I had the wonderful opportunity to sit and have a tremendous conversation with the very talented and remarkable Natasha Younge a few weeks ago and it was so much more than AMAZING!!!! I can’t express to you how incredibly humble and magnificent this woman truly is. London born and bay raised, this San Francisco actress, writer, comedienne, producer of the youtube web series N.YO Updates and Publisher of The Younge Hollywood Blast sat with me to talk about her career as well as overcoming obstacles in her life. She inspired me, we laughed, and just simply had a great time. Check out our conversation below and get the inside scoop on Natasha Younge right here On The Jaye Spot with Danyol Jaye.
DJ: Natasha, I have been looking at a lot of different things that you have done and you have been a woman that is on the move, doing so much. What do you think is the hardest thing to feel when you’re faced with an obstacle that you know you want to overcome and evidently have to overcome?
Ny: That’s a really interesting question. I find that a lot of the primal emotions come into play when you’re dealing [with something], especially when it’s something that you’re passionate about and you want to see come to fruition. When you have a lot invested in it emotionally; the first place that I usually go when things don’t seem like they’re going to work out or you just don’t know how they’re going to work out (I’m almost embarrassed to say these kinds of things) but it’s anger. I just get really angry. It’s like, “Well why hasn’t this happened yet? Why am I still struggling to make this thing, whatever it is, happen in my life?” I don’t know how many people out there can relate with me but I get angry. I turn into the mini Hulk and it’s not pretty. It’s something my family loves to poke fun at me about. I guess another place that I go to is fear. It’s probably the biggest one. It’s just like the first place, because you’re like “How is this going to happen? What if it doesn’t happen?” All of those questions start to creep in and it’s really interesting with each different time that you have a different obstacle, fear shows up in a different way. It’s like it puts on a different disguise for you and it’s for you to sort of go, “What is that I’m feeling?” and to finally name it as fear is like “Oh wow, ok, there you are again!!! Wearing a different outfit.” So yea those are my two main ones.
DJ: You know it’s interesting that you mention anger and fear. I’ve been watching several episodes of Inside The Actors Studio and so many actors are asked a question about what they had to overcome. In listening to some of the responses it made me ask myself, what is the definition of an obstacle for people, and I think a lot of times its very subjective depending on what you’re doing at that time and where you are in your life. I think a lot of times we get angry at obstacles when we don’t understand what they are and when we don’t understand why they’re there. We often fear obstacles because, in talking to a lot of people, it’s the unknown; the not knowing. And for others it’s the feeling like they’re going to fail. That feeling like, “I’m not going to overcome this obstacle”, “I’m not going to be able to do what’s needed to get to the next level in my life”. I think one of the most important to remember for my JayeScribers, for anyone really, is that it’s a helpful thing to define what that obstacle is. Define where you are in your life and remember that everything is, “At this time.” Nothing is forever, nothing lasts forever. Whether it’s career based, education based, [and/or] personally based, every obstacle you come across is going to do one of two things: It’s going to challenge you to overcome it or it’s going to force you to take a reality check. I think that obstacles come up when we’re either doing really well in our lives and we need to be tested OR they come up when we are so off base and every turn is met with resistance. I think you really need to know if your obstacles are challenging you and helping you grow or if they’re trying to get you to see a wrong turn. Defining something, for me, helps the fear and anger to dissipate. What do you think Natasha?
Ny: Well it does dissipate. I’ve come up against many obstacles now and I’ve been through the experience of getting to the other side of several obstacles. I have that life experience now behind it but when you’re facing an obstacle for the first time you have the fear; it seems insurmountable. It feels like there’s no way because you never experience the other side. What I find now is, because I have that experience, I try to apply it each new time and you take yourself through [the process of defining what your obstacle is and why it's there.] So usually a lot of question asking happens and introspection, taking a pause and taking that moment. It’s so key to the whole process. It starts to help you to get out of that initial fear and anger into a problem solving or more a receptive state to an answer being provided, if you believe in that kind of thing, which I’ve experienced a few times now.
DJ: Well let’s talk more about you. You have an amazing career, you have had an amazing career and I foresee you having much success in what you’re doing but you have had your share of obstacles. Now you grew up in the bay but you are from London correct?
Ny: Yes that is correct. Shout out to the bay area!!! Much love to you…
DJ: And when you came to California you actually went back to London to study at the Drama Studio London. What was that like being born there, coming here and then going back?
Ny: What was really interesting about that is when I returned, sort of speak, to my country of birth London, England where I’m from, I didn’t grow up there. I grew up in Northern California bay area like you mentioned. I went to college there, UC Berkley, so the bay is where my heart is. It’s where I’m from really in my heart. So when I went to London I was going there as an “American” even though I was born [in London]. Everything about me when I went to school and met everybody they just called me “The American” or “The Yank”. It was always fun to get poked at all the time but [like I said] it was all in good fun. It was very interesting because I was experiencing two different cultures and realizing that it is different. England has its own defined culture and it’s different from the United States. I needed to learn about it and I got a quick lesson on things that they like and don’t like. One of the things that I can share that they don’t like is how we don’t listen.
DJ: Well I’m sure there are a lot of people who don’t like that.
Ny: I was guilty of it… you think you’re having a debate or a conversation and they like to listen to the end of the conversation, let the person finish their thought and then they come in with their thought. I was ready, jumping in half way through thinking it’s the good thing to do and they just thought it was rude. So I learned [different] things over time. It was very quiet and subtle so it took quite a few times to learn. Very fun.
DJ: Now Natasha I want to talk more about your web series and your publication, tell us a little bit more about those two things.
Ny: I decided to start a web series that is going to be following my entertainment career. A buddy of mine helped me come up with the name, it’s called N.YO Updates, so it’s really just a shortened version of my name. It’s just going to be a very casual, light-hearted, behind the scenes look at what goes on in the life of a professional entertainer. A lot of it is probably not going to be all that glamorous. I’ve already had one episode where we go with me on my first day back to my day job which sometimes we have to do that to pay our bills. It’s a little bit of poking fun at myself as well; I act a little bit goofy sometimes but who knows I’m just kind of going along for the journey. I’m pretty new into it just enjoying the process of it. I’m filming every other week and then of course editing it myself, it’s just a lot of fun. It helps to me focus on something else besides, you know, obstacles for example. Now The Younge Hollywood Blast came along at a time where not much was happening in my career or with me as an actress and instead of me just sitting around complaining about what was going on, because I’ve had those patches and moments, but an answer came. I connected with a really great guy via Twitter cause I really got into the social media thing and found this person online who just seemed to know a lot about it. We got into some chats and I would highly recommend him to anybody who wants to figure out what they’re doing with their social media because he really knows. His name is Keith and he lives in Australia and he was like, “You know why don’t you try to write a publication?” He explained this website to me and what it does and I was interested in what people were talking about. I had gathered quite a following on Twitter so I was very interested. So I created the paper for that reason and overtime it just became The Younge Hollywood Blast and now it really has a life of its own. Then one of my readers decided to nominate me for a Shorty Awards, which I had no idea of.
DJ: Well Natasha it has been a great pleasure chatting with you. You are an extremely talented and fabulous spirit and I want for all my JayeScribers to Follow Natasha on Twitter and Like her on Facebook!!!
Ny: And thank you Danyol Jaye and On The Jaye Spot for wanting to interview me. You guys are awesome and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, On The Jaye Spot!!!