This week's guest on the #IndustryTalk entertainment blog is none other than my girl- actress Amber Nicolle Gilbert. We met through previous actor and friend to the blog Dueal Andrews and I honestly must admit I admire this woman's hustle. Not only does she work, but she's constantly studying her craft and at the moment is learning stage combat. Let's sit down with Miss. Niccolle and find out what it's like being a black female actress in Hollywood and what we can expect from her in the future.
R|A: Thank you Amber for being apart of the #IndustryTalk blog family. So I guess my first question would be why acting and when did you know realize this was something you wanted to do?
A|N|G: At first playing basketball was my passion. I was very proficient in basketball as well as track and field. My dream was to play professionally for the WNBA. After high school, I ended up choosing another career to pursue which is acting. I feel that acting encompasses all aspects of humanity and that is something I want to be a part of.
R|A: You’ve recently just completed a short with friend to the blog Dueal Andrews titled Former Flames, what's the film about?
A|N|G: Former Flames is about two friends reminiscing on the good memories they had with each other in high school. Both friends end up having too much to drink and sleep together. This short was based off a true story that happened in my life. Dueal and I were high school sweethearts as well as good friends. I always wanted to collaborate with actor Dueal Andrews, so when given the opportunity, I took advantage.
R|A: Many times in this industry we befriend other entertainers and we want to create the art we want to see. What was it like working with your best friend, and what advice positive and negative would you say can arise from working with friends?
A|N|G: It was a great learning experience working with someone on a project from the ground up. It definitely teaches you your strength and weaknesses in the business. My advice is just to have fun and definitely keep a cocktail or two around (ha-ha). You want to make sure that you take everyone’s vision into consideration. COMMUNICATION IS KEY without that you wont have a successful joint venture.
R|A: Do you plan on releasing your project online, or submitting to any festivals?
A|N|G: Yes, I will be releasing the short on my website and submitting it to festivalsonce post production is finished. Former Flames will be released sometime in the summer.
R|A: You have a very impressive resume, what would you say was your most favorite role to play and why?
A|N|G: My favorite role would have to be playing a lawyer. At times, I get type cast due to my tattoos. I work really hard to be taken seriously as an actress and prove to people in the industry that I can play other roles besides the “the tough chick” or “the seductive girl”. It is a great feeling knowing that people see me for my acting ability, not just based off my exotic appearance. Don’t get me wrong, I love my tattoos and will never get rid of them (they are a part of me). Surprisingly I get more roles and auditions that requires me to be “the girl next door” or “the conservative role”.
R|A: What advice can you give aspiring entertainers?
A|N|G: The best advice I can give to aspiring entertainers is NOT TO GIVE UP and to keep striving towards your goal. There may be times when it is rough, but you can’t let that affect you. Always follow your dreams and if this is something you want to do, don’t let ANYONE discourage you. It takes determination to get to your destination. Most importantly, it is very important to stay focused and to have positive people who are going to motivate you. I strongly encourage aspiring entertainers to get involved in social networking events (it is so important to network). The last advice I will give is to collaborate with other actors and start making independent projects. The industry has changed so much over the years, so it’s a lot of ways to get noticed these days.
R|A: I understand you're currently taking combat training… What made you want to learn that technique and how often are you in class learning?
A|N|G: I am currently studying a Filipino martial arts called Pekiti Tirsia Kali. Action is one of my favorite genres in TV and Film. I want to be prepared when auditioning for roles that require combat training. Actresses who have done a lot of action films such as Zoe Saldana and Angelina Jolie are my biggest inspirations. I will love to have an opportunity to work in an action film. Combat training is not as easy as people think, it takes a lot of self-discipline and dedication. There is a lot to learn such as how to properly use a weapon on set, even throwing a punch or kick. In order to keep my combat training skills sharp, I train three times a week.
R|A: How do you prepare for a role?
A|N|G: When preparing for a role, I like to first read the entire script. After reading the entire script, I began to break down the scenes and develop character choices. I forget about being “the actress” and really focus on becoming who the character is. I want to be able to have that connection to the character and be in the moment. I like to find elements of the character that I feel are different and similar to me.
R|A: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A|N|G: In five years, I see myself being on a series also in action movies. Outside from acting, I will like to get into more writing and producing of TV and Film, I also want to develop affordable acting programs for aspiring actors/actresses.
R|A: This industry is very discouraging. What would you say was the most discouraging thing someone has said to you in the industry and how did you overcome that?
A|N|G: I haven’t really experienced someone specifically in the industry saying something negative to me. I will say that just being in the industry and dealing with the ups and downs can be very discouraging itself. Whenever I’m feeling discouraged, I remember my purpose and know that all of my hard work will eventually pay off.
PHILIPPIANS 4:13 I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENS ME.