Today we’d like to introduce you to Mandisa Johnson.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Mandisa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have always had a love and a passion for acting and around the age of five, I had a drama class in elementary school. I would go home and mimic what my teacher did and would do a one-man show for my mother. This eventually turned into me writing scripts and doing an Improv comedy show with my next-door neighbor and performing before neighbors and friends. As I got older, writing plays became a passion of mine and to open up our gifts on Christmas morning, we would either have to write a Christmas play and perform it or write a Christmas story.
Throughout high school, I was active in theater participating in the Lorriane Hansberry Readers Theater, completed an internships with Ohio State University’s Theatre Department and Columbus Children’s Theater. I was a member of our high school acting troupe, and traveled to several elementary schools in Columbus, OH and performed. Before graduating, I became a member of the International Thespian Society and was cast in the musical The Wiz.
While in undergrad, I competed in the Miss Black Wright State University Pageant and the Miss Ohio USA Pageant. In December 2000, I graduated from Wright State University, with a Communication Studies B.A. and shortly thereafter, I relocated to Atlanta. In 2006, I got my first taste of acting on-camera as a background actor in Stomp The Yard. Shortly thereafter, I took a break and in 2012 I enrolled in Full Sail University’s Entertainment Business Masters Program completing it in 2013.
Upon graduation, I was the only female writing intern with East Mountain Studios, assisting with writing a children’s television show pilot, The Adventures of Cory and had an opportunity to work as a script supervisor. That same year, I co-directed my first short film titled The Lost Ones. A year later, I was cast on Sid Roth’s Its Supernatural and portrayed Gloria Bridges. I have also done a few other short films and most recently, was in a furniture commercial for Kimball Furniture and was a voice actor for an audiobook portraying Bernice King.
In December 2000, I graduated from Wright State University, with a Communication Studies B.A. and shortly thereafter, I relocated to Atlanta. After receiving to Masters degrees from Full Sail University (Entertainment Business, Masters of Science and Creative Writing, Masters of Fine Arts) I noticed there was a void of proper reliable information on navigating through Atlanta’s Film and TV industry. Actors were getting scammed by bogus agencies and signing un-profitable and sometimes fraudulent contracts. These people were my friends and fellow actors. When I saw these things, I knew I had to try and help make a difference. With my ten-plus years of experience of being an actor in Atlanta, the knowledge from my Master’s program and a passion for actors and entertainers to have the proper information and guidance, Atlanta Film and TV was born.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not always been a smooth road. I am married with three children one of whom has Downs Syndrome. It has been a challenge being a wife, a mother, working a full-time job, and finding time to take acting lessons and attend events to sharpen my craft.
Additionally, as a skilled and trained writer, it is exceedingly challenging to become a professional writer. To offset these challenges I made the decision to create my own lanes through the Atlanta Film and TV blog and by creating my an animated character for which we have one full season written and final renderings of the main characters from our artist.
In the words of Tyler Perry, “Don’t wait for someone to greenlight your project. Build your own intersection.”
Atlanta Film and TV – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from others?
Atlantafilmandtv.com is a blog that I first started in 2016 and re-launched January 2019. We are the only blog dedicated to informing and empowering the Atlanta film and TV community.
I am most proud about being able to cover several events throughout Atlanta such as the Black Women Film Summit and the Atlanta Film Festival. I am also excited about the events, workshops, and courses that are in the works.
Many media outlets give information and various happenings in the Atlanta film and TV community, but we seek to give information that empowers actors/content creators to take measurable steps in reaching their goals.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Right now, Atlanta Film and TV’s main focus and marker is to write and post informative blogs weekly. We have always wanted to create a good base of information that actors and content creators can refer to. We are beginning to enter into the next phase of creating courses and workshops for the community.
- Website: atlantafilmandtv.com
- Phone: 678-760-4588
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @atlantafilmandtv
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/atlantafilmandtv/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ATLFilmandTV
(Family Picture) Rishik Patel