We had the good fortune of connecting with Vernika Rowe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vernika, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Well, to be honest, it chose me! I began performing as a young teen in pageants, baton twirling, dance, theatre, and talent competitions which all allowed me to express myself creatively in various ways. Yes, I’m an actress, but honestly, I began training as a dancer. I attended a performing arts high school in Atlanta’s metro area where I fell in love with dance, with intensive dance training in Ballet & Modern dance, Funk and contemporary movement. I spent most hours in the theatre and dance studio at school…my favorite subjects. In college I initially studied sports medicine as a major, sports med was my back-up plan, and I added Theatre & Dance to be a double major. Time management became so hectic, so I went with my passion and decided to drop the back-up plan…Ha! I guess most peeps who know me would say that I’m in the right field, I’m very expressive, and I’m always highly energetic and can talk for days; so I love to dive into some deep amazing conversation! With that said, during my spare time I’ve began writing a few screenplays, so maybe, I guess I’ve always been a storyteller! Just like in dance, you can express all emotion through the body in any genre; Fear, happiness, sinister with movement. Which is the same as how we actors tell our stories through dialogue, facial expressions, and body languages. Artists are always on the next wave of ideas forever creating. There have been stages in my life where at times I have tried to walk away from it all, though I keep finding myself drawn back to it somehow. I never imagined that I would have a professional dance and acting career.Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well, first off, there’s always lessons to learn on your journey and there will be some challenges. It’s not an easy road but with faith and being driven with passion gets me through. There will be downfalls where some projects may not get off the ground or fall through due to finance or promotion. Some things just don’t work out, but that doesn’t stop me because that’s part off life. Can’t stop at the first bumps, those tests of “how badly and passionately do you want this…what does it mean to me, why give up now, how to better yourself, Vernika look how far you’ve come!” These thoughts go through my mind and has been spoken to me from others also. When I was much younger, It bothered me more. I remember I used to breakdown crying after an audition wanting to know “Why didn’t I get picked, I never messed up I know I was perfect!” LOL. The monster of rejection and fear gets to you and you’re wondering is this IT? How will I live and survive just being in the arts. LOL, You know this road can be really scary at times, and there are times when doubt sets in and I have to divert my energy into other stuff to keep me sane. Most people say I’m amazing and fearless championing through this! So far, I reflect back and say I should’ve done this, or could’ve done that better, however, my journey is not complete and the process of figuring out what is my next avenue, or next pathway of opportunity to perform. I don’t regret how events have unfolded. From every opportunity, the hardships, and from my mistakes the experience gives me a chance to learn and develop into becoming a much better artist. I really love what I do and any chance I get to work is a blessing that I don’t take for granted. I love freelancing, so currently, I’m open to dance again, perform some freelance dance projects… in music videos, film, musical theatre, etc. Also, while still focused on growing and developing my acting career though. I really enjoy the process. In television, and film. Speaking of film, I just did my very first feature film! We’re in post production at the moment. Through this process, everybody’s pace is different. I reflect back on where I used to be and I’m proud of my growth. I’m having the “Almost Factor”= ‘Almost the Lead role, or ‘Almost cast in a major role in a big project’, etc. It’s coming in time, every actor’s journey is different. Sometimes we don’t always get what we want at ‘that’ time, but it comes together later. I’ve gone from ‘Stand-in’, to ‘Recurring’ and now I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing actors many of whose work I’ve admired and when it comes to performing, I’m at peace and being in the element of the performing arts world is something I would not change!If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m into the chill-out, energetic, copasetic vibe so I’m mostly at Apres Diem. I enjoy the ambience in the lounge area with the DJ and live music. When I’m not there I hangout at Two Urban Licks on the patio. I’ve been to some amazing spots in the city, Those two just are my fav ‘go-to’ spots.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shoutout to my parents and my brother. They’ve been truly in my corner and very supportive. On my toughest days they know best how to lift my spirits and give advice. My mother & father have sacrificed a lot for me to live my dreams. They’ve watched me grown from being a young performer into a professional. My closest friends from school (you know who you are~ long list!) have been there for me through some of my hardest days you help me keep it together. For my dance training studies shoutout to Dawn Axam, and Roscoe Sales for your mentorship over the course of years and along with the Artistic visionary Mrs. Viola Turner. GregAlan Williams thanks for pushing me to be a better performer, and hard worker. I’ve been very lucky to work with some amazing groups of talented people; Fellow actors, directors, photographers, music recording artists and choreographers. It’s a blessing to continue to collaborate and learn from all creatives who I’m lucky to work with on a daily basis.
Other: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Headshots / body shot by Ira Carmichael Photography Black Lightning Photos: Annette Brown/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Heartstrings Photo: Netflix