KORTNEE PRICE IS ... LIVING A DREAM [ @SHESLOVETARIAN ]
It was such an amazing experience and opportunity to connect with budding superstar Kortnee Price. Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Kortnee stands as a prime example of what can happen if you simply let go and follow your dreams. Her strength and courage to follow what was engrained in her blood has landed her in a place that she never could have imagined. Kortnee is starring in her first feature film, "La Vie Magnifique de Charlie", and the film is already making major waves in multiple film festivals. Our connection came because of her involvement in the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival, but the film is actually being featured in several other festivals, including the Peachtree International Film Festival which is happening October 29th in Atlanta. There's more to follow after that, and you can find that out, plus more in our exclusive with Kortnee Price, "Living a Dream"...
U.G. Digital Mag: I’m so glad to connect with you. You’re part of a few festivals for your new film, and these festivals have become such a huge platform in terms of promotion. You’re from Ohio which is fantastic, and your film was part of the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival. How was that for you in terms of excitement?
Kortnee Price: I feel amazing. It’s home. I’ve been creating a lot in Atlanta, and really experiencing a wide range of things within myself. It’s opened up opportunities with learning screenwriting. I have a background in songwriting, but screenwriting is a whole different monster. To be able to come home to Ohio and present this project was so big for me. I was back and forth a lot. I love being in an atmosphere where there’s opportunities and familiar faces. I love Ohio, so when I got the word that we would be there, I almost burst out in tears. It’s home and Ohio is a state where so much talent comes from. To be included in that is beautiful, and I’m making my people proud.
U.G. Digital Mag: What took you to Atlanta?
Kortnee Price: I, like most people, have a lot of family there. As far as growing creatively, and wanting to be in a more vibrant and creative atmosphere, it was the best transition. My husband really talked me into it. He had it more in his mind than I did. Atlanta was not my first choice by far, but he broke some things down for me. I definitely wasn’t the most elated at first, but as I started getting to know the entertainment and art community as a whole, I fell in love.
U.G. Digital Mag: I think it’s good. There’s a reason I ask as well. I’m born and raised in Ohio, but we’re creating a location in Georgia, and we’re planning to head down that way this weekend. I go to Atlanta a lot for events and such, but every time I go, I want to stay. The city is absolutely amazing. So many people have so much negative to say in terms of over-saturation, and just the city, but for careers like ours, it’s perfect. It’s so much happening, as you said.
Kortnee Price: It’s overwhelming, right?
U.G. Digital Mag: It really is. There’s so much good going on at any given moment. Publishing a magazine like ours, it’s a great place to be. I hate the traffic of course, but we’ll be on the outskirts, probably at least an hour away, so it works.
Kortnee Price: That’s really the place to be.
U.G. Digital Mag: We’ll likely be in Columbus, which is good because it’s so close. It’s awesome to know that you’re there as well. Of course, it’ll be great to be in that atmosphere, and I can imagine the same has been great for you
Kortnee Price: It has. The one thing I love is there’s such a large community feel. There are so many open conversations. With this generation; my millennial generation, there’s a lot that is no longer taboo. The conversation is open, widespread, and beautiful. You find many people with the same questions and the same message. It’s great to convene, and have that community. There’s always a place to release and have that conversation, listen, and feel. That’s what I adore. I am back and forth right now because my mother’s health took a little turn. I have been back and forth, so I am in Ohio a lot. It’s one of those things were when I’m still in Atlanta working, I’m creating, and the essence is wonderful.
U.G. Digital Mag: Talk about your project that screened for GCUFF?
Kortnee Price: It’s called Le Vie Magnifique de Charlie, and it means the magnificent life of Charlie. The director is Bobby Huntley. It’s such a long title for the movie [laughing].
U.G. Digital Mag: It’s funny because I took years of French. I knew the title right away.
Kortnee Price: The film is quirky, and definitely intended to be a true celebration of black women and sisterhood. My personal take away was that when you see this film, it’s specifically about breaking down stereotypes that black women can’t work together, or be friends, or cultivate and have beautiful relationships. The things we see on television shape our reality, and one of those things is reality shows. With regard to Charlie, she has a sister who passed away of Sickle Cell. Charlie is super quirky, all over the place, and shes a “do what i want to do - carefree” type of woman. Her mission is to stay carefree in the crazy world we live in. Her soft spot is her sister Brandy. When Brandy passes away, she’s on a scavenger hunt to try and bring Charlie back to herself. It’s almost like her sister is helping her from the grave. It’s cool to just kinda be able to tell this story. On top of that, she has two amazing best friends. Brandy is played by Ashley S. Evans, and her two best friends, Keturah is played by Nikki Lashae, and Kayla is played by Lailaa Brookings. It’s amazing, and literally the craziest day of Charlie’s life. There are back-stories, but it touches on the importance of mental health in the black community, and how we have a tendency to hold a lot of things in. Think about childhood when you were going through things, and your mother and grandmother told you to pray obout it. There were things we didn’t talk about, and then as adults we had to recover from our childhood. It speaks to mental health because it’s important to have someone with love and compassion, and their open to these things. That’s where her best friends come in at.
