We are BOLD! An organization that exist to build up black women in the performing arts for the restoration of culture. We believe black women have and will change the world, and want to spotlight women who are doing just that!
Every month we will introduce you to a BOLD woman in our movement. We ask seven specific questions, which highlight the very different and unique journeys each one of us has; and as an extra bonus we get to hear what has inspired them to shape culture through the performing arts.
This month we got to chat with talent manager and producer of the Now Africa: Playwrights Festival ChiChi. Wait until you hear about what makes her feel BOLD!
In which part(s) of ‘the biz’ are you involved?
I am a talent manager at The Cooper Company and a producer at the Now Africa: Playwrights Festival.
Where are you from?
I’m Nigerian-American and grew up in Bensalem, PA.
When and why did you move to NYC?
I decided to move to New York in 2008 after completing a casting internship at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ. My supervisor casting director Laura Stanczyk suggested New York or LA were the main places to live if I wanted to work in entertainment. New York was closer, my sis Ngozi already had an apt in the city, so it was definitely more convenient to move in with her. At that time, I had originally moved to NY to pursue a career in casting, but a few years later switched gears to the representation world. I Had gotten a part time assistant opportunity at an agency and fell in love with the work.
What is your favorite part about the work you do?
My fave part about talent management is telling a client that they booked a job. Actors face so much rejection and I'm so happy to be the messenger of good news. I love the whole process of developing actor clients. From picking out headshots, sending up audition appointments, audition coaching, social media tips, and working on career goals etc. I'm a true believer that talent and great work ethic eventually pays off. I enjoy the opportunity to be part of the career journey with clients and to see how far they come each year.
My fave part of producing is the end of the job...when it's over (lol). It's helluva of a lot of work, a few sleepless nights. But it's worth it when you see the finished project and see how many people were left inspired by the project you produced.
What is a challenge you face or a challenge you have overcome in your career? Dealing with high pressure situations can get to me. When I'm stressed, this leads to lack of sleep, which leads to me being moody. Sometimes I get anxious when I think about all the things that I need to get done and accomplished during a busy week. I have to remember to take a beat, breath, eat, sleep and also remember it'll be alright. I get caught up in trying to be superwoman and do it all. But ya know, no ones perfect, mistakes will be made and it's okay. It's not the end of the world. Getting much better at handling pressure, but still learning and growing.
What project have you worked on that you are really proud of? I am really proud of the work I've been doing at the Now Africa: Playwrights Festival. Such a joy to create opportunities where playwrights, directors and actors from the African Diaspora can showcase their work. “Good work begets more work”
When have you felt BOLD? I feel BOLD when I'm able to step outside my comfort zone and do things that may make me feel uncomfortable. I'm reminding myself that 2017 will be my year of no more excuses and to just be fearless. Recently booked 2 future trips to LA, signed up for a new gym (which I've been running from) and also writing a little bit each day in a journal. It's baby steps but these are little things I'm doing for myself and to keep growing.
Thanks for sharing you story and inspiring us this month ChiChi. You are truly a woman making the world more BOLD. For more videos check out our website at www.boldnyc.org
Keep Up with ChiChi by following her and Now Africa Fest on all your platforms here:
@Cheekychichi13 @nowafricafest Website: www.nowafricafest.com