Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracy Tolliver.
Tracy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always wanted to be a performer I was first bitten by the showbiz bug after watching reruns of the old Mickey Mouse club. I thought Annette Funicello was the coolest girl ever. She could dance, sing, and all the guys loved her. My dream was to be a Mouseketeer, but things were different then, my dad was in the Navy, so it just wasn’t feasible for our family to pack up and move to LA.
Funny thing about dreams, they never seem to die. I never became a Mousketeer, but in 2009 right after Georgia had passed our current film credit bill my dream came back. Things were still growing here in Atlanta, so I didn’t know where to start. I literally “Googled” acting in Atlanta, and I found an audition for a theatre group. I still remember that first audition. I got lost, showed up late, and I was so green I didn’t even know what a monologue was, so I recited a poem, “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson. The casting director was moved, and I was cast in the play.
I’ve since done a variety of projects including several student films, commercials, indie and television projects. Frustrated with the lack of roles for black women my friends and family would encourage me to create my own content. With a knack for storytelling (I’ve worked in marketing and communications for years) I decided to start writing and producing my own projects. First as an executive producer for the short “Dear Sister” then as writer and producer for “Diva, Interrupted,” which was inspired by my own story as a divorcee suddenly forced to navigate life as a single mom.
Diva, Interrupted was and will always be my baby. I stepped out on pure faith when I produced it. It has since gone on to win several awards including best narrative, best actor, and best actress at the 2018 Augusta Indie Film Festival. We were also a silver award winner at the 2018 Spotlight Short Film Awards, a finalist at the 2018 Peachtree Village International Film Festival (PVIFF) and a finalist in the PVIFF Short Film Competition sponsored by JARO. And I just found out that it recently advanced to the second round of the Spring 2019 ScreenCraft Film Fund sponsored by BondIt.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, the path hasn’t been easy. After a year-long divorce battle I hit rock bottom, I was homeless, and jobless with two small children (one being an infant) and living with my little sister in her two-bedroom townhouse. Those were some dark times, but I never gave up hope because I knew God never ended on a negative. I have always been a fighter. I tell people all the time, either I’m up, or I’m getting up. My kids are my biggest inspiration, they are the reason that I keep going every day.
In fact, it was my youngest who re-ignited my passion for acting. One day we were coming home from church and she asked me, “Mommy if you could be anything in the world what would you be?” At first, I said, “Mommy wants to own her own business, call her own shots,” but as soon as the words came out of my mouth a little voice in my head said, “No that’s not it.” It was if something was released from my subconscious. I then said, “No, that’s not what I want, mommy has always wanted to be an actress.” The rest is history.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Untraceable Productions – what should we know?
First, I want to give my son Trey credit for the name Untraceable. He felt that the name clearly represented me and who I am as an artist, unique and impossible to duplicate, plus it also includes my name. He also designed our company logo and all the artwork for Diva, Interrupted.
At Untraceable we write and edit script content, and storyboards for film, television, and video projects. We also conceive new project ideas for pitching to networks, cable and streaming services. We can even do motion graphics and design. I love telling stories about strong women. Women who are beautifully complex, sexy, messy, conflicted and loving. All the things that make us real.
Acting will always be my first love, but I feel that it’s important for women, especially women of color to be behind the camera well as in front. Being in control of the images and the narratives that represent us on screen is vital for the growth and development of this industry. My goal is to elevate the images of women in film and television by portraying characters and creating compelling stories that show the world who we truly are.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
You must be passionate and have a dream or what others may call a “Why.” It’s what keeps you going. It’s your purpose, it gives you energy, ideas, and inspiration. It also keeps you up at night, makes you step out on faith, spend more than you can afford, and drive you totally insane. But it also gives you the greatest joy and hope, even in your darkest hours when it looks like things will never work out.
You must also be bold, and unafraid of taking risks. I’m not a quitter, never have been. It’s just not in my nature. Once I set my mind on something, I’m like a Pitbull!
Tracy is represented by East Coast Talent Agency and The Writer’s Broker literary agency, both in Atlanta, GA. She’s also a member of WIFTA (Women in Film & Television).
- Website: tracytolliver.com, www.divainterrupted.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: tracy_tolliver
- Other: https://www.imdb.com/TracyTolliver
Trey Caldwell, SilverHook Studios, JARO