Today we’d like to introduce you to Tysha Williams.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Tysha. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Thank you and your team so much for having me! Ok, so the beginning huh… Well, I’m a Midwest- “show me state ” born girl with quite the expressive imagination and personality. Although, most would not concur, I am a very shy person until you get to know me or if I’m dancing! Lol. My grandparents were pastor and wife of a small town COGIC household where love was number one. I’m cut from a cloth that always displays humanity and compassion, even at their own demise sometimes. I grew up with cousins and foster kids in the home, so… there was never a dull moment and church was a definite schedule.
Run this lineup. Bible study on Tuesdays, prayer meeting on Thursdays, fellowship on Friday, choir rehearsals on Saturdays, Sunday service and repeat! As a kid, we enjoyed it and of course, as adolescence set in we began to be pulled in other directions of interests. I thank God for that foundation daily now! My family is a very musically inclined one. At a very young age, I remember music and performance drawing me in. My dad was a DJ, so it was embedded. I was 2 when ‘Thriller’ came out, and I remember being terrified but still couldn’t take my eyes off the video; THAT energy was electric! I wanted to learn all the moves. Then came “bad” and well… ‘Nuff said!
The power of music, soulful music, music that spoke to you and had a healing quality had been birthed within. Fast forward to pre-teen years and up, we used to sneak and watch BET, and Yo MTV raps in the house, which was not allowed. But it’s the 90s and its M.C. Hammer time and all the 90s dance tracks… hello! I rebelled, we all did. I would spend hours home just watching and mimicking moves from the top played videos and artists I loved. That didn’t change as I graduated to middle school. In my own room I could spend countless hours watching artists like Aaliyah, Janet Jackson and Lil’ Kim, Britney Spears (the list goes on) videos and awards performances. I wanted so badly to train and expound on those talents, but the resources weren’t available.
I later moved to Atlanta, GA with my mom in efforts to expand her journey and ours. That was when the doors and windows of possibilities opened up. I was now in a place to further pursue dreams I had always wanted expanding outside of just drama club and theatre. I wanted to be in this business but had no blueprint before me from anyone in my family nor friends so yes as you can imagine I got burned a couple times but you live and you learn. Oddly, that never stopped me. Los Angeles had always been in my crosshairs but not my family. After high school they said it was ‘too far’ so there went design school at FIDM. I settled with Georgia state in ‘hotlanta,’ now an entertainment/production heavyweight all its own.
Nonetheless, I truly have to say Atlanta prepared me for my new home. I started dance classes in school, doing shoots to build a portfolio, dancing with some of Atlanta’s most known dancer/choreographers to date and making friends of whom I’m still close with today. These girls sparked my love for the Japanese culture and aided me in my being fluent in Japanese. 2009, failed relationships, feeling empty and unsatisfied while dealing with anxiety attacks and the rat race of what seemed to be chasing my tail had reached its peak. I wanted more, and bad! I had to get off the bench and in the game.
A one-way ticket, shipment of my VW beetle and 300 bucks in my pocket and it’s HELLO LA… well, Granada Hills… that’s a whole other story.
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?
This journey has been far from easy. It’s true when actors say “ how many times do I contemplate leaving this business… More times than I’d like to admit,” WE MEAN IT! Lol. However, there’s something that runs so deep that even a glimpse of the vision is enough to keep the drive and hunger alive.
Fast forward to now, taking a bit of a hiatus from principal performances with The Dollface Dames LA’s Premier Burlesque Company due to some personal time, growth and physical attention needs. Oh, but I’m not too far from that stage. It feeds the creative beast. I don’t think I’ll ever be too far from it in some capacity. I even went through a very tough period questioning everything. My desire. My why. How bad did I want it… downplaying myself. A true case of the spiritual shift was happening. It took a lot of self-care and patience just to step away and not be afraid to do so.
It took me a whole year and some months before getting up the courage. I think that was just one more catalyst that pushed me into thoughts of being more-well rounded seeing other creative outlets I didn’t necessarily know I wanted to expound upon. 2014 here comes my production company baby. I produced my first short film. I loved it. The shift starts months later after returning from London for the International film festival I somehow got the balls to start pre-prod on my first Feature length, Rom-Com, Love is a Battlefield!
I found the all-star, all-woman crew that uplifted me and held me and my 2ndbaby to such an elevated standard that I couldn’t believe I had a team who believed in me and the project so much. We were ready and with a sequel already in the works. Mind you this is my first “big budget” project I was trying to get funded with no real experience other than my pure passion and will, and by big-budget” I mean 250k. That was big to me! No where near Hollywood standards but I had built some relationships and felt by the response it was doable. Floored, is not the word… more like humbled at the amount of talent interested in being apart of this project.
Some of whom I had watched on TV when I was younger. I said a prayer and sent out my new media agreement budget offers and WOW, Now that was an extremely proud moment! They were actually accepted… “ wait, what…” I could get who I envisioned? that blew my mind. Suddenly the weight of everything that could go wrong and did forced me to shelf the project a week and half before principal photography was to commence. Devastated would be the word to describe.
Failing publicly, well at least to my audience and my own ego, that was how it felt and began the point of shrinking me as a series of misfortunate events along with some of the most trying times in my life would follow. This shift forced a major transformation. I will say that I’m not giving up, that script still lives in pieces of me daily and now along with some other great visions. All Smiles Production just shot and is now in the final stages of post production on a pilot for a cannabis gourmet cooking show entitled The Gourmet High. I’m super stoked about this collaboration because of my own personal journey and the team and It being my first Network production. We are going to make magic.
Please tell us about All Smiles Productions.
All Smiles Productions as previously mentioned was started in 2014 as a vehicle to further other growing creative passions brewing. Not just Infront the camera but behind the lense as well. If you know me then you know the name speaks for itself…lol I laugh a lot! includes my t-shirt line, CaliCasual™ that I have been working on tirelessly on for two years and finally seems like the future is near! Look out 2019. CaliCasual™ is the first line of my label I.She.Me.Her.We.You™ (Aishteru- I love you in Japanese.) I truly desire this venture to go far for quite some time and evolve with its time.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
One of my proudest moments to date has been hosting red carpet arrivals 2 years in a row for Academy Awards! I mean, being in that space and place that I’ve watched for years dreaming of a day to be there and to see and meet all the talents I’ve admired for years was such an auspicious moment. That was one of my first experiences with doors opening for me. The glam experience. High-end jewelry and gowns fresh off the runway, the works! I felt like a true princess but even more so I felt like my dreams and goals were definitely possible now. Reinvention is a word where comfort doesn’t reside and neither does mediocrity, stagnation, despair or regret… I’ve learned and am learning that change is constant in all things. I’ve learned to embrace me! All facets of me! I’d like to accredit the love of an amazing man on top of hard work, introspection, God and truth from the inside out.
I’ve had some very proud moments, but there’s more… I feel it. I haven’t began to get close to where I’ve seen myself going both spiritually and professionally. My greatest fear would be never reaching that potential or milestones I’ve seen. I’m a big dreamer, Huge… But most importantly, I’m a Doer!
I’m most happy when my soul and body is fed continuously without cease. When I’m filled creatively and stimulated in those veins, I have so much to pour into others. I quite enjoy witnessing others bloom.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aki Ikejiri, Ngozika Okeke