(Updated 8/29/2017) Imani Robinson is a 25-year-old actress, writer and a graduate of the Baltimore School of the Arts who is on a mission to take the television industry by storm.
“I got into acting when I was in the third grade, I was a very shy child and I was very self-aware, it became almost crippling for me, but I was in my first play and I played one of the leads and I felt so comfortable on stage, I was having so much fun and I felt all my insecurities go out the window and I felt like I was good,” Robinson told the AFRO.
“I went to a predominantly White school for most of my early education and I later transitioned to Baltimore School of the Arts which I appreciated because I was surrounded by more people who looked like me and I got to find myself and become exposed to different people with different backgrounds. High school was some of the best years of my life and I loved going to that school, I got to train and practice my art further and it prepared me for California School of the Arts where I later continued my education,” said Robinson.
Baltimore Public Schools were recently faced with a district wide $130 million budget deficit, which lead to many arts programs within the city to be put in jeopardy of losing funding. Ultimately, the school system’s budget was increased but many teachers and support staff were laid off. As a beneficiary of Baltimore’s art programs, Robinson advocates for the continued funding of local art programs and attended meetings at Baltimore School for the Arts centered around budget talks and funding discussions.
“It really breaks my heart, I feel like a lot of the time children’s only outlet is their art, that’s what feeds and motivates them and for that to be taken away is really concerning. Art is a form of expression and sometimes children aren’t able to express themselves in conventional ways so to take art away from them is just wrong, it’s imperative that our schools have art programs,” she said.
Robinson has been putting her arts school education and faith to good use and has starred in several projects since graduating including a new HBO series, “The Deuce.”
“I recently was a writer’s assistant and had a role on the HBO series The Deuce, I’m also in a web-series in New York and I just finished writing my first pilot that my team and I are about to film that we’ll be pitching to different networks.” Robinson got her start starring in Baltimore’s own “The Wire” and was featured in a classroom scene during season 4. “The same team and producers from “The Wire” actually created “The Deuce” so it was great to reconnect with them, it was like a family.”
HBO’s The Deuce premiered Sept. 10 and stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco, among others. The series is centered on New York City’s prostitution rings and the legalization and rise of the porn industry in the early 70’s to mid-80’s.
The Deuce is on HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m.