Today we’d like to introduce you to Taja V Simpson.
Taja, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Hmmmm, my mother would say I started when I was a kid. I would watch movies, learn the lines and act them out over and over again. I would say my journey as an ACTOR started after I graduated college.
There was always this little voice that would encourage me to try it but being from a small city like Lake Charles, Louisiana, there weren’t any programs around to really cultivate that skill set. So, I focused on school and attained my Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communication from McNeese State University. Now that I acquired my degree, the little voice inside of me was screaming to try my hand at acting and finally, I did.
I enrolled in acting classes in Houston, TX and at the end of the course, I won three awards!! (Best Actress, Best Scenes & People’s Choice) I thought I’m really on to something here. For me, that was the writing on the wall. I was going to take the leap, pursue my dream, and move to LA LA Land.
One thousand six hundred eighty-eight miles later, I’d arrived in the city where dreams are made! I can distinctly remember the energy, the feeling I felt when I got here. I felt a peace come over me like I’d finally made it ‘home.’
My company, The Dream Is Real, was created in the down times of my career. I was looking for an affirmation that would help me deal with all of the rejection this field offers. I remember sitting in my car after getting so close to booking yet another job and not getting the part, and I wanted to give up. I sat there and cried. And cried some more and I felt the crossroad in the bowels of my heart. Do I continue dealing with the rejection or do I let this go and get a 9 to 5 job? I contemplated back and forth and then I thought, “but this is my Dream and I want this to be a reality.”
I sat there and told myself over and over, “My Dream is real, my dream is real, and I no longer allowed myself to think what I wanted was too far fetched. From that moment I decided, any time I thought about things that would get me out of my positive vibration, I would remind myself of this affirmation and eventually “The Dream Is Real” was officially born.
I started using it when I would post on social media about all industry related happenings in my life and it quickly caught on. People started knowing me by the phrase and eventually started to use it for themselves.
Today, I’m a Series Regular on a new Tyler Perry TV show for BET, “The Oval.”
Even now I sit back and think about that dark time in my life and realized as long as you have even a tiny bit of light, it will shine in the darkness. Keeping my mind on the positive (light) as opposed to negative (darkness) is what got me through and now my world is filled with more light than ever.
The beauty of it is, not only is my Dream Real, but it also is a Reality.
The Dream Is Real…
Has it been a smooth road?
Wouldn’t it be nice if the road was smooth all the time? But then we would miss out on all the lessons we’d learn by trial and error.
Where do I start? Well, there’s nothing like the beginning….
Two days before moving to Los Angeles, I went to move all of my items out of the storage facility, as I was scheduled to be on a play tour, someone broke in and stole everything. Not only did I lose all the furniture, TV’s, Bed, Washer/Dryer but also all my photos and pictures of me as a kid – That was the toughest part.
I then postponed my move and ended up losing the apartment because back then, I didn’t realize how quick apartments go in LA. When I got over the shock, I decided to move but didn’t have a place, so I ended up moving in with a family friend and they lived in Victorville, CA – 85 miles ‘outside’ of LA.
Didn’t let that stop me, I would drive almost every day to LA and when I didn’t have a place to stay, I would sleep in my car so I didn’t have to drive back just to come back the next day. For six months, I did this until I eventually moved to North Hollywood. I started working at a telemarking company to pay the bills and it would keep my schedule open for auditions.
I eventually found my niche in the marketing and promotions world and worked for various companies. I quickly realized this type of work gave me the flexibility I needed to still pursue acting.
When things were slow for me, I would audit various acting classes and study at home. I’d print sides/audition material and prepare for auditions every day at home. I felt like, “you can’t wait to get ready, you gotta stay ready”. I would record myself and watch and critique my performances. I wanted to see what the Casting Director sees. Before I filmed them, I would record just my voice as I had a tendency to talk fast and I needed to hear me to correct it. I worked on my craft every day because I didn’t have the money to attend acting classes. But the one thing I realized from being an athlete, repetition is everything. The more you do it, the better you will be.
That’s when I started having a little success. I’d book here and there but not consistently.
Didn’t let that stop me and I couldn’t wait on Hollywood so I started creating my own projects, writing and directing and fell deeper in love with the art of filmmaking. The moment you take a project from conception to fruition, you garner more respect for all facets of movie-making.
I was more fulfilled but still struggling financially to live in this high priced city and so I did it….I put my passion to the side and got a full-time job. Not one but two and was still pursuing acting. I’d gotten to a place where I was tired of struggling so much. I wanted to be able to go into the grocery store and buy gourmet cheese and not think to myself, “I can buy so much more for this price.”
Needless to say, working three jobs was tiring, exhausting even until finally I said to myself, it’s now or never. Either you’re going to put all your eggs in one basket or keep going at the rate you’re going.
For me, Art always wins. I decided to quit the jobs and a month after doing so I booked the biggest gig of my life.
Sometimes we have to not only put out what we want in the universe but also BELIEVE we’re worth having it.
We’d love to hear more about your business. What you are currently focused on and most proud of.
The Dream Is Real, Inc. is a production company that specializes in Film / TV.
We are most proud of all the work we’ve done. To date, we’ve produced stage plays, films music videos and premieres.
We pride ourselves in working not only with the best in the business but also the best ‘positive’ people we can find. Negativity and non-positive attitudes are not welcomed on our sets. If you’re not a solution-oriented person, with a can-do attitude, we don’t work with them.
It’s important to not only love what you do but also the people you do it with.
We believe DREAMS are possible.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I do love LA, however, my company is a production company so we work throughout many cities.
- Address: 14900 Sherman Oaks #5289
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
- Phone: 323-309-6863
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tajavsimpson/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetajavsimpson
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/tajavsimpson
Movie Poster (My Online Valentine) should be credited as: Styles Stills.