China Colston – Living Her Dreams of Yesterday and Today
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.
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