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Actress Khadijah Karriem, Who Appeared on ABC's, NYPD Blue, & The Practice, Makes Her Own Films!

Updated: Aug 19

Although The Boss Lady Actress, Khadijah Karriem, May Have Guest Appeared On ABC TV's NYPD Blue, The Practice, NBC's The First Years, Along with Other Television Shows and Stage Productions, She, Now Produces Her Own Films!

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Khadijah is an actress, writer, and producer. She has appeared in a variety of stage productions. The story of Dinah Washington, "The Blue's Ain't Nothin but Women," was written, produced, and performed by her in a solo show stage thesis.

In addition, Khadijah has appeared in numerous film, television, and stage roles, including Walker Texas Ranger and the made-for-TV movie True Women, in which she co-starred alongside Angelina Jolie, Dana Delaney, and Charles Dutton. "NYPD Blue," "Any Day Now," "The Practice," ARLI$$, and NBC's The First Years are a few of the shows she has appeared in. As a lead or supporting character, she has had roles in independent films, including Lifetime's "The Perfect Wife," "Redemption" and others. I had the opportunity to interview this amazing and inspirational woman. Here's what she shared.

Tell me a little about your background. Where are you originally from, and how did that journey lead you to where you are today? I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I have wanted to be in the entertainment world since I 5yrs old. My mother took me to see a production of Cinderella, and right then, I knew I wanted to be an entertainer. I didn’t know specifically what part of it; I just knew I wanted to get in front of people and do something. From there, my mother kept me in dance classes, I was in school plays and choir all my elementary and junior high years. After seeing the tv show FAME, I was certain this was what I wanted to do. I then attended Arts Magnet High School in Dallas, which was a school of the performing arts. I majored in dance, then later discovered theater and realized that would be the center for all my other gifts.

After graduating, I got my BFA in theater at the University of the Arts. I would love to say I immediately went from there into working professionally full time but Life happened. I became a mom, which became my new focus, but I still never forgot my first love; acting. When my son was 3, I moved to Los Angeles to return to my career. I was blessed to have done guest star and co-star roles, all while being a mom. Realizing there were not a lot of roles for me in that era, I learned to write in the hopes of creating my own vehicles. Now, I have finally produced my first feature film in which I star.

What inspired you to be a filmmaker? I wanted to create films not only for myself but other women of color who are under-represented in the industry.

How do you see your primary role as a filmmaker, and what are some other roles within filmmaking that you can also perform well? I see primarily to be a writer producer but I would not be opposed to directing. It seems like it may be a natural progression.

What are some of the things you love about filmmaking? I love seeing your ideas come into fruition and the impact it makes on the audience. The process of filmmaking can be a crazy ride but knowing that the reward is so worth it is heaven.

Can you tell me about what camera you use to make your films and what are your preferred brands and equipment? Why? I didn’t work with the cameras, the director did that, but we used a black magic and canon because of the quality of the film.

Do you have any favorite lenses? If so, which ones? N/A

How can your filming style be identified? I can only speak to my writing style. I believe my scripts span across all genres but the central theme is usually a character in search of something or with a redemptive quality.

What awards have you won as a filmmaker? None so far but I’m new to it.

What are the names of some of the films you’ve produced, and how many to date? I have produced Recession Proof feature comedy, Texas Bounty TV episodic.

As a filmmaker, what are the positives and negatives of working with actors? I actually did the casting for my film so I cast people who were really good actors. Working with them was simply amazing and a pleasure.

How do you easily resolve conflict on set? Our set was filled with prayers and good energy, but we set the tone for that from the beginning. When everyone can work in harmony we get the best results. Even when we have a creative difference, if it's possible, shoot both ways and see which one works best in post.

Are you also a screenwriter, and if yes, what is that process for you? What inspires you to tell the stories you tell or take on the projects you take on? Yes, I am a screenwriter. My process is not conventional. All my stories come from my dreams. I dream about it like it's a movie and when I wake up and realize it's not a movie out, I start writing in the middle of the night. Usually I get the beginning, middle and end, then once I have that flush out the characters and storyline more in weeks to come. I keep working on the script until I get it finished.

What is the best way to work with other screenwriters, producers, and directors harmoniously while on set in pre- or post-production? Set the precedence for harmony in the beginning. I always make sure prayer is present so we know this is the order of the process, whether its pre-production production to post.

