Posts tagged "actress"

Meet Kristen Ariza!

Passion + talent continues to flourish from actress Kristin Ariza as she shares her flair with the world! Hailing from Orlando, Florida, she captivated audiences in memorable roles including American Horror Story, NCIS: Los Angeles, Scorpion, Castle, Bones, Criminal Minds and Grey’s Anatomy; in addition to recurring roles on Parks and Recreation and Lie to Me. Fans will also recognize her from her role in HBO’s Emmy-nominated movie Confirmation, the Anita Hill v. Clarence Thomas story.

Drawn to acting at a young age, she earned her BA in Theatre from Florida State University and went on to the acclaimed Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia before moving to New York and eventually Los Angeles.

You can catch her sizzling performance in the gritty world that is STARTUP, the newest original scripted drama series from Sony’s streaming network Crackle!

Let’s get to know Kristen a little better…


As an actress you’ve played powerful roles such as ‘Judy Smith’ in Confirmation and currently ‘Tamara Dacey’ in the new drama ‘STARTUP’, what motivated you to step into the world of acting?

KRISTEN: Acting actually found me.  However when I discovered the joy I had in creating characters that I was moved by and that also moved people, I was hooked.

What has been your favorite role to bring to life and how do you connect with each character?

KRISTEN: That’s a tough one…I’ve enjoyed playing so many varied roles. One of my favorites belongs to the stage.  The role was ‘Kate’ in the play, GOOD PEOPLE by David Lindsay-Abaire.  I loved it because it’s about not good people, but real people…flawed people.  We are all a product of our circumstances and was so happy to explore this concept. Also, I absolutely love the theatre.

Sometimes fear can get the best of us, what advice would you give girls who want to follow their dreams + passions?

KRISTEN: Fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It’s in us for a reason. It’s our internal gauge to help us make the right decisions and keep us honest. To those who are interested in pursuing a less than
conventional path- whatever it may be, I say: train, study, observe. Become a student of whatever it is you are wanting to do.  That is how you lessen your fears and get closer to your dreams.


We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you and why?

KRISTEN: I’m tremendously inspired by my family.  Though we don’t live in the same state, we are very close.  They inspire daily.  As an artist, even without realizing it, you pick up on things.  You become
a parrot of behaviors and isms.

You’re busy building your fab acting career and at times it can get to be a bit overwhelming, how do you regroup and motivate yourself when you’re feeling a little defeated?

KRISTEN: From a young age, I’ve been involved in sports- basketball, track, cross-country.  Now, I hike, I run. I’ve done several marathons. Exercise is a great motivator for me.  It’s my way of
escape and my way to regroup.  Let’s face it, anything you’re trying to pursue full-time isn’t going to always be a bed of roses.  I find it helpful to have something reliable and positive that you KNOW, just
by the nature of you doing it, will make you feel better.  For me, that’s lacing up my sneaks and hitting the pavement.

We are all about empowerment, What does EMPOWERMENT mean to you?

KRISTEN: It means making someone (including yourself) feel more confident.  So, to me, it means embracing your-SELF. Embracing knowledge. Embracing all of the interesting, quirky, unique things
about YOU!

Time for the Faves! Celeb Crush? Artist? Food? Movie?

KRISTEN: Celeb crush??  I might have one for every letter of the Alphabet!  Artist? A lot of ‘girl power’ on my radio right now. Listening to Andra Day, Lissie, Marian Hill, Beyonce  Food? I will
crumble over some good chips and salsa  Movie? Recently I really enjoyed ‘Hell or High Water’ but truly, there is so much great TV out right now. I could binge watch for weeks!

Find out more here

Kristen Ariza



Meet Tanjareen Thomas!

There is no shortage of talent when it comes to LA based actress Tanjareen Thomas! This ambitious beauty is not only taking over TV, film, &  radio but is the proud owner of her own production company (Citric Cinema) too!

Tanjareen currently plays the role of ‘Rachel’ on the hit show on Bounce TV’s popular urban sitcom, FAMILY TIME. The show includes celebrity guest stars  of Lynn Whitfield, Miguel Nuñez, Lawrence Hilton Jacobs, Jackee, plus comedians Rodney Perry, Al “Hitz” Shearer, and Clayton Thomas!

Tanjareen is thrilled to be part of the successful sitcom, adding; “I can’t believe my mom is Lynn Whitfield! And I’m so excited to be a part of the history on this new network.  We’re making a good quality TV series that shows a family of color in a fun relatable way, without being stereotypical…And being a diverse actress is great.”

