I always considered myself bi-racial, because I didn't want to disconnect from either side, and I felt very strongly about that. Now, I understand that the world sees me as a black woman, a person of color, and I'm okay with that.
I think you find pieces of yourself in every character you portray.
It doesn't matter whether you're black or white, practice a different religion, come from a different culture, or have a disability. If you're different from most of the people you're surrounded by, some people might not be as tolerant as they should be.
You pick pieces of things you've experienced in life to make it real to yourself.
As I've gotten old I've really listened to a wide spectrum of music, whether it's The Carpenters, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z or Lauryn Hill. I've kinda' run the gamut, and in listening to so many different styles, you come to take bits and pieces from all of it.
I'm a pretty private person. I'm not "out there" out there. From living in New York City, I developed a certain awareness that you have to have when you live by yourself.
When you have parents who are recognizable, there's a certain part of you that wants to know that people you meet are able to not get clouded by that.
It was always a funny thing when someone would ask me my name and I would say "Brooklyn." They would always think that I meant that I lived in Brooklyn, and I would have to clarify that.
I was one of the serious studiers. I'm not somebody who just shows up and gets a hundred on a test.
When I was a kid, I always envisioned myself as performing, as being in that business. It was all that I knew, so it's kind of like I'm just following in the family tradition.
To me, my parents are my mom and dad, and we were able as kids to do a lot of cool things. Just being part of that family definitely brought out and cultivated the creative arts in us.
We live in a melting pot. More and more, people are some kind of mixture. Even if you're Caucasian, you're a mixture of something.
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