We had the good fortune of connecting with Quinci Freeman-Lytle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Quinci, why did you pursue a creative career?
This question is so hard to answer for some reason. From the moment I started acting and singing, I never questioned this was what I needed to be doing for the rest of my life. I want to be a part of the process. The joy that comes with creating something and making people feel feelings is wild, man. It feels powerful and vulnerable at the same time. Live theatre is where I trained and will always be my home, but my dream is in film, both on screen and off. With storytelling, the possibilities are endless. The world is my oyster. Anything can happen. How could I not want to be a part of that? People ask me this question and I try to come up with all these elaborate answers and pinpoint when exactly it dawned on me that I need to pursue this career when, at the end of the day, my real answer is: I have always known. It is engraved in my bones and runs through my veins.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an actor, musician and writer fresh out of college! I grew up in artsy, fartsy Portland, Oregon and went to Southern Oregon University for college. I was stripped of a proper graduation by COVID-19 but I do, in fact, have a BFA in Theatre Arts. I moved to Los Angeles in August of 2020 after my internship at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival was cut short due to COVID-19, as well. I am now here in Los Angeles looking to break into the film industry. Being new is hard in every field but especially in film. It’s like frantically waving to someone in the dark and not getting seen until someone drives by with their brights on. It’s all about small connections, small jobs, small victories, taking a second to celebrate those things, and then continuing that momentum. I’ve learned that breaks and days off are essential. Either you schedule breaks or your body chooses them for you. I’ve also learned to ask for help. I always had this mindset that I needed to do everything by myself, but it’s OK to ask for help when you are overwhelmed or just need a hug! I’ve learned to be vocal when something is too much for me and to say “no” when I have too much on my plate. Theatre school really messed me up in that way. I was trained to endure, power through, “leave your feelings at the door”, “say yes to everything”, and unlearning that stuff has been so hard. Being passionate and being constantly spread thin do not go hand in hand.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Now bear with me because I’ve only lived here since August and things are just now starting to open up again. If my best friend were coming to visit me I would take her around my neighborhood, first. I love NoHo so much and love that I can just walk down the street and find fabulous places to hang out and eat. For dinner and drinks, we would go to The Fat Dog, Kahuna Tiki, and Tamashii. For some great childish fun we would hit up Player One after dinner (an arcade and bar??? So cool). For hikes, we would go to Griffith Park and explore the tons of trails up there! Maybe even do the Hollywood sign hike if we were feeling up for it. We would of course have a beach day. I have been to three beaches since moving here and Hermosa has been my favorite so far! For brunch we would kill three hours waiting for Lady Byrd to call us and tell us it was our turn to be seated. And of COURSE we would go to Disneyland. Look, I never classified myself as a Disney Adult, but that place is so much fun. I can’t help but smile ear to ear from 8am to closing. This would be an expensive dang week but it would be so worth it!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My MOTHER. Everything I love to do, I love because she taught me to lean into my fears and try something new. She taught me to be good at being bad at new skills. She forced me to take piano lessons, to take acting classes, to start singing in choirs. Although I knew I had to have an artistic career, I had no idea how to strengthen those muscles and had no idea strengthening those muscles would mean performing??? in front of people??? Middle School Me was so hesitant at first, but my mom was so supportive and insistent. When it comes to performances and auditions, she says “don’t let fear decide” and then laughs when I roll my eyes. And now that she’s in a band of her own, I get to say that same phrase to her when she gets nervous. I love you, momma. Thank you. My brilliant boyfriend, John Alan Hulbert also deserves recognition in my story. He motivates me with his own passions and story ideas. He gets me out of bed and out of the house when I am having an especially bad day. While we both have very creative minds, he is so much better at acting on the inspiration. He has taught me that that little movie idea in my mind can literally be a movie. Or the short story idea I dreamed up the other night could be an actual short story (whaaat?). Thank you, love. I love you!
There are many others I want to acknowledge as well: my stepdad, Matt, sister, Bella, and brother, Jaylin who all push me to keep my momentum. My dad, Duane, stepmom, Allison, sister, Symone, stepsister, Shanel, and stepbrother, SaVonne who all cheer me on from afar. And my best friends, Wren Eustis and Draven Pena who each have pieces of my heart.
Emett Becker; Jenny Graham; Danya Torp; John Alan Hulbert