'I'm an actress, a writer, the Editor-in-Chief of my lifestyle brand The Tig, a pretty good cook and a firm believer in handwritten notes.' A mouthful, yes, but one that I feel paints a pretty solid picture of who I am. While I could say Pennsylvania and Ohio, and continue this proverbial two-step, I instead give them what they're after: 'My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American.
But here's what happens: they smile and nod politely, maybe even chuckle, before getting to their point, 'Right, but what are you? I'm half black and half white.' To describe something as being black and white means it is clearly defined.
It made the green of his eyes pop and his brow was weighted at the thought of his daughter being prey to ignorance.
Growing up in a homogeneous community in Pennsylvania, the concept of marrying an African-American woman was not on the cards for my dad. Navigating closed-mindedness to the tune of a dorm mate I met my first week at university who asked if my parents were still together. 'Oh, well that makes sense.' To this day, I still don't fully understand what she meant by that, but I understood the implication.
It was called The Heart Family and included a mom doll, a dad doll, and two children.
It's either ironic or apropos that in this world of not fitting in, and of harbouring my emotions so tightly under my ethnically nondescript (and not so thick) skin, that I would decide to become an actress.It's easy to talk about which make-up I prefer, my favourite scene I've filmed, the rigmarole of 'a day in the life' and how much green juice I consume before a requisite Pilates class.And while I have dipped my toes into this on thetig.com, sharing small vignettes of my experiences as a biracial woman, today I am choosing to be braver, to go a bit deeper, and to share a much larger picture of that with you.But perhaps it is through this craft that I found my voice.Being 'ethnically ambiguous', as I was pegged in the industry, meant I could audition for virtually any role.