CFDb Interviews PattiNicole Wheeler ~ Actress
= > How did you get involved in acting?
Much like everyone else I’m sure, I started acting as a child in Christmas and Easter Programs at Church. Later, I began to receive lead roles in High School and College productions. In 1988, I heard about an open casting call for extras in the movie “Roots: The Gift” that was being filmed here in Nashville. I went to the open call, worked a lot, made a little money, and met a new friend from Los Angeles. He informed me about what to expect in the business and what to avoid. He even taught me to sit quietly and watch the dynamics on the project we were working on. On the set, I received a lot of encouragement from the crew and the assistant director that made me feel like I really had something special. So after the movie wrapped, I signed with a union agency. There was not much union work coming my way but I still wanted to work on my craft.
I did some community theatre and toured as a background singer for local Hip-Hop group, UTOPIA STATE. In 1998, I signed with a couple of non-union agents. Together with my union agent, I was able to really hone my skills – along with an income. Today, I have one agent and also receive work from relationships I develop independently like with “Flowers for Fannie”.
= > What led to your role in “Flowers for Fannie” and what did you like most about your role?
I read about their auditions at the last minute and wasn’t able to attend. I stepped out on faith and emailed Sharon to see if I could send her a video audition. She sent me the audition sides and I became Claire.
What I like most about Claire is that she is not just Fannie’s housekeeper. To me, Claire seems to be that “still soft voice” telling her what she should do even though she ignores it. Claire sees what Fannie does not see. Even though Claire knows that Fannie is not going to change until Fannie decides to change, she will still whisper in Fannie’s hear of the right thing to do.
= > Have you acted before and if so, for what film?
I mostly do TV commercials and training videos. I have had the privilege of doing two films projects with LifeWay Christian Resources, “The Psalmist” and “When I Get Mad”; and one with GodFilms, “Digital Diary: Laura”.
= > What would be your ultimate dream and would it involve acting?
I remember in one of my father’s sermons he was taking about “a calling”. He said “
If when you wake up in the morning, the first thing on your mind is something that you MUST DO and you can’t see yourself in life without doing – this is what you were MEANT TO DO.” I LOVE ACTING AND SINGING!!! Not only do I think about it when I wake up, but also when I go to bed and throughout the day – How can I be a better artist? Am I working hard enough; what should I be doing? How do I find more work? What can I do to stand out at an audition? How can I best display the characters of the roles I have already received? Is this project teaching/helping others? Am I representing God well? I feel that God has blessed me with amazing gifts and I want to make sure when people see me that they also see HIM.
My ultimate dream would to be a part of this regional faith-based movement. I seek out faith-based film and television project auditions all the time. It’s wonderful to see the number of artistic endeavors to further God’s Kingdom and this is what I want to do with my life. I think Tyler Perry’s success is a great example to those of us who want to make an honest living of sharing the Word of God in the Film and Television Industry. If we build it – they will come. Whether I am acting and singing in front of the camera or working behind the scenes to foster projects, I want to be in the midst.
= > How can others learn more about you and your work?
I can be found at www.Facebook.com/PattiNicole.TheArtist
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