Thursday, March 31, 2011

Interview with actress Dominique DuVernay

Much to our delight (and surprise), catching up with actress Dominique DuVernay of New Orleans was not too difficult. Fresh off her appearance on BET’s "The Game" Dominique was eager to share her ups and downs with Black Hollywood. Juggling motherhood and acting, Dominique got her start three years ago after being signed by a Louisiana talent agency though it was not her first experience with an agency. The start was not an easy one, however. “I began taking acting classes with various coaches around New Orleans. It wasn’t until I got with my current agency in 2010 that I began to audition for bigger projects. Although my first two agents weren't working for me, I worked for myself and that's how I found work.” Dominique laughs at the idea of distributing headshots before truly understanding their importance for actors. “I was submitting cell phone pictures and pictures I took with my digital camera (laughs) because I had no idea of how to go about getting headshots, who to take them with and the huge importance of even having them." 
Working her way up in low and no budget films, Dominique took many risks along the way to optimize her chances of being discovered. “I crashed Mike Epps Comedy Show in 2008 and got a part,” DuVernay, a New Orleans native explains. Three years later her journey took her on the road, literally, carpooling with friends and $50 dollars in hand to audition for ,The Game. “I had to chip in for gas because this is such a HUGE show, no way I'm going to get cast. When I got in that audition room, it couldn't have been a more friendly environment.” Dominique recalls. “I thought that by it being such a big show, everything would be fast paced, ‘Hollywood’, rude personalities, but that wasn't the case at all. I was extremely comfortable." 
Dominique makes it clear that acting is no easy gig. Almost two months after her audition for "The Game," she hadn't heard anything and assumed she didn't get the part. Confidence in tow she decided to keep moving toward the red carpet. “There were so many times I just wanted to give up but something in me just couldn't. I was feeling really down on myself about the industry as a whole and seriously questioning whether I even belonged in it, so one day I really just cried to God and talked with him. A few days later, I got a late night text from my agent telling me I'd booked The Game two whole months later.” Dominique credits God, an amazing mother and perseverance for her success. “God is who I credit for any and all success I achieve. He keeps me focused. He keeps me driven.” Amen Dominique. Amen.

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