Patrick Olivier jones recently caught up with American and British stage actress Debra Ann Byrd for an in-depth interview on Feedspot’s Top 25 Theatrical podcast Why I’ll Never Make It. The interview will air on Monday, December 13 on all streaming services.
The interview delves into the negativity Ms. Byrd faced in pursuing her dream. After being told by her university drama teacher that she would never find a job as a classical Shakespearean actress because she was black. This defining moment confirmed his own doubts, but also fueled his desire to pursue his passion and start his own Shakespearean company in Harlem. The daughter of a Puerto Rican father and black mother, this honest and open interview explains how she straddled the line between these races and cultures as well as her struggles as a teenage mother. Still pushing, Ms. Byrd used her experiences to write her one-woman show Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey, which tested her as a writer, actress and producer. This interview is truly a high-profile discussion of race, gender identity, religion and more.
Debra Ann Byrd is an award-winning classically trained actress and producer. She recently won an Excellence Award from AUDELCO for her portrayal of Othello in the all-female multiracial production of the Harlem Shakespeare Festival Othello: The Moor of Venice by Shakespeare. Other classic roles include Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, Cleopatra in Antony & Cleopatra, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, and countless others. Debra Ann is also the founder and artistic director of Take Wing, Soar Productions and the Harlem Shakespeare Festival.
Why I’ll Never Make It is hosted by the Off-Broadway Actor and Singer Patrick Olivier jones. This weekly podcast features other creators sharing the realities of a career in the performing arts, while challenging the notion of what it really means to ‘succeed’ in this business. Previous guests on WINMI include Michael learned (The Waltons), Will swenson (Hair, Priscilla Queen of the Desert), and Bianca Marroquín (Chicago), Geoffrey owens (The Cosby Show) and Misty Rosas (The Mandalorian).