Tasha Smith’s most recent claim to fame and foray into the limelight comes from her breakout role as the loudmouth, opinionated, in your face, Angela Williams, in Tyler Perry’s mega blockbuster films “Why Did I Get Married” and “Why Did I Get Married Too?”
After watching Smith on the big screen many times you are left saying, “I wonder if she is anything like that in real life?” Well she definitely has a lot to say, but it’s what comes out of her mouth that you may be surprised about.
After overcoming a serious bout with drugs, going from an atheist to a Christian, to now being a bonafide star, you can pretty much guess Tasha Smith has a lot to talk about and be thankful for!
What was your first big break as an actress?
A lot of people don’t know this, but I started as a stand up comedian and I remember when Bob Sumner gave me the opportunity to perform on Def Comedy Jam, which was a huge deal because Def Comedy Jam was so hot back then. I was so blessed because after that taping I signed with one of the biggest agents in Hollywood. A lot of actors and comics were trying to get agents and for me to sign with one of the largest agencies was major. After that, Robert Townsend, had a TV show called Townsend Television and I got the opportunity to meet with him. I was so excited because as a young girl in New Jersey, he was one of the first comedians I had ever seen live. I was so blown away by his gift. He ended up giving me a part on Townsend Television and wrote a sketch just for me called “Mama Tasha and Me.” I was like, “Wow! I’ve made it!” Even after those types of wins, you still have to persevere because when that job was over, I was without work. I stopped doing stand up comedy and I was waiting on God to bless me. Then an opportunity came from some guys that I met when I was doing comedy, who created a TV show called Boston Common and wrote me in it. I played a character named Tasha King.
How long after working with Robert Townsend did you land the role on Boston Common?
It was somewhere around 3 or 4 years that went by. It definitely didn’t happen overnight. That’s why I always say humility is necessary in this industry because you have to stay in a position that you’re willing to learn and you have to be willing to wait. I always tell people not to grow weary while doing good, for in due season you shall reap if you faint not. We just have to hold on and wait on the Lord, and know that we have a due season for our blessing.
What is the best part of being a successful actress and what’s the worst?
For me the best part is being able to tell stories through characters and allowing God to use me. Sometimes people don’t understand that acting is a ministry within itself. Actors, writers, filmmakers and directors can change lives. To be an actor, a vessel to tell the story of a character in such a way for people to say, “I’m just like that. I need to change,” is an awesome way to make a living. When you give people revelations of who they are and what they’ve experienced through the work you do, it’s such a blessing.
As far as the worst part of this industry, I gotta tell you, for me, it’s the red carpet. Some people think that’s the best part, but to me it’s the worst. The red carpet is a job within itself. You gotta put the lashes on, make sure the weave is perfect, put the spanx on and on and on! For me it’s a little stressful, but thank God for great stylists! I’m happy just working, teaching, telling stories and writing and producing. The storytelling of it all is the best part for me.
Tell me about your acting workshop. Can you tell when someone has it and when they don’t?
I wouldn’t judge someone from their first performance as to whether or not they have what it takes. I think its one’s ability to press into their instrument and learn how to develop it. The ones with discipline and perseverance are the ones that I usually say make it. It’s not always the talented ones because I know a lot of talented people who quit. They couldn’t hang in there and wait for the opportunity. You have some other people that may not be as talented, but their tenacity is what takes them to the next level because they refuse to stop knocking on those doors.
Why did you start your acting workshop?
I wanted to empower people to pursue their purpose in the art. I felt like I wanted to reach a different community that wasn’t being reached. They’re people out there who have a dream. That’s why I go around America teaching my T.S.A.W. workshops because there are people in different cities that have this dream, who want to act, but don’t have the courage or financial means to come to Hollywood. So I empower that person and give them the opportunity to learn some tools, learn technique and put it in action on stage through scenes and monologues.
If I attended Tasha Smith’s Acting Workshop what should I expect?
