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Najee Joyner

Najee Joyner

Acting / MFA

I believe my greatest tool is something that you cannot see. Ever since I was young, nothing really has been conventional about my life. Through grief came my greatest tool, imagination. Check this, how many folks you know have been to a funeral on their birthday, their 13th to be exact. Characters and becoming them, living as them, hell, even peeing as them has always excited my mind. I come from a small town called St. Stephen, South Carolina, population: everybody knows everybody. There wasn't much to do growing up outside of going to school and going home so all, I did was play make believe or role play. On Mondays I was a power ranger flying off my grandma couch and on the next day I was Agent J from Men in Black. I imagined that I could be a lot of things growing up. At first, I wanted to be an archaeologist but then I thought who wants to be in shitty ass weather digging up dead things. Then I wanted to be in forensics, looking at crime scenes but then that involves detailing dead things too. Flash forward to me in my last year of high school and wondering what I’m going to major in for college. This is usually where folks say and “then it hit me” or “the stage called out to me” but nah… it wasn’t that for me at all when I made the decision to pursue acting. I figured with all the grief I have to deal with in real world whether that’s growing up poor, dealing with racial prejudices as a black man, and just overall impactful life events that I am going to live as many lives as possible before I leave this mortal coil. Whether that be on stage, on the big screen, in a commercial, and or living many lives at once through writing. “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.”

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