We had the good fortune of connecting with Kenneisha Thompson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kenneisha, why did you pursue a creative career?

Honestly, I did not pursue a creative career…it kind of pursued me.

I remember getting an assignment from my middle school history teacher that sort of got the ball rolling. We were studying art and poetry from different eras, and she asked us all to find a poem that spoke to us to share with the class. Most students just got up and read their poems. I thought to myself, “That’s so boring. I’m going to jazz my share up!” Also, being a procrastinator, I needed a poem short enough to remember most of it as, I waited till the last minute to do my assignment. I scrambled and found THE CHOICE by Dorothy Parker. I saw it in my head and immediately, it made sense to me. When it was my turn, I recall pacing the room, emphasizing certain words, adding gestures, looking students in the eyes, I didn’t even need to look at my book. I performed my poem and commanded the attention of the entire class. It was wonderful! At the end of class, my teacher pulled me to the side and asked if I had thought about electives for when we got to high school the next year. I didn’t even know what an elective was at the time. She said, “you should think about doing theater when you get to Martin [High School]. I think you’d be really good at it!” I wish I could say that I took her advice right away. I only signed up for Theater 1 in my second semester, but that was enough. “I want you to come join our theater program, ” Ms. Baker asked. Unfortunately, I was already committed to marching band and soccer. All through college and beyond, year after year, job after job, organization after organization, I would get the same requests. Performing was always calling me. Until one day many years later in the Drama Ministry at Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, I pushed the worries aside, the obligations to others, the expectations, the “what-would-people-think’s…”and I answered! It’s been a one-day-at-a-time journey ever since.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I made my professional acting debut as a radio personality in 2003. Since then, I have expanded beyond radio and appear in over fifty film, television, and theatre productions. I’ve also voiced numerous anime and video game characters. Throughout my acting career, I have worked with Irma P. Hall, William H. Macy, Charles Malik Whitfield, Rooney Mara, Brittany Snow, and Academy-Award Winner, Casey Affleck, to name a few. Gaming fans will recognize me as the voice of “Lady Aurelia Hammerlock” in the Borderlands series. You may remember me as a National Spokesperson for Long John Silver’s and Eye Mart Express. In 2015 I was honored with broadwayworld.com’s “Best Supporting Actress” award for my role as “Dussie Mae” in a regional theater production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. In addition to acting, I have a real passion for arts and education. I am a member of Actor’s Equity Association and have volunteered with the StateraArts Program for women and non-binary people in the arts. I’ve also taught acting and fine arts camps for several non-profit organizations and ministries including Dallas Summer Musicals, Junior Players, Friendship-West Baptist Church, and The Potter’s House Dallas. In 2017, I created an inspirational coaching company, Christ & The Craft, with the goal of helping you stir your gift and #findyourlight!

My Lord, recounting everything is blowing my OWN mind right now, lol. It is only when you stop and look back can you actually see it all. Cliche as it may sound, I’ve learned that it truly IS a journey – a journey taken just one step at a time. Oprah once said in an interview to ask yourself ‘what’s the NEXT right move.’ That’s it. That’s all you have to think about. Not to try and see the end from the beginning or know every “how” in between. Only God can do that. I go back to that idea A LOT when I feel overwhelmed with the hustle. Starting out acting at church, I never would have guessed I would be here working full-time as an actor. I just really loved the craft. I loved how experiencing stories made ME feel and kept following opportunities to grow in it, and help others feel something, too.

One thing about me, I do my best to really lean into the story. It is so easy to make it about you. We actors like to hear ourselves speak and often, we’re overly concerned with how we look. Social media has really made this problem much worse. When I find myself drifting down that path in my auditions or performances, I stop and go back to the story. Is what I’m doing, how I’m speaking, how I’m moving serving THE STORY? I have to say to myself, “Kenneisha, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!” I’ve also learned it’s an excellent motto for life. *wink*

