My father was my main influence. He was a preacher, but he was also a history and political science teacher, and since he was my hero, I wanted to follow in his footsteps and become a teacher.
At only 20 years old I got married. I was still a kid myself, but in those times, if you got someone pregnant, you had no choice but to get married. So I left school and the only thing I could do was sing.
Paul and I were both struggling actors. One night he would serve me in a restaurant, and the next night I would serve him. It was what out of work actors did.
I went into acting because I had to make a good living. I had a child now and I had to support him any way I could... I wasn't happy, but I wasn't unhappy. I was just doing what I had to do to survive.
N. K. Jemisin