I'm An Actress: All Women Are...

A good friend of mine from college used to amuse himself,

and other males no doubt, by occasionally referring to women as “bald cats.”

His interpretation: unique and ornery little creatures

with nasty dispositions, that like neither themselves or each other. As we

sit in the midst of Women’s History Month, I’d like to address that somewhat in

the context of the entertainment industry…

As a muse for this article, I was asked several questions.

Do I find it easier or harder to work with women? Have I had specific

challenges with a woman trying to hold me back? Are there any women who have

gone out of their way to mentor me, or help me further my career?

Let me be the first to count my blessings to be able to say

that I have experienced no specific negativity that I could ever pinpoint back to

solely being a gender issue; however, the night is still young, and I have many moons ahead of me on this journey.

I will say that as far as public response in general, I do

receive many more congrats, kudos, and messages of support from strangers that

happen to be male. But I could very well chalk that up to the fact that I am writing for a site that caters to a

male-dominated industry. Had I been chronicling my experiences in a fashion

column, I imagine the readership would reflect that as well.

Quite honestly, speaking on my friend’s “bald cat”

philosophies (bless his heart), I worry about the women who adopt that pedagogy

for themselves. You all know what I’m talking about – those women we

occasionally run across that will hold court in the middle of a room, announcing

to every male in it that she only has “guy friends” due to the fact that all

women are jealous, sneaky, catty, underhanded, and drama-ridden souls.

Excuse me, aren’t you a woman

as well?

I say I worry about those ladies, because there’s always a

common denominator in every variable situation. If a particular individual

keeps running into the same issues over and over again with different people,

perhaps that common denominator is really coming from within. Just food for


Are there jealous, sneaky, catty, underhanded, and

drama-ridden women in this world? Yup! Do more women tend to be that way as

opposed to men? Perhaps. But are we all that way? Of course not. I’ve run into

difficult folks in this business, both male and female. My solution? Form an

opinion about that particular person, not every other person that has the same double-X

chromosomal make-up.

To have a preference of the company you keep is quite

alright, even if it is mostly male

based on common compatibilities. But to exclude an entire genre of people based

on your own blanket generalizations, is suspect at best. Again, you just have

to ask, what’s going on inside of them?

We may just find that those are the ones that treat people in the very same

manner of which they claim to be a victim. And if you happen to be one of

those, just… stop. *smile*

So with all that being said, I’d like to take the time out

to recognize the special women who have been particularly influential or

helpful in my career.

Thanks to Pat Moran, of Pat Moran and Associates in

Baltimore, for giving me a shot at The

Wire when I was just starting out - even though I ended up not looking the

part enough for the producers. Hey, if I can’t pass myself off as a heroin-addicted

young mother, I’ll take that. She was great to me, none-the-less.

Thanks to Salenta Baisden, a producer out of Los Angeles who

fought for me and busted her tail getting me across country in time to shoot The Dark Party, a film directed by

Kadeem Hardison. She even helped me outside of the realm of film, and for her

efforts, I am forever grateful.

And of course thanks to my big sis Penny Jerald, for all the

one-on-one training, mentoring, advice, and, uh, free management.

As a woman (especially a woman of color) in an industry

where solid opportunities are far less plentiful for people like me, I appreciate

those who have come before me, those who stand beside me, and those who will

come after me.

Taraji Henson, Sanaa Lathan, Regina King, Jada

Pinkett-Smith, Kerri Washington, Julia Styles, Loretta Devine, Keira Knightley,

Natalie Portman… keep doing what you do. You are no doubt my favorite muses!

Love, Hip-Hop and Lipstick in Film,

Noree Victoria

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