Facebook Twitter

Thursday, 19 August 2021

My chat with Grace Aki...Podcaster and Playwright


My first interview of the year is with a beautiful, talented, young lady with who I've had the privilege of knowing and being friends for several years. Grace was born in the South in the sweet and charming town of Dalton, Georgia which is known to be the Carpet Capitol of the World. She started living a creative life at the tender age of three when she started dancing. From dancing to being an award-winning mime to choreographing for theatre company as well as acting in local plays, she then moved to the Big Apple where she's graced stages as a comedian and started her journey as a podcaster and playwright for her one-woman show To Free A Mockingbird. We chat briefly about what she loves about her life now, her podcast, and her upcoming performance in Atlanta on August 28.

Introducing Grace

What do you love about your life right now? 

I really love my freedom. I’ve never been more wholly myself. I never knew what self-love meant. I thought it was just something influencers said to sell me hyaluronic acid. I’m working hard in fields that I really enjoy, like social content and theatre, so that I can afford to pursue all of my dreams. 

You’re an actor, podcaster, comedian, writer, and artist. If you could only choose one, which one would that be?

Artist, it encompasses all of my other titles and there’s no limit to what I can draw, design, paint or create. 

Who has been your biggest inspiration with all of your creativity from your writing, acting, and podcasting? 

I would have to say currently it’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) & Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You) both playwrights have written incredible solo pieces that eventually had their work produced for tv. As storytellers, they are the women paving the way for other people like me. Not only do they write, but they also get to direct and perform their own work, that’s the dream. 

You’ll be performing your one-woman show To Free a Mockingbird in Atlanta on August 28th. How excited are you to get back to the theatre and performing? 

I’m actually extremely nervous. I haven’t performed in almost two years. The week before New York shut down, I performed the show for a small house at The Kraine Theatre. But because of some incidents in my life, the global pandemic, and so much more, I’m noticing a lot of anxiety and vocal trauma. I hope the audience is there with me, trusting that it’ll all be okay. 

For those who have not seen your show, what can they expect? 

A stand-up show with a heart, 70 minutes of me yacking and hopefully, you leave laughing and smiling. 

Not everyone has the guts to get up on stage, especially by themselves, and perform like you’re doing with your show. Tell me about the joys and challenges. 

The joy is that it’s all on me! The challenge is that it’s all on me. I don’t have a scene partner so if I get lost or if I improvise something I get the freedom to do so. It’s both exciting and nerve-wracking. To quote Little Red from Into the Woods “Excited AND Scared”. 

Everyone needs to listen to your podcast Tell Me On a Sunday. Your sense of humor and heart show up in each episode. How do you decide who is going to be on the show and how do you prepare for them?

A lot of times I look for people in my life who I don’t feel have been asked the right questions in interviews - because it really is a storytelling show, I want people to feel free to tell the stories that I’ve heard them tell before, just to a more broad audience. Actors and creatives often get asked on podcasts “what is your new show coming up” but I’d rather ask “okay can you tell the story of why you have that gremlins doll in your house”. Life is more fun when you take the time to get to know the oddities in people. 

Alright, you’ve got to share with me some info on your merchandise and your Etsy store. What kind of sketches can someone hire you for commission? 

Thank you! I really got into going back to my roots for sketching, painting, etc during the pandemic and it provided a great opportunity for income for me especially being displaced and jobless. I’m so happy it has become part of my weekly routine to do commissioned pieces of film scenes, people’s pets, couples portraits, etc. 

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what message would you want to convey to millions, what would it say and why?

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories.”Anne Lamott

All of us have had failures where we learn from them and at times we don’t’.  Do you have a “favorite failure”? 

My marriage. I’m glad it failed and I’m glad I’m better now. 

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life? 

Learning the power and responsibility of utilizing the word “no.” For a long time, I was taught that it was rude, disrespectful, or unacceptable to say no. Especially as southern women, we’re taught that all the time. I now encourage myself and others to utilize “no” and saving some space for myself. My art and my heart are better for it. 

In one word describe yourself. 


You definitely should make plans to see her show on Saturday, August 28 at 7:30 in Atlanta. Here's the link. There will also be a virtual show on September 11.

Follow Grace on Twitter Instagram Podcast

I've seen Grace perform To Free A Mockingbird, and here's my review. By the way, I loved it!

Check out her website where you can see more information on upcoming shows and here's her etsy shop where she shares her merchandise and where you can commission work from her.

About Maria Rochelle

Maria is a writer of multiple genres, and author of the popular children's picture story book series Jasmine Dreams.
Find out more about Maria here →


© 2014 Maria Rochelle. WP Wildweblab converted by Bloggertheme9