O: Can you describe yourself in three words?
T: I definitely can, I would have to say funny, happy and spiritual.
O: When did you first fall in love with screenwriting? Where did you get your inspiration from?
T: Oh screenwriting! You know what, I never fell in love with screenwriting (Chuckles) Im not a screenwriter.
O: I’m sorry! Online it says you wrote and produced ‘Victims of Circumstances’
T: I did write it…but I don’t consider myself a screenwriter to be honest with you. I have…you know what, I guess maybe I should take that back.
T: Now that you said it. I have written two scripts. So it hilarious that I just said that. Screenwriting I would have to say is not a passion of mine, but it is something I did do. I connected with a friend of mine. [We both came up with the ‘Victim of Circumstances’ idea because we were both from philly at the time] which was a short film. We just wanted to do something that gave back to the community. That’s actually how that happened. I guess it was more so of a piece that we wanted to put positive energy into the universe. For the city of Philadelphia…based on an incident that happened in philly…I did write a project called “Relation Trip” that I never even released. [People] don’t really know about that. That was something…I wrote years ago. Its so funny Charmaine’s on the line and she’s actually one of the people that was [my inspiration]. Now that I’m thinking about it, and that was from years ago…Do you remember that Charmaine?
C:I do Torri. You know what you just said it and [I’m thinking] SHIT! [that needs to go out] its funny! (giggling)
T: But I write my own comedy materials. I do get help with that, people get help with everything. I’ve definitely written sketches, but screenwriter (Thinking) I’ve only done two. I don’t necessarily know if that makes me a screenwriter. I’ve written but I don’t know if I’m a screenwriter.
O: You know what, I just found out that once you’ve touched it once, that’s what you do (Laughing)
T: Oh Okay!
O: Once you’ve touched it once, your a screenwriter. (Laughing)
T: Well I did write in final draft. So I know that much. I know you have to do the outline
O: When did you first launch your hair care line “Heavenly Hart” by Nzari and how has the business grown since then?
T: Well it actually launched last year in 2017. The end of July actually. It’s something that’s dear to me of course, because it was inspired by Heaven, my daughter. It’s really grown. For it to not even be a year old, and were already in stores in Atlanta, New York [and] on Amazon. We’re actually in the process right now of you getting into the stores in Los Angeles. So I would say that it’s really grown, at a great pace. Everything takes time. I’m in no rush for it to turn into a fortune 500 company, right away, but I do know that one day it will be and I’m looking forward to seeing that process, but right now, I would say it has grown at a good pace. I’m happy with the way [growth] right now.
O: What is something you would say to the younger generation about self-appreciation, when it comes to hair their hair?
T: You know, I would say be happy with what God gave you. Sometimes we envy, or we look at others. [We] wish we had what they have. Instead of embracing our own beauty and understand that you were made in God’s image. You were made to be exactly who you are. And nine times out of ten, the person that you’re envious of, they don’t even like what they have. I know growing up I used to want curly hair. My father has different hair than me. I used to love my dad’s hair because I thought it was beautiful. His sisters had a different texture, it was curly, and I like that but then I had to realize. As they got older, their hair started to thin out quicker than my hair texture. Not only that, I look back and say you know what, I’m appreciative of what God gave me. I do have thicker hair. My hair is not thinning in the middle and it is not doing stuff that [their hair is doing because they are getting older]. I would just have to say, appreciate what you got because the person you maybe envious of [may want what you have]. Just appreciate what God gave you. [Main Point]
O: Its funny you say that because I encounter a lot of people, even Caucasian people come up to me and say, “I wish I had curly hair”, because I can’t do anything with it.
T: And you know what’s so funny? that’s happened to me too. As Black Women we don’t realize the [amount] of [styles] we can do, and that’s why I say appreciate what you have. Really, we’re the ones changing the game, they mimic us. They do the braids, they do the weaves, they do things that we’re doing. We set the trend.
