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September 2016 BOLD Woman of the Month: Bisserat Tseggai, NYC

@bisserat on twitter and IG.

Every month we spotlight one amazing BOLD woman in our movement. We ask 7 specific questions, which highlight the very different and unique journeys that have influenced them to shape culture through the performing arts!

We had the privilege of kicking off our series by getting some time with one BOLD soul sister (Tina Turner reference)! Meet Bisserat Tseggai our BOLD woman of September!

In which part(s) of ‘the biz’ are you involved?

I am an actor. I also write and sing and dream of directing some day too.

Where are you from? When and why did you move here?

I am originally from Missouri and moved to New York City in 2012 to follow my dream of becoming an actress. From a young age I felt like I was created to tell stories so I finally took a chance and moved here for acting school. The rest is history.

What is your favorite part (or one of your favorite parts) about the work you do?

I absolutely love the storytelling process! I love that I get to take something that was once just an idea in someone’s head that they developed and transferred to paper and help bring that idea to life.

What is a challenge you face or a challenge you have overcome in your career?

One challenge I have overcome has been feeling like I’m not enough. When I first started auditioning, I often felt like I didn’t book the job because of something I lacked. Maybe I was not tall enough, not short enough, not black enough, not old enough, not young enough…just not enough. The truth is that when a writer or director reads or writes a script, it’s like a puzzle and they have a very specific idea about the characters they need to complete the puzzle. I may be a perfectly wonderful piece (and I AM, thank you very much!) but I just am part of a different puzzle. I am exactly who and what I am supposed to be and if there is a job that is meant for me to have, there’s nothing I or anyone else can do to stop me from having it. I said ‘overcome’ in past tense but the truth is, I still have to remind myself of that truth every day. This industry can be brutal at times and it’s so hard to not compare yourself to those who are already successful. It’s easy to forget that they, once upon a time, were exactly where I am now. It just takes time and patience and trusting the process. It is SO much easier said than done but, long story longer, this is not something that has hindered my growth or success so yes. I have overcome it!

What project have you worked on that you are really proud of? Or, what would be your dream role/project to be part of?

I had the tremendous honor of being directed by M. Night Shyamalan in the very first music video he ever directed AND it was for a song that I consider an anthem in my life, “Rise Up” by Andra Day. It was such a delight to work with such a talented director, cast and crew. Every single person on set was great to work with. The final outcome was amazing and I’m grateful I got to be a part of such a beautiful project.

When have you felt BOLD? What makes you feel bold? Why do you feel bold?

When I made the decision to be an actress as a career. I finally felt, for the first time in my life, like I am exactly where I am supposed to be and doing exactly what I was created to do. Even though I am one of literally millions of people wishing and hoping and trying to do the same thing, I wake up every day with 100% confidence that I will eventually be successful. Enough can’t be said about the hard work and patience required to be in this business. It’s enough to make a person crazy and I have definitely have had moments where I thought I was crazy for pursuing this dream. But I think facing each day head-on makes me BOLD!

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