When I'm working, on stage, entertaining people, or watching someone do something amazing, it inspires me to be the best artist that I can be. I enjoy being around art - whether it be a museum, a Broadway show - or even writing a poem. Those are things that make me feel alive and inspire me.
Never compromise and sell yourself short. I've been in the music business, a girl group . . . I've been through so many different things in my career, and when you compromise and try to let go of who you are, you wind up being unhappy, and what is success without happiness. You have to have both, and that is important to me.
As a black actress you've got to work doubly hard. But it doesn't ever get me to the point where I give up on myself. It just motivates me to be more prepared, focus and disciplined. That's why I care so much about doing black films and making sure that we represent and are represented correctly.
I was excited to play Lil' Kim and I wanted to do the role justice. I worked really hard on that role, whether it was performing the rhymes, studying the dialect, her swagger and her stage performances. I wanted people to see my range and stretch my wings as an actress.
'm really starting to learn the value of silence and meditation. I keep my sanity in the middle of a hectic day by taking some me time or sometimes watching a guilty pleasure on TV, doing absolutely nothing, or just hanging out with friends and family. They keep me grounded and centered.
When I was young, I was always telling my parents and telling everybody that I was going to be a singer and an actress when I grew up. I took classes. I was in dance lessons. I took singing lessons. I was in the plays. I took acting lessons. I did different things that continued to keep me ready for this opportunity and ready for all the things that are happening now.