LISTEN to Tasha Smith’s full episode of Yes, Girl! Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts!

Suffice it to say, she’s no shrinking violet. When you’re in a room with actress, director and producer Tasha Smith, you know Tasha Smith is in the room. She’s got a personality that brightens any space she occupies whether she’s offering a word of encouragement or delivering a memorable on-screen performance like she did in classic film Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married.

The Camden, New Jersey native and director of the upcoming episode of STARZ’ new hit drama P-Valley, can easily be named one of the most genuine spirits in Hollywood who gives off the kind of energy that makes you want to live life to the fullest. And funny enough, that’s one of her go-to mantras lately even (or especially) during a global pandemic.

“Live to live. Pursue to live. I believe that our dreams and our pursuing of those things are the very things that keep us alive,” Smith tells Yes, Girl! Podcast host Cori Murray.

“When you look at everything that’s going on, you have buildings blowing up, you have relationships breaking up, you have people losing family members. And to the person with the dream, I say, “What do you have to lose?”

Even during tumultuous times, Smith is finding her own rhythm and turning out projects that are keeping everyone’s attention including her recent episode of the Katori Hall-created STARZ show P-Valley – an opportunity made possible by her commitment to her craft and a close sister-friend’s good word.

Tasha Smith Shot By Dion Harvey
Photo credit: Dion Harvey

“It’s interesting because Angela [Bassett] is a director as well. And she was up to direct P-Valley. But her schedule didn’t work out, so she then mentioned me to Katori and said, “Why don’t you think of Tasha Smith because she knows this world, she just did a documentary on stripper culture, she was a former stripper, she’s killing it as a director. And so then I had a meeting with Katori and she sent me all the material. And I have to tell you, when I got the scripts and the outlines and just the backstory, it was like a good book that I could not put down.”

Her work is putting Hollywood on notice: If you want eyes glued to the screen, call Tasha. She stays ready and she’s going give it all she’s got.

Tune in to Tasha’s episode of Yes, Girl! where she drops gem after gem on…

…WHY SHE TOOK HER ACTING SCHOOL ONLINE

“My students mean so much to me. I can be on set doing the biggest movie of my life, I could be directing the most important scene, but if one of my actors are going through something, I’m going to always find time to support them, to make sure they’re good. It’s almost like I feel like a mama, auntie and sister all across the board. And I said to myself, I said, “If you don’t make the transition to teach them, some bootleg bitch is.” I was like, “I don’t need no bootleg bitch coming over here, trying to take advantage of these vulnerable spirits of creative energy.”

…WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO DIRECT HER FRIEND, LORETTA DEVINE

First of all, I called Loretta. I did a movie with her, Jumping the Broom. Her and I are very close. And we were seeing people, and I said to Katori, I was like, “This Loretta. You want to call her or you want me to call her?” And you know how sometimes you having issues with the agents and the people? I said, “I’m calling her right now, I’m sending her the script, and I’m going to ask her to do this so her and I can play.”

…NOT LETTING ANYONE BOX HER IN

“Sometimes people put limitations on us as artists. They try to box us in. And they try to make us feel like, “Well, you only do that” or “you only do this,” when we’re artists. We’re here to create on many levels. Whatever it is, when you’re an artist, you have to create. I’m not going to let anybody put any limitations on me. I’m doing everything. I’m acting, I’m directing, I’m teaching, I’m producing, I’m developing. And then I’m going to travel and have fun in the in-between time whenever this damn pandemic is over.”

Learn more about the Tasha Smith Actors Workshop online here. And listen to her full Yes, Girl! episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts!

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