Today's Face of the Flow is a face I fell for the first day I laid eyes on her. Problem is it is sure to be a day a lot of you fell the same way. If you have a library of urban/Hip Hop movies and films you are sure to have her in your library. If it's not coming to you as soon as I name a few, I'm sure you will be rushing to youtube or your digital collection to see what you missed. It's taken me almost four years to get on her calendar. Maybe it was "Persistence". Maybe it's that "Good things come to those who wait". Maybe it's "Patience is a Virtue". Which ever cliche you choose I have to say it left way for the most in-depth interview that I have ever done. I caught up with her near her at her home in LA and talked about everything from how she grew up, her experience being bullied, her roots in the entertainment business, hair and her love and commitment to health and fitness. So let me introduce to some and present to others April Clark.
TFM: So April for those that know and those that don't you are probably most known for your role in the hit movie ATL. You seemed to be so at home in your role one would believe you might very well be from the South. Are you?
April: Yes, I moved to Atlanta as a teenager so I did get to grow up in the South and very much consider myself a Georgia Peach ;)
TFM: Peach. You know that is actually a visual that I think fits you quite nicely. What was life like growing up?
April: I was born in Florida and growing up was like being a mermaid. I was playing in the ocean everyday. Seeing dolphins was a regular occurrence and so was being in a bikini, swimming in the Gulf. When I was little I would swim for a mile and when I would get tired I would hold onto my dads' shoulder and tag along.
TFM: That's real cool. I grew up as a water baby too. I love the water. Sounds like you do to. But tell us... Did you have any entertainment influences in your family?
April: My Grandmother had entertainment aspirations but was never given the opportunity during those times. She encouraged my mother and wanted her to be one of the Rockettes.
My mother grew up doing beauty pageants and was in batton twirling competitions. I would try on all her sequined costumes that my grandmother hand made.
She did national commercials and movies and was in a movie with Robert Redford. As an adult my mother was part of improv theaters in Sarasota, Miami and Atlanta.
Whole World theater in Atlanta is where my mother and I took classes together and we were asked to be part of their theater to put on shows on a weekly basis, which was so fun and we were WWT's first mother and daughter to join. Also my Uncle was in a movie called "A flash or Green" with John Wayne... that's pretty cool.
TFM: Wow you and your mom were a theater duo? That's tight right there... And John Wayne and Robert Redford are truly staples in the game to lay claim to. Now speaking of your mother, she has seemed to provide you with a nice little mix of different cultures. What are they?
April: From what Im told.. [Laughs] Im half black and half white but to get deeper into my cultural background my father is African American with Irish and Native American.
Its a lot of different cultures and I love being multi-ethnic. I find that I can relate to many different people and see myself in them. My mother is European of English and French decent with Native American.
TFM: Well that's a nice mix indeed. I can't lie. [Laughs] Did your mixed heritage cause any problems for you growing up?
April: Well I remember when it was first brought to my attention that I was different than the other kids. I was bullied at 5 years old by older girls at an after school program.
I went home to ask my dad what I say to these kids? My dad told me to tell them "you are a child of God".... I thought I would get beat up for sure. [TFM Laughs]
I was asked strange questions like "what are you?" I was taken out of public school and put in private school in 5th grade because of fights.. my dad even had to stop one. I remained in private school til almost my senior year. Fortunately when I went back to public school my senior year it seemed to be less of an issue. Still kids asked what I was but I was more confident in who I was rather than what my race was.... so it didn't bother me. I do remember in high school I sat alone and a mixed boy came up to me and told me to claim a race. I said " I am both," he said, "the world will see you as black".... I was like ... "Ok, cool" and then I sat outside for lunch and would read with other kids that didn't have any friends.
TFM: Wow. That sounds so sad. I never knew it was so tough for mixed kids. This is truly an eye opener. But on the bright side... I have to say your mixed heritage truly created a beautiful creature of God. With that said... The way you work your hair is off the chain. You really have mastered it, I see other ladies with mixed heritage seem to struggle with theirs but not you. You seem to have a command of it allowing you to weald it into any look or texture you so please.
