Tahirah Stanley is an exciting rising talent who is making waves in the industry with her latest project Three Sisters gaining lots of attention. It was a pleasure to get to sit down and interview this Canadian, who is taking America by storm.
What inspired you to become an actress?
Growing up I was terribly shy and steered clear of any venue or event that had more than 10 people. My mother saw that I was letting my fear cripple me and forced me to take a drama class. This decision changed my life forever! Acting opened up my eyes to a new way of being and gave me the confidence necessary to express myself fully. I have always been extremely empathetic, so when I was introduced to acting it was a perfect fit. I innately understood the inner workings of each character I played. It wasn’t until I got older and gained more professional experience working on productions such as Big Bad (Alec Strum), Romeo & Juliet (William Shakespeare), and Moon People (Aviva Ravel), that I fully understood what it meant to be an actress. These early productions were well received and really solidified my belief in my abilities. So, to answer your question, acting wasn’t something I was initially inspired to do, rather it was forced on me. BUT as they say the rest is history. I continue to choose acting every day because I understand the transformative powers it can have on a person, and audience alike.
Can you tell us more about the program, Theatre for Peace, that you developed?
I created Theatre for Peace as a way to give young people an opportunity to break free from similar barriers I faced as a child. Theatre for Peace uses the performing arts (singing, dancing, acting and spoken word) as a tool to help young people gain the confidence and skills necessary to fully express themselves, in a positive manner. Over the course of three months 8-10 young people, ages 14-18, meet twice a week for performance workshops. They work with professional artists to develop songs, monologues, dances, poems etc., based on their experiences as young people. At the end of the three months their work is put together to create a final performance that is shared with the community.
In Theatre for Peace I learned how to be myself. Before I used to be really shy but now I express myself a lot more through acting. – Theatre for Peace Participant (15 years old)
Any exciting projects coming up?
Within the next few months, two films that I was in will be released in the United States and abroad. In Do The Most (Jordan Qvest) I play a troubled, money hungry streetwalker and in Real (Vibor Krekovic) I play a young woman who struggles with her sexuality and gaining the acceptance of her family. Both films explore important subject matter and I am extremely proud to be a part of them.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
One of my greatest accomplishments as an actress was receiving a full scholarship ($33,000) to attend, the prestigious, Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, in New York. With alumni like Al Pacino, Marilyn Monroe, Angelina Jolie, Sally Fields and Alec Baldwin, my acceptance to this school is definitely that I am very proud of.
Do you have any advice for readers who want to enter the profession of acting?
I have always said that if I applied all of the determination, perseverance and rigor, that a career in acting requires, to any other field of work I would be HUGELY successful. That is to say, if you want to act understand that it will be difficult at times but DO IT anyways! Give it your all and don’t look back. Be fearless and trust that your hard work will pay off!