This #actorslife is not easy, nor do things come quickly. It’s overflowing with rejection and littered with the word ‘no.’ Success in general is interesting like that. Much like an iceberg, for every YES the public sees, there are a million NO’s under the surface. I wish I could share the files and files and files (on multiple computers) of audition tapes I’ve done over the years – most of which I did not book (and that’s just for self-tapes, which doesn’t even include “pre-panorama” when we were auditioning in person, lol). Lots of late nights, early mornings, funds for classes, headshots, wardrobe, membership fees, long drives to set locations, rehearsal after rehearsal, lines on lines on lines on lines to memorize, tape, and then forget – only to do it all again the next day with a different script. It’s an investment in YOU: time, money, effort. It’s rough – but it only takes ONE yes!!! That’s why, for me, having a village is so important! I am so grateful for my tribe of actor friends. We keep each other lifted and supported in the trenches. That’s the other thing about success, you never get there alone.

There is indeed lots to celebrate and be grateful for in my career. I’m currently rehearsing an Equity production of Our Town with The Dallas Theater Center, 2 new film releases now available on Amazon Prime: “Black as Night” and “The Starter Marriage,” and I will be recurring in season 2 of Secrets of Sulphur Springs on Disney/Disney+ premiering early 2022. Honestly, what I’m most proud of and excited about is the woman I’m becoming! I believe God takes us from faith to faith and from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18). This journey as an actor has really forced me to look inward and face some hard truths about myself FIRST. And as I grow as a person, my acting cannot help but to improve. I guess you could say, I’m finding more and more of my own light. And I’m so grateful for the ability to stand firm in it!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

Arts & Culture are my jam, so outings with me would DEFINITELY include a play (possibly more than one, lol). I’d do my best to snag us some coveted tix to see a touring show, like Hamilton, with Dallas Summer Musicals or at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. I’m also about supporting local artists, so we would check out some of the soul-stirring stage productions my acting friends and colleagues are producing at various theaters throughout DFW. Then we’d grab a bite at one of my late-night favorite hot spots, Velvet Taco or Buzzbrews! We’d learn new things at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science or the Museum of Illusions Dallas during the day, and then tickle our funny bones later at the Addison Improv Comedy Club or Arlington Improv Comedy Club. My Lovely, has really opened my eyes to nature, so we’d spend some time hiking at Cedar Ridge Preserve or walking the Katy Trail. And we cannot forget a Sunday brunch at True Kitchen + Kocktails or Soiree Coffee Bar.

While I do like going out on occasion, I REALLY enjoy smaller, intimate gatherings at home with close friends. Nothing beats a dinner party with spirits, games, stories, and laughter surrounded by those you love most. #funtimes! ❤️

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

My Lord!! So many people, a whole mess of flowers to give, such little typing space!! I would like to say a special thank you to Dana Clark-Brocks + the Drama Community at Friendship-West Baptist Church and Jubilee Theater. Both these organizations were influential in nurturing the early days of my artistic journey. Also, thank you to the late Dr. Freddye Davy, Director of Honors at Hampton University, and the Late Phyllis Cicero, a.k.a. Barney’s “Stella the Storyteller” and actor extraordinaire. Both these women took a chance on me at pivotal moments in my life. They saw in me what I could not see in myself, and their powerful words and guidance continue to bless my life to this day. They were also shining examples of what it means to educate; I pray to become half the teachers they were.

Much love to my parents (Kenneth and Lorna) for all their love, sacrifices, and support including letting me move back home for a few years when I first quit my full-time job to follow my passion. Much love to my family, my friends, my actor tribe (Ebony, Eleanor, Lynn, E.A., Jasmine, Calvin, Nikki, Gio, and many others), and of course my partner in life and love: Justin. #Glory ❤️.


Website: (My website’s currently getting a facelift, but follow me on IG to get keep up with my career and peep the new look when we launch!!)

Instagram: @kenneishathompson

Twitter: @KenneishaT

Facebook: Kenneisha Thompson

Other: IMDb – imdb.me/kenneishathompson Represented by: The Mary Collins Agency – Dallas Shauntiel Lindsey Talent Agency – LA Management: Carolina Talent

Image Credits
Evan Michael Woods Ken Duane

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