In this insightful interview, Cherrie McRae, a dynamic force in the entertainment industry. Unveiling her vivacity, she attributes her persona to an unbeatable combination of wit and unstoppability, describing herself as a barometer rather than a thermometer. Cherrie recounts her transformative journey from her 2006 move to Atlanta, reflecting on her entertainment career’s unpredictable yet steady trajectory. Alongside acting, she embraces the role of Director/Filmmaker, sharing her passion for storytelling through short films. Cherrie’s favorite character portrayal in ‘KINDRED’ showcases her love for period pieces and fantasy. Beyond her craft, Cherrie’s commitment to promoting literacy and education shines through her partnership with Children Read, Inc. Her creative versatility extends to her publishing brand, CRae Publishing, and inspiring audiobook series, “Success Memoirs.” Cherrie’s resilience in the face of challenges comes to light as she navigates setbacks with a blend of self-care, support systems, and embracing humanity’s ups and downs.
Christina: What is your SwagHer? What makes Cherrie, Cherrie?
Cherrie: What’s my Juice? My Sauce? My Shake and Bake? Hmmm…I’d say two things: My wit and my unstoppability. I consider myself to be a barometer versus and thermometer. My energy is unmatched. I enter most rooms enthusiastically loud (many can attest to this). Some love it, and some…are annoyed by it, lol. I’m just glad I never changed the core of “Me” (barometer) in either scenario. Expounding on the unstoppability aspect, I must admit that regardless of how impossible something(s) may appear to others, I almost always make it very possible. I’ve adopted this mindset over the years, and by the grace of God, it’s stuck with me. This thought process has catapulted me to heights unimaginable.
Christina: Can you describe your move to Atlanta in 2006 to your current career in the entertainment industry?
Cherrie: Just seeing 2006 in this question alone has me shaking my head. Has it really been 17 years?!? Wow, what a journey! Some seasons really good, some just good, and some are extremely challenging. Fast forward, the trajectory of my career in entertainment has been a wild yet steady one. I’ve come to know this non-linear path to be an unpredictable game of “connect the dots.”…Luckily, I’m here to play the long game!
Christina: In addition to acting, what other creative roles have you taken on in the entertainment industry?
Cherrie: In addition to acting, which is primary for me, I’ve, over the past 5 years, added Director/Filmmaker to my creative wheelhouse. As an actor in front of the camera, I take esteemed pride in building character and exploring the intricacies of story. I grew fond of Directing and Filmmaking after writing my first short film script, an Investigative miniseries, in 2015. Once the script was completed, I began the process of finding someone to direct the piece. The search for a director who could share in my storyboard of a vision went on longer than I’d anticipated. In the thick of my frustration, a close colleague asked me, “Why don’t YOU direct it?” The notion of directing my project at the time was pretty intimidating. I put the thought aside for weeks before I finally re-considered. What better person to steer the story than the person who wrote it! So, for 8 years, I’ve been spearheading and perfecting an array of short film stories with mentorship and guidance as needed. Since then, I’ve been accepted into the ‘Alliance of Women Directors. I have written and directed four Short Films, three Drama’s, and one Comedy and contracted to direct 1 Drama and 1 Episodic for a named Streaming service. I am currently in post-production for a Hallmark-infused drama I’ve written and directed entitled, “Forget Me Not” which releases soon.
Christina: What is your favorite character you have played and why?
Cherrie: This one is tough…BUT…if I had to name one, I’d say it would be a character I portrayed in and HULU’s ‘KINDRED’, which is streaming now. The character’s name is SABINA, born from an adaptation of Octavia Butler’s book of the same name. I chose this character because it stretched me a bit, not entirely in the depth of dialogue but the tone, ingenuity, working alongside skilled craftsman/co-stars, and the given circumstances. I adore period pieces. The bonus was that the story was also infused with fantasy pieces, including time travel.
Christina: Can you elaborate on your involvement in promoting literacy and education, particularly with Children Read, Inc.?
Cherrie: I’ve partnered with the Children Read, Inc. Organization for about 2 years. I enjoy the program because I love mentoring children of all ages, shapes, and sizes, and am personally a bookworm myself. I am a firm believer that books, good books, are a fast track to comprehension, imagination, storytelling, and fantasy. Growing up, I remember going to the library and checking out books, and on designated weekends, I’d sign up for their reading circle. Those memories have always stuck with me. So when the amazing opportunity to join the Children Read Program surfaced, I never hesitated. I love to feel the interactive energy when I’m around young people. The brightness in their eyes as their minds trail alongside a colorful story from start to finish.
Christina: What is the story behind your single, “Never Forget”?
Cherrie: I think it’s safe to say that based on my above responses, there is no cap on my creativity. Never Forget…a little secret…was initially written as a poem. I’ll never forget (pun intended, lol) the day I wrote it. I was sitting in Panera Bread having coffee, per my usual. I was in a very delicate place in my life where I felt stagnant in more areas of my life than normal. I sat there and for two hours, and I remember the Holy Spirit speaking to me in a sense that all would be ok. It’s as though NEVER FORGET was a whispered letter that all will ultimately be okay. I then took pen to paper and wrote the entire poem. A few days later, I got the idea to convert it into a song. I wanted to share this measure of optimism with the world. I then solicited the help of a songwriter friend who helped re-arrange and format it as a song.
Christina: How do you approach challenges and setbacks in your career and personal life?
Cherrie: Contingent on how big of a challenge or setback it is, I tackle the small, less cumbersome issues by stepping outside of that energy. This looks like working out, praying, going out into nature, retail therapy, or forcing myself to throw on a little makeup, do my hair, put on a cute outfit, and treat myself to something special. If the setback or challenge is not so easily shakable, honestly, I’ve just have an all-out crying session as a means to cleanse, be human, and get most of it out! Sometimes this is partnered with dialing up my support system, altering my current environment with a quick-turn trip somewhere (anywhere, lol), or locate a volunteer opportunity. By helping another person with a need greater than my own gets me out of my funk.
Christina: Tell us more about your publishing brand “CRae publishing” and your audiobook series “Success Memoirs.” What inspired you to get into the publishing world?
Cherrie: CRae Publishing was conceived right after I contracted my first publishing client. Full transparency, I just ran with the idea because I needed to be completely legitimate on paper in order to publish my client’s book. I’m quick to start an LLC if I feel it is both lucrative or leads to some form of legacy building. So it started there. Shortly after publishing my client’s first book, I began gaining other clientele on the strength of word of mouth. I began helping others bring their visions of becoming authors to life. I eventually joined the literary ranks when I wrote my first 2-part audiobook series, “Success Memoirs.” A digital download is now available on my website. Its function is to aid owners, operators, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and go-getters from all walks of life stay fueled and motivated despite the odds that are stacked against them, a push tactic to motivate all to press forward. My most recent audiobook is entitled, “So You Wanna be an Actor,” created and designed with the novice actor in mind. It was officially released in Spring ’23. If you are an aspiring actor, Parent of a child actor(s), and/or recently reinstated actors, then this is your ideal resource. The listening series acts as a step-by-step guide that removes the guesswork from the beginner’s journey and provides practical ‘do’s and don’ts’ that expedite the learning curve. Both guides can be found on my professional webpage, www.cherriemcrae.com.
Connect with Cherrie below:
Facebook: Cherrie McRae
Tik-Tok : @theecherriemcrae