We had the good fortune of connecting with Gioya Tuma-Waku and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gioya, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I have always been an artistic and creative person. I knew from the age of 10 that I wanted to be an actor because I loved movies and I was curious about the characters and the people that brought them to life. I would perform for my family and friends when I was younger and I did theatre throughout high school. Outside of acting, I also used to draw and paint. I wrote poetry and would even write songs with my sister and braid my own hair and sometimes other people’s hair too, or sew and adjust clothing because I didn’t quite like the way in fit me. And even now, as an adult, I continue to pursue a creative lifestyle when I’m not auditioning or filming. I’m learning how to DJ, I dropped my first Poetry Book this past April for Poetry Month, I tie-dye when I can, I crochet and knit and I’m interested in photography and maybe one day learning an instrument. I don’t really think I ever had the choice when it came to pursuing a creative career or lifestyle because it’s just embedded in my DNA. All I had to do was be true to myself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I would refer to myself as an all around artist. I am first and foremost an actress and one of my most recent works, Pink Lemonade, where i starred as the leading actress was accepted into a couple film festivals and was screened. I also received a few nominations from those festivals for my acting and won an honourable mention for best acting. I am also a judge for two film festivals: The Hague Global Cinema Festival which Ive been a part of for two years now as well as International Film Festival and it was very exciting to be invited to judge both of those. I am also a filmmaking and I started my own company called Perfectly Imperfect Entertainment where I am exploring directing and writing more and more as I realised I had stories to tell and I wanted to get my voice out there. I also finally released my first poetry book for Poetry Month this past April. I’ve been writing poetry for over 16 years and i finally decided to hone it on that and share it with the world. I got to where I am today through pure vision and dedication. Pursuing a creative lifestyle is not an easy thing because there’s no direct line and tiers to success. Art is also subjective and so you can pour your heart out to the world and some people may not connect with it but I also believe that the people who do connect with it is the reason why my art should be out there. It was made for them and that is what gets me through all the challenges that arise when I want to put out amazing work.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
This is a pretty exciting question. I would definitely take them for a picnic at the Getty Museum because we can walk around the museum then just settle and sit and enjoy the space around us while enjoying each other’s company. I would definitely try take them for a show at The Pantages and a live concert. We are in LA which is the entertainment capital of the world so we have to experience some of that entertainment. On a Monday there’s a place called Shoo Shoo Baby in downtown where my friend Earry Hall DJs and the music and crowd is amazing. On Tuesday’s I would take them to a bar where they play live jazz, it’s one of my favourite spots and I look forward to going there whenever I can. There’s couple great places that have jazz nights on different days of the week and that’s something I enjoy. There’s also great vegan spot called Nic’s on Beverly that I love, their pizza is sooo good. Then definitely go for a hike probably in Malibu where we can see the waterfall and finally take them to Santa Monica and Venice to visit the pier, the promenade, the beach and nearby restaurants.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shoutout and dedicate this to my parents. It’s not an easy career choice and I think they probably worry about me every single day but they remain a constant pillar of strength and a strong support system in my life. I truly would not be here and be able to do what I do without them and I hope to make them proud one day.