At the Bar with Chrystee Pharris
~ Very Special Post ~
Chrystee Pharris is a beautiful actress whom fans will recognize from a multitude of projects. It was the greatest honor to complete this interview with her on September 29, 2011.
Welcome to the bar, Miss Pharris! Tell the patrons a few things about yourself.
I am originally from Vegas, mother moved to CT for a new job so I spent my last two years of high school there and went to Boston to Emerson College for school.
What drew you to acting? And how long have you been doing it professionally?
I knew what I wanted to be when I was 4 years old. I knew I was going to be an actress, singer, model, teacher...and well gymnast was on the list but I was not good at it! lol. But 4 of the 5 I would say was good. I don't teach in a class room per say but I travel around the world and speak at schools, events etc and motivate people. It's a real joy for me as well.
Like some fans, I know you from your arc on Scrubs. How did you get the role? What drew you to it and what was it like doing that show?
My agent called me and told me I had an audition for the show. It was different comedy for me since I was use to doing sitcoms that were 4 cameras like Sister Sister, Moesha, Steve Harvey, Eve, etc. Also, I had a friend on the show who let me know they were interested in another girl for the role who had more credit than me, but that her downfall was that she was not a "funny actress." That was all I needed to know. I had nothing to loose and I used that to my advantage. I called all my "funny friends over to my house. Asked them to coach me on the scene. And they did. They helped me to tweak the parts that I could make funnier. When I went into the audition every young black hollywood actress was there. It was a few hours of auditioning and waiting. Zack Braff was also there and we read with him. The last person we had to audition for was the producer Bill Lawrence who told me before I started the audition "Look, I probably won't laugh cause I seen it soooo many times and I hate it so don't take it personally if I don't laugh." I said ok. I did my scene and he laughed! He then said "You are really funny."
I left the audition feeling complete with what I did and before I reached my car, my agent called and said they offered me the job. I could not believe it! I did it. Even though there were others who had more than me at the time. I got it. It let me know, I was just as great as the others. Never worry about others. Just be your best and you will succeed.
You mentioned that, like many fans, you didn’t like how your character’s relationship with protagonist J.D. ended. Could you tell us more about how and why that happened?
Well, actually the way it ended made for great story but it sucks because that was the end of my story. Lol. I am not sure why it happened. I don't think it had anything to do with anything but that it was time for them to write something new and bring on a new love interest. Of course the next love interest was his real life girlfriend. That may have been why...hmmmm. Lol. They were great though and I loved the experience.
Now, according to IMDB, you’ve been in 785 episodes of Passions. What was that like? How did you get the role, why did you choose it, and what was it like doing a soap opera?
I don't think I did that many episodes but more than half of that number I would say. And doing Passions was a dream come true. I was so excited to get the role. I booked 3 jobs that day. A pilot of WB, a commercial, and Passions. I had to choose one and I choose Passions. I chose Passions because the character was so young. I was playing 16. The pilot had me playing older. I figured the younger I played the longer I had in the business lol. I still look 16 so what can I say? I have good genes. :-)
I enjoyed doing Passions because it was my first consistent gig. I was on set everyday at 6:30am with a smile. I loved it and everyone on the show was amazing. I mean truly amazing. I was blessed by everyone working on the show. I still love them dearly.
6:30 am? Damn! So...in addition to being a performer, I understand you’re also a writer. Could you tell us about how you got into that?
I have written my one woman show In Search of O. I perform at different colleges and venues across the country. I just entered my piece in the Los Angeles Women's Theater Festival that will go up in March 2011 so we will see if they accept my piece again. I performed there in 2009. We shall see ;-) I will keep the fans on this Blog posted.
Tells us more about In Search of O.
In Search of O is about waiting until marriage to have sex at 27, and the fantasy versus the reality of that experience." I have toured this show to a couple of colleges and for the Los Angeles Theater festival and well as other festivals like the NAACP. It's a funny piece actually. Learning what the "O" really means. :-)
Aside for performing, do you have another interests/projects?
I travel around the world as a motivational speaker. For two years I volunteered at a women's prison out side of LA once a month. I have had some thrilling moments in my life like booking Passions and of course Scrubs and Sister, Sister etc. But nothing can top the thrill of seeing someone's life change because of the words that you speak to them. Nothing can beat that at this time of my life. That feeling is worth more than a million dollars to me. I still keep in touch with a few and they keep me posted on how well they are doing now. Both in and out of jail.
I also have an organization I am finishing where people can talk about their issues, struggles. It's a safe haven. That will be completed in 2012.
Impressive! So what inspires you?
What inspires me is people. Seeing others go after their goals and overcome obstacles inspires me to do my best. Laughter inspires me. Wisdom inspires me. Knowledge inspires me. Death even inspires me. I want to get all I can out of life because of Death. We only live once, and if we live it right, we only need one.
What’s in store for the beautiful Chrystee Pharris?
What is in store for the beautiful Chrystee Pharris? Peace. Prosperity. Abundance. Joy. Love. I have the "things on my list" that are happing that I can talk about, but what I want fan on your site to know, if we focus on the feeling we would get from those things we say we want, live in that feeling as if we already have them, we will get "those things." Way to deep I know. But, that is what I feel at this moment in my interview so I am going to be authentic. :-)
Miss Pharris, thank you so very much for stopping by the bar.
Thank you for the interview. Don't forget to check out www.chrysteepharris.com and the talk show archives of the siSTARS with my girls Tanjareen Martin, Caryn Ward Ross and Janora McDuffe (www.thesiSTARS.com). And of course you can reach out to me on Twitter and FB fan page Chrystee Pharris (my other FB page is full sorry y'all but I do talk to people on my fan page fyi!!)