We had the good fortune of connecting with Nnenna Eleanya and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nnenna, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Taking risks is the fiber of my being. I want to make the most out of my life while I can. Going against conventional thinking and doing the unthinkable is what led me to where I’m at now. Of course I made some mistakes along the way, learned valuable lessons and I live with no regrets! But to be honest, I used to always play it safe. Did “the right things” that made sense to others. Unfortunately, I was never happy and felt stuck. Until one day I just decided I wanted better for myself then started to make a series of changes. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy or even acceptable by family and friends. But I firmly believe taking risks comes with great rewards.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My main thing is being actor. I started out doing theatre when I was in high school—Which was actually bit of an accident. I did it because I had to fulfill a fine arts credit for graduation. But after the first week of classes, I fell in love with the craft. Everything from reading scripts, to set design, to costuming and ultimately the live performances, was so thrilling to be a part of! From that point on I decided that I wanted to become a professional actress. The hardest part was telling others about my newfound dreams. Friends laughed in my face and told me not to go for it. My parents weren’t supportive [at first] because they wanted me to be a doctor. But I couldn’t let go of the dream. So I just ignored everyone and followed my heart. Best decision I could of made! I’ve been fortunate to do a handful of theatrical productions in the valley, some commercials and indie films. It’s been great time. The biggest lesson I learned along the way is that there is so much this world has to offer. You don’t have to be locked into one thing. For example, I initially started my career only wanting to act. But my pursuits led me into modeling. Got to take some amazing photos and worked with the best photographers. Then somehow modeling led me to writing. Had a few poems published in an anthology series and I hope to publish a book of my own in the future.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love art and one of my favorite places to go is the Phoenix Art Museum. There is a lot of great exhibits to look at. I like abstract and contemporary pieces. Especially if it has a lot of meaning behind it.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It’s hard to just pick one person or an organization that has led me to my success. So I’ll shout out two! I first want to give a big thank you to my talent my agent, Misti, at Dani’s Agency. She took a chance with me when I was a newbie actor just starting out. She helped me get my foot in the industry door and from there I was able to hit the ground running. I’m really grateful for that. But most importantly I owe my success to my mom, Pauline. As cliché as it sounds, I would be nowhere if it wasn’t for her love, care and sacrifices. She is literally the reason why I get to do what I do.