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Polished Edge: Erica Tazel of ‘Justified’ on FX
Q: When did you know you were an actress?
A: I didn’t know on a conscious level. I went to college with the intent of being a physical therapist. I went to Spelman (College, in Atlanta) as a biology pre-med major.
Q: When did you develop an interest in acting?
A: I went to a performing arts high school. It was a means to an end. I didn’t want to go to the school in my home district. I loved “Fame.” Is it like that? Do they really dance on the tables? I can’t sing my way out of a paper bag. I had some raw talent for dance. ... The last couple of years I focused on acting. I was off to my freshman year in college, and I had a really hard time with my math and science classes. In sophomore year a girlfriend asked me to come over and take a break, and I walked into the theater and started crying. I didn’t feel it coming. I was shocked. Why is there water on my face? And the only way I could describe it is I was home.
Q: Once you knew, did you tell your parents?
A: I think I am supposed to be here, but my parents think they are getting a doctor out of the deal.
Q: When did you broach it with them?
A: (She told them) OK, so when you all come for graduation, Bachelor of Science (is on one side), and Bachelor of Arts is on other side, because I got a B.A. in theater and am going to New York in three months to get a master’s of acting. They were parents and I am the only actor in the family and no one, including myself, knew what that would look like.
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