Today we’d like to introduce you to Chardé McGraw.
Chardé, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I joined the United States Navy in San Diego when I was 19 where I quickly rose in ranks to be an E-5 by 21. I didn’t reenlist because I found a love for photography and writing. I’ve been in Los Angeles for going on two years and it has been a rollercoaster of fun and lessons learned.
I currently am a mentee of the Writer’s Guild Veteran’s program where I’m being mentored by some amazing Guild members. I attend The Los Angeles Film School for Film Production so I’m very driven by the art of entertainment. Today, during COVID-19, I am focusing on writing with the WGA and developing relationships with family and close friends. I’m leaning into myself with confidence and stepping into light as an artist.
Has it been a smooth road?
No. The Navy was a tremendous hurdle. I was the youngest (+ the only female leader) for a while in my department. I held a lot of responsibilities that took over my life. After deployment and deciding to separate, I had to make time and connections to get started with photography through modeling. Then, I started my first business, Domonique Diamond. I funded, planned, and styled models. I did the whole shabang and went into a stage of depression on the night of my first event. I had to lose a lot of friends and start a transition to the civilian life— which was another major hurdle.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I got out of the service and jumped directly into Film School. Photography is something I love very much and it has always been my way to deal with all the noise the world can bring. I specialize in modeling and photography. I’m known amongst my friends as the director, the writer because here in LA that’s what I came to do.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes and No. There’s opportunity everywhere, but it seems everyone wants to be HERE. I’m here to see why.
LA has been different from my point of view because I’m a Black Woman Vet and it was all about work for me when I got here. Now, I’m learning new things about LA everyday that I’m growing to love.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chardemcgraw/?r=nametag
De’jon Shears, Isiah Williams, Scott Adkins