite of it. I hope to grow “Unapologetically Black” while inspiring and educating others to overcome their own challenges and struggles.