O: Did you enjoy being apart of the “Atlanta Exes” cast? Would you do reality television again?
T: I did, reality tv was fun for me and I would defiantly do reality tv again. Some people try to give reality tv a bad rep. I don’t see it as being a bad thing. I was able to launch a company from [it]. I was able to get product in Walmart and Kroger. It had a big impact because they did see me on TV. That’s how I was pitching my meeting, “Listen, I’m on television. I can make this product grow”. So, when that happened for me, I knew the power of reality TV. I also was able to help people out when I did reality TV. I was making a different type of money, I was able to hire different people and get them jobs. [That being said] if you look at anything, instead of [being focused] on the negatives and understand its just entertainment. You will have a different appreciation for it. I LOVE reality TV and I would be open to definitely doing [it again].
O: I agree! I’ve interviewed a far share of reality stars and as soon as the show airs it’s the third episode they launch so many things. They start nonprofits, Organizations, companies, and we don’t know that because that’s not what the TV show tells us. That [causing] people to have a negative image of it for whatever reason, and you don’t know the good things that their doing.
T: Yeah! You know reality TV, they love the drama, that drama is what keeps people tuned in. That’s like with any situation, you have the good and the bad. If you don’t have the bad, you won’t have the good. Like I said [before] its entertainment. A lot of people that watch reality TV are trying to forget about their boring Monday. Its like a soap opera. My mother and my grandmother use to watch the soaps. There would be Dynasty and all the other soap operas and that was the reality TV back in the day. Just entertainment. I think people get too caught up in it, its not that serious its just entertainment.
O: When did you know you wanted to be a comedian? And how is your first tour going?
T: Well I’ve actually been a comedian my entire life. I was always the one in the family entertaining my family. High school I got class clown, I was like “Wow is that how my classmates see me?”. I was always pranking the teachers. I was the one leading the mischief stuff that was going on. That was always my personality and my character. That’s why my classmates voted me the class clown. In high school I didn’t see it as a good thing cause I’m like “I’m not no clown” but now looking back, I’m like “Okay it makes sense”. I pretty much knew when I was seven years old I was going to be in the entertainment industry. I would tell my mom and dad, “I’m going to be in Hollywood. I’m going to be in movies. I’m going to be on tv I’m going to be a star”. [Me and my parents] were living in north Philadelphia. That wasn’t their world they would say, “Yeah whatever!”. They didn’t know the first thing about Hollywood. So when I would say stuff like that to them they would just say okay. I can tell you I’ve always known since I was a little girl, that my dreams and goals [were going to happen].
O: It funny you say that, because I tell my family the same thing. I’ve been writing screenplays for forever. There nothing else I can do. I don’t know if I’m good at anything else. The entertainment industry is me and I can’t see myself doing anything else.
T: And you have to stick to that. I didn’t have a plan B, I went to the military, but I don’t have a plan B. That’s it, I don’t have a college degree. I don’t have a skill other than entertainment, so this is what I now I’m supposed to be doing.
O: What advice would you give to young people trying to pursue a career in the entertainment industry?
T: The main thing it is not easy. Understand entertainment is not easy at all. The way that I did it, I would not recommend it. I would recommend going to school. Do training, at least, in what you want to do because everything I’ve been doing is self-taught. I took some classes, but I bought a whole lot of books and just read a lot. Which is my journey, that works for me but I would say [youth] coming up now, GO TO SCHOOL!…whether Harvard or Juilliard performing art school. Try to do a preforming arts school at least because I feel like that would have helped me. Would I change my journey? No, I would not! For the [younger] generation I would say make sure your getting some formal training.
O: Where do you see yourself in the next five years? And the next ten years?
