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Conversations with Deanna Richards

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deanna Richards.

Hi Deanna, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My story begins at the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. My family had recently moved to Charlotte, NC from Maryland and my mom wanted my siblings and me to choose a summer camp to attend based on our interests.

I had been singing and dancing at church since I was a little girl, so theatre camp sounded amazing to me. When I was on stage and the lights hit my face for the first time, I had this undeniable feeling that theatre was exactly what I was meant to do. I knew at that moment that I wanted to perform for the rest of my life! I was only 9 years old at the time, but here I am at 23 years old still chasing after that feeling.

I continued to go to theatre camp every summer and I started doing school productions in middle and high school. I was hardly cast in lead roles, but I didn’t even care. I just wanted to be a part of the arts in whatever way I could. I chose to go to New York City over having a quinceañera because I was so desperate to get to Broadway!

I started attending William Peace University as a Musical Theatre major in 2017 and I earned a lead role during my first semester of college. It was a big confidence boost for me and I had never worked so hard on a role before. I feel like college is where I really developed as an artist apart from just being able to sing and dance.

I graduated with my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre in 2021! I signed with Talent One Talent Agency and I have had the opportunity to audition for some really cool projects. To help make my dreams come true, I relocated to Raleigh, NC to stay close to my connections and I accepted a job in the administrative office at Theatre Raleigh.

Post-grad life has had its ups and downs, but I’m grateful to be surrounded by the most amazing family and friends who support me fully. I plan to make the big move to New York City next year and I am so excited about what that will lead to!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Oh, there’s been struggles for sure! I battled anxiety and depression throughout college.

I was going through some difficult things in my personal life. In the midst of that, I lost my passion for acting, which had never happened to me before. It was a scary time because I had no idea who I was anymore. As I started to heal, I slowly rediscovered my passion. I explored new music and movement and didn’t put any pressure on myself.

My friends always kept me laughing during play rehearsals, which helped so much. It reminded me how the community is my favorite thing about theatre–it truly has the power to bring people together. I can now look back and be grateful for that time because I learned so much about who I am and what I’m capable of.

I’m still having ongoing struggles with self-confidence. You have to be so sure of yourself as an actor because the rejection is so real and SO constant. I’m trying not to let bookings determine my self-worth, but it gets hard sometimes.

I’m learning how to be my own cheerleader and that it’s okay to lean on family and friends (especially since so many of my friends are in the same boat). I trust that God will lead me exactly where I need to go because He hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a professional actress and content creator on YouTube!

My primary focus is theatre, but I would love to branch out into film and TV as well. I have had the joy of performing with Theatre Raleigh and the North Carolina Symphony in the last year. I’ve always dreamed of working professionally as an actress, so I feel incredibly blessed to be in that stage of my life now.

I started my YouTube channel in November 2021 and it’s slowly growing. I post mainly lifestyle vlogs about what I’m up to, my travels, and products I’m currently loving! I am a huge YouTube junkie (I probably watch YouTube more than I watch TV) and it’s such a fun, creative outlet for me. I keep it 100% real on my channel–authenticity is the only way I want to attract an audience.

I started my YouTube channel not even knowing how to edit videos but with lots of Google and patience, I figured it out. I’m so proud of what I’ve created and I’m excited to keep growing!

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
In terms of acting, I use Playbill Jobs, Actors Access, and my agent to find jobs. Social media is also an important tool for actors to post their talents and share information!

I’ve learned so much from other actors on TikTok and Instagram. My favorite IG pages for acting content are @hashtagbooked and @jennaleighmiller. On TikTok, @ambernicoleardolino is everything. I’m obsessed with her content.

Aside from that, most of what I consume is to help distract me from career stress. I just finished binge-watching The Ultimatum on Netflix and THAT was an experience!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Trevon Carr, Areon Mobasher, and Jennifer Robertson

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