Junior Akayla Jones said she chose to major in theater because she loves acting and wants to pursue a successful career in acting.
Jones said the plays she performed in at her Little Rock church and Tyler Perry films inspired her to study theater.
“I grew up watching Tyler Perry. It is something about his charisma and learning from his background that made me what to pursue theatre,” Jones said.
Jones said Perry seems like a good director to work with and that working with Perry has improved the acting and singing careers of many performers.
Jones said the exposure she would get if she worked with Perry would help her climb the ladder of success.
Jones said she knew she was ready to pursue a career in acting after she saw Perry’s play “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”
Jones said she wanted to make it her job to make people laugh.
Jones is typically more of a comedic actor comedic actor.
“It depends on the role that I have,” Jones said.
Jones said she plans to audition for roles on Perry’s television “The Haves and the Have Nots.” She said she sees herself performing in scenes with actors Tika Sumpter, Tyler Lepley, Crystal Fox, Renee Lawless and Angela Robinson.
“The dramatic side of me wants to be somebody mysterious like a bomb that no one will suspect,” Jones said.
Jones’ favorite character on the series is Candace Young, who is played by Sumpter.
“I feel she will help me be more mysterious in the [series],” Jones said.
Jones said she wants to also be on Perry’s television series “The Paynes.”
“The comedian side of me wants to make people laugh,” Jones said.
Jones said the message she gets out of watching Perry’s work is to not let her struggles keep her from achieving her dreams.
“No matter where I came from, I can make it big and be successful in life,” Jones said.
Jones said she would want to be on good terms with the character Mabel “Madea” Simmons, who is played by Perry and appears in many of his plays, films and television series. Madea has been known to throw actors onstage during a performance off guard.
“I don’t want to be tossed onstage for any reason. I want to stay on her good side,” Jones said.
Jones said she is also minoring in psychology because she will pursue a career in psychology if acting doesn’t work out.
“I love helping people and giving them advice on anything,” Jones said.
Jones said she wants lower classmen to know that they should take as many classes for their majors as they can so they will have fewer classes to take during their senior year.
Photo by Lauren Swaim.