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Tasha Smith on Never Quitting, Stripping & Always Being Authentic

“I think it’s important to be able to empower people through your testimony.”

Veteran actress Tasha Smith recently sat down with EBONY to discuss her upcoming episode of TV One’s Uncensored, always being authentic to her roots and maintaining an active career in Hollywood.

The series, which is in its second season, “dives deep into the lives of your favorite personalities as they reveal secrets on their success, obstacles they’ve faced and how they manage this new world of social media that has helped but sometimes haunted their careers.”

“Honestly, because I’m uncensored,” Smith said about sharing her story on the show. “I think it’s important to be able to empower people through your testimony. We all come from different walks of life. We all have different experiences, and I feel like there may be some people out there that may need to hear my experience and be inspired [to overcome] whatever rough path they’re going through.”

Smith and her identical twin sister, Sidra, were born in 1971 to a 15-year-old single mom in Camden, New Jersey. Her upbringing was rough, and she quickly learned to defend herself from bullies. After dropping out of high school at 14, she did odd jobs until she moved to Los Angeles with friend and fellow actress Tisha Campbell.

Throughout her more than two-decadelong career, the actress has played multiple roles in Tyler Perry projects, and in television and film including The Parkers, ATL and Empire. Most notably, her characters are relatable to the everyday Black woman, something she is well aware of.

“I try to convey the truth and experiences that I know,” Smith said. “I’m from Camden, New Jersey; I’m a real Black woman, I’m from the hood and can’t nobody do nothing about that, it’s just me.”

While some people may say being labeled for being the “loud ghetto girl” can limit your professional success, the actress doesn’t totally agree because she never gives up.

“I’m not quitting,” she asserted. “We all as actors go through times where we think our career may be up or down, or we may not be working as much as we desire, but the key is to not quit. … Keep being resilient if they say ‘no,’ it doesn’t mean you quit. It means you keep trying.”

Smith had that mentality since the outset of her career. In the earlier years, she moonlighted as a stripper between her comedy gigs to earn money to live her dream. The When Love Kills director revealed that being a dancer enhanced her stand-up performances because it forced her to overcome fears and insecurities.

“Dancers work hard; their body ache just like athletes,” Smith said. “A lot of them that are talented when it comes to pole work, which I wasn’t. They really are working their butts off. I respect them as human beings and women, who have chosen to do something to serve the talent that they have.”

Her underlying message to dancers, herself or anyone who needs to hear it is to “be who you are and don’t try to change for someone else.”

Uncensored featuring the actress will air Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.

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