For Black History Month, Soulivity celebrates the life and journey of several African Americans around the country. Soulivity TV Host of Beauty+Gratitude and Soulivity Editor-at-Large D’angelo Thompson spent time with China Colston, actress, director, and writer.
DT: Let’s dive in! Tell me about your film projects and what you’re currently working on?
CC: So, two of my first films I wrote and starred in are “Journey of the Heart” and “Discontinued,” which I shot in Chicago. I consider those my “trial-and-error” films. Films I have made in NYC are “Dark Seed,” “Same Ole Same Ole,” “Sweet Thang,” and “Big Chops.” [On] “Big Chops,” I was a co-writer with Shaun Williams and Sheldon McCullough. “TCONTC” will be my second feature film that I wrote and will be directing, but not acting in.
DT: We have known one another since high school. Are you living the life you dreamed of?
CC: Not yet, but I have some things I really want to do like act on “Law and Order SVU” and own a Brownstone.
DT: Who were some of your acting icons or mentors?
CC: My acting teacher was Okro Johnson, who taught the Stanislavski Method. I love Lawrence Fishburne, Al Pacino, Denzel Washington, and Theresa Randle.
DT: If you got offered a film or tv project today, who would be your leading man? And, why?
CC: My leading man would be, Larenz Tate, because he has the willingness to show fragility, power, and earthiness.
DT: What are you grateful for?
CC: I am grateful for my family, my individuality, creativity, and my freedom. I am grateful for my emotional resilience.
DT: Why do you think it’s imperative to have diverse voices in the creative arts?
CC: Well, because storytelling is diverse, the world is diverse, and it should reflect it.
DT: China, thank you for doing this interview. What is the history of your name? Is it a family name?
CC: As per my mother, my father had a friend, and his name was “China.” So, he gave me that name. But, in my dad’s version [of the story], he said he saw a documentary about China and he was moved [that] he gave me that name. It was befitting of my name because that compassion he felt came through.
DT: Would your elders be smiling today?
CC: Yes, they would be smiling. They would be proud that I accomplished most of my dreams to be an actress and a filmmaker.
Follow China Colston on her various platforms:
Eman Khalid is a writer, editor, storyteller, and a journalist. She has been a co-author of more than twenty poetry books. She is a contributing writer to the Women's Republic, the Meraki Magazine, Litlight Magazine, Prosart Literary, Kitaab, StoryHouse UK, and The LATEST. Eman is an English Language and Literature major and she has a deep passion for reading about inspirational women from the past. When she is not writing, you will find her reading poetry, listening to songs, and taking long walks at the beach.
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