Connect and get to know actor Princeton Drake
Princeton Drake is an actor, writer, producer, and Executive Director of the new Performing Arts and Film Production Studio: Divine Legacy Conservatory.
HELLO PRINCETON DRAKE, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME! CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF FOR OUR AUDIENCE?
Hello everyone, thank you for having me in today. I am so honored to be here and excited to be chatting with you all. My name is Princeton Drake, I am a professional working actor, writer, producer, and acting teacher located in Huntsville, Alabama. I have over a decade of acting experience, and can be seen in movies, television series, web-series, music videos, and stage performances all over the Southern region of the United States. I was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. I enjoy working in the entertainment industry and helping others break into the industry. I graduated from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida where I majored in Telecommunications and Film and minored in Theatre Arts, with an Acting concentration.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT THIS IS THE FIELD THAT YOU WOULD WANT TO EXPLORE?
I was about fourteen years old when I realized that this was the field that I wanted to explore. It was at this age that I started saying out loud that I wanted to be an actor. I did not become an actor until the age of twenty-one. I was a college student and I had booked a role in the ensemble in the JSU stage adaptation and stage production of Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice. Then at age twenty-five, I booked my first professional acting job.
HOW DID ACTING CHANGE YOUR LIFE?
When I was a kid, I really enjoyed entertaining people and making them laugh. I was the little kid always making jokes, always dancing around, and pretending to be someone else. Now that I think about it, I was super artistic and even acting back then, but did not fully understand what any of that meant until I was an adult. I have always loved the arts of dance, music, acting, and entertainment. However, in my experience and being told as a child that those things were not real jobs, was devastating. I grew up in a city where most people pursue careers paths in engineering, nursing, teaching, you get a good government job, or you go to the military. I was told those are the careers that will bring you the most money and a happy life. However, for me I had other dreams. Acting and entertaining others is just who I am to the core of me; and so, I took a leap of faith, changed my career path from nursing, to film and acting. Making the decision to become a professional actor and to be cast for work in the entertainment industry has been such a life changing/rewarding dream for me. Every day I get to live my dream. Every time that I book a role or work on a production, it is like I have won the lottery. I am so fulfilled when I book a role and when I have an opportunity to perform on set or stage. I have turned my acting desires into a reality, and I am only getting started.
YOU ARE ALSO A ACTING TEACHER, CAN YOU SHARE US SOME OF YOUR EXPERIENCE AS BEING A TEACHER? HOW WAS THE TRANSITION FOR YOU FROM BEING AN ACTOR TO ACTING TEACHER?
Working as an actor will always be my first love. My desire to teach started in 2012, when I was in college students at UWF. I took a theatre management course, and in that course, I had to complete a project where I was the owner and Executive Director of my own performing arts studio. Before that course, the idea of teaching acting and owning my own studio never crossed my mind. I knew at that point in my life, I wanted a professional career as an actor but teaching and owning a studio was something new that sparked my interest. In 2013, my interest continued to grow, when I was an intern at an acting studio and saw how a studio was run/operated and how the students responded to the acting teachers. In 2014, I started coaching actors and helping them with their self-tape auditions and the teaching came natural to me. Fast forward six years later and Divine Legacy Conservatory (Performing Arts and Film Production Studio) was created. When I am teaching acting to my students at DLC, I become a different person and go into a different mode. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a believer in people. I want everyone to be successful and win in life, no matter what career path they have chosen. However, I have a soft spot for those individuals and students desiring to work in different artistic fields and work in the entertainment industry. When I am teaching, I get to share my heart and experiences with my students. I get to serve them and help turn their dreams into a reality.
CAN YOU TELL A LITTLE MORE ABOUT DIVINE LEGACY CONSERVATORY?
Sure. Divine Legacy Conservatory is a Performing Arts and Film Production studio located in Huntsville, Alabama, that was birthed out of a strong passion for the arts and for people desiring to work in the entertainment industry. Created by three individuals Sampley Barinaga, Kathlene Robinson, and myself (Princeton Drake), we created a studio and haven where individuals could feel loved, feel supported, and a place where they could be their true artistic selves. All three of us work as professional actors in the entertainment industry, all three of have been side coaching other actors/ taping them for years, and all three of us “individually” have helped other people with their careers in the entertainment industry. Mr. Barinaga has been teaching children’s acting and writing film content for a couple of years now. Mrs. Robinson has a film degree from Full-Sail University and has been writing, producing, directing content film productions, along with acting for over thirteen years. We created Divine Legacy Conservatory to reach youth children, young adults, and adults who aspire to work as professionals in the entertainment industry. Our mission of Divine Legacy Conservatory is to train, develop, and launch the professional careers of artists (actors, writers, producers, directors, and dancers) who are seeking to work and thrive in the entertainment industry for the rest of their lives.
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST PROJECTS TO DATE?
One of my favorite projects to date and acting roles to date, would have to be my role as Neighbor # 6 in the television series NCIS: New Orleans. The episode is called Biased and is such a powerful and moving episode. I was truly blessed to be cast for a role in this episode and be given the opportunity to be a part of NCIS: New Orleans history. One of the reasons why this project and role is one of my favorite projects to date is because I got to be directed by the legendary actor, writer, producer, and director Mr. LeVar Burton. I also got to meet and be given script lines by the talented writer, producer, and wordsmith Talicia Raggs. To be a young actor and be present during this episode, story, and subject matter is something I will never forget. Another one of my favorite projects to date is, my role as George Armstrong in the UWF adaptation of “Intimate Apparel” a beautiful play written by Lynn Nottage. In the stage production, I play the lead male role, a character named George Armstrong who is a Barbadian immigrant. One of the reasons why this project and role is one of my favorite projects to date is because this was the first time that burning passion for acting hit me. I remember it, like it was yesterday. It was our last show, at the University, a Sunday afternoon, and there was a fire in my belly throughout the entire performance. At first, I was a bit afraid and I remember thinking, I hope I do not get sick. However, as I continued to perform, it was like magic was running through my body, and I felt like I had an out of body experience while performing. When the show wrapped, I knew from day moving forward, I wanted to be an actor for the rest of my life.
ANYTHING IN WORKS THAT YOU CAN TALK ABOUT? ANY EXCITING NEW PROJECTS?
At the moment, I am not booked for any up-and-coming acting projects. Due to Covid-19, work in the entertainment and film industry has slowed down quite a bit. Although, I have been getting auditions amid, the pandemic. I have not booked a project since the beginning of December 2020. The last project I work on was a radio drama called, Journal Against The Unknown.” Written by Anthony David Coleman and Lee Fanning.