April: Oooh gosh well let me tell you... it has been a struggle to love this hair. I absolutely hated it growing up. I cursed every curl, praying what am I suppose to do with this HAIR!! It was straightened chemically at 8 years old so it took me til adulthood to muster up the courage to cut it all off and grow it all natural. Well actually, I did a hair campaign for extensions, which I never wear by the way, and the stylist messed my hair up.....lost like 10-12 inches. So I started from there... rocked a lil Afro and started to give love back to my curls... each and every one.
Now after taking the time to love it... my hair is so versatile. I can do so many looks and styles as long as I keep it natural most of the time. I only straighten it for work if required by producers, but I'm a hippie by nature and don't like to sit for hours primping.
TFM: You don't like primping. Well lucky for you it's not needed. A brotha sure can appreciate not having to be the last out of bed to keep from seeing what his girl really looks like before she puts her face on [Laughs] but back to the hair. Are there any secrets you have to maintaining such style and flexibility in the look of your locks?
April: I twirl every curl and help the curls to join forces lol. I trim the ends myself. I'm terrified to get my hair cut after countless traumas. I use castor oil at times and VO5 conditioner. I have bought all the expensive brands but classic brands like this work fine for me. I tend to look for products that have shea butter and coco butter and Moroccan oil. I live by the fact that less is more....
TFM: That's good stuff. You just put a lot girls up on game with that. Moving on to the entertainment game... Did you have an aptitude for entertainment growing up?
April: Ha .... um guilty! [Laughs] At 4 years old I took my first ballet class and by 5 years I was putting on full productions with props and costume changes, wigs etc.... in the living room. I would put on puppet sock shows with my friends and have my mom and her friends rolling in tears. We were hilarious .... if only we had youtube then. I even did a Lion King Commercial as a teen!
TFM: Is that what drew you to show business?
April: Growing up I was in school plays and out side of school I took singing lessons and we put shows on at Renaissance festivals and bigger production like Operas and Ballets.
I was always doing a lot of different things like being a cheerleader and when I went to college I was asked to be in music videos which lead me to be more interested in film and television.
I did a music video in Savannah Georgia for an artist that chose me to be his girl in the video. His name was Camouflage R.I.P he was on his way, being signed to Universal but Camouflage's life was cut short by gang violence, truly tragic for such a young talented person who was on his way to making his dreams come true be cut short, soon after shooting this video. Bryan Barber was the director and I had a scene were I had to break up with my boyfriend for cheating. I was very nervous but I put my nerves into my work and the director told me he thought I was a good actor and that I should pursue this field. It became a bigger dream at that point.
TFM: ... And the dream continued on. Refresh our readers memory on what movies and/or videos you’ve been in.
April: The movies I've been in are ATL , Stomp The Yard. The music videos are really to many to remember over the years but I will list a few. Novels "Pretty Scars" we just shot that and I co-directed for the first time... "Niggas in Paris" Jay Z/ Kanye West , "Long Distance" Brandy ,"Roses" Outkast , Musiq soul child "B.U.D.D.Y." "Sunday Morning" Sleepy Brown to name a few but Ive worked on so many videos I don't even remember all of them all. I can name some of the bigger artist though. They include 112, P.Diddy, Killer Mike, Goodie Mob, Whitney Houston, Snoop Dog, and Andre 3000.
TFM: That's an impressive list. What was your first role and how did you land it?
April: My first major role was Tondie in ATL. I was friends with super producer Dallas Austin and it was a story roughly about TLC and all the people who went to Jelly Beans Roller-skating rink back in the day in Atlanta. The story changed a bit once put to film... I didn't have representation but I got a chance to audition for the lead. Dallas had the lead in mind for me.
I auditioned many times....I knew the movie was going to be made four years prior. I was in LA actually... just shot the "Roses" video for Outkast... I was in the studio with Dallas Austin just hanging out when he was working with Janet Jackson and he gave me the script to read and said I want you to be New New... Meeting Janet that day was pretty epic.....
I knew that day was special. He wanted me to play New New. I ended up playing Tondie, Evan Ross's crush, which was great because I got to meet Diana Ross and my first on screen kiss was with Evan Ross. Chis Robinson the director gave me freedom to change my lines.. "That's my belly button baby" was a line I put in... I also added the kiss because I thought it added to the scene. Evan was a little nervous but it was cute and he was totally respectful.
TFM: So lil' Ev was a lil shy with his game I see. [Laughs] But that's cool. Can't hate on how he started though. What movie role is your favorite?
