Vanessa Simmons is best known for being the oldest daughter of rap legend Rev Run so it’s only right that she plays a rapper in her first major theatre role. In this SOHH exclusive we talk to the up and coming actress about her role in The Actor’s Rap and the expansion of her Pastry footwear brand.
The Actor’s Rap is a comedy about a group of actors frustrated by all the “rappers turned actors” who shamelessly steal their roles.
“It came through [director J Kyle Manzay’s] frustrations of being an actor and being in the industry and rappers taking all the jobs,” she told SOHH. “The actors get frustrated and they actually kidnap some rappers.”
Vanessa’s character, Lil’ Tease, is among the rappers that get kidnapped in the play.
“A lot of people wouldn’t think that I would take the part of Lil’ Tease because you know if anyone is familiar with my personality on ‘Run’s House’ you know I’m completely different from that of a rapper,” Simmons said.
Though Vanessa realized that The Actor’s Rap could be a good experience for her she was hesitant to commit to the role.
“At first I wasn’t sure and my dad’s like, ‘Are you sure you’re going to be able to play a rapper?’ But I think I’ve done a really good job and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it.”
In addition to her role in The Actor’s Rap Vanessa has been keeping busy with other TV and film roles. She just signed on to do a film and is preparing to start production on Season Five of “Run’s House.” She is also looking forward to expanding the footwear line that she started with little sister Angela.
“Angela and I just got back from [the] Magic [Convention] and we’re doing a whole lot of stuff with Pastry,” she revealed. “It’s done really, really, really well and we’re really excited about that. We’re expanding to a whole bunch of different stuff [like] clothing and gymbags.
The Actor’s Rap is currently running a limited engagement at the Engelman Recital Hall at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York City. Visit the play’s website to look up schedule times and to purchase tickets.