Artistic Evolution

Guy, Devine, Chloe x Halle Share Life Lessons with Campus Community for Town Hall Conversation

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (April 26, 2019) – “Artistic Evolution” was the theme of the night at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s spring Chancellor’s Town Hall. Veteran actresses Loretta Devine and Jasmine Guy, alongside actresses and singing sister duo Chloe x Halle, held the attention of every attendee, discussing their career experiences, inspiration, highs, lows and everything in between.

While all the special guests, including moderator and alumnus Kevin Wilson Jr., work in the entertainment industry, the stories and advice they shared were applicable across all disciplines.

Oscar-nominee Wilson began the conversation sharing his personal story of following his dreams, even when family and friends told him to follow the safe path, get a business degree and a respectable job. His instead chose to pursue his passion in the arts, where he ultimately thrived beyond his wildest dreams.

While others may not understand or believe in you, it’s critical that you believe in yourself, stressed Guy, who is best known for her portrayal of Whitley Gilbert in the hit TV series, A Different World.

“Proving yourself is part of the game … transition is often difficult, but you have to have heart and tenacity,” she said.

Sharing the trials and tribulations of being young, somewhat unknown and African American, Chloe x Halle, who star in the Black-ish TV series spinoff, Grown-ish, echoed Guy’s sentiments with a small caveat.

“In this day and age, all you have to do is put something out there with your whole heart and see where it lands,” said Halle, the younger of the two. “Social media has really been helpful and special for us. If it weren’t for YouTube, we may not be here.”

“Getting the ball rolling is a little easier than keeping the ball rolling. That’s the hard part about Hollywood,” said Devine, whose star-studded stage and screen career spans nearly 40 years. Summing it up, she added “Ultimately, you must be able to inspire yourself.”

As the conversation progressed, so did the topics including the unpopular or “dark” side of the industry, such as the negativity of social media and not getting the part. All agreed the industry can be hard and difficult, particularly for African Americans and women, however they concurred that it all begins and ends with personal strength.

“As black women, it’s important to know your voice and power,” said Chloe. “And always remember, you do have power. Yes, the industry is difficult, but be kind and find kindness.”

Conversations with guests such as Devine, Guy and Chloe x Halle are part of a continuing effort by N.C. A&T to bring nationally distinguished guests to Greensboro for campus dialogue on matters of global importance. It is part of North Carolina A&T’s commitment to creating an intellectual climate that encourages the creative exchange of ideas.