An Interview with Rossely Harman by Natalia Corres
Depending on the time and place that you meet Rossely Harman, you might know her as a Criminal Lawyer or a Playwright or an Actress or an Author or a Screenwriter or as a Dominican-American or even as a Mother-to-be. She is all of these, and I suspect there are even more roles she manages in her daily life. She is also an active member of Writers of Kern!
Rossely always loved acting and writing as she was growing up. Her undergraduate degree was in English Literature as she read and absorbed the basic tools for every good writer; learning from the works done by other good and great writers. She went on to a certification program at UCLA for Screenwriting and from there she immersed herself in the Law at Northwestern University.
The program at Northwestern was grueling – and when asked what wisdom she might impart to her younger self if she could go back in time, her answer was this: “Don’t forget that your first love is acting and writing – MAKE the time to do these things! Don’t stifle your creative side.”
She went on to become a criminal lawyer, which she still practices today. And she eventually made the time to pursue her first love with a passion! Her play “The Dark Creature” was voted the best showcased at the “Hear Her Call Caribbean- American Women’s Theater Festival” in New York this past March. She also won the Audience Choice award at that festival. You can see “The Dark Creature” on Youtube by clicking here and see her introduction video here.
Rossely describes herself as a writer of dark themes with strong elements of horror, yet one of her most exciting accomplishments was a play about Pancho Barnes (an aviatrix in history), which was a comedy. She admits she was slightly intimidated to attempt comedy, and it was definitely out of her comfort zone, but the results were thrilling for her. The elation she experienced from that “leap into the unknown” was amazing as she witnessed the performance and experienced the laughter and the audience’s response to her work. She was exhilarated. She hopes to have all of her plays available online for all to see and experience soon.
Recently she has been working on filming a short that she wrote and is acting in. She is also currently working on two feature length films and a pilot for a television series. All this and still working as a criminal lawyer and due to have her first child in October.
The films have been incubating in her mind for years. One explores the dynamic of racism in the Caribbean, an area where many races were thrown together – many involuntarily; the other film is a children’s story meant to be comedic and animated. The television pilot deals with human trafficking, is based on a real life story and will have her signature horror elements incorporated into the story line. Her projects usually include Latina women or children, challenging us to see these people in a different light, and to understand the circumstances they are in and have been in – the events that make them who they are – to see that they survive tragedy and emerge empowered.
When asked about how her career as a lawyer has affected her career as a writer, she answered “I think it has made me a smarter writer, a more logical storyteller. Yes, I have been inspired by some of the situations I am exposed to as a lawyer, and also some of the people I see. Study and analysis is part of what I do in both areas of my life – practicing the law or creating a story. “
What else does Rossely want us to know about her?
She says she is a passionate person. She loves people and collaborating with others excites her, as does being a part of a group (like Writers of Kern) that is creative, too! She is both energized and exhausted when writing, and knows that there is a lot of failure in trying new things, but loads to learn that way, too. And when you have a lot to say to the world, you take the risks, make the leaps, and sometimes you get to the thrilling part of seeing your work interpreted and performed by people who understand it differently, giving it new layers of meaning.
Writers of Kern is happy to know you! And we are cheering you in the wings, Rossely!