Rising Music Star Natasha Heschélle On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Music Industry.
I was bullied in high school by the people who I considered my friends. They had so many horrible things to say about me, and I ended up believing those things. That really ruined my self esteem, which in turn affected my dreams of being an entertainer. Took me years, and a lot of failures, tears, love and support to get my confidence back.
Asa part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Natasha Heschélle.
Natasha Heschélle is an actress, writer, dancer and producer. She was born and raised in Zimbabwe, but moved to Canada in 2014 to pursue her acting career. From a very young age, she showed great enthusiasm and talent for the arts: Dance, Modelling, Music and Acting. “I have made appearances in film and TV productions, as well as commercials, working with some incredibly talented people in the industry. I love acting; there’s something so unbelievably gratifying about playing different roles, while putting my own twist on each performance.”
Heschélle performed in numerous talent shows as a child. At the age seven, she danced to Destiny’s child’s “lose my breath” in a talent show, where she won first place, beating sixteen and seventeen year old’s. Shortly after, she was called to be an entertainer in the Miss Zimbabwe modelling contest.
Heschélle made her professional acting debut in 2019 and has not looked back ever since. “I’ve constantly pushed myself in order to hone my craft; from meticulously studying of very talented actors and role models, to taking on a wide variety of roles. I have and still am working hard at developing my own artistic voice, making sure that I stand out in the acting scene. I’m so fortunate to have an incredible job that I love, which both challenges me and fulfills me. Yet, none of what I do would be as meaningful to without an audience to share it with, and the support of my incredible parents”.
Heschélle lives to entertain and perform, putting her heart and soul into each project that she works on, and always striving to do her best. Her artistic outputs result from a combination of experiences, training, passion and great preparation.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Iwas born and raised in Zimbabwe, at a city called Bulawayo. My mother moved to Canada when I was very young, so that she could get a good job, and take care of me and the rest of the family. So I was raised by my grandmother. She took care of me and my cousins. We were all very close, and it was really fun living together. After my grandmother passed away, I decided to move to Canada to live with my mom, and to pursue my acting career.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Well, I’ve always had a passion for arts ever since I was a child. Dance, music, acting. I wanted to do everything. But the problem is, back in Zimbabwe, I had a lot of challenges with my passion for arts because my family wanted me to get an education, and get a “real job”. I was constantly told that I wouldn’t be successful as entertainer because that’s not a real job. I mean, getting an education is important obviously, and I understand why family felt that way; the entertainment industry in Zimbabwe is just not the best. But the heart wanted it what it wanted, so I continued to follow my dreams.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I’m not sure if this is funny but the first project I worked on was a movie called The Poet Professor. When it was time for the producer to pay us, he gave excuses about how his funds were being held at a bank in Tanzania, and they wouldn’t release the money because they wanted him to leave Canada and move back to Tanzania, or something that ridiculous. When the cast and crew threatened to take legal action, he pointed out that payment contracts didn’t specify when he’d pay us, so there was nothing we could do but wait. That was in 2015 I think, and no one has received their money to this day. I’m so glad I joined ACTRA.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m working on a music music video. It’s my first doing a music video, and I’m working with very talented and experienced people. I’m learning a lot, and most importantly, I’m having fun because I get to dance like I don’t have a care in the world.
You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
I’d advice them not to give up. Fail, learn from your mistakes, get back up, and try again.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I think diversity is very important in the entertainment industry because not only does it promote inclusion, it helps people from different backgrounds to tell their story. There’s a whole interesting world out there, and different cultures, and I think it’s important that we are all represented on screen because growing up without one’s respective representation can have negative impacts. I remember watching Black Panther for the first time, and seeing characters that not only look like me, but also speak Zulu. I speak Zulu, and I was blown away because I never thought I’d see the day I’d watch a Hollywood movie with characters that speak Zulu. I teared up, and I was also really inspired.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
I wish someone had told me that other people’s opinions about me don’t define who I am.
I was bullied in high school by the people who I considered my friends. They had so many horrible things to say about me, and I ended up believing those things. That really ruined my self esteem, which in turn affected my dreams of being an entertainer. Took me years, and a lot of failures, tears, love and support to get my confidence back. It wasn’t easy, but I guess it was a blessing in disguise because I learned a lot from that experience.
I wish someone had told me that it’s okay to cry.
I had this tendency of bottling up my pain because I didn’t want to appear vulnerable to other people. Now I know that crying is not only therapeutic, it’s normal because I’m human and I have feelings like everyone else.
I wish someone had told me that my dark skin is beautiful.
When I was growing up, everyone had this disturbing obsession with being light skinned. Don’t get me wrong, everyone’s skin is unique and beautiful, but back in the day, my friends and peers considered light skinned people beautiful, and dark skinned people ugly. To be quite honest, I started hating my dark skin as well because I thought I was ugly. It was crazy. But now I know I’m okay the way I am, and I wouldn’t change the way I look for anything in the world.
I wish someone had told me that depression is a real thing.
I’ve lost friends to depression, and it’s really painful and scary at the same time. But it has also taught me to check on my loved ones as often as I can.
I wish someone had told me that grades don’t define us.
I’ve seen people being made fun and made to feel worthless because they are not doing well in school. Everyone is good at something, and not so good at other things. That’s just life. And not being book smart doesn’t mean you won’t be successful in life.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Funny you asked that because I’m the type of person who works non stop, until I burn out. Im way too ambitious I think, and it’s not healthy. My advice to my colleagues would be to not give up, and work hard to achieve their dreams, but also take time off to relax, spend some some time with loved, recover fully and come back stronger.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I’d inspire kindness through the things we do and the words we say to other people and about other people. It breaks my heart to see people suffering, so everyday, I pray for a more compassionate world now, and for generations to come.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Yes my parents. They have been there for me through thick and thin. They always supported me and they believed in me even at times when I didn’t believe in myself. I owe every bit of my success to them because I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“You don’t know what you’ve got til’ it’s gone”
I loved her so much, but I took her presence for granted. If I could turn back the hands of time, I’d spend more time with her and give her all the love an appreciation in the world.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)
Charles Davis, Marcel in the hit TV Show The Originals. He is a very talented actor and I’m a huge fan!