When Jasmine Guy spoke with students from North Atlanta High‘s Center for the Arts, she was on familiar ground in more ways than one. The Atlanta stage actress and director and former star of TV’s “A Different World” and “Fame” is a proud graduate of the school when it was called Northside High.
Guy shared her experiences and life lessons from a lengthy career that has brought her back to Atlanta, whether acting with True Colors Theatre or directing the Alliance Theatre’s premiere last summer of the Martin Luther King Jr. musical “I Dream.” One of the funner moments came when a student asked her what she would do when, at an audition, she saw someone who was more talented than her perform. “I go to the bathroom,” she said as the students laughed. Then she got serious, after relating a particularly disappointing exprience: “Now, I try to use people that are good in auditions to inspire me. So I switch it around. If I see a fierce dancer in a room, I try to make it … juice me up. … You can’t let yourself get devastated.”
Guy appeared at the school at the invitation of Center for the Arts academy leader Reginald Colbert. North Atlanta and Grady High are the last of APS’ schools to convert to smaller learning schools under the High School Transformation Initiative that began in 2005 with The New Schools at Carver.
Watch the entire lecture and question-and-answer session with Jasmine Guy here.