In the second episode of The Underdogs, VOX ATL’s Tamara Morgan sits down with actress Riya Ramaswarmy to talk about her journey as a teen in film and some of the obstacle women like her have had to face, and overcome.
I am 17 years old and have spent 12 years in the film world. Acting is my life. I have always loved what I do but as I got older, I started speaking out against the injustices in not only film but the entertainment industry as a whole as well.
Growing up as a young Black woman in the film industry, I would constantly get passed up because of the color of my skin or because my hair was “too much” to work with. I have always had to work ten times harder to get to where I want to be. As a Black woman stepping into a white dominated industry, it was always hard because I knew my spot could be replaced at any moment. Not because of talent, but because of my “ethnic look.” That is why I am speaking out for Black women against the injustices that we experience.
Mia Isaac, 16, is one of my closest friends who I met at an audition about three years back. She is a very accomplished actress, writer, director and executive producer who just produced her own film, “You Could Have Done Better.” Not only is she a woman of color, she is a biracial woman of color and biracial woman also experience discrimination because they may be “too dark” to pass as white. We spoke on discrimination in the work place, the differences between Los Angeles and Atlanta film culture, her dreams, aspirations in her career down the line.
These next few episodes in this series, “The Underdogs,” will open your eyes to new and eye-opening stories from some of Atlanta’s very own teen actors. Enjoy!