An INNER VIEW with Award-Winning Veteran Actress, Lisa Renee Pitts

An INNER VIEW with Award-Winning Veteran Actress, Lisa Renee Pitts

BIO

Lisa Renee Pitts is a veteran and award-winning (multiple Critic Circle and NAACP Theater) actress on stage, film, and television. You may recognize her from the highly acclaimed music biopic, “STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON,” playing Verna Griffin. After graduating from Rutgers University, Lisa began her career in her hometown, NYC, where she graced the stage with numerous artists, such as Leslie Uggam and Chita Rivera on Broadway, in Regional Theaters, and in Europe. You may have also seen Lisa in her numerous TV roles, which include “The Shield,” “The Practice, “Lincoln Heights,” and many others, or in her many national commercials. Lisa is an award-winning audiobook narrator and producer, motivational speaker, and ministry leader. Most recently, you may have seen her in LA at the Mark Taper Forum’s 30th Anniversary production of “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992.”

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: The industry is a rollercoaster. You often feel out of control, having to wait and wait for projects and productions to happen. What have you learned about how to stay in control when you can’t be in control?

Lisa Renee Pitts: Most recently, God has taught me, or rather He has reminded me once again, that He is in control, at all times, all by Himself. His timing is not my timing and whether I can “see” His hand moving or not, I can stand on Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Kathleen: Our days are full of choices. What has God taught you about making the right choices?

Lisa: Making choices – GOD FIRST! Lay every choice you have before God, first, asking, “Will this choice represent who you have called me to be?… who I know myself to be.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Glory to God! We can go straight to the source for direction and clarity regarding every decision we have to make. What a blessing! Go to God first!

Kathleen: The Bible tells us in Nehemiah 8:10, “…the joy of the Lord is our strength.” We often forget this when we’re in the midst of suffering. And there’s lots of suffering today. What have you learned to do when suffering happens?

 Lisa: As I began to mature in my walk with God, I could clearly see the toll long-suffering was having in my life (sickness, isolation, depression, anger.) I could also see that I needed to change the way in which I responded to that season of suffering. (more…)

INNER VIEW with Kelsey Cooke

INNER VIEW with Kelsey Cooke

Kelsey Cooke grew up acting professionally in Hollywood, signing with her first agent at the age of 7. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts from Vanguard University and pursued a Broadway, TV, and Film career in New York upon graduating. Her work eventually brought her back to Hollywood, where she co-founded thisishardtoread productions and is an award-winning producer, writer, and actor in the award-winning feature comedy/mockumentary film RE-OPENING. Favorite career highlights include: LIFE PARTNERS (Tribeca & Sundance Film Festival), BLACK NOVEMBER (Vivica Fox), PAN AM (ABC), ROYAL PAINS (USA), BAD TEACHER (CBS), and THE VERONICA MARS MOVIE.

Kathleen Cooke: OK full disclosure – you are my oldest daughter and the new Influence Women Nashville Chapter Director. I could tell lots about you…but I’ll let you tell us a bit about yourself.

Kelsey Cooke: I am co-founder of thisishardtoread productions with my husband, Chris. We create comedies with heart. I’m a producer, writer, director, and actor – not necessarily all at the same time, hah! I began in the industry as an actor at 7 years old in Hollywood and came up through the industry working not only in LA but after college in New York, working on stage and Broadway musicals before moving back to LA in 2013 as an actress and producer.

Kathleen: How and why have you gotten involved with Influence Women as the new Nashville Chapter Coordinator?

Kelsey: I recently moved to the greater Nashville area for the main purpose of collaborating with like-minded industry professionals. I was tired of waiting for some “big break” that would never come, and after producing my own feature film during the pandemic, I realized the Hollywood industry is so much bigger than the box we put it in. Nashville was the place where I felt called to create a movement with people who feel the same way. I know the multiple challenges of a career in the media and entertainment and the importance of collaboration with the right people and having a community of people who support each other not only in their work but in their faith.

Kathleen: When is the Influence Women Nashville launch, and what’s happening?

Kelsey: We are going to start gathering women on November 9th who are excited to get involved with our mission – to bring women in the industry together who want to encourage, uplift, and empower each other and align their media career with their faith and values. Let’s get to know each other and think of others who would also like to have a local community of creators. Please reach out if you would like to be a part of this initial group.

If you want to connect with Kelsey and Influence Women Nashville, reach out to her at: nashville@influencewomen.org.

Follow Kelsey: 
Website: thisishardtoreadproductions.com
Instagram: @kelseycookeofficial

Welcome Kelsey Guerra, The New Nashville Coordinator

Welcome Kelsey Guerra, The New Nashville Coordinator

Meet Kelsey Guerra, the new coordinator for Influence Lab Women Nashville!

Bio: Kelsey grew up acting professionally in Hollywood, signing with her first agent at the age of seven. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from Vanguard University and pursued a Broadway, TV, and Film career in New York upon graduating. Her work eventually brought her back to Hollywood, where she co-founded thisishardtoread Productions and is an award-winning producer, writer, and actor on the award-winning feature comedy/mockumentary film, RE-OPENING.  Favorite career highlights include LIFE PARTNERS (Tribeca & Sundance Film Festival), BLACK NOVEMBERTHE VERONICA MARS MOVIE (Vivica Fox), PAN AM (ABC), ROYAL PAINS (USA), and BAD TEACHER (CBS).

Kathleen Cooke: Tell us about you! What’s your story, and what do you do in the media and entertainment industry?

Kelsey Guerra: I am co-founder of thisishardtoread Productions with my husband, and we create comedies with heart. I’m a producer, writer, director, and actor – not necessarily all at the same time!

Kathleen: How and why have you gotten involved with Influence Lab Women as the new Nashville Chapter Coordinator?

Kelsey: I recently moved to the greater Nashville area from L.A./Hollywood for the main purpose of collaborating with like-minded industry professionals. I was tired of waiting for some “big break” that would never come, and after producing my own feature film during the pandemic, I realized that Hollywood and the industry is so much bigger than the box we put it in, and Nashville was the place where I felt called to create a movement with people who felt the same way. 

Kathleen: When is the Influence Lab Women Nashville launch, and what’s happening?

Kelsey: We are going to start with a small gathering of women at the end of October who are excited to get involved with our mission – to bring women in the industry together who want to encourage, uplift, and empower each other. Let’s get to know each other and bring together others who would like to have a local community of creators and industry professionals.

Reach out to me at: info@influencelab.com if you would like to be a part of the group. Once we have a core group of women, we can expand our reach to others who would also like to join us for a larger launch in January 2023.

Follow Kelsey: 
Website: thisishardtoreadproductions.com
Instagram: @kelseycookeofficial