Name: Beverly Sade
Claim To Fame: Sade has appeared on Power, Guy Code, and How To Make It In America. She has also appeared in Black Hair.
Beverly Sade once hopped on a train from Philadelphia to New York clutching a notebook and a dream.
The eighteen-year-old filled the pages of her notebook with contact information and addresses for “the top agencies” in the industry. “They had like these set days and times for open model calls,” she told HelloBeautiful. “I called them, I got the information, I got on the train.”
She caught the eye of a representative right away.
“I remember my first stop being Elite models. And I was so excited. I got there, the line was so long, it was wrapped around the block. And this woman came out with this like clipboard,” said Sade.
It appeared to Sade that she was moments away from everything she wanted. “I attended Benjamin Franklin High School, graduated at the age of sixteen, and I always knew that I wanted to be in the entertainment industry,” she revealed.
“She was asking everyone to have your headshots out. So I’m standing here and I’m waiting. She finally gets to me and, you know, she’s like tapping, telling girls to stay, and, you know, ninety-five perfect of them were told to go and she got to me and she’s like, oh, you’re beautiful. You know, I love your cheekbones.”
The moment’s energy echoed the stories told in the shadow of captured dreams. It was here. She was being chosen. She was asked her age and replied that she was 17. The response to her answer would haunt, (and motivate) her for the rest of her career. “At 17, you’re not going to get much taller,” she was told. “I’m sorry, you’re just too short.”
“And so that was it,” she concluded. “I had a bunch of other agencies on my list and I went to each and every one of them, I came back and forth until I finished every single one that was on my list. And they all told me the same exact thing. And I remember one agency told me, – they said I was too curvy.”
“I didn’t let it break me or deter me. It more so fueled me,” she continued. “I had to figure out a way around it.”
She figured out where the attributes they criticized could become assets. “That’s when I was introduced to urban modeling,” she said. “On that side of the game, I was more so embraced.”
“Things started to move quickly,” she added. “I started booking, you know, music video lead roles.”
She also worked “alongside 50 Cent,” “did a lot of magazine features,” and “a lot of different commercials.” It was through those experiences that she “caught the bug for acting.”
“I was actually supposed to be one of the models on the set of Power,” she revealed. “And as I’m on set, one of his directors pulled me aside and said that they wanted me to be in the scene with 50 Cent.
Some tried to pigeonhole her because she appeared in Smooth Magazine and other urban publications. White models were considered “pin-up girls,” but Black models were met with a particular brand of stigma. “I think we really kind of got the brunt end of that whole stereotype,” she said.
“A lot of people were very negative about it. They were telling me that, because I started off in urban modeling and I was considered eye candy that it would be difficult for me to transition.”
Sade ignored the naysayers just as she had done with the agency representatives. Instead she penned books offering the encouragement she was not receiving and chose to be just as diligent about making her mark in acting as she was in modeling. During an audition for MTV’s Guy Code she stood out by being the only hopeful who was “off book.”
“I booked my first TV job without an agent or manager. I did it all on my own, just hard work, dedication and focus,” she said. True to form she was “on the train,” when memorizing her lines.
“I want to go in there, prepared, I don’t want to read,” she told herself. Her efforts paid off.
“There were like six girls who were all lined up and they had us all recite the lines. And don’t you know, I was the only one that was off book? The only one,” Sade said. She was tested in the audition.
“He switched and had me read different lines. And I knew those as well. And I booked the gig. By the time I got on the train, they called me and said, ‘‘Hey, you got the job.’ We were shooting two days later.”
That job led to others and today Sade is using her accomplishments to work towards supporting foster children and those who have recently aged out of the system with her non-profit Clear Path Development. She has purchased property in her native Philadelphia where she plans to provide space for those youth to thrive.
“If you are someone who is successful and you’re someone who is blessed, I feel like it’s important to give back,” she said.