Have you ever met someone so dynamic you just had to stop and ask "how do you do it all"? That is the precise question we had for Joyce Fuerza. This fabulous lady is a well-rounded, multi-talented artist. She exuberates the multi-dimensional skills needed to play her many roles in the entertainment world. We had a chance to talk with her about her journey and of course, her love for the arts.
Vanessa: Joyce, you are a phenomenal woman. You are an actress, entrepreneur, founding your own production company, Joyce Fuerza Productions, Inc. and talk show host with your own show "The Joyce Fuerza Show". You are involved in the Toronto Black Film Festival and the Montreal International Black Film Festival as the head coordinator. You are a college graduate, active member of your community, and you speak five different languages: English Portuguese, French, Spanish, and Haitian Creole. Wow! Amazing. Besides the many facets of your career, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and how you started wearing so many hats?
Joyce: First of all thank you so much for your kind words and for inviting me to be featured on your blog. I am really humbled and delighted to be able to share a bit about myself and my journey in becoming the person I am today. Hopefully I can inspire others to focus on their passion and motivate them to achieve their goals. I am originally from Haiti and I had the opportunity to live and study in four different countries, which explains why I speak five languages. My experience continuously mingling with people from different cultures allowed me to become more open-minded and understand others better, hence the reason why I am so comfortable today being involved constantly in public relations, conducting a talk show and supporting not only my own community but also many other communities. Since high school I was very involved in acting, I took drama classes for two years and loved it. After I graduated from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, I became involved in the entertainment industry as the head coordinator of Toronto Black Film Festival and the Montreal International Black Film Festival, welcoming celebrities coming from different parts of the world, doing red carpet interviews, coordinating special events, speaking at different TV and radio outlets, among other things. Being in this environment brought back my passion for acting which is why I started acting again. I also do print modeling from time to time and my newest project now is my Talk Show ‘The Joyce Fuerza Show’.
Vanessa: Has entertainment always been a passion of yours?
Joyce: I have always been interested in the artistic world. I grew up around an older sister who was a model and actress. In school I was always involved in something artistic, whether it was theatre, dance shows, etc.... So I definitely had an interest but I can’t say I anticipated being as involved in the industry as I am today. As I discovered new potentials and talents I had by engaging more and more, that’s when my passion for entertainment started growing.
Vanessa: What style of acting are you most interested in? I know you have been involved in soap operas but are you interested in hitting the big screen as well?
Joyce: Absolutely! I am definitely open to trying new acting styles. The first time I was on set for a film was in Haiti. I was only 12 years old and I remember having so much fun being the youngest person on set. I felt so important (giggle). My second time on set was for an independent feature film in Florida, and that time was so special because I got to play alongside my sister who has always been such a role model to me. I also participated in a Canadian drama series called "Trauma". I had a very small part but it was a great experience to actually be on a high budget production set.
Vanessa: How long have you been involved in the Toronto Black Film and the Montreal International Black Film Festivals? What is your favorite part about working these events?
Joyce: I have been involved in TBFF for 3 years and MIBFF for 5 years. I feel really fulfilled and overjoyed when I see other people being able to have a voice and show their work. This is what the festivals are mostly about and it is even more rewarding to get to meet those artists, and have a better understanding of where they come from in terms of their passion and vision.
Vanessa: Your talk show is your newest project. Can you give us some information on what the talk show is about and what it discusses?
Joyce: I have always wanted to make a positive impact on other people’s lives. I had the chance to meet so many extraordinary people throughout my career who inspired me and continue to motivate me to continue working hard towards achieving my goals. I decided to offer a platform where it would be possible to inspire others who aspire to become successful in their own life and field of work as well, which is where the idea of hosting and producing my own talk show came from. ‘The Joyce Fuerza Show’, is about educating, inspiring and empowering others to achieve their goals, while taking charge of their success by doing what passionate them, as a way to make a difference in both their personal and professional life. The show features engaging conversations with successful guests who come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. They share their knowledge, challenges they faced on the road to success and give helpful tools to help others achieve their objectives. Everyone can watch the show regardless of where they are located because the episodes will also be available on my YouTube Channel, or people can sign up for free on my website to receive each episode directly in their mailbox. So no excuses not to watch (laugh). More details at www.joycefuerza.com.
Vanessa: What is your favorite hat to wear? Acting? Business management? Event Planning?
Joyce: Each one has something special; therefore I enjoy every single one of them.
Vanessa: You are of Haitian descent, but you speak so many languages. Can you tell us a little bit about how your own culture impacts you and how you got involved in so many other cultures?
Joyce: Living and studying abroad has been one of the most important experiences of my life and I am so grateful for that. It definitely widened my horizons and got me to be more involved in other cultures. I do still value my own traditions as a Haitian and my own cultural experience is absolutely a part of defining who I am. One of my proudest accomplishments is my involvement in the Festival Haiti en Folie we do in Montreal every summer, created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation. It offers the very best of Haitian culture and attracts thousands of people each year. I can never get enough of it.
Vanessa: What is the best advice you've ever gotten regarding your career?
Joyce: Be really conscious of who you surround yourself with.
Vanessa: What kind of advice would you give young kids of color who are trying to go into the same field you are in?
Joyce: I would tell them first to make sure they get an education. Knowledge is something that nobody can take away from you. Don’t try to be somebody else. Learn as much as possible about yourself, about what YOU want to accomplish, about what YOU like or are passionate about. Even though it is not always easy to determine at first what it is you are really meant to do, you need to get involved and engage in activities that are of interest to you and by engaging, you will certainly discover your true potentials and have a clearer sense of what direction to aim towards. Also, a lot of doors will close for you on the road to success, and that is exactly when you should get even more fired up to knock at other doors and go after your goals.
Vanessa: You must meet so many artistic and creative people in your industry. Who is the most artistic and creative person you've ever met? Why are they considered most creative to you?
Joyce: Definitely! I have met iconic Hollywood legends such as Spike Lee, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover; athletes such as hockey player P.K Subban, former football player Anthony Calvillo, as well as NY-times bestselling author Stedman Graham and all of them are creative in their own particular way. They each use their art either to defend human rights, or to inspire and empower the youth, or to open the door, break barriers and pave the way for upcoming artists.
Vanessa: Who is your favorite artist and how does this person impact your everyday life?
Joyce: I am inspired by many artists. It is very hard to point out one particular person, but I would definitely say some of the artists I admire and have a lot of respect for are Donna Karen (DKNY), Fabienne Colas, Sean Penn, Angelina Jolie, and Oprah Winfrey. All of them are examples of people who were able to discover their true potentials and use them to accomplish great things.
Vanessa: Are there any new projects we should look out for from you?
Joyce: I am currently working on many projects having to do with Fashion, TV, including being one of the jury members for a beauty contest happening in Canada this fall 2015, and other projects from my production company Joyce Fuerza Productions, Inc., I also have many speaking engagements, I get invited to be on several panels, and to host different events. I can’t reveal too much for now but make sure to stay connected by following me on social media (Facebook Twitter, Instagram) and by signing up for my free newsletter on my website at www.joycefuerza.com.
Vanessa: Thank you for taking the time to discuss your work, your passions, and you view on art with us.