We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiffany Toney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tiffany, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
The right relationships are priceless, because the wrong ones can totally throw you off your path and slow your progress. I used to think that there were mostly “good” people in the world and only a few bad ones out there. But I quickly learned that it’s actually the opposite. So that knowledge has allowed me to cherish “good” people more than ever because there are so few of them. Finding them…means you’re on the right path…You have to really hold on to the people who value and respect you, the same way that you value & respect them and fire the ones who don’t. That has been the biggest, most valuable lesson for me. It’s given me permission to trust myself and my intuition, and that is a really great feeling.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I was born in Hawaii and raised in Abilene, TX…small towns don’t exactly fuel big dreams but I always knew I wanted to make and act in films. When I retired from playing pro softball, I was 23 years old but I knew that LA was calling me. I survived being homeless and escaped being sold into the black market of sex trafficking in an online dating trap. I never thought that something like that could happen to an educated person like myself, but this experience changed me forever. I then understood the true value of time, and how none of it is promised to us. It shook me to the point that I never allowed myself to waste another day not doing what I loved. Surviving the streets of LA cause me to ask myself “who am I …what am I ? How do I want to be remembered?” I found the answers in my storytelling and I knew that I was meant to be a vessel to share the stories of those who might not otherwise have a voice.
Acting and filmmaking is in my DNA….and I have meditation to thank for helping me get grounded and to find myself again. When people see my films, I am certain that they will feel uncomfortable, because I really do challenge the common perceptions of people despite age, race, sexual orientation. In my stories, the people are just humans trying fight for what ever it is that they want in the moment….no matter how un-filtered it may be. I don’t believe in censoring the thoughts or actions of the characters in my stories….I just let them tell me how they feel, and I “act” that …..I don’t judge them or try to make them more socially acceptable. I believe that if the characters have something to say….who am I to tell them that they cannot say it? The controversy is what sparks conversations that shift consciousness.
My feature film, BORA is going to change the game and it will be hitting major streaming platforms this Fall 2022 and you can find several of my films on Tubi, Amazon Prime, and IMDB.
In order to share more about my journey and to encourage others, I recently published a book called “The Beauty of Your Strength” to help people manifest their desires through positive & empowering affirmations. It can be found on Amazon.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I haven’t been to Miami in awhile but when I was there last….I spent my time at the holocaust museum and laying on the beaches off Ocean drive….I am kind of a nerd so I like to be in chill environments where I can be creative and for me, the beach is the best place to do that.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For the last year I have been producing a feature film called BORA, in which I am also the lead actress, alongside Ajima Cole. It is a Psychological thriller about young woman who goes on a road trip to find herself, when she is seduced by a sexy Afro-Latina serial killer, who takes lives in the name of social justice. It is set to hit streaming platforms in October, near Day of the Dead 2022. It will be my first lead role in a major feature and I am so excited to get the chance to play an anti-hero. I am also in pre-production for an Action super hero film called RUMBLE, in which I play a street fighter who battles to save her community from drugs, gentrification, and abuse. I am honored to embody characters that Black women are not often cast in…I knew my chances of getting cast in the roles that I imagined for myself were slim, so I decided to create them for myself. It has been a roller coaster but well worth the ride!
I am so thankful to my parents & loved ones for encouraging me and believing in me. My father always taught me to “leave it all on the field” and so I do my best to pour all of my vulnerability into the films that I make and the characters that I have the opportunity to embody. My partner & action fight choreographer, Chyna McCoy has always believed in me and supported me…he reminds me of my strength when I feel weak/ tired…he always gives me the extra “push” and tells me …..”Hey, you’re Tiffany Toney….you can do anything” . He even sold his RV to help pay my rent for a few months when I spent the last of my savings to produce a feature film. I cannot think of anyone else in LA who would’ve done that. No amount of money can ever replace his consistent support. Sean Riggs has been an amazing mentor of mine in the entertainment industry. I trust him and respect him because he is honest “even when I don’t want to hear it”. I know that his intentions are always to bring the best out of his peers, how can I not respect that? Joan and James Moten-Black have always been positive supporters of my creative ventures and I am thankful for the roles they have played in my commitment to finishing what I start. I am beyond thankful and inspired by Tyler Maddox, my partner at Tribeca and I cannot give enough gratitude To My uncle James Toney, (International Boxing Hall of Fame) for being a badass and setting the bar high! I would like to give a shout out to @Fight_4Film for being a safe space for actors to connect and learn to fight on screen….it has been a great place to connect with like minded creatives and quite therapeutic during this time of transition between a pandemic and an ever changing entertainment industry.
I am excited to be working with amazing talent like Sean Riggs, Noel G, Slink Johnson, Chyna McCoy, and Omar Gooding. I know that 2022 is going to be life changing and I am more than excited to see what’s in store!
Other: Link to purchase my book https://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Your-Strengh-Tiffany-Toney/dp/1733194185/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=tiffany+toney&qid=1639202362&sr=8-1