On Acting--Sacramento's LaFonda Baker

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"The ability to teach what you know is a gift, to help someone understand, to figure out, to inspire, to create, is the best type of beauty."

[Profile: Black Star Model]


"The ability to teach what you know is a gift, to help someone understand, to figure out, to inspire, to create, is the best type of beauty."

Q: Tell us a little about where you were born and where you were raised and the most important things you learned from your parent:
A: I was born in Sacramento CA, but I lived in Stockton CA most of my life. My first experiences on stage were in Stockton including my first public speaking event at age 10. While in Stockton, I received professional training in the Actor Training program at San Joaquin Delta College.

With my mother’s encouragement, I pursued my dream of becoming a professional actress. For years
my mother stressed the importance of having a goal and working hard to achieve it. I watched my mom juggle school, children, work, and play for years and she never skipped a beat. My mom is the ultimate diva; she works hard, looks out for others, she’s strong, graceful, and always looks fantastic! My mom taught me how to speak up for myself, to be confident, and go after my goals with vigor and grace, and to live a life of faith by leaning on the Lord.

Q: Where did you go to school and when did you launch your career?
A: I attended Franklin High School in Stockton, California.  I took speech and debate and later Drama and was involved in the plays put on there. I also took an International Baccalaureate theatre class after school.  After graduating from Franklin I attended San Joaquin Delta College. I enrolled in the Actor training program and learned more about my craft. I was cast in just about every production I auditioned for, which provided me a lot of stage experience.

Pursuing acting was a career goal of mine since high school. The Actor training program gave me the experience and training I needed to pursue my career professionally. There is still a lot I would like to learn, but the program gave me enough to be a competitor in this industry.  I recently decided to pursue my
film and television career full-time. I launched my professional career in 2010 after I signed with my agent at Cast Images Talent Agency in Sacramento.

Q: What stage do you consider your career to be at now?
A: I am in the beginning stages of my professional acting career. Auditioning and performing was a little different when I was a collegiate stage actress. Now that I compete with various professionals in film and television, I look at my career a little differently. I’m learning how to market myself, submit myself through various casting offices, manage my time, and budget my finances differently. I’m now in the business of show business; I’m having great time learning more about not only my craft, but how to get industry people to see what I can do. I am constantly proving myself to those I audition for, actors I work with, and people who have hired me. It’s a great experience, I love what I do and the people I get to meet and learn from on a regular basis. I get a kick out of auditioning, networking, and being on set this is the best job in the
world!

Q: Where do you see it going and what’re your aspirations?
A: I am moving to Los Angeles in July, I’m getting my package together to submit to agents, managers, and casting directors out there. I plan on having my package fine-tuned and my submission ready to be mailed by late April.

My goal is to have my team established before I move to Los Angeles, so I can start working as soon as possible. I want to be in films, television, and commercials.  It can take years to get established in LA, but I feel my road to success will be very different from most if I keep working hard, fine tuning my craft, market myself accordingly, and continue to have faith in God.  I plan on auditioning and working in LA on a consistent basis. My idea of success is to be constantly working in my field and to continuously develop my craft. I want to be respected for my work.

Q: Talk about some challenges and how you conquer them?
A: I used to find the idea of networking with people I barely knew a little daunting. I knew that networking and connecting with other actors, and industry people, would be a major factor in my career so I started practicing while in Sacramento. I can be a little shy at times and didn’t want to seem invasive while asking other actors questions, but it proved to be an easy, cool, fun experience. I’m thankful for Facebook, for making networking a little easier, all I have to do is ask if they’re on Facebook and we’re connected! I’ve learned to conquer my challenges by being fearless.

Q: List some of the professional -modeling, acting, business, entrepreneurship--accomplishments you're most proud of?
A: I am most proud of my SAG eligibility. I was upgraded during a production of ‘On the Road’ starring Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, and Terrance Howard. The upgrade blessed me with the eligibility to join The Screen Actors Guild. Gaining SAG eligibility is one of the biggest accomplishments of every professional actor’s
career. I also can’t wait to see ‘On the Road’ in theatres this year. Seeing me on the big screen like that is going to be a surreal experience for me and my family. 

Q: Talk about brainpower and beauty?
A: To me they are one and the same. Have you ever fallen in love with someone’s mind, waiting for them to speak, waiting for them to bless you with the words coming from their lips? It’s a beautiful thing, it’s a powerful thing. To me knowledge is beautiful; the ability to teach what you know is a gift, to help someone understand, to figure out, to inspire, to create, is the best type of beauty.

Q: Talk about any of any of your social work, community and public service involvement.
A: I used to work for the Boys and Girls club, where I created a theater arts program called Let’s Play. The program taught 6-10 year old children about the different dynamics and responsibilities of putting a stage production together.

During the program we played improv games, put on skits, wrote plays such as Hansel and Gretel with Jack and Jill, put a cast list together, worked on costume design, advertising and so much more. That was the most fun I’ve ever had working with children. I also ran a tutoring program during the summer, which included the teens as reading buddies to the younger members. I love the Boys and Girls club. They fostered my creativity as a Youth Service Professional while also giving me the tools needed to give back to my community. My goal is to volunteer with them, or work with a similar organization in the near future.

Q: Your Wardrobe.
A: I wear classic, romantic, timeless pieces. I’m also a huge fan of skinny jeans, short dresses, and very high heels. And I love pajamas. Lately I’ve been wearing a lot of pink. I have the biggest collection of house shoes and pjs! When I’m ready to relax I always change into something pretty, pink, and comfortable.

Q: Your Words of wisdom.
A: Create beautiful memories every day. Find the good in everything and everyone. Thoroughly, openly, and consistently love those around you.

Q: Secrets of success.
A: Be true to yourself. Honestly assess what you really want in life. If you want your dreams to come true you must first acknowledge what they are. Don’t limit them for anyone or any reason. Write your goals down and fearlessly allow them to evolve into reality. Your success depends on your thought process and spoken word. You speak things into reality. Keep your words and thoughts positive. Oh and work harder than everyone else!

Q: Favorite all-time 3 movies.
A: Back to the Future, The Color Purple, and The Best Man.

Q: Three leaders that inspire you the most.
A: Maya Angelou, Muhammad Ali, Jesus Christ.

Q: Five favorite musicians or entertainers.
A: Zoe Saldana, Regina King, Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee and Beyoncé Knowles.

Q: Five Favorite websites


www.imdb.me/lafondabaker
www.facebook.com
www.essence.com
www.sag.org



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