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Meet Autumn Sylve

Today we’d like to introduce you to Autumn Sylve.

Autumn, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Without music, I wouldn’t be anywhere. As soon as I could talk, I was singing. And I was so obnoxious! I’m pretty sure my family was tired of me amplifying the house with my voice and my mom finally started encouraging me to audition for the musicals at my elementary school. At first, I refused because I was so shy but I think I saw a production of The King and I and that changed my mind completely. Something about it resonated with me enough in 3rd grade for me to finally tell my parents that I wanted to be on stage. And from that moment forward, I never stopped.

Next thing I know, I’m at Orange County School of the Arts for six years studying musical theater. I was the only Black girl there and that obviously meant there were limited opportunities for me to actually be seen, heard, or recognized. Luckily, I started going to Amazing Grace Conservatory which is a predominantly Black training school for the performing arts. That was the first time I actually saw girls that looked like me carrying lead roles on stage. Seeing them made me see myself. I knew that if they could do it, I could. So I kept going. By the time I was a senior in high school, I knew the journey wasn’t over for me so I auditioned for as many collegiate training programs as I could and decided to attend UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television where I starred in multiple productions before graduating in 2019. Through our senior acting showcase, I signed with Brave Artists Management and Innovative Artists and have been auditioning since.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I don’t think there are many artists that could ever say it’s been a smooth road- especially dark-skinned, Black women artists like myself. I’ve had to face so much racism, sexism, and colorism along the way and I know that I will continue to face those same obstacles. I read a lot of stories about the plights that Black actresses have to face within Hollywood and sometimes it makes me so sad to the point where I feel overwhelmed and defeated.

But, whenever I feel like giving up, I think of my ancestors and push through. My bloodline has paved the way for me to be here and I will stand my ground no matter how many systems of power try to knock me down. I don’t care. I’m here. And I’m not going anywhere.

There is a greater purpose for why I’m doing what I do. I love to tell stories because I love humanity. I really want the best for all of us so it would be a disservice to myself and to others to quit just because there are obstacles.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a multi-dimensional creative artist. My talents aren’t only limited to acting, I also sing, write my own songs, dance, and write poetry. I think there are endless modes of self-expression and that’s precisely why I find art to be so beautiful and powerful.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I booked a lead role in a feature. I was at the top of the call sheet yet, while we were filming, I suffered from the most amount of imposter syndrome that I’ve ever experienced in my whole life. It’s funny because everything that I had ever done had led me to that moment but it was so hard for me to recognize that I should have been proud of myself at the time. I don’t usually give myself the flowers I deserve. I’m always pushing myself to do better. Belittling my accomplishments. I’m never enough for myself. It’s terrible. But I guess this is my moment to finally say that I’m proud of myself for doing that- for pushing through all of my anxieties as best as I could and handling them with grace by honoring the story and the character more than my fears. That experience taught me to move with love, not fear. Fear gets you nowhere.

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Image Credit:

Sydney Cattouse, Hayk Matevosyan, Refinery 29

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