Returning to Durham was not only nostalgic but also an honor for famed actress and former North Carolina Central University student April Parker Jones.
During a special lecture held in Farrison-Newton Auditorium, Parker Jones provided students the essentials to surviving the entertainment industry and divulged her journey to success in Tinseltown.
“Where you are right now is such an important place in your life as you have the opportunity to lay the foundation for the rest of your life,” she said.
Joining the audience of aspiring actors seeking words of wisdom were her parents who made a surprise appearance.
Parker Jones, a Durham native, was introduced to theatre at five-years-old at Durham’s W.D. Hill Recreation Center with a production of “The Tortoise and the Hair.” The beginning of her flourishing career began when she presented her talents on stage at Hillside High School in NCCU’s Department of Theatre and Dance.
She credits former NCCU professor Karen Dacons-Brock with identifying her talents and inspiring her to move to New York to begin a professional acting career.
“Things may not go as planned, sometimes you must trust the process,” said Parker Jones.
Parker Jones has starred in hit movies “Spider Man 3” and “The Defenders.” She has appeared in a number of hit television series, including “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Scandal,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “If Loving You Is Wrong,” to name a few.
“Learn your craft, become financially literate, learn other skills to earn income and maintain your health,” she advises future entertainers.
Parker Jones currently resides in Atlanta, Ga., with her husband, Jay Jones, and their two children.