T: I don’t know! I say this because I had my whole twenties planned out. I didn’t want to have my first kid until 35. I said my career [needs to be] on track. I’m going to be on a hit tv show. I’m going to have movies under my belt. I still wanted to be married. As soon as I hit 35, I’m going to take it slow. We were going to plan for a baby. When I tell you, I had…I thought I had everything planned out, figured out. But nothing went according to plan. Well looking back I’m like, how did I think that was going to happen when I was partying all the time. That wasn’t going to happen. My thirties is when I really started getting super super serious. I was taking classes in Hollywood, and I was studying with coaches. I would get parts [here and there]. Actually booked a few commercials, but I wasn’t as serious as I was once I got into my thirties. Now I’m so focused nothing can stop me. Were ever God leads me, I trust his journey. I trust that I’m on the right path. I will say I see myself very successful, but as far as is it on tv? Movies? I don’t know and I’m not putting pressure on myself. Sometimes you just have to let it unfold the ways it unfolds. I do know I will be successful, but I’m not exactly sure how…There’s goals and you can set goals for yourself. I will say this, I did set goals for myself. I set a goal to have a perfect twenty minute comedy set in six months. I’m already on track with that. Now what happens [after] that goal, I don’t know, but goals like that, you can set for yourself. To say I’m going to be a big movie star in five years…I don’t know. I can put that into the universe and hope for that but I’m okay with setting the goals for myself and working toward those things, and let everything else manifest the way its supposed to happen. God had put something in me, that I was born with. I don’t believe God would put that in me and not let me succeed. I don’t believe that at all.
O: What do you want your legacy to be?
T: More than anything she was always a positive person that uplifted people. There’s so many things I want to accomplish, that the world doesn’t know I want to do. Goals that I want to accomplish, and I don’t necessarily share those things, because I don’t think its time to share those things yet, but I will say every time I come in touch with someone, I try to leave a positive impression on those people. Someone feeling down I try to uplift them. I recently was in New York City doing stuff with Heavenly Heart. A lot of men came out and I was shocked [with the amount] of men that came out. I had conversations with men and one-man broke downing crying to me and I just started praying with this man. Started talking to him, lifting him just trying to let him see that the moment he’s in is temporary moment, you will get your happiness back. This is a temporary moment that you have to go through and you have to fight for what you want. I would just want people to look at me as [woman] that was positive and tried to uplift instead of being negative and breaking people.
O: Are you apart of or do you have your own nonprofit organization?
T: I actually have one with my sister. Its called SOAR and it stands for Starting Over Again Ready. Right now, we just haven’t been too active with it because of my schedule and her schedule but we have already created that. It’s a nonprofit that gives back to women. The vision we have for that is helping women that go through relationship issues to women starting to get back into the work force and there can be women that been married four times. They were married to someone that took care of everything and the relationship fell apart and now they don’t know where to turn to. So, that is something we have been doing. I do give back. I give back to organization, I give back to churches. I help a lot of people on the low. Some people go around saying they’re going to feed the homeless. I do it all the time its not a big deal. You would be surprised to the people that I have given back to. I don’t speak about it because I don’t think its necessary it [reflect] in my life meaning I’m doing something right. When it comes to SOAR people will know when its updated. I just don’t think right now is the time for that to be the main focus.
O: Is there anything going on that you would like you put fans to know about?
T: Right now, I’m on my “Bold and Boujee” tour with comedian Malek S. and we’re about to go on a five-city tour. I will be announcing that very soon. I’m going very hard with my comedy, I have films that are out right now on DVD in stores at Walmart, BestBuy. One is called “But Deliver Us From Evil” by director outside of Philadelphia Joshua Coates. [Cast Include] Eric Roberts, Pooch Hall, Alice Rose. The second film is a faith-based film that is very dear to my heart because allowed me to take real life emotions and put it into this character. Its called “Resolution Song” by director Antonio D. James. [This] film is actually out right now, on demand and in stores. [Cast include] Lester Speight, Ella Joyce, Kenneth Slocum. It’s a great piece and it actually Will Smiths company, Smith Media Global is the distribution company behind that. That’s a project I’m proud of. Eventually their work on getting it on television and other places as well.