MErcedesFirst up for my series of PASSION LIVING: IN LIVING COLOR is ANTOINETTE MERCEDES from Memphis, TN. I met Mercedes when I was casting for an upcoming short film I’m co-producing. Beyond her strikingly beautiful look, her energy is so endearing. You can’t help but to want to know more about her. I was introduced to her as a model, but I quickly learned that there is so much more to her. When I thought about people to help get this ‘IN LIVING COLOR’ series rolling, she was one of the first to come to mind. She is definitely doing her thing and making the best of her passions; her loves… Check out the interview I had with Mercedes.

What is your passion?

I have many passions, but if I had to put them all into one word category, it would be ART.  I love everything about art. Poetry, writing, photography, modeling, acting and music.  Those things are my passion.

What are some of your past or current projects that display your passion?

As of right now, I am working on several things. I am promoting myself in my modeling which has opened doors to many promotional and exclusive gigs. I also write music for local artist and I am looking to expand on that.  I am also working on completing and publishing my first novel.

Have you always been in tune with your passion?

Yes!  When I was in kindergarten, one of my assignments was to write a short story. My story was called Queen Witch. It was about a little girl meeting a woman who the town thought was evil but in reality, she was just sad. I still have that paper book. I have so many stories and poems that I’ve written. My mom would laugh because like most kids, my room was always junky. However, it wasn’t filled with toys and clothes. It was paper, pencils and crayons. Lol. It was all over the place.

Can you recall when you first realized it was your passion?

I don’t think I realized it until I was in high school.  I went to a performing arts school and was enrolled in their Creative Writing program. I was surrounded by teenagers my age who loved what I loved. And they pushed me to be better and think beyond what was in front of me.

Who/What inspired you most to live out your passion? 

ME!!!  I know some people look at what I do as a waste of time. And I get little money for it.  But there are also people who don’t have the love of what they do and they are miserable.  I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have art.  I honestly believe that without it, I would be worthless.  Art inspires me and my love for it drives me to continue doing what I do.

What have been some of your greatest challenges, if any, in following your passion?

How did you overcome those challenges?  Balance.  I work a full-time job and I do my art on the side. So I keep myself pretty busy.  Its finding balance to keep my sanity, spend time with family and friends that has been the greatest challenge. I’m naturally a mover. And sometimes it wears me out.

Have you been able to expand your passion into other things?

I have. Initially, I started out as a model. I was about 17 when I met a photographer and it seems like all the doors opened.  He introduced me to directors. So, I got into acting. And they would introduce me to artists, so I got into video modeling and writing. And it continued to grow and people would continue to refer me to others.  It’s been an amazing journey and its not over.

What do you hope to be doing with your passion in ten years?

Well, my plan is to get back into school. I want a degree in Sociology/Criminology and a minor in Creative Writing.  I’m hoping to get more work published and possibly begin a coaching program for inspiring models.  In my eyes, the world is limitless. I’ll go after everything until I can’t anymore.

Kudos to Antoinette for following her passion in LIVING COLOR! We hear you loud and clear!