How One Showcase Winner Uses Her Success as a Springboard

KenitaReneeHeadshotWe have another showcase winner! (These keep happening, like every other month. That means every other month there is a Cast It Talent Showcase winner that could potentially be you. Submit)! December’s winner is Kenita McNeill, and hers is a lesson in spinning success into new opportunities.

Kenita was a fresh-faced middle schooler when she discovered her love for acting. She auditioned for the Baltimore School for the Arts, was accepted, and attended for three years. After her initial plunge into the arts, however, Kenita put acting on the backburner in order to carve out a more stable life for herself. It wasn’t until 2014, when she met a Hollywood producer at a conference, that she took a second look at showbiz. “[He] encouraged me to really go after my dreams,” Kenita reflects. “He shared how he was able to keep his Christian values and still be successful in the field. I took in what he said and hit the ground running in 2015, having what felt to me like one of the best of my life.”

It wasn’t just a feeling. During the course of that year, Kenita freelanced with two local agencies, started networking, was cast as a principal in four commercials, (including a national) and began her film and television work with a vengeance. After nearly a dozen film and television projects, Kenita was not only SAG-Eligible, but the Cast It Talent showcase winner for December.

The latter journey began when she ran into Cast It Talent while searching for acting gigs online. “[I] felt it was an amazing opportunity I just couldn’t pass,” Kenita remembers. “I love that Cast It Talent does not make you pay to participate in the showcase and a number of other open calls. I love how simple the site is to navigate and the remarkable connections that can be made.” Clearly it paid off for her.

Kenita isn’t taking her streak of success for granted. She continues to study by reading up on acting techniques and watching documentaries on greats like Stella Adler and Sanford Meisner.  At the moment she is up for a series regular role on a pilot and is pursuing a co starring role in a major motion picture. At home she handles self-promotion in the form of a growing YouTube channel, on which she features acting tips, shorts and spoken word poetry. As Kenita concludes: “All in a year of removing doubt and working hard to perfect my craft.” If there are two better ingredients for success I don’t know what they are.

As Kenita is well aware, showbiz is a capricious mistress, and once you catch her eye, you better make certain she doesn’t look away. The second you get your claws into a tiny straw of success, it’s up to you to take it and Rumplestilskin that thing into gold.

When asked about her plans for the future, Kenita says, “My goal isn’t to be rich and famous. My goal is to wake up excited about what I do and make an honest living doing just that. I want to inspire a generation of creative thinkers.”

And there we have the final ingredient. A genuine love for the work itself is what makes a career in the arts sustainable. So wake up excited, remove doubt, and work hard to perfect your craft. Maybe next month we’ll be interviewing you.

 

 

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Rachel Rachel Frawley is an actor living in Atlanta. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Michigan State University (with cognates in Music and Professional Writing) and is an Apprentice Company graduate from the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. She also works as an education artist for local theatres, which have included the Shakespeare Tavern and Aurora Theatre. For more information, visit her website at www.rachelfrawley.com

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