Karita Fleming: Infinite, Cleoptra Reborn

With the relaunch of our print issues under Sophisticated Relations, we found the theme of “Evolution” to be appropriate. And as we were deciding on who would be on the cover in such a short amount of time, the name Karita Fleming rung a bell.

The 27-year-old actress, model and film director is the epitome of evolution. She is fearless when it comes to taking on the non-norm roles that we are accustomed to seeing African American’s portrayed in. Fleming was the first Black woman to play a leading role in a science fiction movie, “Love (less)”.

She has also been featured on Vibe.com’s Vixen of the Week, booked jobs with MTV2, Syfy, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Pitbull and over 50 national and international brands. The rising star’s goal is to challenge herself, and she has been doing just that.

What inspired you to get into entertainment?I remember being 5 and seeing A Raisin in the Sun at the local playhouse by the time I had already figured out the Santa thing and the Easter Bunny, but even though I knew it wasn’t real I was still in awe . I remember sitting on the edge of my chair ready to take off any minute and fly around the room. I was in LOVE.

How do you balance being the actor, director, editor and producer of your projects?Therapy, lots and lots of therapy. Lol, but really it is good to have someone to talk to and get all those things out of your head holding you back.

You recently made the move to Minnesota for school. Why is it important for aspiring and experienced people in entertainment to have multiple back up options and revenue streams?I’m going to school to pursue acting because in today’s world its just not enough to be beautiful. You also have to be talented and not school play talented, but I want to go toe to toe with Harvard and Yale trained actors. The idea that acting is just something you wing was one of my problems when approaching my craft before. As for having a backup plan, it can be just for more of a piece of mind than anything else, you aren’t afraid to fall because you know that you got your back. The one thing you need is stability because this industry is in no way stable. Its different from one day to the next.

How was the production of your most recent project, “A Child’s Game”?Insane, it was hard balancing my life, and filming as a one woman crew. There were many times I just wanted to cry and throw a karate kick into the nearest person ,place or thing but its a work in the process, and it was definitely a challenge for my impatient nature.

What are you currently working on, besides school?Myself, I wasn’t spending enough time on growing myself but a lot of time on trying to get work, find work and make things work. It wasn’t until someone very close to me drew me a line in the sand before I realized that my career was always going to go nowhere unless I worked on me. It wasn’t producers or directors turning a blind eye, it was the fact I had stopped growing and nourishing myself that was blocking my success.

How has film evolved from back in the 80s and 90s to now? Do you feel it has been a negative or positive evolution? And if negative, what needs to be changed?The early 80’s was like a Renaissance. There was Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, John Hughes and John Carpenter, Oliver Stone, and David Lynch. There was still an emphasis on story. In today’s cinema there is more of an emphasis on technology over story, and that probably has something to do with the writers strike almost 6 years ago. At the time I didn’t realize how great the impact would be when film companies decided to not pay writers as much as actors. The problem has already corrected itself though, Movies are more than marketing and a lot of film companies have forgotten that.

The solution to the problem is called the Internet. It is the frontier for creative, independent filmmakers, and artists now have an open uninterrupted channel directly to the audience they are seeking. I do not worry about the future of film but more about the future of certain film companies.

Where do you see yourself in the next 3 years?Happy

If you could go back and tell your old self what you know now, what would that be?You will shine brighter than all the stars in the Universe and everything as far as the eye can see is yours. So don’t f–k it up!

To follow Karita Fleming on her social networks, visit @KaritaFleming on Twitter and Instagram

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Naomi K. Bonman is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she holds her Bachelors of Arts in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Journalism. She also holds her Masters of Public Administration. She is the Founder and CEO of Awakened Media Enterprises, Inc. which owns Purposely Awakened. She has been in the media field since 2006 covering beats that range from social justice, community, entertainment, sports, fashion/beauty, and culture news.

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