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FEATURE STORY

QUEEN OF "THE CHI"

ROSS

YOLONDA

LET'S TALK ABOUT IT....

BVM: Tell us about your childhood, growing up in Omaha, Nebraska.

MS. ROSS: My childhood was quiet. Memorable. I was always making things and selling things. I was a little entrepreneur. I remember, in kindergarten, I sold taffy that I made, for one cent. During lunch, somebody stole my earnings. I was very pissed about that. But, when I really think back to what it was like growing up in Omaha, it makes me think of TV, like growing up in the “Wonder Years”, sort of. I played sports, soccer, track, and volleyball, and was in the marching band (playing the flute, tunable bass drum, and tri-toms). I had a three-wheel ATV and a minibike, and at times I thought I was Evil Knievel. We would dig holes and build unstable ramps from supplies that were laying around for new homes to be built. It was fun. Where we lived was a big open sky and green alfalfa, as far as you could see. We grew up outside of the city limits, which are now sprawling subdivisions.

BVM: Who was your biggest inspiration as a kid? Why?

MS. ROSS: My parents were my biggest inspiration. I saw them as solid, hard-working people that took care of me and my siblings and kept us from harm. They always planned and did for us, so that we would be able to have opportunities in our future that they maybe didn’t have. They made us understand the value of money and our value. They were parents, not friends.

acting?

MS. ROSS: How do you make money? How do you pay your weekly, and monthly bills, when you have no guaranteed work, and it’s not up to you if you get hired or not? That’s a big life change when you’re coming from a world with regular pay, 401k, and 2 weeks of vacation, and days off.

BVM: What has been your most challenging role to date?

 

MS. ROSS: My most challenging role to date? I have two. Becoming “Treasure” in “Stranger Inside” was challenging, but more so enlightening, because it was many firsts for me. I was learning about the craft, my own creative abilities, and the business of acting and filmmaking. The second was “Woman Outside”, where I played an unhoused woman in downtown LA. Though this was short, it was very challenging. Being someone that people actively avoid looking at, or coming near, is very isolating, though you’re right there in the publics’ eye. The biggest challenge was having complete thoughts in your head, but only portions of it come out of your mouth. It makes you think about what people are suffering, and what they’ve been through to get them to that point. A positive out of this, while we were outside, this woman and her husband saw me in character sitting on a fire hydrant. I saw them walk by, but then the woman came back over and gave me three dollars and change. It shocked me out of character. I let her and her husband know we were filming. It was nice to see that there are still people in the world that take the time to give.

 

To Continue the story

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