Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
What do I want folks to know about me… Well, my name is Yakima Rich. I am an actor, film, and theatre creative.
I choose that because I love, think, and feel deeply. I seek to learn and understand the world, myself, and others more and more each day. And my goal is to contribute to this space in my best and most fruitful way in this life. And one of the ways I enjoy doing that is artistically.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I can’t speak for everyone else in the industry but only for myself. I think we all share beautiful similarities as artists who choose a life of art, and then of course are those things that make us ourselves in all our individuality.
I will say in a world and industry that can sometimes try to persuade or even command who and what we should be, I am me. A loving, nurturing, bubbly, reserved, learning, stubborn, meek, and mighty introverted girl in this peopled world.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
I don’t think I have that one grand defining moment when the light flashed and all seemed clear in the world.
All I’ve ever known is what I love, and the gifts I’ve been blessed with. And many moments making up my life thus far have proven to me that I’m on the right track or in alignment with what I love and the gifts and skills that I’ve been blessed with.
Every time someone connects with or relates to a piece of work I’ve done or a performance… Every time someone expresses their belief in me and my capability… Every time I question how or why my crazy self would choose a love such as this, and then something unexpected happens that fortifies it that much more…
All these things day to day confirm for me that I am in alignment with what I have been blessed and born with.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
The biggest challenge I would say that I have gone through, and that has shown up the most in my life is living my life how I want on my own terms. Living without fear.
I’ve spent a lot of time not doing what I love out of fear. I’ve spent a lot of time holding myself back, sabotaging myself, all out of fear. And it took stillness, time, honesty, and great faith and courage to turn that around.
And it still takes such to maintain what’s necessary to pursue and lead a life that I won’t regret in the end.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
Not that I would want to meet them just for them to elevate my career, but I would love to give Issa Rae, Regina King, Viola Davis, and Angela Bassett their flowers in person. And to sit at their footstool and soak in any wisdom or conversation they would care to share.
They represent and have achieved something in this industry as human beings, as women, as Black women, that I highly admire and would be overjoyed to be blessed enough to represent and achieve myself.