Actress Jasmine Adams is a proud “fourth generation African-American female in my family to be college educated.” She adds, “I am very proud of this as education is extremely important to me. I also equally value the arts and I’m fascinated with history. My grandparents are 94 and 101 so I’m sure my fascination is innate. I really love black history and understanding how we have progressed to attain great levels of triumph.”
Playing the lead role of Dr. Lisa Mays in the Studio 11 Films short film Rhythm, the Oakland native shares why she pursued a career in the arts. –yvette caslin
Born: Oakland, Calif.
Zodiac Sign: Virgo — I’m organized, but not OCD [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder]. I also have a lot of Leo in me because I’m super outgoing and often the life of the party.
Why did you take this role?
In anyone’s life, the best friend is always one of the most influential and loving forces. I was intrigued with being one of the few people in Alisa’s (the main character) life who could see through her façade and speak candidly to try to save her. Supporting people through tough times is an important role in real life and in art.
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations as a young actor?
Yes, teachers and family members always encouraged me to be creative in expressing myself. I also discovered movies at a young age where I drew inspiration as well. I often looked towards the Old Hollywood screen sirens. They always effortlessly embodied beauty and emotion simultaneously.
The one movie — attended — that you will never forget:
The Cell — it’s actually exactly how I dream. In my unconscious world, The Cell mirrors my reality.
Your personal acting idols: Ruby Dee
Last good movie you saw: Dark Knight
Some films you consider classics: Déjà Vu, The Notebook, Cruel Intentions, Casa Blanca
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Bravo and VH1 reality shows
Favorite cities: Atlanta, San Francisco, Paris, Buenos Aires
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: TLC’s On The Trip
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:
At Stone Mountain Middle School, we had an English teacher who was in charge of producing the black history play every year. In seventh grade, we spent months reviewing black poets, history, literature, etc. in preparation to perform in the play. That’s where I was exposed to Paul Laurence Dunbar, Nikki Giovanni and others. I was absolutely enthralled that the rush of performing such powerful works on stage. From then on, I’ve always been front and center on any stage I can find.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:
In the ballet production of The Wizard of Oz, I was one of three dancers on stage. Halfway through the performance, I forgot my choreography, so I had to look to the girl to the left of me to continue performing and was continuously a half second behind everyone else. Finally, I just decided to do my own thing, and the other two dancers actually ended up following what I was doing. Of course, this happened when I was 5 years old, so it wasn’t as embarrassing as it could have been.
Most challenging role you have played:
Actually, it was probably this role, Dr. Lisa Mays. Lisa is a very stoic and controlled person. She loves people, but only from a distance. By nature, I am a warm and bubbly person who actively expresses emotions. I definitely had to focus on drawing myself inward and accurately projecting the character’s personality.
Worst job you ever had:
Camp counselor. Kids are fun, but there’s nowhere to take the batteries out of the back of them. [Laughs]
Career you would want if not a performer: Career counselor
Three things you can’t live without: My grandparents, cute accessories and … Cinnabons