U.G. Digital Mag: I love that you speak on women working together. It’s funny because in a recent interview with another artist, we spoke about that very thing. Aside from all of that, this is your first feature film. What’s the feeling?
Kortnee Price: I still have to look at the trailer and ask, “for real”? This is really my first finished project. I had a small start in acting at 19 years old, but we never finished the pilot. I never touched acting again until now. I just worked on songwriting. After 5 or 6 years, I started a new HR job. I was talking to a co-worker; we started around the same time. She asked if I acted, and I said absolutely not. She saw this essence that she felt I had. She connected me with this director she had met. I was not prepared, but she wanted to connect us. Her name is Brianna T Williams, and is the unit production manager. She has an amazing background in production. She actually works in the television department now. I went, tried out, and I found out two days later that I got the part. The craziest thing about it was the casting director, Nikki Wade, literally did not want to see me. They were on their final audition, and there were others in the room who had already auditioned for the part. I came in, a little intimidated, and they asked me to stay. I went back in, and did a more emotional side. They sent me home, and I got a call a few days later.
U.G. Digital Mag: So amazing. What are your plans for the screening? Will it be at a number of festivals?
Kortnee Price: We just screened a few weeks ago at my first film festival. It was beautiful to see everything, and check out the workshops and luncheons. There were such amazing people who have been submerged in the film community for a long time. The next one is Peachtree Village International Film Festival. There will also be a few more. We just got accepted to a festival in New York for December, and the Baltimore International Film Festival.
U.G. Digital Mag: Who is keeping your calendar together with all these amazing things going on [laughing]?
Kortnee Price: Oh my goodness, yes! I feel so blessed because self-love has been my primary message. It is near and dear to me, and it plays a huge part. Everything starts with God, but to be part of this film magnifies and blows up my entire intention. I feel like purpose is nestled in the experiences that are bigger than you. This film is 100% bigger than me. It’s not about Kortnee. It’s about a message that people can take from it, and change the dynamic to shape a more healthy and positive reality for black and brown women.
U.G. Digital Mag: One of the things we talk about a lot here in UGD is following passion. I know you took a leap of faith jumping into this. What did you do before?
Kortnee Price: I was at a point where I was just like, I’m a creative. I believe your gift makes room for you. For a long time, I ran away from my gift, or my desires. I got to a point where I said I love HR; I’ll just work that and keep it moving. I constantly told myself that, although I never believed it. I became more introverted than ever. Now I’m more extroverted. I value being able to have that solitary feeling of peace. It’s wonderful to be displaying my gift, and I realized I couldn’t run from it any longer. I just asked, what’s the worst that can happen. You’ll never know what’s on the other side of fear if you don’t jump. I’m grateful that on the way down, I grew some wings. They were there all along, but I just didn’t know how to spread them.
U.G. Digital Mag: I love this. You’re pushing your passion, and honestly, my story resembles that. I’ve been in healthcare for so long, but this magazine was truly my passion. It was a big move when I launched and left my job, but it was that realization that I needed to stop running and just do it. It’s funny that when you make the decision and stand behind it, things begin to fall into place. Your dreams really begin to come true; it’s just a matter of you choosing to do it.
Kortnee Price: I read an article about a person going around interviewing people who were dying. The biggest question was about their biggest regret. For everyone, the answer was they didn’t do what they wanted to do. I said if I had to be uncomfortable to grow, then so be it. I can’t live according to someone else’s standards. People who have stagnant energy; they want you to live their ideals. They may not want you to grow, and I had a few people around me like that. As I continued to make myself uncomfortable, and then growing to be comfortable with myself in being uncomfortable, I noticed how I made others uncomfortable. That was how I was able to weed out the wrong energy, and open the floodgates for beautiful people in my life. I’m grateful for positivity, and the lessons I’ve learned. A lot of people think the lifestyle is easy and fun, but it’s an ugly and defacing process. You have to find yourself, and get uncomfortable, face challenges and breakdowns. You begin to realize that every level you reach requires a different version of yourself. Your power lies in the fact that your journey is yours and yours alone. No one has walked in your footsteps but you. I’m learning as much as I can to not allow someone to take my power away from me, and continue to take it with me so I can put it into my passion and get out the message that is truly bigger than me.
U.G. Digital Mag: This opportunity has been amazing. How can people keep up with you online?
Kortnee Price: They can put my name in as Kortnee Price. I’m on instagram as @Sheslovetarian, or search Kortnee Price. Those are the easiest ways. I’m always engaging with people. I love being a part of things that are different than me. It’s more beneficial for me in the long run.