by Sherif Awad
-I was born August 19th, in Jamaica. I came to the United States when I was ten years-old. I began an interest in the arts when I was young, specifically watching soap operas with my mother. I then started to act in plays in High School. When I went to college, I decided to major in performing arts, and from there, I continued to pursue this craft. During my teen years, I honestly loved watching all kind of movies with a happy ending, sometimes, lol. I loved drama, comedy, action, horror. I loved superhero movies, specially X-men. Hugh Jackman was my favorite during my teen years. One of my favorite movies was DAIRY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN by Tyler Perry. I really loved a lot of his earlier work.
-Whatever craft or field you choose to pursue, it will always comae with a lot of work and dedication. During my time in college, I was always in the theater, studying and doing scene work. However, there were not many roles available to me during college due to a lack of diverse plays, so I relied on getting my creative juices in scene study work and making friends with some film students in school, and being a part of their projects. They guys were always great! What I can truly say about learning to become a better creator, is studying your environment, because it will be needed when you go into the real world. Take every mistake, and education that you get, and apply it. It will definitely help you grow as a better human being and a stronger performer. Also, be your self and create your work. You won't regret it.
-I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities that I have received thus far. It has helped me grow as an artistic being. This is definitely a journey, and every disappointment and happiness is another page turned in your book. I am not after superstardom. I am the simplest person you may ever come across. I want to continue to be booked and paid and to be a respected and working actress. But if I can change or add to the life of even one person, then I have done my job. I think that is most important to me.
-I think there will always be challenges in this profession. Though there is politics in almost every field of work, the entertainment industry can be quite tricky. Besides there being a pay gap between genders, which I haven't gotten the pleasure of experiencing yet (sarcasm), being a woman in this field has its negative side, especially being a woman of color. I've dealt with knowing I wasn't light enough or my ass wasn't big enough, etc... This industry is very male driven and also very sex driven, and when you mix the two together, us women are always going to face a lot of adversities. But I do feel, as the years go by, we are beginning to see change little by little.
-I feel Hollywood is definitely broadening their horizons and are creating more spaces for independent filmmakers and storytellers. So that's a good thing. We don't necessarily need the big studios to notice us as much anymore, because the little guys are bringing authentic storytelling, and they are taking a lot of notice. But they just gotta stop messing around with these remakes, though. Let classics be classics. Lol.
-I approach work being offered to be by what kind of story is being told. Can I relate to it? Can I execute the character? And if I can and feel a great connection to the character, does a check also come with this project? I'm just being realistic here though. I have done a lot of unpaid projects and still sometimes do, if I truly believe in the work. But I want to be a working actress. That is, and I think I speak for many actresses, the ultimate goal.
- I keep my private life off social media and mind my business, lol. When I am on set, you get personality Kenishia and professional Kenishia. And when the day is done, I take my butt home to be around my family and loved ones. I am an old head by heart and I want to go to sleep after I know I have done a damn good job and made the filmmakers happy.
-For my next project, I will be filming a movie in Zambia, Africa this summer. I am really excited about that and looking forward to it. I have a play later this year. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we know things have slowed down a lot. But I have been using that time to submit for roles and auditions. Surprisingly, I have been able to still audition during this unfortunate time, which I am really grateful for. I am praying for everyone during this unfortunate time for safety and peace of mind.