Well, it’s very intense. One, you’re going to get some deliverance. The first day is what we call the instrumental exercise day. That’s the day where we exercise our instruments, understand our emotions and confront things within us that we have suppressed for years that have blocked us from proper communication and transparency. As an actor, you have to be transparent! You have to understand how your emotions work and what causes you to feel one way or the other. That class is almost like a physical. Almost like going to a cardiologist, you’re getting a full check up. The second day is monologue day and the third day is the scene day where you apply the first two days into scene work with a partner. But the first day is probably most intense because that’s when we have our “Come to Jesus” meeting.
I read that you used to be an atheist…is that true?
I’ll put it to you this way…there was definitely a time where I did not believe in the Lord. Everyone knows my testimony.
What could someone have said to you back then for you to change your mind about God? Anything?
I needed to understand the love of God. You hear so many people always telling you what you should or shouldn’t do, telling you you’re a sinner, telling you how bad you are, all those things about yourself. I was lacking the understanding of the love of God. I didn’t know there was a God that loved me. I think that it’s the love of God that brings man into repentance. Once you embrace that love and have that fellowship with God, all those things that you shouldn’t be doing will go away. He said no flesh is going to glory in His presence. Once we spend time in the presence of God and fellowship with him, all that stuff that we thought was so great, that we idolized, that we made so big in our lives become so small and insignificant in the presence of God. I strongly encourage people to fellowship with God and show them in the Word how much He loves them.
What made you switch gears into the music industry?
Well I wouldn’t call it switching gears. A lot of times, when you have a certain gift or talent people are so used to you doing one thing. If you sing, people think you can’t produce; if you act, people think you can’t direct. But God has given us many gifts and talents. He has put a lot in us. We have a lot of creativity, desire, passion, and ability. For me, it was just something that was in me to do. I love producing whether it’s film, television or music. I love gospel music, I love worship, I love contemporary Gospel, I love contemporary Christian music; so I thought, let me try to use the gifts God gave me to help empower these Gospel artists that need help. With Holy Boy, it’s my first opportunity and I’m expecting to do a lot more with many other artists and I’m excited about it.
What is your role with Holy Boy and what is it about him as an artist that made you want to sign on?
I love his spirit and that he has been a praise and worship leader at his church for several years. He understands worship and he’s an amazing musician. As a producer, I help him with songs, narrow down what kind of music to put out, as well as assist him in getting the music to the public and getting it done in the studio. I try to be as involved as I can. Holy Boy has the ability to be able to do non-traditional Gospel music because he has such a versatile sound that I feel is missing right now.
I know God has a purpose for my life. I know that every opportunity I have in my life, whether good or bad, is another journey that I’m going to have with God. To be honest, I am so grateful about where I am in my life right now. Based on where I’ve come from, every day is a blessing. I’m human and there are definitely times when I get down, but I try not to focus on that. I try to stay in the Word and stay in fellowship with God. I get excited when I’m doing something for somebody like teaching my classes, working on a script and just staying creative, focused and prayerful! That’s it.
Are there nuptials coming up soon? (this was before it was officially announced)
Wouldn’t you like to know! (laughter)
For more information on the Tasha Smith Acting Workshop: www.tsaw.com
TASHA’S 10 RANDOM TRUTHS
- Favorite American Idol Winner? Fantasia.
- Favorite Animated Movie? Shrek
- On time or late for church? Late.
- What is your least favorite vegetable? Cauliflower.
- 5. Favorite Restaurant? Crustacean
- Finish this sentence…I get emotional when…. I’m in class and I see the pain of my students.
- 7. Oprah, The View, or The Wendy Williams Show? The Wendy Williams Show
- 8. Favorite Whitney Houston Song? “I Will Always Love You”
- Can you change a tire? No.
10. Why Did I Get Married? or Why Did I Get Married Too? “Why Did I Get Married?”