Shumerria Harris is an actress and director. I connected with Shumerria via the series “#ActorsLife”, which she executive-produces. Shumerria interviews working actors and other experts in the entertainment industry, in the context of what it takes for actors to be successful. I am always attracted to content that documents the experience of #creatives. Therefore I reached out to Shumerria to be featured on my blog.
I sent Shumerria a list of questions and I received her response on April 23, 2017.
Alan: How did you get started in acting?
Shumerria: I started out acting in high school and continued on at Alabama State University where I attained my B.A. in Theatre Arts. From there I moved to New York and studied film acting at The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Once I completed the program there, I had the tools that I needed and I’ve been working and auditioning ever since.
A: What is your preferred acting genre/character/role?
S: My preferred genre of acting is drama. It’s my strong suit as an actress, but I’m a huge fan of comedy. I’m currently working on building my comedic chops.
A: What is your favorite past project?
S: My favorite past project is a short film called “Order Capture” where I played a sales associate who was determined to close a deal with a huge corporate client for her Fortune 500 company. It was my first lead role and it was comedic. It was different from any of the others roles I’ve portrayed and It gave me an opportunity to showcase my versatility as an actress.
A: Tell us about being a part of the documentary “I Am Not Your Negro”. How did you come to work on that?
S: It was an honor to be a part of “I Am Not Your Negro”. Director Raoul Peck was very professional and focused. It was a pleasure working with him. James Baldwin is such an iconic figure, and to be included in a project that commemorated his work is a blessing.
A: What led you to conceive the series “#ActorsLife”?
S: #ActorsLife was conceived from conversations I’ve had with other actors. I noticed that we all share a common ground in our journeys. The entertainment business is difficult. It’s a hard grind and it can be lonely. Although our experiences were different, there were similarities and it’s comforting to know that you’re not alone in how you feel. #ActorsLife delves into those experiences and exposes the reality of pursuing a career in entertainment.
A: I started my blog a few months ago, so I am always interested in why a person starts a blog, in your case, #ActorsLife The Truth of Showbusiness.
S: I’m revising the show format for Season 2 of #ActorsLife and part of that revision is removing the opening commentary to allow more time for the interviews, but the commentary provides great information and perspective. I decided to take the commentary and using it in a blog for the show.
A: What have you done to keep your name out there?
S: The blog has assisted significantly in keeping my name in the public. I’ve also been attending industry events to continue building my network.
A: What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in your acting career?
S: The most memorable moment in my career was booking my first job in California. It was a milestone because it signified progress in my career and that I could work on both coasts.
A: What is next for Shumerria Harris?
S: My next project is a short film called “Bullet”. I play the wife of a CIA Agent. I’m excited because it’s an action film and it’s another project that will showcase my range.
A: Anything else you want to tell our readers?
S: I would like to leave the readers with a word of advice: believe in yourself and your ability. Take control of your career and don’t look for or wait for someone else to push you forward.
Shumerria Harris is providing a great service to the working actors out there. She speaks from experience. I am not an actor, but much of what is said in #ActorsLife is applicable to anyone pursuing a goal.
Actors: have you been following Shumerria Harris? Please provide your thoughts and questions in the comments. I would really enjoy hearing from you. If you have a topic in mind you would like me to cover, please let me know.
- Shumerria Harris
Originally published April 28, 2017. Updated August 19, 2020 to adjust category assignments.