We had the good fortune of connecting with Cristala “Krys” Poole Dorsey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cristala “Krys” Poole Dorsey, what is the most important factor behind your success?
To make it simple – being genuine and maintaining my Christian values and principles. Oftentimes, people get into the industry and want to work with artists for the wrong reasons, or for ulterior motives and personal gain. There isn’t anything wrong with personal gain as long as it is done within the right manner. Some industry professionals tend to forget that at some point they were in need of someone’s help and guidance, so for me to take advantage of an artist who needs guidance, wisdom, and resources goes completely against my values and principles. At the end of the day, I’m a Christian woman, and I choose to thrive in this industry as one. Because of this, people have taken notice and desire to work with me, or they don’t mind doing me a favor because they know at the core I’m genuine and do right by people. That’s what has contributed to my success, and is considered the most important factor to me.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Upward Artistry Talent agency is a Black-owned, and female-led, full-fledged agency in Houston. Actually, we’re the only of our kind in Texas. Most of our talent are artists of color ages 18-55. We represent actors, music artists, screenwriters, personalities, dancers and other creatives within those realms. Our artists are union and non-union, and we have talent located not just in Houston, but L.A., Canada, Austin, and Dallas, and therefore work with companies from all over the U.S. As to continue to elevate our talent, we’re always looking to expand our network of filmmakers, production and media companies, and organizations. Afterall, we serve as advocates to artists of color in providing them a creative space and platform toward breaking personal barriers in furthering their careers. We are dedicated to promoting and creating opportunities for artists of color who represent multiple nationalities and races in the services that we provide. We provide everything from audition preparation, to coaching, gig opportunities, and other extended entertainment services. Although we do seek to find talent working opportunities, our main area of expertise is artist development. How do we make that actor, music artist, dancer, screenwriter better at what they do? In what ways can they be placed in front of people who at any other time would overlook them? That’s what we seek to do, and we do it all at an affordable price, and with a network of industry professionals, resources, and tools. We never want to deny anyone, or burst their bubble of a dream based on affordability and/or other demographics. Because of all that we stand for, this is what tremendously separates us from others. Something to be proud of – that’s for damn sure!

Of course starting, building, and maintaining any business isn’t easy. Social media has jaded people into thinking that entrepreneurship is “glamorous”. Everyone throws around the term “boss” or “ceo” this, and haven’t done a damn thing. The words sound good to them. The work that it takes to push forward when business is slow and there are more outgoings than incomings – whew, my Lord! Lol! At the end of the day, it’s worth it because…well…look at our eclectic roster of talent!

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.
My goodness…you all really want me to turn on my brain cells. Hmmmm….a friend comes into town and what are we doing? A good brunch. I don’t have a particular favorite spot, but I enjoy patio restaurants and trying new spots. I crave change, so I’ll probably look up somewhere I’ve been wanting to try. I dig a good concert, outdoor artsy event, or festival. For drinks…Davenport’s. It’s got to be Davenport’s.

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?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my Upward Artistry team and roster of talent (their wins always excites me). To my HeartBEAT Houston dance family (where my heart, soul, and legacy lies). To my closest friends who have encouraged me ALL of these years and cheered me on from the footsteps of my undergrad dorm and grad school campus, to the countless number of messages I receive telling me how proud they are of me. To my parents and brother who have forever kept me grounded in my values and hustle mentality. To the most important person in my life – Kevin – the one who supersedes everything that I do. The one who continually prays with me. The one who doesn’t mind my late entertainment events or studio nights. The one who is at my events in support standing with pride. The one who loves what I do just as much as I do. The one who holds incredible trust in me within the field that I work in. The one who I truly thank God for in being heaven-sent because He [God] knew exactly who I needed in my life to be able to be the boundless woman that I am.

Website: http://www.upwardartistrytalent.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/upwardartistry

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/upwardartistry

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