Actress, Rachel Currence Lends Her Talents To The New Edition Story
Portraying “Shamari Fears,” wife of New Edition’s Ronnie Devoe
Having been in the public spotlight from a very young age, Rachel Currence, has already racked up quite the impressive resumé. Thus far, the San Diego native actress has logged in a number of high profile TV credits; including, ‘Betas,’ ‘Victorious,’ ‘iCarly,’ ‘The Ex-List,’ ‘True Jackson, VP,’ with a recurring role on ‘Siblings,’ as well as appearing in a pair of cultish horror films; Hellraiser: Inferno and The Devil’s Tomb. The latest role for Rachel Currence is portraying Shamari Fears, of Blaque fame, and current wife of New Edition/BBD alum, Ronnie DeVoe, in the epic 3 night BET mini-series, The New Edition Story.
Rachel Currence On…
Her Introduction To Acting:
It all began through my mother, God bless her. Giggles I started out in beauty pageants in San Diego, which is where I am from – born and raised – and after winning, you know, competitions and titles, I was Little Miss Southern California, all that. I was referred to the Abrams Artists Agency, and after signing with them I did a national commercial (for) Mighty Kids Meal for McDonald’s. I was part of the Tiger Woods/Target campaign, and a lot of great things came from it. So we started having to be in L.A. a lot more, you know, driving the two hour drive for sometimes two minute auditions. But, you know, my mother was very persistent, and I think that’s where I get my drive and motivation from. So that’s kinda where my start was. I did take a break for school, and getting started in real estate and all that, but it’s [acting] my passion, it’s what I love to do, but it all started through pageants actually.
Her Strongest Influences:
Well, my mother and I, we’ve always watched and loved Meryl Streep. She’s our favorite. One of our favorites is The Devil Wears Prada. Also, the amazing character that I’m playing, Shamari Fears, has inspired me. The classic movie that my girls and I would perform to, do choreography to and all that stuff, was Bring It On and Shamari Fears stars in that as one [Lava] of the Clovers. She also had great soundtracks to movies; the ‘Honey’ soundtrack, and just so many great hits that I would perform in talent shows at school and all sorts of stuff, and I aspired to be like her. So getting the call to, let alone, audition for her was amazing ’cause I’ve looked up to her since a little girl.
Pursuit Of Acting:
I think it was after the real estate, and sort of just getting involved with, you know, flipping homes and doing that sort of thing, that you have to have a love and a desire and a passion for, because you can make money, but you have to love what you do. And I love acting. I love playing a character, and going into the depth of a part and exploring and playing. I mean, there’s just so much to acting and I truly love the work that’s involved in it. I mean, the biggest sacrifice to doing this is my time, but I’m happy to do it and I put a lot of effort into the classes, and the networking, and the workshops, etcetera. So, yeah, I mean it’s truly what I love and you have to love what you do because it’s work, you know.
The Joys Of Acting:
I know this might not sound like a typical answer, but I made my best friends in acting. Jennette McCurdy, who I played alongside on ‘iCarly’ as well as ‘True Jackson, VP,’ we make great friends and she’s a very special person. I think I met the best people through the joy of the career of acting and so I think it was realizing that we have all of these personalities and she is also a very outgoing, she’s her own individual, and acting makes it okay to be yourself because we have all these characters and personalities, and it’s okay. Certain fields and jobs you have to be a certain way, but in acting you can be yourself. And so I think some of my best friends I’ve met through doing this, and that really was just like, “Okay, not only do I love showing up on set doing the job, but I also love what comes with it, including the people.” And every set I’ve worked on, including The New Edition Story, has been absolutely amazing. So it all ties together.
Auditioning For The New Edition Story:
So originally I went out for the role of Ralph’s wife, and I was called back. I think I had the look of Shamari a little bit more, as well as the personality, and, like I had said before, I knew instantly who Shamari was. I admired her since a little girl. I’ve watched her movies, I’ve listened to her music, and so I just really just walked in the room and had fun. I wasn’t expecting anything. I just was myself, and so I think it was just very easy. And after I was cast, they were like, “Oh, you guys have the same personalities. You look so much like her.” So I really was just myself to be completely blunt and honest with you. I really was just myself. I walked in that room, I had fun with it, I got the call a couple of days later at that. You’ll be seeing me on the 26th (tonight), so yeah. Giggles again
Taking On The Shamari Fears Persona:
I think we already had the same vivacious outgoing personality. When I met her, it was just like instantly like, “Hey girl!” More giggles She’s so cool, she’s so down to earth, a very grounded woman. I actually watched her interviews. I studied her behavior. You know everything about her. The way she talked, her style, her dancing; because I grew up as a dancer as well. I can’t sing, I can’t sing, but I got a couple of moves! Laughs But, no, I watched a lot about her. I had known about her before, of course, but when you get the call you’re gonna be playing somebody, you really wanna kinda try to nail it… try… So I just studied her, looked up as much as I could about her, and she’s just an amazing person – seriously – it’s even better when the person that you admire is just cool as hell. That makes it all the better.
First Meeting Shamari Fears:
She was not able to be on set, but I did meet her at the wrap party… and we danced. We had a great time. They played all the classics. I want to say we danced to “Candy Girl”. I can’t really remember! More giggles And we had a great time. I met her for the first time at the wrap party, told her all about filming and everything, and Ronnie [DeVoe] actually introduced us. It was a very cute meeting. He was like, “So do you know who this is?” She’s like, “I don’t!” He’s like, ‘Oh, well she’s playing you in the movie.” And she’s like, “AAAAAhhhhh!” And it was just a totally cool experience… so it was awesome, it really was very cool.