She has also been featured in popular  films & shows such as  Johnson Family Vacation,  Without A Trace, Days of Our Lives, &
Girlfriends, just to name a few!  As a radio personality, Tanjareen has co-hosted numerous episodes of Speedy’s Comedy Corner at Jamie Foxx’s Foxxhole on Sirius-XM, Chopping It Up Live on and many weekly talk shows for AfterBuzzTV.

Recently released on November 11th, Tanjareen was featured in Bill Duke’s new coffee table book, “DARK GIRLS,” alongside celebrities such as Lupita Nyong’o, Vanessa Williams and Karli Harvey, all sharing intimate insights on embracing their skin tone. The book offers a full-color companion volume to the acclaimed NAACP Award–nominated documentary “Dark Girls.”

Tanjareen  launched her career at California State University Northridge receiving a BA degree in TV and Film.

Let’s get to know Tanjareen Thomas a little better!

Tanjareen Thomas -photo

You currently star as the sassy sister on the first-ever African-American broadcast network Bounce TV’s popular sitcom, FAMILY TIME! How did you first launch your acting career + how do you get into the mindset of playing your character?

I knew I wanted to be an actor since my 1st school play at the age of 6, so when it was time for college, I majored in Media Management & Production. I did a college internship at Paramount Pictures, and one of the producers there got me a speaking part on an MTV sketch comedy show. (Isn’t nepotism great?) Then I modeled bikinis on one of the talk shows at Paramount and that got me my SAG card. After being in the union, I booked a recurring role on NBC’s CITY GUYS and I was on my way! My sister is my best friend, so playing a close sister on FAMILY TIME comes naturally. To get into the mindset of playing a lipstick lesbian, I think about the lesbian friends I have and how they carry themselves. They’re bold and witty fashionistas who are a lot of fun to be around. And at their core, they’re nurturing and generous. When I’m in my wardrobe fittings and before I portray “Rachel”, I reflect on those women and I think it makes my character really likable.

You were featured in Bill Duke’s Dark Girls, how did you connect with the overall message of the book of embracing your skin color?

Growing up brown-skinned, I learned to be funny and smart at an early age so I could get the same attention I noticed the lighter skinned girls getting. The DARK GIRLS book experience let me know that there were others who knew my struggle. After years of spiritual work, I have learned to truly love my dark skin and I was hoping the book would encourage others to do the same. Unfortunately, after seeing the finished product, I don’t think Mr. Duke chose the best photos to show us in a flattering way. Oh well. His intentions were good :-/

We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you and why?

I’m inspired by so many actresses; Taraji P Henson, Jennifer Garner, Angelina Jolie, Regina King, and Kerry Washington (even way before Scandal), all show how to be fierce, funny, sexy, kick-ass, and excellent at their craft. They can portray comedy and drama equally well and convincingly embody each of their roles.

Living out your dreams can sometimes get to be a bit overwhelming, how do you regroup and motivate yourself when you’re feeling a little defeated?

I keep a Gratitude Journal and I write one page per day of all the things I’m thankful for. It keeps me focused on the wonderful things that I’m blessed with, so I have no time or energy to feel bad about things. If I don’t book an audition or sell a show, I know a better opportunity is coming!

Where do you see your career in acting taking you in the next 5 years?

With a BA degree in Media Production, I’m also a producer. I have 3 TV show ideas in development that I plan on having sold and on the air soon. So hopefully, I’ll be a Black Whitney Cummings with multiple shows on the air that I’m Executive Producing, and I’ll be acting in 1 or 2 of them. (Oh, I guess I’m also inspired by Whitney Cummings and Tina Fey 🙂 ) And in my spare time I’ll co-star in blockbuster films. Hopefully, I’ll get a hot fight scene in one of ’em.

We’re all about empowerment! What does EMPOWERMENT mean to you?

Empowerment, to me, means taking your life into your own hands and being responsible for your own happiness. God allows us to co-create whatever we want in life. So there’s never a reason to moan and complain. If you don’t like your school/your job/your mate, go get a new one. If I’m not happy with the acting roles I’m booking, I can produce by own projects. “The only thing stopping me, is me when I stop!” That’s power.

What are 3 pieces of advice you would give to girls who want to pursue their dreams but are too nervous to start?

1) Ask yourself what you’re actually afraid of…then go for it anyway!

