by Sherif Awad
-I was born and raised in Jamaica, NYC as the middle of two other siblings. I then attended Catholic school and took dancing lessons as a young girl. Had a happy childhood. Traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana every summer to visit cousins. Went to sleep away camp during the summers.
-My parents put me in dancing lessons at the YMCA located in the basement of my building because I was skinny, frail and prone to falling down stairs. I was a natural who was praised for how well I danced so I began feeling confident and loved performing in front of audiences. I started a school of my own called THE DANCER’S DELIGHT At the age of twelve . I taught dancing to the children in the neighborhood that weren’t able to take class at the YMCA. I also organized dance performances with the neighborhood children for the elderly at the nursing homes where my mother worked. I performed for the Conga players that would gather outside on the bench and play nightly in front of the building where I lived. I took dance as a part of PE in high school and joined the dance club. I became well known in HS as a talented dancer and was asked to perform for most events and to choreograph for some of the theatre productions. I was informed by the college advisor of a scholarship for dance at Goucher College in Towson, MD. I ended up attending and graduated with a BFA in Dance Education and then went on to pursue an MFA in dance at SMU in Dallas, Texas. I danced professionally with several dance companies and trained as an adult at Alvin Ailey American Dance School. My TV and theater role models were Farah Fawcett, Dihann Carroll, Denis Nichols. Dance roller midweek was Judith Jackson and Alvin Ailey both of whom I met and performed for. I was always teased as a child on how much I looked like Diana Ross. They used to hold the album cover up to my head to show me the comparison. People are intrigued when they find out that I have impersonated Diana Ross as a look alike. It usually gets me auditions.
-Stardom is very important. I’d love to be a brand that is known at least throughout America in a positive way as a talented actress, former professional dancer and current stuntwoman. However, most stunt roles go to men and younger women. Yet, America is a very creative country. I live in the art capital of the county…NYC. Creativity lives and flourishes here. As a stuntwoman…I must consider the danger and skill aspect of each job. Am I capable of performing this stunt with minimal danger? Will this stunt help me get more stunt work? As an actress…I must consider my talents and whether or not the role fits me and if I am capable of executing the vision of the writer. My latest stunt gig on Black Lightning on the CW. My acting role as The Fashionable Lady on The Watchmen.
-As a stuntwoman, .I have been shanked in jail as a prisoner and also as a C.O. I’ve been thrown against a flight of stairs, shot, hosed down with a fire hose and beaten up. I haven’t had any issues yet with insurance laws and security but I do know that several stunt people have lost their lives performing dangerous stunts and there has been much controversy about it. Absolutely…I advise everyone to study their craft and to be in the company of those that you want to be like. Never give upI vote for an Oscar nomination for Best Stunt to be added to the academy awards. I hope to be in the running for one! .
-I am selfish with my private time. I don’t answer my phone unless it’s business when it’s private time. I give my all when it comes to my profession. I read. I study. I practice. I ask questions. I take classes.
-Currently booked to film two independent projects one as a lead and one as a day player. Both are confidential. I’ll be working with A list actors.