April: Well Im mostly recognized from ATL but the last project I did called 4 Play is my favorite role to date because I get to go from innocent to bad girl with lots of sex appeal and I enjoyed my cast.
TFM: You played a promiscuous girl in ATL. Did you worry about being type cast?
April: I didn't worry about being type cast. I was just happy that I landed a major role. I was concerned about the message that was being portrayed through young promiscuity. Although in the scene it leaves it up to your imagination and only slightly alludes to it so in reality it could have just been a make out session lol.
I don't advocate young people having sex because there are so many risks involved but this movie could be a great opener to talk to their children about sex and drugs and peer pressure.
The movie ends in a way that I think that message is clear.
TFM: In addition to entertainment I see that you are into art and graphic design. How did you get into that?
April: I've always been an artist. Drawing was my first form of expression and I was very talented at a young age. I taught myself and later went to college for mixed media and animation. It is something I still have interest in and want to do more of.
TFM: Wow. Well we have something in common. My degree is in graphic design as well. I also know that you are big into health and fitness. I even understand that you are a health and fitness instructor. Tell us more about that.
April: I've been teaching group fitness classes since I was a teenager and I am also a Master Trainer. I teach many forms of fitness including Yoga of different styles, pilates, kickboxing, weight training, aqua fitness, spin/cycle and many more! I love to help people and to see them getting healthier and fit makes me so happy. I created www.TheFitnessFairy.com and www.Facebook.com/TheFitnessFairy to build community around health and fitness.
TFM: What type of diet and general work out plan would you recommend for a person looking to stay in moderately good condition.
April: Everyone is unique. There is no one diet or plan. One person's needs may very from others... Diets are fads.. money makers... and now there are so many food allergies its really hard to make a universal diet because we have different needs. Some diets are good. Some are completely ridiculous. My best advice is eat what you digest well and feel good eating after your done eating. Eat the colors of the rainbows... eat the foods that are alive and whole. Eat real food. I personally eat lots of nuts and seeds, fruits and veggies like berries and spinach.
I eat meat now, but not much.. I was mostly vegan/ raw for 8 years and it was great in the beginning. Cutting meat out completely is challenging because its hard to get B vitamins and amino acids. I was supplementing my need for protein with beans and dark leafy greens as well as soy. Now I avoid soy the best I can... the problem being that I was taking in WAY to much soy and Im allergic to it as well as gluten. I wrote an article about soy on my site. www.TheFitnessFairy.com I post a lot about food there. http://thefitnessfairy.com/?p=23
Now for workout.. I suggest you train with me and take all my classes. [Laughs] I teach many different types of fitness and that is the best way to keep your body improving.
Don't just do the same thing over and over again.
TFM: For the ladies fighting that tummy bulge what would you recommend?
April: My kickboxing classes melt belly fat fast.. its all core... but when I add my pilates class my abs really started to look great..and it seems to work for everyone who takes my classes.
Drink green tea and get to bed early..most people are sleep deprived and are so stressed out that their body is holding onto fat.
Drinking lots of water and avoid wheat. Train your abs almost daily for best results that last.
TFM: I see you are in tip top condition. Describe a day in the life of April Clark in regards to meeting your health and fitness goals.
April: Well up and check Facebook like the other one billion people [Laughs] I drink water have some thoughts of positivity.. work on TheFitnessFairy.com teach yoga or some other class..
Personal train my clients.. go to my auditions and finish the day studying my different artistic interests. Basically I just teach my classes to stay in shape and try to eat a healthy balanced diet... that's the most challenging for me.
TFM: When I look at your photos it’s hard for me to see any areas any less than perfect. What would you say the part or parts of your physique you are
most pleased with?
April: Oh everything needs work.. the moment you get pleased is the moment you get lazy.. so i tend to not be pleased but to be thankful that I can move at all.
I recovered myself from a horrible injury and multiple back sprains. I'm just thankful I can walk.
TFM: What would you say the part or parts are that need the most work?
April: My lower body is the hardest for me to tone... so I can't wait to start my new classes at Muscle Mechanics and Trojan CrossFit. I like to workout with people... its so boring alone.
TFM: Are there any common myths about fitness that you’d like to dispel?... Maybe a popular misconception or pet peeve?
