Phaedra Parks Actress, Author, Attorney, & Mortician
Hi, Phaedra! I’d like to start by saying we’re very happy to have you on MALVIE, thank you for being here! Also, we would like to know a little bit more about your story, can you share it with us?
Sure, I would love to share my journey with you.
Along with the many things you do, you’re also a mortician. How did you end up doing this?
I was inspired to become a mortician after navigating insurmountable grief resulting from experiencing the sudden death of six close friends and relatives within 3 months. The compounded grief and sadness lead to depression. During those dark days, I had an opportunity to observe the grieving process within myself and others. On the other side of depression, I became passionate about being a conduit of peace for others navigating the tender moments of loss and grief. Mortuary science is my ministry.
How did you feel when you were given the opportunity to become an actress and what are your expectations for your acting career?
I was elated when I was afforded the opportunity to become an actress. I love a challenge and I welcome new opportunities. Having a chance to express myself creatively in this art from is very exciting for me. With all of my endeavors, I am successful because I am always diligent, consistent, and persistent.
As a mother of two, businesswoman, actress, and many more occupations you must have a busy schedule, so when you have a little free time, how do you like to spend it?
When I have downtime, I love to travel, meditate and read. My favorite moments are spent with my sons, family, and close friends. Some of our favorite moments are spent walking on the beach and watching the sunrise, playing chess, and gardening.
Talking about being a mother, how is motherhood for you? What can you tell us about your experience so far?
It is hands down the most important job I have! My sons are 8 and 11 years old. with each age and stage of their development, I have learned new lessons and experienced new blessings as a mother. Being a mother requires all of me, yet is not at all about me; it is all about what's best for my sons.
With all the work you have, you still make time to be socially active in the community. What has brought you to that?
From childhood my parents instilled a lifelong mantra in me which was “to whom much is given much is required.” Hence, being civically engaged is not a choice for me as a woman of color but a constant mission.
Do you have any role models that helped you become the woman you are today? Who are your biggest inspirations?
My biggest inspiration in life is my maternal grandmother who was the most resilient person I have ever known. She didn't subscribe to the limitations imposed upon her by society; instead, she navigated them gracefully. Also, Princess Diana who I think was greatly misunderstood. She had a heart for people, was genuinely compassionate, and used her platform to support and bring awareness to issues that mattered without subscribing to the filters of traditional royal posturing. Both have left an indelible mark on me and all they touched.
How do you balance all the aspects of your life? Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
Yes, I certainly get overwhelmed at times; and am blessed to have an amazing community of support. I try to manage stressful moments by making mental health and self-care a priority. As a professional woman and single mother, it is paramount to unapologetically take care of yourself, so that you maximize your capacity to take care of others. I don't always get it right, but I am very aware that optimal performance requires great physical and mental health.
And for closure, I’m sure you are a big inspiration to a lot of people, especially for your sons. So what would you like to say to the ones who are inspired by you?
Dream big but work harder; let faith not fear sustain you. The pandemic has shown us that life is uncertain so make every day count- be vulnerable enough to love but strong enough to walk away when your highest good isn’t being served.
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