Running:AMOK Q & A: Déjà Belle
Examiner.com’s DC Urban Arts writer Tiffany Beard will be featuring a member of the cast of Running: AMOK each week leading up to our Spring production May 15-21. This week, the focus is on Deja Belle who plays the character, Camille. Check out part of the Q & A below:
Tiffany Beard- How did you find yourself as a budding artist with a love for singing/acting?
Déjà Belle- I remember going into my last semester at Howard University in a panic thinking, “Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into? I don’t want to be pigeon-holed to a 9 to 5 for the rest of my life.” I realized that I had now or never to come out of the closet as the singer/songwriter only close friends knew me to be.
T- Balancing such a taxing income stream must be quite challenging. How do you (or how did you) come to the decision to make art as a living?
D- Tough is not the word. It’s almost impossible at times, which is why you find many artist having to pursue their craft part-time. But I remember that I am developing and investing time in a business that can pay off.
T- I know that must have been a stressful moment. But it seems like you are making it work.
D- Being a full-time artist is a struggle, but the progress I’m making with my art keeps me motivated and very happy. Whenever I start complaining, I remind myself that when I did have a 9 to 5 I was too drained after work to want to even nurture my craft. My job requirements now are very specific. I put my music, my family and my sanity first.
T- That can be challenging.
D- It has been challenging.
T- Do you manage to have free time? What do you do when you find you have time available?
D- Free time; does that exist for a parent? I care for my daughter full-time and in the evenings I work on music and acting. I go to church a couple times out of the week. My time is consumed but I do have a strong support system that allows me to take breaks every now and then.
T- How did you start working with Liberated Muse and Khadijah Ali-Coleman?’
D- Khadijah, first of all, is a visionary and creator. I first met Khadijah when she was looking for local artists to perform at a music festival she and her partner Maceo Thomas had dreamed up called The Capital Hip-Hop Soul Fest. I performed there in 2007, and I followed Khadijah’s work, and saw last year that she was previewing Running: AMOK.
(Cabaret performance of play’s songs)
$10 in advance
Full Staged Play
The Bonifant Theater
Silver Spring, MD