I do my best to start and end my day in prayer, every day. There is something reassuring about surrendering my day to God and knowing that I am not fighting the battles of life alone. It puts my mind more at ease and gives me that inner peace.
As a part of our interview series with the rising stars in pop culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing Guernslye Honore.
Guernslye is an aspiring actress, model, and writer/screenwriter. Growing up, writing was more of a therapeutic thing for her, but over the years, her passion for writing has developed into poetry and storytelling. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and is currently working on her Master of Science in Nursing.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Thanks so much for having me! I am truly humbled. Growing up, I was mostly quiet, so I spent the majority of my time in my room, reading, and writing. I vividly remember going through 2–3 romance novels within a week, as a teenager. Then I would write for hours. There was just something freeing about writing, you know? I felt like it really allowed me to express who I was, without any fear of judgment. My diary was my best friend. It was my therapist.
Acting was also something that I started doing at a young age. I attended a Catholic school and there was always a performance of some sort, especially around the holidays. My parents thought that being in plays and musicals was a great way for me to be social and get out of my shell. I’m really happy they encouraged me to do it because acting would later become one of my deepest passions.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
I was heading home from a work event in Beacon Hill in Boston, MA and got lost finding my way to the train. I had not been to Beacon Hill per se, but I had been to the Boston Common area way too many times for me to have gotten lost. For some reason, that day, every street and every house in that area looked exactly the same. After I looped around 3 times, I decided to ask a man who wore a construction hat for directions.
His first question was: “Why are you a realtor?” So I thought: “Wait, how does he know?” I didn’t realize I still had my real estate pin on. But then I thought, “And what’s wrong with being a realtor?” There was dead silence for about 10 seconds (felt like forever though LOL). Before I got to answer, he said “You’re absolutely beautiful! Shouldn’t you be a model or an actress or something?” “Aw, thank you. Thanks. I appreciate the compliment,” I blushed. We ended up chatting for a few minutes then he showed me to my train.
Now, why is this interesting? Because as much as I enjoyed acting, it was just something I did outside of work. The entertainment industry is highly competitive, therefore I never thought I was beautiful or talented enough to make it. So to hear something like this from a total stranger who had absolutely no idea that acting was a passion of mine was definitely encouraging.
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 was auditioning for a commercial for a major financial institution. I memorized my lines so well that I could have auditioned for the part in my sleep. However, when I walked into the room, there were 12 casting directors there. I kid you not, 12 of them. My mind went blank. And even with the sides in my hand, I still managed to screw it up.
Lesson: it doesn’t matter how many people are in the room, stay confident and do your best. If you have to pretend that you’re only performing for an audience of one, do it. Do whatever you have to do. A casting director once told me that they want the auditionee to nail that audition just as much as that person wants to because then if he/she does, it saves them time from having to go through other auditions. So if you ever feel frightened, remember that they’re on your side and they’re rooting for you. Take a deep breath, and give it your best.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I wrote a short film two years ago, and I had been writing the novel version of it on and off. But since the pandemic, I have worked on it more than ever and it’s been a truly exciting journey. Please, stay tuned.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I went to a Christian film festival last year in Texas and met some of the coolest people: writers, producers, actors, directors, etc. It was an honor to have been surrounded by such talents. I also have worked with some amazing people back in Boston.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I tend to be a perfectionist. I got it from my father. We like to know what’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen and exactly how it’s going to happen. We are not satisfied with second best; we want the absolute best. And it’s exhausting. Perfectionism is exhausting. There’s nothing wrong with striving for excellence, but we need to have a balance. We need to know when to put something to rest, when to take a break, let go, and also learn to delegate. Being a jack of all trades is great, but ‘teamwork makes the dream work.’ Forming a solid group of talents who can come together and collaborate can be a truly amazing thing.
Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.
I do my best to start and end my day in prayer, every day. There is something reassuring about surrendering my day to God and knowing that I am not fighting the battles of life alone. It puts my mind more at ease and gives me that inner peace. I listen to motivational speeches regularly. I exercise, eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and try my best to get enough sleep (hard, yet very important). When I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I take a break and find something amusing or relaxing to do. I turn off my phone occasionally to enjoy quiet time alone. Most importantly, I have learned to do my best and trust God with the rest. Trust me, it doesn’t matter how hard we try, some things are simply beyond our control. I have learned not to drive myself crazy over things/situations I cannot change.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Don’t take things personally― At first, I would feel really bad when I didn’t get a part. I thought it was because I wasn’t talented enough. Although sometimes you can blow an audition due to “poor performance” (for lack of better words), it doesn’t always mean that. Sometimes, you just aren’t the best fit for the part.
- Don’t limit yourself― Although it’s good to know “your types,” keep an open mind, and audition for roles you wouldn’t normally audition for. It builds on your auditioning skills, and you never know where your big break will come from.
- Be professional― a) If you’re on time, you’re late. Always try to make it 15 minutes early. Life happens; you never know what obstacle can present itself. b) Be respectful to everyone, whether you book the gig or not. It’s a small world. People talk. c) Always be thankful for the opportunity. Don’t burn your bridges. d) Give it your best. Always.
- Keep working on your craft ― Take classes, if you can afford to. Rehearse monologues, dialogues, etc., in front of a mirror, with family members, friends, or however it’s convenient for you. There are a bunch of resources online that you can read/watch. If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. Stay prepared.
- Network― Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know. Word of mouth can be a fluent language in this business.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”― Babe Ruth.
As much as I enjoyed acting and writing, I had never really thought of making a career out of it. I always saw the entertainment industry as a super competitive one, and as I mentioned above, I never thought I was beautiful or talented enough to make it. I also didn’t think my writing skills were good enough for me to publish my work, so instead, I just let them sit on my drive, occupying space. I was too afraid of getting rejected. With great expectation came great disappointment so I figured I would play safe and keep all my passions buried inside. After a personal incident in March 2018, I mustered the courage to do everything that I felt too insecure to do. I felt like if it didn’t kill me, a simple rejection from a casting director or a book publisher couldn’t. So I went for it. It was one of the best decisions I had ever made.
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?
It’s a tough question because God has blessed me with very loving and supportive parents. I have also met certain people along the way who have assisted me in one way or another, but if I had to pick just one person, it would be my brother. Our parents got divorced when we were pretty young. We’ve gone through all the ups and downs of life together. To this day, we remain each other’s biggest cheerleaders. I love him for everything he is and is not. I wouldn’t trade him for another.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start 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 can never fully decide between women who are victims of domestic abuse and children/teenagers who are suffering from being separated from their family, either through adoption, divorce, or some sort of tragedy. Both causes are very close to my heart.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. 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 see this. 🙂
Michelle Obama. ― It isn’t just for the way that her and former President Barack Obama ran the country. Mrs. Obama is passionate about health and fitness. She is stylish and fun. She is strong and stands for what she believes in. She loved her job as First Lady, loves people, and is such an encouragement to young women, like myself. She is transparent about her journey and makes me feel like with hard work and determination, I could accomplish anything I want.
How can our readers follow you online?
Through my Facebook page: Guernslye Honore and my Instagram page @ gigi_honoree.
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!