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Nadhege Ptah: “Accepting failure as an opportunity to thrive is inevitable”

Accepting failure as an opportunity to thrive is inevitable. It strengthens you more than the win. A baby has to fall often before mastering the skill to walk. It’s no different. I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Nadhege Ptah, a one-of-a-kind artist with a truly diverse background. As an award-winning actor, writer, producer, director, […]

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Accepting failure as an opportunity to thrive is inevitable. It strengthens you more than the win. A baby has to fall often before mastering the skill to walk. It’s no different.


I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Nadhege Ptah, a one-of-a-kind artist with a truly diverse background. As an award-winning actor, writer, producer, director, and dancer, she had the unique opportunity to experiment with various media and create a diverse portfolio of astonishing creative works across different forms of expression and platforms. Whether it is a dance choreography, a visual project, or some of her acting work, it’s pertinent for Nadhege to tell compelling stories that depict the human condition to connect with the audience.

Her outstanding work was acknowledged and praised in her teens by The United Nations, marking the utmost importance of her artistic contribution to the world. Television audiences might recognize Nadhege due to her recent appearances as a recurring co-star on the SHOWTIME television series City on a Hill. Also, starring as the lead in her produced films, appearing on major networks such as CBS, PBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX, only to mention a few.

Her performances have been well received, with critical praise appearing on globally-recognized publications, including The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Backstage, Amsterdam News, and many other outlets. What makes Nadhege’s performances unique is that her work feels authentic and inspiring, with the deeper goal of portraying the human experience’s truth and exploring its depth and nuances. With every character study, she is not afraid to go deep and take it to the next level to add a more genuine flair to her roles and creative works.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve been dancing in my mother’s womb and leaped my way out in seven months because my feet couldn’t wait to find the rhythms of life. As an artist, my path began there as a dancer, my first artistic discipline, among many. As a teen, I had the fortunate opportunity to start my training as a dancer with the modern dance ensemble while exploring drama, poetry, and music. My path was derailed by external and internal pressures from family and society. I caved in and switched lanes and studied psychology in college and graduate school. I reached a crossroad while in graduate school and was lost in a sea of unhappiness and complete darkness. One specific class required us to role-play the psychological disorders we were studying. The day I had to role play, I received a standing ovation and was told I needed an Oscar for my performance. It was a light bulb moment that it was time to be an artist and not a psychologist. After completing graduate school, I made a U-turn and secretly enrolled in acting school. After two years of covertly performing in various theater productions, I invited my mom to see my career as a vessel of light that mirrors the psychology of life on stage.

Can you share the most interesting story that’s happened to you since you started this career?

Well, as I courageously moved forward in fulfilling my life’s purpose, my focus was dramatic plays, but people often asked if I was a dancer because of my posture. I dropped my headshot and resumed somewhere, and the assistant asked if I was interested in auditioning for musical theater. I attended out of curiosity not to land the role, nor did I desire to attain it. I’m incredibly fearful of singing in public. I read my lines, and it was time to sing. They asked what song I planned to sing. I said You Can’t Win from the Wiz a capella. I needed a ballad song and sheet music in the key that fits my voice in my gullibility, so she asked, “Do you know “Amazing Grace?” I replied yes.

What key? I responded to the first letter that came to mind and said A. So, the pianist played in A. It was so high. Then he stopped and said I’ll play it in E. So, I began and surprised myself and belted. How did that happen? I’m not a singer. I thanked them, walked outside, and told the other musical theater actors more seasoned than me, who sat with their sheet music to break a leg. I had no desire to land the role.

By the time I arrived home, I had received a call; I had landed the role. I was excited and scared because it was a three-month tour of performing The Reading Rainbow musical and membership in the actor’s union for theater. I nervously accepted and left two days later to replace an actor that quit in the middle of the tour with minimal rehearsal to play eight different characters, choreography, and songs. I arrived in Arizona with script in hand and had to tape my lines on props, my body, costumes, use my peripheral to follow the choreography, and mouth the songs’ and adlib my solo parts. After two weeks, on the road in various cities with a flashlight to study the script, sleepless night studying in hotels, I was secure with my lines and choreography while I faced my worst nightmare singing publicly.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I was approached to join the team in writing a biopic in a development about a historical figure. What she achieved and did during that era was miraculous. I’m still progressing with a television series in mind. Finally, I landed a co-starring role in a television series for Showtime. It surprised me during these unprecedented times but grateful for the huge blessing.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

The most interesting people I have interacted with are the people at Paris Blues jazz club in Harlem. When I embarked on the journey to do a loosely-based story on Samuel Hargress, Jr, the club owner since 1969, I stepped into a time capsule filled with treasures in the form of exciting personalities. Mr. Hargress himself was quite a character who was the nucleus that kept the club alive, people working, entertaining tourists, community building, and friends with peculiar ways that kept me in stitches. It’s a writer’s dream and an actor’s heaven for character study.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

You have to press the STOP button. The workload is endless, and you have to be intentional, just like your to-do list, by including the STOP button.

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?

Accepting failure as an opportunity to thrive is inevitable. It strengthens you more than the win. A baby has to fall often before mastering the skill to walk. It’s no different.

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’m kinesthetically driven, so I exercise daily by doing a variety to balance my mental energy. I run laps around the park in my neighborhood (warm weather), go up to eight flights of stairs three times in my residence, planks, push-ups, jump rope, stretch, and a few yoga poses.

I meditate daily upon waking up and consistently after a shower for 10–20 minutes. At night it varies because I end up sleeping during meditating. It clears my mind and purges what is unnecessary to thrive as I navigate another grateful day to be alive.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

1. The importance of having a mentor

2. It’s show business, not show art

3. Assess your circle and see if it is benefitting you or draining you

4. Networking is key. It’s who you know

5. It’s a marathon, not a sprint

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Do the earth a favor, don’t hide your magic”-Unknown.

I’ve spent the bulk of my life hiding my magic even in the midst of accolades and accomplishments to make others feel comfortable. Yet, being fully me and what innately was gifted to me is not expressing my fullest potential. I realize now it’s not my issue. We are all magical, and one needs to focus on themself to understand all-stars are shining in the sky.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful toward who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Yes, my spiritual mentor, who always provided words of wisdom and what I’m here to do on this planet, is important to my life. It’s bigger than just being an artist for self-gratification. It’s of service to enlighten. She taught me how to navigate the tough terrains in this journey call life.

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 would create a movement under my production company’s acronym’s meaning. The Manifesting An Artistic Truth movement is an opportunity to fulfill your life’s purpose trapped in the illusion of security. It’s a chance to birth a delayed idea in a safe place, encouraging individuals across all generations to emerge from a dream deferred to work holistically and authentically. A place where people manifest ideas to influence the truth.

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. 🙂

Besides Michael Jackson, who is no longer with us. Harry Belafonte. He was bigger than the artist who entertains. He was a humanitarian like MJ.

How can our readers follow you online?

Facebook

realnadhegeptah

IG

nadhegeptah

Twitter

@nadhege

YouTube

Nadhege Ptah

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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