Once upon a time, not too long ago, I met a girl with a big personality and bigger dreams during my freshman year at Howard. Her energy was super contagious and she was always the life of the party. Dorothea McDonald was her name, but everyone called her Dot. Dot and I instantly became close friends during our freshman year and evolved into each other’s personal therapist during our sophomore year as resident assistants (because therapy was very much needed for that role).
Oftentimes Dot and I would talk about achieving our lifelong dreams after graduating. I would one day become a magazine editor (check) and a best-selling author (check…in advance lol) and she would become a world-renowned actress, racking up all the gold statues in Hollywood (check and triple check in advance). Although post-grad life (aka the twentysomething struggle) has gotten the best of us, Dot is still my boo and words cannot express how proud I am of her. Babygirl is doing her thang out in these Hollywood streets, and is a living testament of stepping out on faith to pursue your destiny. All that said, I am BEYOND honored to have her as my second Sista Spotlight feature. Check her out below!
Q: So how do you like living in LA? You’ve been there for about two years now, right?
A: Yes! I just made two years in October. It’s so crazy how fast the time has flown by. LA is…. Interesting. Lol I have such a love hate relationship with this place. I am completely obsessed with the fact that I am surrounded by likeminded individuals who are so positive, driven and full of faith. But at the same time, I passionately hate the lack of genuineness when it comes to relationships and that there’s never a moment of chilling here. In LA, it’s always a grind, grind, grind. So for now, it’s where I need to be to make my dreams come true. But if I didn’t have to be here, I kind of don’t think I would. Being away from my family kills me!!!
Q: When/why did you decide to move?
A: I never planned on moving to LA. In fact, I had never been here until the day I landed. I was a performing apprentice at The Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN and I had never been so happy in my life. I performed 10 shows a week and every day for a year all I did was act. It was amazing. It gave me the confirmation that acting was truly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. So I started brainstorming the game plan for when my contract ended. It was between LA and New York. Something about LA scared the hell out of me, and so that’s what I went with. I’m a risk taker, & I love to be challenged. I knew if I could make it in LA, I could probably make it anywhere.
Q: You’re becoming a BuzzFeed celebrity! When did you start working with them?/ How has the Buzzfeed experience been?
A: The wild thing is, I don’t even work for BuzzFeed! My good friend Freddie works for them and reached out to me when she needed actors one day. She put me on. And from there, her co-workers started to ask me to be in their videos and it just blossomed. So that’s kind of how it’s been working out. But I’ve definitely been enjoying the experience, it’s such a mutual benefit. I help them make dope and funny videos, and they help me grow my following. It’s a pretty awesome place. I’m there a lot and they are such a dope little family. It’s super diverse & everyone always seems to be having a good time.
Q: Have you been doing a lot of casting calls lately?
A: I have actually. Things have started to pick up for me since I’ve joined a new agency. It’s really exciting. I’m getting a lot of opportunities to put myself out there, and ‘m getting more familiar with casting directors. I’m just hoping to book something soon, but that’s just me being impatient. I know that when it’s my time, things will fall right into place.
Q: Landed any gigs yet? If so, can you talk about what you’re working on?
A: I’ve landed a few gigs, no huge ones yet. But I like to think of them all as baby steps closer to where I’m trying to go. Surprisingly, most of my gigs have come from word of mouth. I’ve done an industrial commercial for Toyota, I was Mindy Kalings body double, I was a lead in the play “The Lost Kingdom” and I’ve worked on many local web series. I also had the opportunity to associate produce a natural hair reality series on Issa Rae’s Youtube channel called, Head Cases. So little by little, I’m getting there! Right now, I’m trying to audition for as many commercials as I can. I’m working two jobs right now, so something like that would really help a sister out! I’m barely sleeping, but you have to always think positively… this is only temporary.
Q: As a young black actress, have you been faced with a lot of discrimination or type casting when trying to land roles?
A: Ummm….I haven’t experienced any discrimination so far. Not to say that it’s not out there, I just haven’t run into yet. However, I would definitely say there’s a scarcity of roles for black actress’ overall. I’ve also been very fortunate, that I haven’t been typed casted. I get called in for almost everything; young mother, college student, nerd, sexy friend. It’s the reason I’m always changing my hair. Lol I know how easy it is to only be able to see a person in one role. So I like to assist a little, & always switch it up. Lol
Q: You have your own web series, “One Night Stay,” which is hilarious, btw. Tell me how you started that project.
A: Yes! One Night Stay is my little baby! My classmate from Howard, Adarius Smith, is freaking hilarious. Like really, the world’s not hip yet…. But when they catch on, I’ll be the first to say, “I told yall!” But he and I did a short film, “Good Together” that got a lot of buzz so we decided to do a spin off and create a web series. I absolutely love One Night Stay. We’ve created a product that’s extremely relatable, and exposes our generational relationship issues. Adarius and I are both big fans of 90’s television sitcoms so we wanted it to have the same feel. We create an outline but the entire series is improve, so you can only imagine what it’s like on set. We have to redo takes all the time because someone on set always starts busting out laughing, including us! It’s so fun. And that’s why I think I love it so much. It’s exactly what the work should be… a good time! We’re currently working around a false copyright infringement claim,that resulted in our season two premiere being taken down. And that’s the downside of this business, people are very shady. It’s hard to trust anybody. But we’re taking the necessary steps we need to take to get it back up and running. It’s just annoying & frustrating but I believe the situation happened for a greater purpose that we don’t yet realize. So I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes together. Cause in the end, things always work themselves out.
Q: Do you feel like you are on the right path to achieving your ultimate career goal?
A: You know, I definitely feel like I’m on the right path but sometimes I feel like you just never know. Just like most people, I have doubts. I just chose not to let them determine how I live my life. Sometimes, I get caught up in the fact that I’m 25 and working at a hotel. That’s nowhere near where I envisioned my life to be at this age. And sometimes I run into people 40 and 50 years old, still chasing the dream I’m after and it scares me. Like will that be me? But when it’s all said and done, you have to consider the good and bad of the journey you chose to embark upon and be completely okay with it. You have to know your truth, cause everyone’s is different. My truth is that I’d much rather live my life waking up every day excited to do something my heart craves for regardless of what difficulties that may bring me.
Connect with Dot!
Also keep a lookout for Dot in the BuzzFeed videos! So hilarious!