April: OMG... I could go on for days. Its not going to be the new pill or the new workout or the new diet if you don't have a new attitude about fitness.
"I don't quit..." this is part of my life attitude and I am so utterly grateful for my ability to pursue better health. Don't believe the hype! The old workouts are just as good as the new ones as long as you do it. Most of the "new" workouts are not new at all they just have a new name. Ladies... at some point you should do more resistance training and gentlemen need more pilates and yoga.
TFM: Looking through your portfolio of work you have some really sexy AND classy dressed photos. You also seem really down to earth. What do you
prefer to dress up or dress down?
April: I stay home...I dont prefer to get dressed. [Laughs]
TFM: Okay... Well that's a nice visual. [Laughs] So When you DO go out do you prefer formal occasions or casual ones?
April: I like all kinds, but I don't go out much in LA. When I do its events Im personally invited to or I know the promoter. That is what is fun about LA... So many types here.
TFM: I’ve asked this question of other models so I will ask it of you too. Are you the life of the party or do you like to hang back and blend in
with the background?
April: I'm not the life of the party any more but Im a lot of fun normally. I laugh a lot most likely too loud but it depends on the party. Like a crowded party or concert, I don't want to be in the crowd. I'd rather be on the outside or in VIP.. I got my face cut in a crowd once so I don't like being surrounded by people.
TFM: When you are out are you approachable? If so what turns your approachable nature into a road block?
April: I think so... all kinds of weirdos come up to me all the time.... the road block comes only if you are rude or you touch me and I don't know you. Just being respectful is all anyone wants.
TFM: Our readers always want to know… Are you in a relationship?
April: Nope, I'm single
TFM: Whoa? How did that happen? I'd think you'd be cuffed for sure. [Laughs]
TFM: Well since you are single what do you find the most favorable qualities are in a man? Readers surely want to know?
April: I like a balanced man one who is strong yet sensitive, funny, smart, nature lover, athletic, giver, spiritually sound, supportive and a non-hoe...... I could go on...
TFM: You could go on? Well that's a pretty good start right there. We'll leave some for the imagination. In the realm of entertainment do you have anything on the horizon?
April: It's a great topic to address right now with troops coming home we have a lot to learn about the traumas that our troops are faced with everyday. I did a short film called Tylers War http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UspUhF6nS2U
Its about Tyler Herrera, a sergeant in the U.S. Marines Special Ops Regiment, returns home after a year deployment in Afghanistan. I play his sister. There is interest in a major network right now. I also have a BET movie coming out called '4 Play', I just shot on my birthday this year with Wesley Jonathan, Jaleel White, Angel Conwell and Pamela Jai Parker.
TFM: Okay. We will have to make sure our readers peep those.
TFM: Since The Flow is a site based on the Hip Hop culture what would you say is your most favorite Hip Hop artist? And Why?
April: Andre 3000 I've always loved his music and voice.... I have a few.. Right now it is Snoop Lion and NAS... I could list more but those three are amazing for the simple fact that they spit truth and they are timeless. I like them all for different reasons and Ive met them all. I know they are all good people. Andre is so amazing and missed, his creativity is out of this world. Snoop who is a friend of mine, is incredible, so down to earth, a great dad and is all over the radio right now. Every song he is putting out I love. His voice is so smooth and I love his new transformation which I'm helping him with in the realms of health and fitness. Now NAS I have met in ATL at DARP studios and he is one of the most humble artist I have ever. He is like a prophet. Its like my eye balls roll back in my head when I hear his songs.
TFM: What would you caution aspiring models and entertainers against in the industry?
April: Gosh, there is to much to mention. Briefly...You better know who you are and what you came to do. You can sell your soul real quick out here and not get anything out of it.
You don't have to do everything anyone asks you to do in the name of fame. Fame is not a true goal of an artist it's the art and it's a journey.
What you put out can't go away so have some thought about the image you are sending out and where you want it go. What else... oh and don't believe a damn word anyone says about making you a star. You're already are a star. I was told great advice from someone brought up in an entertainment family and he said Not one person in this town has the power just to make you a star...the stars must align.. I added that ;) another person told me its not a sprint its a marathon.... so keep trekking.
TFM: That's real talk right there. To get more information on April Clark feel free to visit her on the following pages.