Actress Simone Missick
I befriended Simone, many years ago, while working together in fancy hotel restaurant in Beverly Hills. We were chasing our dreams in LA while serving the rich and famous high tea to pay the rent. Simone is someone I could always count on to laugh with me and also generously share her insight and wisdom if I needed it. She's always had a self respect and strength that I've greatly admired. During this time, Simone met her now husband Dorian and I can remember how they hit it off. Their happiness could be felt and it was no surprise when they got engaged. Dorian is also an actor and together they made an unstoppable duo. It didn't seem long before Simone booked the role of Misty Knight in Marvel's Luke Cage series- making her TV's first black female superhero. When the Netflix series aired, her life changed overnight. She's living her dream and is now an inspiration to not only me but to mass amounts of people.
The below interview is mostly made up of questions from other women when asked what they would really like to know from this Women Who Inspire series. This will be an ongoing project that aims to be honest, inspiring, inclusive and encouraging.
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about yourself?
My name is Simone Missick. I’m a Christian, an actress, a wife, a daughter/sister/friend. I was born and raised in Detroit. That city truly shaped who I am today.
If you were to have a daughter, what is one major thing that you would like to instill in her?
Listen to her intuition. I spent so many years of adolescence questioning my own thoughts and feelings, and making decisions that I knew didn’t feel right in my gut. I don’t regret those decisions—they made me who I am today. But I want her to learn to trust herself.
What do you feel holds you back the most in life, how do you get around it?
Holding on to past hurts. I’m at a place in my life where my resentment and anger towards people who have wronged me (perceived or otherwise) can become bigger issues if I let it. Thank people for showing you who they are, and don’t take it personal. Their shit is usually their own and usually has little to do with you. But the experience is a lesson to learn from, not get stuck in.
Who was the first female figure influence you had that was positive and changed you?
My sister was my biggest influence as a child. She has a darker skin color than me, and always expressed her pride in her skin. That made me comfortable in mine. We would get teased for speaking too proper, and she would challenge those kids who teased her. Her quick tongue that she used to cut down bullies helped me find my voice and strength. And she is actually the person who inspired me to become an actress. I would watch her prepare for high school plays and I wanted to be just like her.
What is your biggest dream that you have yet to accomplish?
What are you afraid of, and how do you overcome those fears?
Lots of things. But I use my faith to combat my fears. Prayer is a very powerful tool and means of communicating with the Creator. Knowing that your power comes from something greater than yourself helps you to overcome your fears.
Is there a movie, song or book that particularly spoke to you or really made you think?
“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston.
How do you feel is the best way for women to empower other women?
Stop trying to present this perfect picture of ourselves to one another. And it’s not just a physical presentation. It’s emotional and spiritual. As women, we always try to put on a good face, and don’t feel like we have space to be honest about how we’re feeling, if we’re depressed, or struggling, or feeling weak or insecure, or our less attractive selves. But that honesty helps other women feel like they're normal.
What did it feel like to find out you were cast as Marvel's Misty Knight?
Like all those years of hard work weren’t for naught. I had been a working actor in LA for a decade when I got the job, and a lot of that time I spent questioning if I was on the right path. I felt like quitting so often. But thankfully I met my husband who continued to encourage me, and pray with me. Once I realized I was in the right place, I had to build patience. I worked on myself. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. I built a village and a life that wasn’t just about my career. I worked on my friendships and relationships with my family. So when I finally got the career success, it felt like the cherry on top.
What is your morning routine?
I wake up and pray. For at least a half an hour. I read the word, usually a devotional. And then I go about my day, eat a healthy breakfast, kiss my husband, walk my dog, head to work.
What is your favorite part about you and your own authenticity?
My voice. It’s deep, but it’s been deep my whole life. I used to get teased about it, and for years I would try and lighten it up. And now, I think it’s one of the things that makes me unique.
How do you create healthy balance in your life with career, social media, personal, etc?
It’s a constant fight to find balance. I take social media breaks, often. It can get to be too much: either you’re constantly checking it, or you’re feeling false confidence or insecurity because of it, or you’re wasting valuable time being used by it. And with life and career, there are only so many hours in a day. If you work 12 hours, spend 2 in transit, that leaves 10 hours to yourself. I need 8 hours of sleep, so that’s 2 hours of everything else. It’s hard to find the time, but when I do, I try to be present. And not thinking about my career or checking social media when it’s family time.
How do you fight self body shaming?
That’s a hard one. I often laugh (and cry a little) with how I don’t celebrate my body. Even though it’s the only one I have and at any moment health can be taken away. I look at my pooch or cellulite and think, “I need to work on that.” Or I compare myself to how I looked 3 years ago. Or 3 days ago. A friend once told me “Don’t ‘should’ on yourself.” I try to look in the mirror and love myself where I’m at.
Where do you feel most at home?
With my husband and my dog, and all our family around.