Shamari Versus Rachel Currence:
Yeah, like I said, so we’re both vivacious, we’re both outgoing. She…meeting her in real life. She takes on a room, and I like to be the same. I just like to laugh, enjoy life, because if I don’t I’m gonna get up and dance. And like I said before, the difference is I can’t sing! She can sing very well. I love her songs, I love her music. So if you ever see me trying to sing her songs, it’s gonna be lip synching.
Working With Such A Great Ensemble Cast:
Oh my gosh, oh man, it was the bomb! I miss it to this day, can we go back please. It was so fun! I mean, Elijah [Kelley] likes to clown… Keith [Powers], who plays Ronnie DeVoe my husband in the movie, he is so sweet and so kind… and really just had my back. The director was Chris Robinson – we all know him hes an OG – he’s one of the greatest directors in different fields of the industry. And everybody on set… from not only who we all know, but from the AC, to the hair, to the make-up, to the wardrobe, everybody was so kind and so sweet, and just very welcoming. And they really made you feel at home, and I mean that seriously from the bottom of my heart. They were very, very, very nice people. I think everybody was just so happy that we’re celebrating and we’re giving back to a group who has contributed their entire life. I mean, look when they started, they were kids, and they been through so much. So I think when we’re involved in a project like this, we’re kinda appreciative and we’re not all rushing and we’re not all here just to end the day, but we’re actually here because it’s for… it’s to inspire and it’s to bring people together. I mean this a tribute, it’s a tribute to a group that we know and love, so it really was just a great set – seriously – a great set, and I will treasure those memories forever.
Rachel Currence Key(s) To Success:
God! God! God! God! I think that I give it to God. I have faith in God, and there’s so many parts and it’s an industry that’s so – I don’t mean this in any foul way – but it’s so fickle and you just never know. You want something so bad, and you don’t get it, and then you take it personally. I don’t have that or carry that attitude. I just give it to God, and whatevers meant to be will be. And like I said, I really wasn’t expecting anything. I walked in this room, I knew who Shamari was, and I was myself and I just had fun with it and I booked it, and I really felt like the part was mine and I booked it. So I just give all the praise and glory to God honestly and truly, because He knows what He’s doing and if something’s meant to be, it will truly be. And I can’t tell you what’s gonna happen, but I simply can say that I’m gonna work hard, do my best, and give it to Him. But I’m just appreciative, and I’m just so happy for everything that He’s done, especially for a project like this. I’m thankful to be a part of it, so truly I credit God.
Well, I am in real estate. I am involved in real estate. So, yeah, I do investing and flipping real estate, so that’s also something I do as well. I took a hiatus from acting to do that. I’m not gonna say I regret it, but it definitely taught me that acting is my love. I came back to it, you know, after a long break. I came back to acting because I realized it was my true passion, and I’m going full force now. I’m preparing for pilot season because you can work hard, you can make money, but you gotta do what you love. So once I established that and got myself situated with everything, you know, just being okay in my personal life and everything, I came back to the acting and I’m going full force with it now.
TV Versus Film:
TV, film, commercials…just being on set… those call times…I can’t forget hair and make-up! Lemme tell you, I love to get my hair and make-up done. Laughs It doesn’t matter. Just being on set, being given a part; it’s a field. You love what you do. I mean, I’m trying to think of a comparison. In music, do you love singing on stage in front of an audience more or do you love being in the booth more? I think everything. When you love the craft, you just love what you do; no matter what it is! And I love my craft. So you can put me on TV, you can put me in a film – it doesn’t matter – I love the craft and I love to perform for whoever watches me, just give them a piece of something ’cause that’s why I do this. I have life experiences, I am a human being, so I just like to sort of tell a story through that and it helps me express myself, so it makes me feel good.
Biggest Career Moment:
I can’t pick one! Oh my gosh, it’s like how do you compare. I’m so thankful for all of it ’cause I feel like if I choose one, you know, it’s kinda sorta discrediting the others a little bit. This character [Shamari] differentiates from other roles because I am playing, like I said, a character who I have grown up watching, admiring, and who I knew before I walked in the room I was auditioning for. So this definitely is extremely special because it’s a woman that I’ve admired. And how do you beat that? How do you beat someone that you grew up performing in shows as, and watching in Bring It On over and over and over? And I told her as soon as I met her all this, and she’s so just thankful and humble and, you know, happy to hear all this. So that’s what separates this from others.
Her Future Goals/Plans:
Hopefully still inspiring and, you know, doing great stuff like this and who knows maybe ‘New Edition Part 10!’ Laughs You never know, I don’t know. I can’t say, but I can simply say like this part in this film has done, allowing me to be a part of something so great, I can only hope for the best and say that if I have anything like this to do in the future 5, 10 years down the line, I’ll be very thankful because being a part of this movie is gonna touch so many. Their fans are diehards, they are so loyal, so if 5 to 10 years down the line I have anything to do with anything like this, my God I’ll be so thankful.
What’s Next For Rachel Currence: What’s next for me is I’ll be playing on a Amazon TV show. Pilot season is coming up and I am prepping for that. Also have a couple other things in the works and you can look out for everything on my Twitter account, which is at @rachel_currence. So just keeping busy, working hard.
Rachel Currence Last Thoughts: Thank you, thank you so much for having me, and I’m very glad I got to do this. Thank you so much. Just stay at your dreams and stay positive. Thank you for everything!