We had the good fortune of connecting with Tracey Bonner and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tracey, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
You may feel like giving up when things get challenging but giving up isn’t and can never be an option. Sure you may need to take some time to step away and evaluate your progress but you must regroup and get back to accomplishing your goal(s). And you must also note that there’s no time limit on when your goals are to be met so don’t look at other people’s lives as a timeline. All of our paths are different and we will experience obstacles on the way but that should never deter you from reaching your full potential. So to that I say giving up is never and option!!!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been a professional actor for the past 15 years and what sets me a part from others is that my passion transcends my craft. I am not just an actor but I’m a teacher, businesswoman, and philanthropist. My many skills were birthed out of being a creative so I owe a lot of my triumphs to the many challenges I faced chasing my dreams. As an aspiring actor, I had to endure many years of auditioning and being told no or not yet. I had to endure extended periods of time where I was working jobs that didn’t fuel my passion but paid my bills. Those were the worst jobs because I was doing them out of necessity and not out of love. When you have no love or passion for what you do you can become jaded and sometimes bitter. I didn’t want to become that bitter actor so I actively went on pursuit of other things that brought me joy. It wasn’t until I moved to Atlanta that I was able to really tap into my many gifts. For the first three years I was a substitute teacher, lay coach, and even a paraprofessional at a fine arts elementary school. I learned that teaching/mentoring young kids brings me a joy that I never knew I could have. Though teaching can be hard and time consuming it has truly taught me patience and unconditional love. I later started my own audition self-taping service called Get Booked Taping Service. This business allows me the chance to marry my love for teaching and acting. I get to share my knowledge with other working and aspiring actors and quite frankly they challenge me to be a better actor by sharing their process and craft with me. Thanks to them, my passion and desire to be a better artist is deepened. Being a philanthropist has given me the chance to work in communities and with people that may have less in terms of things but have hearts bigger than you could ever imagine. I am the founder of DateYourselfGirl, Inc. a non profit organization dedicated to empowering women to become the love they seek. And part of that self actualization process involves giving back. It is my true belief that we are put on earth to serve others. It helps to eliminate your ego and open your heart to the betterment of others. That, in turn, brings about true self-empowerment, self-courage, and self-love. Had I not taken some time away from my craft I would’ve never discovered what was brewing inside of me. We are multifaceted people and shouldn’t box our selves in or stifle our greatness because it may seem too hard or out of reach. You are a vessel for many things!!!

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I love to entertain guests and I’m an Elite Yelper so I don’t have a problem creating an itinerary for any of my friends. Check out what a weeks stay with me has in store…you better save your money!lol Monday: 10am: Walk up Stone Mountain 7pm: Dinner at The Alden in Brookhaven. They have the best duck in the city. Tuesday: 1pm: Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park 4pm: Late Lunch Early Dinner at Slutty Vegan. The long line is worth the wait! Wednesday: 3pm: High Museum 5pm: Early Dinner at 5Church. Great drinks and tender octopus. 7:30pm: See a play at the Alliance Theatre Thursday: 10am-5pm: Centennial Park Museums-World of Coca Cola Museum, National Center for Civil & Human Rights Museum, & the Aquarium. Gotta get some more culture! Friday: 7:30pm: Painted Duck or Painted Pin-for drinks, appetizers, and adult gaming. 11pm: Suite Lounge or Boogalous for hookah and dancing After Hours: 6AM for late night dining and music Saturday: 11:30 am: Brunch he Real Milk & Honey or Ms. Icey’s Kitchen & Bar 2pm-4pm Atlanta Botanical Garden or 5pm: Dinner at Agency Socialtheque 9:30pm-Bar Hop on Edgewood or on the Beltline Sunday: 11:oo am Church 12:30 pm Brunch at Rays on the River 3pm GO HOME!lol

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I dedicate my Shout Out to Congo Square Theatre Company in Chicago. A lot of my mentorship, in the acting industry, came from the ensemble of actors and artists that were spawned from this amazing organization. Their dedication to producing definitive art has trained me to be the pure artist that I am today. I am a more disciplined artist. I am a more dependable person. I am a more creative collaborator. And it’s all due in part to my affiliation with them. I owe a large portion of my success to Congo Square Theatre Company…C2!!!

Website: www.dateyourselfgirl.com
Instagram: thetraceybonner
Yelp: Tracey Bonner

Image Credits
My acting headshot credit (Black Blazer, White Cami) should go to Michael Justice of Hollywood Headshots