Six star Hailee Kaleem Wright has opened up about how she overcame homelessness twice as a struggling actress earlier than making her Broadway debut.
The 29-year-old fell in love with theater over a decade in the past when her mom, singer Asia Kaleem, was solid in a regional manufacturing of Hairspray. She joined the present as a swing, an offstage performer who understudies a number of ensemble roles.
Just some months after her highschool commencement, she discovered herself rehearsing in New York Metropolis and knew that is the place she needed to be.
‘Me and my mother checked out one another, and we have been like, “Let’s simply pack up our stuff and transfer to New York. Let’s strive to do that.” And, uh, it didn’t work out very nicely,’ she instructed Folks.
Six star Hailee Kaleem Wright, 29, opened up about how she overcame homelessness twice earlier than making her Broadway debut
Wright was a teen when she moved to New York Metropolis to pursue her desires along with her mom, singer Asia Kaleem, and her youthful brother, Joey, however they struggled to search out an house
Wright, her mom, and her youthful brother, Joey, struggled to search out an house within the Large Apple after leaving their dwelling in Houston. She recalled how their cash ‘rapidly dried up’ whereas residing in lodges.
The household finally turned to the Division of Homeless Companies program in New York, the place they waited for shelter for 16 hours. She referred to as it ‘one of the crucial dehumanizing processes that I’ve ever skilled.’
The lodging they have been despatched to in Southside Jamaica, Queens, had ‘bedbugs and simply terrible, terrible situations,’ she defined. They’d retail jobs however made minimal wage and have been unable to make ends meet.
Wright discovered an agent and later documented her expertise as an aspiring performer on the MTV actuality collection True Life, however they nonetheless ended up again in Houston.
Wright (pictured in 2012) lived in shelters and labored minimum-wage jobs whereas going to auditions. She and her household finally returned to their dwelling metropolis of Houston
After experiencing homelessness for a second time, she spent her final $200 on one-way ticket to New York Metropolis and acquired an agent inside per week
Wright made her Broadway debut within the musical Paradise Sq. final yr
She was working at Xerox when she came upon she had booked a gig working for Common Studios in Japan. She had been residing in a shelter when she had auditioned for the theme park job 5 months prior.
Wright, then 20, moved to Japan for the job and began making more cash than she had ever earlier than, however she did not know how you can handle it. After she returned dwelling to Houston, she and her household grew to become homeless for a second time.
She had grow to be a believer within the regulation of attraction after studying the self-help ebook ‘The Secret’ and made the choice to make use of the final $200 in her financial savings account for a one-way flight to New York Metropolis.
‘It had possibly been three or 4 months of residing out and in of the automotive, out and in of lodges, and I used to be so depressing,’ she instructed Folks. ‘I wager on myself.’
Wright inspired her mom to maneuver again to NYC along with her, and he or she has additionally discovered success doing industrial work
Wright is at present enjoying Catherine of Aragon within the musical Six on Broadway, a contemporary retelling of the lives of Henry VIII’s six wives. She is pictured along with her castmates this month
The actress teared up as she recalled seeing her mom within the viewers throughout her first efficiency as Catherine, telling Folks the second ‘felt so particular and divine’
Wright stayed in a hostel and acquired three contract affords inside per week. She recalled making ready for auditions in public restrooms and the subway earlier than she was solid within the nationwide tour of Lovely: The Carole King Musical.
She refused to surrender and inspired her mom to return to the Large Apple to pursue extra work as a performer.
Wright made her Broadway debut within the musical Paradise Sq. final yr and has continued to thrive. She is at present enjoying Catherine of Aragon within the musical Six on Broadway, a contemporary retelling of the lives of Henry VIII’s six wives.
She teared up as she recalled seeing her mom within the viewers throughout her first efficiency as Catherine. Kaleem has additionally discovered success doing industrial work.
‘It felt so particular and divine, and I simply felt so grateful to have actually been a co-creator within the life that I needed,’ Wright stated.