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Acting career is a dream-come-true for Gary native

JenniFredrique graduate Horace Mann High School Gary stars 'Beyond Talent' airing AfricAustralia. The show includes interviews with prominent stars music

Jennia Fredrique, a graduate of Horace Mann High School in Gary, stars in "Beyond the Talent" airing in Africa and Australia. The show includes interviews with prominent stars in the music industry. | Photo provided

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‘I will not ruin my makeup!” Gary native and Horace Mann High School alumna Jennia Fredrique said to me during a quick phone interview.

Fredrique’s voice cracked when I asked her when it was that she realized she wanted to be an actress. She has a television show entitled “Beyond the Talent” (www.beyondthetalent.com) that airs in Africa and Australia and includes interviews with the biggest stars in the music industry like Usher, T-Pain and Miguel.

She also completed a pilot for MTV called “Watching the Wilsons.”

While on her way to another interview in Los Angeles, Fredrique fondly reflected on growing up in Gary and being active in creative arts.

“I was reciting speeches at Triumph Church and Kingdom of God in Christ in Gary when I was 7. My parents, Tina and Fred Watson, always supported my dreams, as well as the community,” she said.

Fredrique’s dreams grew over the years. After graduating from Horace Mann, she moved to Miami, then to New York before returning to Chicago and attending Columbia College for three years.

Though her passion was strong, so was her fear.

“I was scared to leave Chicago and see what I can do,” she said.

When she moved to Los Angeles, Fredrique said she wanted fame to come knocking.

“I found out that was not happening and got a regular job,” she said, “that only lasted two days!”

On her second day of job training, she received three acting jobs — a movie role, a campaign ad for Coca-Cola, and a part in a TV show.

“I prayed for this and God said ‘I got you!’ ”

Over the years she’s had roles on TV shows like “Half and Half” and “Passions,” and in movies, including the upcoming “Je’Caryous Johnson’s Marriage Material” with one of her idols, Robin Givens. A project in which she would play Josephine Baker is in the works.

Fredrique created a coffee table book titled “She’s Divine! A Goddess’ Book of Insights and Affirmations” (www.blurb.com), and produced and directed a documentary on fashion designer Jerell Scott entitled, “Kinda Couture” (see the trailer at www.kindacouture.com).

Fredrique’s goal is, of course, to win a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Oscar. Visit www.jenniafredrique.com to learn more about her.

The Glen Theater, 20 W. Ridge Road, is hosting “Louise Lee Presents Women of the Arts” at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15. Advance tickets are $15 and available at Beautiful Things inside the Village Shopping Center. Tickets are $20 at the door.

From 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Glen Theater, author Sedrik R. Newbern and celebrity guest Malik Yoba will read excerpts from Newbern’s book, “Unconditional Forgiveness: Lessons on Letting Go to Build Better Relationships.” Admission is free and a book signing is included.



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