What type of movies do you do? What genre are you most drawn to and why? I do all types of movies. I love action probably the most but it's whatever comes of me at the time.

How important is it to use our talents to be role models to our young? When I was growing up I always looked for a role model or mentor to assist me through this business, unfortunately aside from my teachers I didn't find many mentors or role models. A Lot of people were threatened by their own positions so didn’t want to share or coach me through my career. With that, I have always tried to offer advice or guidance in their careers and craft. Hoping I could make a difference in their journey.

Would you consider yourself to be a role model to our younger generation? What is your responsibility to them? I can only hope to be. I would hope that through my life and challenges that they see the will to survive and overcome obstacles. Many times not people give up too easily when adversity happens. I feel I have a responsibility to show them perseverance and that it's never too late to achieve your dreams.

In your industry pursuits, what moral boundaries, if any, have you set? What will you not do for fame? I come from a spiritual and religious upbringing. I am Muslim. My mother and father taught me strong morals and values and a staunch belief in God. With that, in this crazy industry that uses a lack of those values as a means to be successful, it was my foundation that kept me grounded. I believed I had talent and if God wanted me to have something then He would make it possible without sacrificing my beliefs.

What’s your dream? My dream? Wow, that has so many layers. One of my dreams is to make Inside the Industry Studios a full fledged studio that produces film and tv. In addition, my dream is to create work for people that have been left out and my dream is to continue writing great stories that touch and affect the world.

What is the goal you want to reach in this industry? I want to be a mogul. A person that has built an empire producing and writing projects that helps actors become discovered and build amazing careers. I want to usher in collaborations with other creatives to continue to push the narrative of new stories about people's lives we don’t get to hear about.

I would like to know what your ultimate dream film would be. My ultimate dream film would be an action sci-fi that becomes a franchise film.

What are some of the struggles that you’ve had to overcome as a filmmaker? Getting people to believe in your dream. Getting people to see your vision and the magnitude it is. Getting financial investments.

Now that we’ve talked about struggles, let’s talk about the opposite of that. What are some of the high points you’ve had in your journey so far? I have worked with some major actors. I have written and produced my first feature film. I have been validated as a screenwriter and starred in my first full length feature.

Do you see yourself being a filmmaker for the rest of your life? Some form of it for sure, whether it's producing, writing or acting I definitely see all in my future to some degree.

What does a typical day of the life of a filmmaker look like? waking up at 4-5am. getting the call sheet together making sure all the crew and actors are in place and ready to work. Keep the schedule of the day and get great shots.

In short, what process do you go through to make a film? Finding a great script, getting funding or funding yourself, making a budget, choosing a great crew, casting a great cast, having an amazing cinematographer, shooting the film. Going into post-production-editing, adding music, sound color everything to make the film you shot the best product for people to see.

How difficult is it to rally up a budget for filming? very difficult depending on the script and budget. Also, difficult if you don’t have a proven track record yet. Hard to get people to believe in you and your vision.

What was the wildest experience you’ve ever had on set while filming? I think the wildest experience for me was when I had to run through the streets of NYC in my pajamas and people just paid me no mine. Lol it was hilarious and exhilarating.

What was the most embarrassing experience while filming on set? Oh when I went to chase an actor in the scene and fell very hard. The whole set did a collective gasp!

What are your plans regarding your filmmaking career? What’s next for you? What’s next is to get my present film Recession Proof on a streaming platform and I have a tv series script for it. Definitely ready to get my other scripts done as well.

What new films do you have out, and where can they be seen? Recession Proof an inspired romantic comedy. It will be on Amazon Rentals soon! You can always follow us on social media @RecessionProofthemovie FB, @Recessionproofmovie IG and of course our website

If you could give advice to someone just starting off in the movie industry, what would it be? Don’t give up! Work on your craft that’s the only thing you have control over. Every no is not an attack on your talent, regroup and try another way or again. Your time is coming run your own race, no one else can run your race and vice versa.

Photo Credits: by MUA Bridgette LaDawn Washington, Carlos Vincent Photography, and all others are courtesy of Khadijah Karriem.

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Disclaimer: The words of inspiration posted by The Indie Post, written within ( The New American Standard Version Bible Verse) are not the words of the above interviewed.

"John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him."

"Romans 10:9-13 9 [f]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, [g]resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, [h]resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE [i]PUT TO SHAME.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13for “EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”
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