Paula Jai Parker was one of the more visible character actresses in Hollywood. She’d graced the screen in films ranging from the classic comedy Friday to the acclaimed hit Hustle and Flow. Then, suddenly, she seemed to stop appearing in films altogether. Some believe that Parker’s sudden disappearance from Hollywood was because of her marriage to a production assistant that she met on set. For the actress, she feels that coming back via reality TV gives her an opportunity to provide an example for survivors.
“I look at this show as my testimony,” she explains to rolling out. “I was tried by fire and I literally have the scar to show it. I got burned heating one of my son’s bottles while I was unemployed and couldn’t find a job. It bubbled and it healed —as my career began to heal. My heart began to heal.”
Parker struggled through homelessness as she fought to get her career back on track, but she wants everyone to understand how to fight through hardships.
“It was hard, but I have a testimony and I know the reason for me doing this is to share this testimony,” explains Parker. “I had to open up and be vulnerable because that’s the only way I was going to be able to tell my truth.”
“I’m inspiring young women to keep moving and not give up on your dream or on yourself,” she adds.
Parker shared that she’s been able to remain true to her vision by literally putting it down in front of her, visually.
“I’ve been making vision boards since I was, like, 5,” she shares. “And they’ve all come to fruition. My husband and I just made our second vision board for ourselves. Because I can’t get him to do one for himself! My son is 5 and I tried to get him to make one, but all I got was a wish list for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and cars!”