Behind the Business

Tanisha Hall Talks “Girls On Drugs”And Being An African American Writer

Tanisha 4

Tanisha Hall. Courtesy of Megan Donnelly

We love inspiring stories from individuals across the globe. Meet Tanisha Hall, born and raised in San Bernardino, CA. Tanisha Hall believes that all women should be comfortable in their skin, and with the right amount of confidence, a woman can achieve anything she puts her mind to. At age 10, Tanisha began writing her own scripts and would act out her favorite cartoon and television shows with her brother.

Who is Tanisha Hall?

When I was seven years old, my parents split up and my father relocated to Atlanta, me and my brotherGA and my mommy brother and me. It was tough growing up in a single parent home because my mom had to work three jobs at one point just to keep a roof over me and my brother’s head.

I grew up being a little tomboy because I was always around my brother and his friends. But all of that changed when my mother decided to put me in some dance classes when I was nine years old. I did ballet, tap, modern jazz, hip-hop, and cheerleading. Dancing opened me up as I was a very shy and timid child around other people. I started writing poetry when I was in 5th grade and then my love for poetry turned into screenwriting. I began writing tv scripts for a cartoon show called “Hey Arnold.” The show was about a young high school student who had a crush on a boy that she bullied and teased. I liked the show because it seemed so relatable during my childhood. So, I began to write different episodes at home, and in school. That was the very beginning that I fell in love with creating a story. 

What is SONAR?

Sonar means dream in Spanish. I choose this name because the story follows a young Latina, who goes out to pursue her passion as a professional dancer. I wanted to write something that a lot of people could relate to. The moral of the story is never to give up on your dreams, no matter what obstacles come your way – it’s a universal piece.

What made you leap forward to make the first step to becoming an entrepreneur?

When I was in college at Cal State Los Angeles, I knew that I wanted to eventually be my own boss. I knew that I wanted to live out my dreams as a writer and entrepreneur. I got on the internet and started to do some research on how to start my own small boutique. It took me a good three months to come up with my brand, Ifarah. It’s not easy; it’s hard work.

How did you know this what you wanted to do for sure?

I knew I wanted to become a writer ever since I was in elementary school. Telling stories completed me as a person. It was another way for me to express myself. I loved watching movies and acting out scenes. I’ve always loved the arts.

So after getting set up, what were the setbacks and what did you do to improve?

When I was in high school, I lost a couple of people in my life who meant a lot to me. I lost a family friend who was close to my family and me when I was in middle school. He was a good person, and I was hurt when I found out that he was shot while sitting in his car. Two years after that I lost my cousin, who was also shot and killed while sitting in her car. She was only 19 when it happened. Before my parents split, I, my cousin and my brother were very close on my father’s side. I was devastated when I found out that she was killed. My whole family was devastated because we knew things weren’t going to be the same during the holidays. A year after my cousin passed away, my brother died in a car accident just seconds away from my mother’s house in San Bernardino.

I didn’t know how to handle death. I didn’t know how I was going to move forward when I had lost my brother and my cousin. If I couldn’t talk to my cousin for advice than I would always talk to my brother and it was just a sad moment for me. Very sad, and I felt like I was alone.

Now that I am older I can say that I went through a lot of stress growing up as a child and as a teenager. I found myself trying in the world instead of living in the world. When you’re in the world, life just keeps passing by and you look up one moment and realize that you’re not getting any younger. I found myself living in the world.

Do you have any featured work, or new projects – etc.? Tell us about them and what inspired them?

I am currently working on a script called “Girls on Drugs”. I’ve written two different versions. The short version is about a young girl who  begins to self-destruct after losing her brother in a car crash. The 12-page version I wrote is about a young girl who ditches class to go to a party and finds herself being put on by popular students to a click called “girls on drugs.” I originally named the story “Turn’t out” but I changed my mind and choose GIRLS ON DRUGS because it sounded more catchy. This story was inspired by my life of course, however not everything in the story is not true however I have it based on true events that occurred.

Tell us something unique about your work that sets it apart from everyone else’s?

I would say for me as a young African American writer I like to write a lot of conscious roles dealing with people of color. However, my stories are so universal that they can relate to any nationality. I target mostly girls in their preteen and young adult age.

What is your advice to people having a fear of launching their writing careers?

Keep writing, and write what you know. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your story is not important or that your story will never make any money. Write because that’s what you love to do.

Where and how can people find you?

My personal website to know more about me is Iamtanisharenee.com. My Instagram is @tanisharenee__. My twitter page is @Tanishahall_. My business page for my jewelry is called shopifarah.com

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