Friday, July 8, 2016

"Looking Back: Stepping Forward!" Interview with Cheray O'Neal

The Ivy Substation 
Cheray O'Neal
July 10, 2016

Cheray O'Neal performing 'Journey This'
Q: How did you first hear about the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival (LAWTF)?
A: "I have mutual artistic comrades who have had the great pleasure and priviledge in participating in the festivals past."

Q: How has being a part of LAWTF impacted your life and your performing career?
A: "It has been such a supportive, inspiring, and uplifting environment to be a part of. Obviously how I view my art and life are one in the same. LAWTF provides a wealth of resources and opportunities to showcase and nurture your work. I'm grateful."

Q: What has been your favorite part of your LAWTF experience? 
A: "The opportunity to commune with other artist from all walks of their creative lives."

Cheray O'Neal performing 'Journey This'

Q: What advice would you give for someone just starting out in the performing arts industry, with regards to seeking out opportunities like LAWTF to further their careers? 
A: "Nothing is perfect, go out there and be willing to fall. Every person has a unique purposeful valuable life, and your voice is worth it. Find a mentor and ask a lot of questions."

Q: Are there any moments in your LAWTF experience that you are certain you will never forget? 
A: "The moment I got the acceptance letter for the Festival. I felt validated and so excited."

Q: How has LAWTF helped you promote your show further? 
A: "The connections made have provided access and information. I'm better equipped and, truth be told, the theatre community is pretty small."

Cheray O'Neal performing 'Journey This'

Q: What was your inspiration for your solo show (the one you are performing at the Ivy Substation)? 
A: "I was my grandmother's care giver for the last year and half of her life. It was a beautiful cyclical experience for me. I learned compassion and grew to deeply love and respect the woman she was. She raised my mother, so in turn I have a greater appreciation for my beloved mother, as well. When my grandmother died, my mortality was smack in my face and I had to question, what's important, what do I wish to leave behind. Carrying the legacy my grandmother and mother, looking at my pains and turning them into medicine became the impetus for this show."

Q: Any advice on what it takes to create a solo show and suggestions for someone embarking on their first solo show? 
A: "Be brutally honest, be disciplined, take risks, remain resilient, and know your worth. I will be performing my solo play 'Journey This' in August. Please check for all future performances."

See Cheray O'neal in her one woman show, "Journey This"on July 10 at the Ivy Substation. For tickets, please go to our website, 

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