Ayanna started acting as a teenager and has been a working actor for two decades, with a career that spans Hollywood blockbusters, Independent films, episodic television, award-winning theater productions and yes, even commercial work. Perhaps best known for playing Cora in Twilight she is a resident artist of Artists Repertory Theatre and a 2020 recipient of the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship.
What makes Ayanna’s career particularly impressive is the breadth and quality of her work and the fact that she’s been able to thrive as a working actor based in Portland, Oregon. In fact her IMDB page reads like a history of Portland film and televisions from the past two decades.
While we don’t always immediately think of actors as freelancers, Ayanna assures they most certainly are. In our interview Ayanna drives into her craft, sharing insights like what filmmakers need to do in order to set actors up for success and touches some of the challenges actors and performers, and in particular female actors of color, face.
And she offers up a long list of insanely practical and inspiring advice for any and all creative people from the dangers to selling out when you’re young to the importance of forming a connection with the people you are working with right now because they are the ones who will create opportunities for you down the road. This episode is a must listen for anyone looking for insights into the craft of acting or looking to get fired up about digging into your freelance career and investing in your future.
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