Courtney Sauls has this magnetic personality that, well, pulls you toward her in some inexplicable way. There was something about her that intrigued me. (x)
Making an impression is Job One for Leos, and when you consider their personal magnetism, you see the job is quite easy. Leos are an ambitious lot, and their strength of purpose allows them to accomplish a great deal…These folks are also creative. It’s quite common to see a Leo on stage or in Hollywood, since these folks never shy away from the limelight. They are also supremely talented and have a flair for the dramatic. Warmth and enthusiasm seems to seep from every Leo pore, making these folks a pleasure to be around. (x)
Yep. That about sums it up.
Still, in honor of her birthday I’m giving you 7 reasons I’m here for Courtney Sauls. For even more check out my profile on the beautiful talent here.
1. SHE’S AWESOME WITH A PERSONALITY TO MATCH. When I asked our staff for input on this particular piece one of the things everyone mentioned was her personality. In fact, near the top of our senior editor Bri’s list was “warm, amazing personality.” I have to agree. As I noted in her profile, Courtney Sauls has this magnetic personality that pulls you toward her in some inexplicable way. There’s something about her that intrigues me.
After I met her I started to get clues about why that is. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, yet she’s serious about her passions. Her personality is inviting and calling her down-to-earth would be an understatement albeit true. In conversation it feels like you’re talking to a long-time friend, the type of friend everyone should have at least one of. There was a consensus during our initial interview with her that Courtney is part Freddie and part Ron from the cast of A Different World. Accurate.
2. SHE’S PASSIONATE. Speaking of passion, she’s not short on it. A quick look at any of her social platforms will tell you one of her passions is yoga. I’ve had the pleasure of taking a yoga class instructed by Courtney Sauls. Almost immediately after the class ended I sent a message to my best friend, “Courtney might be the best yoga instructor I’ve ever had.” Yoga is much more than a physical practice or fitness trend; so much of the essence of Yoga is often lost in classes here in the states. Not with Courtney. The type of yoga instructor she is speaks to her spirit and the kind of person she is. Perhaps the best way to describe her method is, balanced – the perfect blend of hands-on motivation and vocal guidance with enough breathing room and freedom for each participant to enjoy the fullness of their own personal, spiritual vacation.
Through yoga, which is really all about connection with the self, I realized that I have to act. I’m not full without acting. -Courtney Sauls
3. SHE’S GOT SKILLS. Another of Sauls’ passions deserves its own spot on this list. We can’t talk enough about her performance in Justin Simien’s upcoming feature film Dear White People or her flawless portrayal of lead character, Hattie in Lena Waithe’s pilot presentation of Twenties. Still neither of those performances is the one that gets discussed the most amongst our staff and friends. It’s Sauls’ embodiment of her idol, Billie Holiday that impressed us most. We felt it. And it felt real.
October 17th is when you can see Courtney in Dear White People. We’ve also assembled a weekly prayer circle that Sauls and the other cast members of Waithe’s pilot presentation are cast in the full pilot that BET will be shooting this fall. Watch any of the four parts of Twenties and you’ll see why we need this. We need more Sauls. Lucky for us Sauls also has a guest spot in the new TNT drama, Legends which premieres August 13.
4. SHE’S GROWN. In an age when social media is king and the savviest among us – and those with the most followers – seem to rule all, Courtney Sauls is a welcomed and winning exception to this rule. Plus her lack of social media saturation makes the instances that do occur at irregular intervals that much more gratifying. Our team has talked about the fact that Sauls isn’t big on social media. The conclusion we came up with was summed up best by our own social media manager, “She grown.” While most of us are trying to figure out ways to excel in life via the internet, Courtney Sauls is busy living life.
Whether it’s dinner with the boo, a girls night with her crew or taking time to reconnect with herself through yoga, Sauls is already at the point many of us, including myself, are killing ourselves to get to: just enjoying life. For Sauls, this is deliberate. “When I moved to L.A. that’s when the joy of performing was taken out of it. That’s when I realized how much of a business it really is,” said Sauls. “When [the business] became such a burden – to feel like I have to market myself and all that stuff, you know I just wanted to act, I just wanted to do the art of it – that’s when I found yoga and that’s when I took a little detour.”
5. SHE’S GOT TEAM SAULS. Don’t let the mere 158 Twitter followers fool you – Courtney Sauls’ support system is strong. This much was evident during the Los Angeles Film Fest screening of Dear White People. When her name appeared on the screen after the credits started rolling a collective of supporters usurped our own cheers screaming, “Courtney!” as we all turned to the group then back to each other with mild but pleasant surprise. Profiling Courtney Sauls reminded me of a valuable lesson.
When we profiled the stars of Twenties we followed the rules of social media engagement and published Sauls’ profile second. Her modest social media presence lead us to believe that she had a smaller following. Incorrect. The fact that our profile of Courtney Sauls is still one of our best performing (top 5 statistically) pieces speaks volumes about her support system and the people checking for this talented actress. The lesson? At the end of the day it’s about your relationships and who you are. Amazing publicity, branding and a strong social media presence certainly help, but after it’s all said and done people either like you or they don’t. The people love Courtney Sauls.
6. SHE’S WOKE & UNAFRAID. “It’s so encouraging to see black, openly feminist, vocal actresses!!” Bri, said this in response one of our profiles of another actor and the sentiment applies here as well. I’ve never heard Sauls describe herself as a feminist, though I’m not sure I really need to. Any decent conversation with Courtney would reveal this much.She’s unapologetically awake and unafraid to speak up, even on issues that may seem controversial. What I love most is that when discussing problems, she’s able to articulate her thoughts without dropping into the angry Black Woman trope, though she’s sure to note she has every right to be and certainly isn’t happy about it. I’ve witnessed this on more than one occasion, the most recent included a more eloquent version of “girl, bye” in response to a younger white girl asking if she could touch her hair. I can’t. I aspire to develop Sauls’ carefree “you tried it” response to foolery too far gone to devote any real energy to.
7. SHE’S GOT THE BEST DEFINITION OF SUCCESS.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Sauls is her response to the question of when she’ll know she’s achieved success. After she lets the question roll around in her mind a bit, dismissing more material answers of success that include money and financial security, she lands on influence. When she has the influence to help build, uplift and shape the careers, projects and dreams of others, that’s when she’ll know she’s made it.
This is ripped straight from the virtual pages of my initial profile of Courtney Sauls because it is still one of my favorite things about her, even among this list of extra awesome things.
Producing something I believe in that gives somebody else a chance. When [I’m] able to not just look out for myself, but…have a hand in other people’s rise and helping them find their dreams.