The conventional wisdom has been that cisgenders can play transgenders, but not the other way around. Bullocks! Transgender actors can play whatever role they want to play. Personally, I play a ciswoman in my webseries Notts' Journey. Nobody can tell me what to do, who to play, or how to act. Just like Tina Turner said in a commercial years ago, "I don't put limits on my life." Neither should you. Don't let people put limits on your acting career. Expand your mind, heart and soul to give your character life, in order to give the audience feelings of sadness, joy, happiness and love all rolled up into one being. You!
I refuse to be put in a box by Hollywood producers and directors. That's why I've got total control of my productions and as long as I'm paying the bills, we play by my rules or we don't play at all. (Those were similar words of famous musician turned comedian Vaughn Meader in his Kennedy's First Family comedy album in 1962. He was satirizing a touch football game being played by the Kennedy brothers in the Rose Garden of the White House. You should check the album out or watch it on You Tube.)
In a bit of irony however, I feel like transgenders should play transgenders instead of cisgenders. It's not really hypocritical either, because who can play a tran character better than a trans actor. The logic is simple. Let's say you have five peanuts in your hand and I have one. in fairness you shouldn't be able to reach over and take and eat my one peanut. You have more peanuts. How is that fair. They're more roles for cisgenders than transgenders. We're not here to get the table scraps like a dog at the dinner table we simply want an even playing field. I could see the logic of cis playing trans if "we had more peanuts in our hands." Get it?
Sometimes in your acting career you have to reinvent yourself in order to get work. For me I've done painting and standup. I love and adore comedy but have a tendency for drama. I've always loved the old British TV shows and dramas on PBS, Acorn and Britbox. So I'll do both.
To me, comedy is more powerful than drama. You're not vulnerable in comedy. Comedy has always helped me deal with issues and conditions I grew up with. It was a way of keeping the bullies at bay and endearing myself to others. Making people laugh is a real gift. I've got it.
Comedy has kept me from suicide. There's real truth to the saying "laughing on the outside crying inside." That's me. On the other hand when you see my work in drama it's raw emotion coming out. That's why it's easy to cry on cue. So maybe I've found my outlet in drama as well.
Acting and comedy has been a gift given to me by my creator to get me through the tough times. I'm not a business woman or tycoon of the stock market but I can play one on TV. I'm not a filthy rich do-gooder but I can play one on TV. I have no desire to end my life prematurely, but I can play one who does. That's what Notts' Journey is about.
There's someone who hates me with such passion that beginning in 2015 he or she took it upon themselves to attack my then YouTube account and made rude comments about my acting. He or she referred to me as a man and that my acting and videos where crap. His YouTube name was "Johnny Sweeite." He had originally found me on the OK Cupid dating site and has been harassing me ever since.
Looking back on it now I should have left the comments up and ignored him or again her; however, I was afraid then. I didn't want people to know that I was an in-congruent female. So I blocked him or her and disallowed comments. But I could see his thumbs down on my videos. Just his or her way of letting me know he or she was there.
During the release of my web series I'm Your Mum last year, he or she reappeared with a different fake account and with the help of his or her step daughter. They both continued the harassment on all my social media accounts, making fun of the name. This time he or she referred to me as a congruent female, but they seemed to hate it when I bashed Donald Trump and conservatives on Twitter and Instagram.
My point is that I'm not alone. As actors and filmmakers, we all have our "Johnny Sweeite's" in this world. People or ex friends who don't have the guts to face us. That hide behind fake profiles, because they know that if they got caught by us, they'd be embarrassed and ashamed. Sadly, I'm pretty sure I know who this person or dare I say these people are. One of them used to be what I thought was a really good friend. Not anymore.
Here's to all the people in the acting world with integrity and strength, who do not allow petty jealousy to break up friendships and lead to discord. Here's to actors and filmmakers who celebrate our friends' successes and stand behind them when they fail. We're better than this. Be patient. Your star will shine when it's time.
Yesterday I uploaded the pilot of Notts' Journey which was once called I'm Your Mum on Vimeo. It's been a long road but getting there. I'm hoping to get some new actors for the series and a production company. I so can't wait until I do. I also want to up my game with my Urban Exploration videos. Maybe even getting into being a detectorist.
I'm looking for funding for my long awaited film Sins of Ashe County. I haven't been able to get it off the ground but I'm sure it will. No matter what your dreams please don't ever give up. The right time, actors and necessary team will come together and it will happen.
I want Tyler Perry to make my screenplay Sins of Ashe County. I've written and directed the investor trailer but it needs to go into foster care. It also needs a member of the African American community to "adopt it." I know nothing about being racially profiled, nor do I know about slavery. In fact my ancestors shamefully owned slaves in Virginia. I'm not proud. I'm ashamed to say so. I say that because that's the criticism I've received from other filmmakers. I also don't have the money to make it. That might sound bad but it's true. However, certain members of the Banks family have said they want me to direct it, but I think it needs a more experienced director.
The only claim I can make is that I'm a member of the LGBTQ community and it was because of this fact that Sins of Ashe County wasn't completed in 2008. Christopher "Play" Martin (Kid n Play) and former Carolina Panther Mike Minter where in it. Laura Fritsky was a big help in getting Mike Minter in the film. But when I came out, they all abandoned me. However, the Banks family (for which the story of Will Banks was written) has stood by me all the way.
Coming out to my cast wasn't an easy decision to make. Maybe if I had come out today things might have been different. I could go into more detail but it wouldn't do any good. I know the screenplay will need to be updated with language issues and such. Mr. Perry, if Christopher "Play" Martin, who read the screenplay and liked it (until I came out) then it's good.
More importantly, the family would like to see it made and the truth to come out. Please help me help heal the family. So you know where to find me on Twitter. Let's have coffee and talk. The Banks family have waited long enough. Mr. Perry it's time. I'm willing to be bought out but I want original screenplay credit. Let's talk.
Hello Friends. This is my new blog about my acting career and projects I'm working on and have worked on. We're also going to explore issues we confront as actors in the business. I also hope to interview people in the business designed to help your career.