We had the good fortune of connecting with Eli and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eli, what role has risk played in your life or career?
A year ago, I would not have guessed that I’d get to work on a Boots Riley production or be on the same set as Forest Whitaker. It all started with me not being afraid to ask a question! I saw people filming near campus so I stopped to ask how to get involved. I changed my major from pre med to film and theater. I began my journey in television & film working on Disney and AMC productions. Being a risk taker enabled me to work on sets with the best in the game like George Tillman Jr. & Jamie Foxx. Sometimes all you have to do is ask & take opportunities as they come.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My journey as a storyteller began last year. Before I was signed to an agency, auditioning and booking roles, I got into the game as a silent star. “Queer As Folk” and “Killing it” starring Craig Robinson were the first productions I worked on. Afterwards, I was apart of second team on “Haunted Mansion” directed by Justin Seiman and the tv show “National Treasure”. At this point in my career, I’ve been apart of 4 movies and 6 shows coming out in 2022 & 23.
My advice to anyone interested in acting is what Lamman Rucker told me: “Be a sponge and stay in the game.” I am doing both. One pro about being on set is learning from the “OG’s” or actors who I grew up watching on tv. Being on set with Jamie Foxx and watching how he seamlessly flows into character helped me become a better method actor. Don’t get discouraged if you are not booking things right away. Take what you learn, keep auditioning & growing as an actor.
Also, be a kind person to everyone on set. Make friends in every department, hair, make up, wardrobe, cast members,
directors, ambiance artist, etc. The longest I’ve been on set was about 15ish hours before I finally heard “Martini!” It makes the long filming days go by smoother when you have a good vibe. I will always remember how assistant director Ricky from a Boots Riley production made everybody on set feel appreciated by calling us his heartbeats. People remember the way you treat them and in this industry you never know which artist you might end up working with again.
My journey as an actress has been very organic. I hope to inspire others to do what they love full time. Aim to be great at whatever it is that brings you happiness & work hard at what you love.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love coming home to Houston in between filming! I enjoy brunch spots. Whenever I’m in town I visit 51 Fifteen, Sweet Paris, Phil & Derek’s, and Snooze. Seismique is my favorite art museum. I would recommend Selfie 45 for trendy Instagram photos. Lagoon Fest is a vibe for people who enjoy water activities. For a night out I enjoy Kamp and Ebony. Turkey Leg Hut & Lotus are must tries as well.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I appreciate everyone who has been supportive of me. God, my family and my friends. Thank you!
Mrs. Dee, Evigreen Studios, & Kash Views