We had the good fortune of connecting with Khadijah Karriem and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Khadijah, how do you feel about risk?
Risks are something I have taken over and over again in my life. I have always believed that nothing ventured, nothing gained. Now, I don’t mean risk my life or others lives and definitely not my children’s life, but if the risk can potentially catapult me into another level of greatness, then I am always willing to take that risk. Every great decision I have ever made to further my career or balance my life or live my passions, started with me taking that first risky step. See, most of the time it’s called a risk because the out-come is unknown. The fear of the unknown is what stops most people. I can’t say I don’t have fear when I am at the threshold of a risky decision, but what I have more than anything is faith in God. If the decision is going to help me be better or can help people or is putting me in alignment with my divine purpose, then I know God will not let me fall.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
All my life I have had a passion for acting, storytelling and creativity. I went to Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet High School for theater. I had every intention to pursue a career in acting with the hopes of being famous in Hollywood. Now, they say if you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans. After I graduated from The University of the Arts, in Philadelphia I got pregnant with my son, who has cerebral palsy. I was a single mom. My dreams and hopes of a career in acting seemed like they were all but over. There were a lot of challenges, too many challenges and as a 23yr old, I really wasn’t sure if I would make it back to what I loved. It was definitely not easy. But, through the grace and mercy of God, I was able to move to Los Angeles and worked in TV and film steadily for 11yrs. I was going to auditions and still taking care of all of my son’s needs. Not easy. In 2004, I had my second child a beautiful little girl. The relationship with her father did not work out so I was yet again a single mom; now of two. I was still trying to press forward but then the recession of 2008 shattered the Entertainment industry and I was forced to move back home to Dallas where I was from. I had lost everything and had to figure out a whole new way to provide for my children. So, I went back to school and got my Masters in Law, then an Associates in the paralegal program. For the last 8yrs. I worked as a paralegal for corporate law firms. The creative person I am was essentially dying in this corporate life. I was able to take care of my kids, but I couldn’t let go of the passions that burned in me. Just before Covid-19, I prayed and asked to be led back to what I loved; my purpose. When I got that divine confirmation, I put in my two week notice and decided to return to my creativity again. I didn’t know how it was going to turn out and corporate people make you feel afraid to fall, but I knew I couldn’t breathe and had to try. When the pandemic hit and everyone was forced to just sit still, re-evaluate and really look at what mattered, I saw myself again. I felt my strength again. With all the death that was around us, I was determined that life was too short to not do what I loved. I had a script that I actually wrote when I had to move back to Dallas, called Recession Proof, about a Wall Street Exec that loses everything in a Ponzi scheme and has to move back home with her mother in the hood and find a whole new way of life. Sound familiar. Well, now I am in pre-production for my first feature film, that I not only wrote, but will produce and star in. We have a great cast and it will be directed by Arthur Muhammad; a dynamic director from Dallas. Our first day of shooting is May 14th right here in Dallas. It has been a very long journey back to this, creativity, my first love. Life does that sometimes, but everything I learned along the way will only make doing what I love again that much more sweet.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my bestie was coming to town, we would first do some site seeing around the DFW. First stop The Reunion Tower for that great view. Then since I’m vegan we would grab some vegan food at Casa del Vegano in Bishop Arts District. Its so good. After that, we would probably walk around the shops in Bishop Arts or head over to North Park Mall for some serious shopping. We would probably be tired by then, so we would cap off the day by getting some smoothies or fresh juice at Recipe Oak Cliff Juice Bar off Ewing.
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?
The most important shoutout I would like to make is to my mother; Marlene Shakir. She is a mother of six children, with a plethora of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and probably great great grands. She has always been the most self-less person I know. She has always gotten behind everyone of her kids dreams in whatever way she could, even the grandchildren! My mom is solely responsible for allowing me the ability to pursue anything I have ever wanted to do.
Facebook: Recession Proof The Movie
photos by: Carlos Vincent www.carlosvincentimagery.com @thecarlosvincent
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