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Actress, Clinician & Philanthropist, Karmia Berry, speaks on Overcoming Obstacles…
What’s the greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome:
Doubt. Every decision I make, I pray. I talk to God daily but my greatest overall challenge has been moments when I doubted the process because it wasn’t going my way. For me, it is really important to be grounded in your faith to prevent the self-doubt that may come along your journey to greatness.
The greatest challenge in relationships has been the misunderstanding of my go hard mentality vs. not making time enough time for others. My pursuits are admired until it becomes personal.
I learned the importance of personal time about six years ago. I devoted one full year of not going out, taking time to travel or really be social because I was so focused on “getting it right.” I felt like I didn’t deserve those luxuries. Well, that year I booked not one acting job and made no advancements in any of personal or professional goals. This was also the year that I graduated with my Masters degree but nothing major followed. It took a toll on me. Life is about living. Plant the seeds and grind but you still have to live! There are still a few things that I am learning. I am not perfect but my outlook has changed drastically after that year.
The greatest challenge for me in my career/business was the pursuit of finding my happiness and creating a healthy balance of life within my career choice. Life after Hampton University was a ride – it all started when I walked away from pursuing my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in Arlington, VA. I attended my orientation and immediately became anxious after taking my student ID picture. The anxiety was not because of the hard work I knew I had ahead of me, but because of the desire I had to be someone different…and I needed to be in New York or Los Angles to make it happen.
So I withdrew from Argosy University twenty fours later, which as you may imagine, was not any easy decisions at all. However, I was also accepted to Hofstra University in New York. I transferred my application and later obtained my Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy. While attending Hofstra, I was also enrolled at Stella Adler Studio and The New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.
My decision to attend Stella created a journey where I am actively in the Arts. Whether on-screen or on stage, I love having the ability to bring stories, images and characters to life. In addition to acting, I am also a clinical Assistant Vice President at one of NYC top organizations that works to empower the lives of families and children daily and the Founder/CEO of a non-profit that is designed to empower the lives and mindset of adolescents through cultural experiences.
The challenge is having such a strong desire to want to do more, to live outside of what may be comfortable. I not only want to be an actor but I want to be a part of the movers and shakers who actively want to uplift the world. My big aspirations can be draining, and sometimes I’m like “Karmia just stick to the one thing”, but you have peace with yourself, when you discover your purpose. I know who I am. My challenge is to not give up and to continue to live without regrets. I just pray in my career lifespan to inspire others and that it spreads and then they inspire others and then it spreads.
As a woman?
My greatest challenge as a woman has been the unnecessary misleading to get to “the top.” There is no blueprint to becoming a successful entrepreneur or making it big in the entertainment industry. You have to put yourself out there, be optimistic to an extent and take risks. There are people out there that will take advantage of you knowing how tough it can be to get the “big break.”
Unfortunately, there are women that I have been up against who were willing to compromise themselves. In my journey, I have experienced what was supposed to be a business meeting, somehow turn into “how can I get to know you better” talk. Discussions on innovative building, turn into “are you available and what can you do for me?” Experiencing the disappointment of these occurrences, you develop thicker skin, becoming more strategic and aware of what you are up against. It’s not always like this but you do learn from your experiences and instead of feeling defeated or powerless, you have to bounce back and become more confident and strong-minded. I refuse to compromise my values just to say I made it. No one can take away what is meant for you…even if it takes you a little longer to get there.
Share a quote, scripture, affirmation or mantra that has gotten you through challenging times.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” – James 1:2-4 NIV