2) Close your eyes and imagine yourself actually doing the thing you dream about. Visualize it, feel it, smile about it. Next imagine yourself 10 years from now, never having tried to reach that dream. What would your job, friends, social life, neighborhood look like without that dream? Visualize and feel that. Now imagine living the rest of your life without ever experiencing that thing that just made you feel good. You owe it toyourself to at least give it a shot.

3) Man the hell up!! It won’t be an easy journey, but if you focus on all the mini triumphs and keep striving, you won’t live your life in “What ifs”.

Time for the Faves! Celeb Crush? Artist? Food? Movie?

I don’t think I have a Celeb Crush, but I love following OchoCinco on Twitter ‘cuz he has a nice chocolatey physique and his tweets are filled with Love and Hilarity.

Artist – I’m embarrassed at how huge of a Lil Wayne’s fan I am. There’s something about ratchet music that just gets me pumped!

Food – vegan soul food (yes, it exists)

Movie – I watch about 9 movies per month, many are excellent. There’s no way I can choose a fave.

Check out more Tanjareen Thomas here!



Meet Marvel & Amair Taylor!


Feature, Latest | by — January 14, 2014

Tags: , , ,

The dynamic combination of talent, beauty &  faith are just a couple of the  powerful  characteristics the  Taylor sisters possess! Marvel & Amair Taylor launched their amazing acting career  which has led  them to numerous opportunities including working with major names in  both the music and acting world. These two humble sisters are on their way to the top and inspiring others on their journey!

Let’s get to know the Taylor sisters better…

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Ladies, you are making some incredible moves in the modeling/acting world, the latest being in the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ‘White Wall’ video. How did you ladies dive into your amazing career of acting and modeling?

A couple years ago we decided to commit to pursuing our acting career. We started taking commercial and acting classes regularly to gain technique and build confidence in the audition room and on camera. God blessed us to book commercials right away and placed people in our lives which landed us more acting roles in film.

Ladies, you’ve already accomplished so much at your age! If you had to choose, what would be the biggest highlight in your blossoming career so far?

It’s hard to pinpoint the biggest highlight this far, because every project that we’ve been fortunate to be a part of has been so rewarding and a fun experience. For instance, we were able to work with Elton Jon in the Pepsi SuperBowl Commercial, Michael Cera on Arrested Development, and traveled with Macklemore for the ‘White Walls’ music video. We were able to learn from veterans in the entertainment business and soak everything in like a sponge.

Being young and having responsibilities can sometimes get to be a bit overwhelming, how do you ladies regroup and motivate yourselves when you’re feeling a little defeated?

We are always working on different projects at a time, so it’s hard to feel defeated about an audition or not getting a part. We enjoy the process of filmmaking and that motivates us to keep going from one project to the next. This journey is different for everyone. We have learned to just keep moving forward to accomplish our goals and not compare our career path with others.

Your futures are shining extremely bright! What projects can we expect from Marvel and Amair in the near future?

We are co-producing a feature film at this time. This is the first project that we’ve produced and we are excited for everyone to see it. Also, we are currently preparing to star in an independent film. Unfortunately, we can’t disclose any other details. Additionally, we have a Domino’s commercial airing now on Latino Networks.

We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires Marvel and Amair and why?

The ultimate person who inspires us is Jesus Christ. Our faith in Him is everything and we try to treat people the way we want to be treated.

Creatively, one person we admire is Meryl Streep. We absolutely love her vulnerability and versatility to play a wide range of characters and not limit herself to one particular type.

What are 3 pieces of advice you would give to girls who want to pursue their dreams in modeling/acting?

Firstly, know your God given purpose for your life. If a modeling/acting career is it, then great.

Secondly, commit whole heartedly and take action to seeing your goals through to get to where you want to be. Never give up.

Thirdly, just be yourself. Know what makes you unique. People will try to change you in the entertainment business, but always remain true to who God created you to be and the purpose He designed for you.

We are all about EMPOWERMENT at C.O.R.E mag, What does empowerment mean to you?

To us empowerment is inspiring and encouraging yourself and others to be the best that you all can be spiritually, mentally, physically, and in your careers.

Fun Faves!

Fave Food?
We try to eat healthy daily. However, our guilty foods can be ice cream and pasta.

Artist? Michael Jackson! Coincidentally, we have the same birthday!

Song? We don’t have a favorite song actually, just love great music.

Celeb Crush? We have always had a crush on Shemar Moore! He was our first celeb crush!