NATOSHA DEVON | Writer + Poet
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do? How did you get started as an Actress and Writer ?
NaTosha: I am a 29 year old actor, poet, and writer. In short, I’m a storyteller. As a child, I used writing as a tool for therapy. It was my go to when I was feeling depressed or less than. I never thought what I created would or should be heard by others until one day I let a friend read one of my poems who encouraged me to share my work with others and I did. From that day on I started challenging my pen more. I exposed my work at open mics, from there it grew into being a career which I love. What started out as a healing method for myself, I now use to heal others. There is no better feeling than that.
My acting, on the other hand, I would say was placed into my life by God. I went through a phase where I was lost and prayed constantly about my purpose he showed me acting. In the beginning, I was reluctant to say the least. How could someone as predictable as I am do something as risky as acting? I fought Gods voice for a long time trying my hand at various different things but I was completely miserable. One day I woke up and told God. “Okay, I will do things your way” and needless to say I've never looked back.
What were some difficulties you faced? How Did you overcome those obstacles?
NaTosha: I am blessed to say that most of the difficulties I’ve faced, God and I have overcome through hard work and determination. I started acting maybe six years ago, so in the acting world, I’m fairly new to the craft. I found that while my product was always great, my knowledge of the material and what I was doing wasn’t so high. I then began to read all I could and watch as many plays as possible. Even now I still feel like I’m playing catch up but it’s all worth it. Another bump in the road that affected my writing, as well as my acting, was the fact that I am dyslexic. I found this out maybe a year ago, but the knowledge of it explained so much. Why I would get anxiety to read a script in front of others for the first time and why couldn’t I pronounce what I saw correctly? I overcame this by accepting what was, telling the people I work with that I have a learning disability, and finding ways to work around it so that it doesn’t hinder anyone else’s process.
What is your best advice to someone just starting out?
NaTosha: The best advice I can give to someone is that everyone is on their own path. What one may be weak in, another person is strong in, and vice versa but that’s completely ok.
What advice do you wish someone had said to you?
NaTosha: One thing I wish someone would have told me starting out is that no one can play a character like you. It’s in a sense like a fingerprint only connected to your specific person. Don’t shy away from that because this is where your strength as an artist rest.
What inspires you?
NaTosha: The thing that inspires me the most is the human connection and the ability to make someone feel better, stronger, and more important through my art.
How do you hope to inspire our community of female creatives by sharing on our blog?
NaTosha: I hope to inspire the female community by letting people know you’re not the only one. Often times as women we get in our heads about situations and we are almost too embarrassed to cry or seek help. But we’ve all been there. We’ve been broken, hurt, lied to, made to feel less, and felt judged. I want to say hey, here’s my truth it’s ugly and breathtaking all at the same time and that’s ok. That’s what makes me human.
*This interview has been edited for clarity.
NaTosha will be contributing her written works and Poetry to the NWA Girl Gang Blog.
A B O U T | Na'Tosha De'Von
"I am Na’Tosha De’Von, MFA actor and published poet. I originate from Chicago IL, raised in Mississippi. I believe that the purpose of my art is to expose and heal. In my mind, I would like to think that the first words I ever spoke were in the form of a metaphor. With that, I acknowledge the power of words. How they tend to make me feel, how my words make others feel. Sometimes they’re flowers, sometimes daggers, others are just empty thoughts. Due to the exposing, each poem that I create and share with you will have a tendency to leave a mark, petals or bruises you decide. However, in the mist, find healing."
You can find Natosha on Instagram here: @iamnatoshadevon.