Despite any obstacles and insecurities Racquel Simone may have had, she never let them get the best from her.
Despite any obstacles and insecurities Racquel may have had, she never let them get the best from her. She mentions in her interview that the quote, “Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own,“ really helped her become who she is today.
Where did you grow up? How was your childhood?
I was born in Brooklyn, New York but raised in Houston, Texas. I always like to say I got a little bit of Bey and Jay in me. I used to think in order for people to connect with me I had to down play my childhood but now that I’m older I’m ok with saying I had a pretty decent childhood. When we first moved to Houston we moved to these apartments called Courtglend on Bissonnet and shortly after, we moved into a two story house on the southwest side. My mom, born in Jamaica, managed to get a good paying job without a degree at JP Morgan Chase Downtown and she made ends meet for my sister and brother who also lived with us. My mom knew at an early age that I wanted to be an entertainer so any talent show or pageant I wanted to enter my mom was there for me financially and mentally. Now of course growing up my life wasn’t all peaches and cream it had its downs like when I was sexually assaulted by my next door neighbor. I advise every young girl or young lady to speak up if you’ve felt violated in any way. We got through it together as a family and the situation shaped me into the very strong woman I am today! No matter what life situations come your way, what ultimately matters is who you choose to become after it’s affected you.
Did you struggle with any insecurities?
Everyone has insecurities; even the prettiest girl in the room has them. Some of my insecurities growing up were not having big enough breast and not having a thin figure or light skin like my idol Aaliyah and just not feeling good enough. I’m still learning and telling myself that I am good enough to this day. Things have changed now. I love my small boobs. I love being curvy. I like to think I am and I am in love with my brown skin. To this day there are some girls who hate their skin tone and my oh my how I want to look into girls’ eyes and say, “Look in the mirror, different shades of brown are beautiful and you can be whoever you want to be by just being you and owning it!” When I was younger I used to think I was a cute girl but that all changed when I moved to New York and started auditioning I saw so many other pretty girls and my insecurities starting coming into play but I saw a quote on Instagram and it said, "Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own,” that has stuck with me to this day. You may not have what someone else has but you have something that that person doesn’t and that’s the uniqueness of being you!
How did you get into modeling? Has it always been of interest?
When I was in second grade I knew I wanted to be a singer, flyers were passed out in class for kids who were interested in entering a talent show called Park Starz. I entered and lost to a group of older kids but that didn’t stop me, I entered the talent show for 5 years and won 2nd place on my 4th year. I knew from an early age I had dedication. I wouldn’t take no for an answer.
In elementary, I was in choir. I had a few solos and always stole the show – I was a character at a young age. In middle school, I was also in choir but this is where I developed my love for acting. I got my first role in Annie; I played Ms. Lilly and there was so much talk after the show on how I should have played Annie. The following year, Ms. Kelly at Welch Middle School decided for us to do The Wiz, I was obsessed with Michael Jackson’s solo “You can’t win.” So I auditioned for the Scarecrow and just knew I nailed the audition. When the roles were casted, I found out that another girl had gotten the scarecrow role. I didn’t even bother to see if I was casted as someone else. My best friend at the time demanded I go back and look at the cast sheet so I did and saw my name highlighted as Dorothy. I was shocked and nervous I wanted to go tell my theater teacher that I couldn’t handle the role as Dorothy, too many lines too many songs, I didn’t think I could handle it. I went home to tell my mom that I didn’t want the role and told her why. She said, “You deserve this role and we can rehearse every day. You will remember all the lines and songs.” And we did just that! I will never forget the feeling I got looking into the audience and feeling them look back at me, it was as if I was really Diana Ross playing Dorothy. I wasn’t Racquel at that moment and that made me feel alive! I got so much positive feedback after the show it made me feel like I should take acting and singing seriously.
So in high school, I auditioned for every theater show and musical theater show and got the lead in every show. While that was going on I also entered pageants where I won in talent, spokesmodel, causal wear modeling, and acting competitions. My mom thought it would be a good idea for me to take a few modeling classes to get my foot in the door, so I took a few classes at John Robert Powers and Barbizon in Houston. Throughout all of this I knew I couldn’t go further with my career in Houston so I told my mom that as soon as I graduate I’m moving back to New York to pursue my dreams and two months after graduation that’s exactly what I did. I used commercial modeling as a stepping stone to get into acting and singing but I wouldn’t take any credit away from full-time models so I don’t like to call myself a “model,” although I do believe that acting, singing and modeling all tie into one another.
As an inspiring actress, what roles are looking forward to acting in?
I’ve always wanted to be in a thriller, those were and still are to this day one of my favorite types of films. I’ve done two short films, which gave me a taste of that but didn’t really fulfill it. Although I grew up doing musical theater, I want to challenge myself by doing a romantic comedy film. I admire actresses that can really change their whole persona for different types of roles. After seeing the Revenant, I only hope to be casted in such a phenomenal film as that one.
What are you working on now? What are your ultimate goals? How are you working towards achieving your goals?
I’ve got so much more work to do, it excites me to see where I’ve been and where I’m going. Right now I’m still auditioning for roles, I recently got casted in a short film and an independent film so be on the lookout. When I was 18, right before moving to New York, I put out my first single that I wrote myself, it didn’t really go far and I’m glad it didn’t because it’s not so much of my sound anymore, although I’m very proud of what I did. I’m slowly but surely working on some new tunes. I love dealing with anything in the arts, I’ve directed a few of my own shorts and creative directed for a few photo and video shoots. I’ve secretly been working on my biggest baby, which I’ve only mentioned to my closest friends and now Pink Productions: my swimwear line. It should be launching late this month. I travel a lot and I’ve always received so many complements on my swimwear so I decided to start my own. So ladies be on the lookout for FD SWIMWEAR later this month.
Some of my goals are to just keep doing what I’m doing. At times we lose track of our ultimate goal. It happens to all of us. We question ourselves on why we’re doing the things we’re doing. When I have those days I honestly tell myself it’s just one of those days and I let it run its course because I know it’s only a temporary feeling. I’ve always wanted to be an entertainer, to use my platform to raise awareness to the things that are dear to my heart. One of those things are under privileged kids who don’t get to hear inspirational speeches. I heard a few growing up that changed my view on lots of things. I want young girls to know it’s ok to be the weird one out of the bunch or the crazy one. That only means you’re here for a special reason and it’s important to use that to your advantage. People will love you for you at the end of the day and those who don’t, don’t matter. Follow your dreams and if you happen to have a plan B, make sure it leads back to your plan A and that it doesn’t distract you from it.
I’ve gotten to where I am by being a genuine spirit, in love with making new friends and listening to their stories. So, I plan to achieve all of my goals by making new connections, auditioning and creating; never taking no as a final answer maybe a “not right now” but never a no!
I want to add that I am so proud that Pink Productions is based in Houston, there are so many talented people who need to be showcased and what better way to shine a light on the youth who are not afraid to take a leap of faith and follow their passion!
Thank you Racquel and totally agree with you on that! To find out more about Racquel, follow her on IG @theracquelsimone