Ebony Obsidian an American actress who is popular for playing the role of Karen Mott in the television series Sistas (2019). She is also known for starring in the YouTube series Tough Love (2015-2018), the Oscar-nominated film If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), and the short film Swipe (2019).
Ebony Obsidian was born on Saturday, April 16, 1994 (age 27 years; as of 2021), in New Paltz, New York, U.S. She stumbled into acting at the age of twelve when she listened to the radio and learned about an audition in a nearby city. Despite having no experience, she decided to give it a try and acted out a monologue in front of 1,000 people. Regardless of her extensive interest, she did not view acting as a career option. In an interview, she said,
Yeah, for sure. When I was younger, I was doing all the same things. I was acting, I was singing, I was writing. But I never really saw them as a career, to make money from them.”
Later, she graduated high school early, took some time off, and pursued a bachelor’s degree, majoring in journalism Jezebel. To pay for her education, Ebony worked three different jobs simultaneously. In an interview, she said,
I was working three jobs, I was a barista, I was a server and I was working at a clothing store too, at the same time… I was kind of doing all the things that people told me to do. Be responsible, earn money, go to college, get a degree, you know, the structure of life that I think, at least in this country, is very important, or I guess, smiled upon. It doesn’t work for me, I was not happy, I was not okay.”
Soon, she realized that she wasn’t passionate about journalism and decided to enroll herself in The William Esper Studio, a drama school in New York City, where she mastered The Meisner technique Indie Activity. In an interview, she said,
I had graduated high school early, took time off, started studying journalism and quickly realized I could only tell stories if I was allowed to be fully affected by them. After my first on-camera class I knew I could never be the woman in front of the camera standing next to a burning building with a mic in hand, putting a number to the fatalities behind me with a straight face. Not possible. Instead, I opted to study at the William Esper Studio.”
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Black
In 2014, Ebony made her film debut with the American superhero film ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ in which she played a brief role of a graduate.
While she was still mastering her acting skills at the William Esper Studio, she starred in the independent films The Vixens (2015) and Where Hearts Lie (2016). In 2018, she came into the limelight with the 2018 American romantic drama film ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ in which she played the role of Adrienne Hunt. The film centers around childhood friends and lovers Tish and Fonny, whose lives take a drastic turn when Fonny gets falsely accused of rape. Tish, who is about to bear a baby out of wedlock, embraces her pregnancy and sets out to prove the innocence of her lover. In the film, Adrienne Hunt is the protagonist’s outspoken and bold sister who detests anyone who threatens the unity of her family.
She made her short film debut when she played the role of Katrina Richardson in ‘Punkin Pie’ (2015). In the film, Katrina tries to save her mother from an abusive relationship without destroying herself in the process.
Later, in the same year, she starred in ‘Traces: A Post Traumatic Love Story’ as Amber, a young bomb disabler, whose tries to fit back into the regular world, meanwhile battling PTSD (Posttraumatic stress disorder).
In the 2016 short film ‘Twelve Dollar Words,’ Obsidian played the role of Treasure. The short film centers around the couple Thomas and Treasure who argue about their inescapable relationship after a failed proposal.
In 2017, she starred in the short film ‘Capital Inferno’ as Jamie, a young businesswoman who prevents her dying father’s company from ceasing by seeking the help of a mysterious investor.
She earned immense appreciation for starring in the 2019 short film ‘Swipe,’ which garnered numerous titles including ‘Best Thriller’ at Dublin Independent Film Festival (2020) and ‘Best Short’ at the Independent Horror Movie Awards (2020). In the film, Obsidian plays the role of a girl who realizes that she has a match on a dating app with a stranger despite rejecting him a few moments ago. Terrorized by the event, she begins to fear that the stranger must be dangerously close to her.
Other short films in which she appeared include GoFish (2015), Such A Deal (2019), About The People (2019).
She made her television debut in 2015 with ‘The Creators: TV Series Sizzle Reel’ in which she played the role of Brie Kiernan. The one-hour scripted television drama centers around the world-renowned artist who commits suicide, leaving her daughter the keys to a Brooklyn warehouse that once housed one of the longest-running controversial artist collectives on the east coast.
In 2017, she made a brief appearance in the American comedy-drama show ‘Master of None’ in which she played the role of Michelle in an episode titled “Thanksgiving.”
In 2019, she rose to prominence when she played the role of Karen Mott in American comedy-drama ‘Sistas,’ which follows a group of single black women navigating their complicated love life status, careers, and friendship. Owner of an up-and-coming hair salon, Karen has a complicated relationship with her longtime boyfriend Zac, meanwhile, she also has a crush on a newly separated, married man named Aaron.
In 2015, Ebony worked with the multi-award-winning director, writer, and choreographer Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj in the world premiere of the theatrical production ‘Black Footnotes.’ In the self-proclaimed documentary play with music, Ebony Obsidian secured herself the role of one of the obstetricians who died of a tragic and premature death in 1902. In the same year, she also began her journey as a singer when she voiced the song “Hold Me,” featured in Season 1 of the YouTube Series Tough Love.’ Besides working as a playback singer for the song, she also showcased her exceptional songwriting skills through the lyrics. She released another single named ‘EIL’ (Everything is Love) in 2020.
- Book: Milk and honey (2014)
- Singer: Whitney Houston
- Actor: James McAvoy
- Actress: Regina King, Aunjanue Ellis, Angela Bassett
- In an interview, while talking about her plans to work behind the camera at some point, Ebony said,
Absolutely. For me, it isn’t a matter of if but when. My fascination with people, circumstances, and the world we live in has never been limited to acting.”
- Ebony believes that her remarkable writing skills laid down the foundation stone of her acting career. In an interview, she said,
In fact, acting joined the party late. Writing is the foundation of my creative expression, which turned into reading my pieces out loud, which turned into performing for an audience, leading up until now. I’m very excited to share my next form of artistry with the world.”
- In October 2020, Ebony requested BARE Magazine to collaborate with designers of color, i.e., a person who is not considered “white” for designing her outfits for the interview. While explaining such a specific demand, she said,
My draw to designers of color stems from my love of cultures. Every piece is its own story, and that story is inspired by the individual who created it and the background they come from. Also, so many pioneers of fashion come from communities of color, many of whom will never be recognized for their contributions. When I wear a piece of clothing it’s not only because it’s attractive, but because I have respect and admiration for the creativity behind it.”
- While listing down her bare essentials in an interview, Ebony said,
My bare essentials are a pen and notepad for writing, Mama Earth Healing chap stick, created by my good friend Jonathan, and a good book.”
- In an interview, she revealed that she improvised a scene while shooting for the short film ‘Twelve Dollars Short.’ During a scene when her fellow actor threw a backpack that landed at Ebony’s feet, she decided to kick the backpack back in the actor’s face, which wasn’t a part of the script. Although she stumbled upon the unexpected turn of events in the beginning, Ebony decided to improvise instead of going strictly by the script, which pleased the director.
- For starring in the short film Swipe (2019), Ebony received the Best Actress Award at the Independent Horror Movie Awards (2020), and she also secured herself a nomination for the Best Female Performance at the Shiver International Film Festival (2021).
References [ + ]