Naima Yetunde Ince is an emerging playwright whose signature is distinct through the medium of spoken word. Ince has fallen in love with the art of storytelling. Her play Men Always Leave had two successful productions in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Most recently, the play was produced by the Cary Players in February 2019. Previously, Men Always Leave first debuted in the area at the Women’s Theater Festival in the summer of 2016. Originally from Brooklyn, Ince is working on another full-length play entitled Cry, Pray, Put On Lipstick and is hopeful for future stage productions of this work. In addition to spoken word and playwriting, Ince is a published author. Her books include: Ghost Load Second Edition, Ghost Load Limited Edition, Men Always Leave (the one-act stage play), and I Hate Men (Poetic Graphic Novel). Ince has the ability to convey thoughts and ideas—which may be challenging for others to express—that can only be heard and received by words she has written. Ince earned an MA degree in of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Management degree from Pratt Institute and a BA degree in Theatre Studies from SUNY Purchase College. She is thankful to have been accepted into the Give It Legs Playwrights’ Workshop and looks forward to sharing, learning, and developing.
Versafi Media: You are so versatile and carrying on various of projects. How do you keep motivated?
Naima: Yes, I am currently working on building workshops for the year. Planning on creating new segments for my blog for 2021, and writing stage plays. I enjoy being busy, and everything that I do I am dedicated to. My motivation stems from my WHY. Which is to Educate, Illuminate and Entertain by encouraging others to gain self-awareness and self-discovery. In addition to that, I have a son and a family who I love dearly and I can only hope that my son is inspired by the way that I live and realize he can achieve his dreams too.
Versafi Media: What led you to get into film?
Naima: I have always wanted to do film after being introduced in high school. I went to SUNY Purchase College where I honed my theater skills. However, once being able to see the versatility between theater and film I became intrigued. This propelled me to write a teleplay for a series entitled Men Always Leave which shares the same title as my stage play. I then went on to write a feature film which is Men Always Leave sharing the same title of the stage play.
Versafi Media: Tell us more about your craft of your production company N.Y.I. Productions.
Naima: N.Y.I Productions mission is to Educate, Illuminate, and Entertain. I do this using my creative strategies through mediums of film, theater, literature, workshops and more. Everything at N.Y.I Productions LLC is created by me and executed with a powerful team. The acronym of the company stands for my name Naima Yetunde Ince.
Versafi Media: How many plays and short films have you written under your company?
Naima: I have written many. However, until the funding is there, only one play and one short film has been fully produced such as the Men Always Leave Stage Play and The Men Always Leave tele pilot series.
Versafi Media: I want to talk about your play “Men Always Leave” What was the inspiration behind that short film?
Naima: Certainly, Men Always Leave started as a stage play and my plan with all of my work is to go from stage to screen. My signature is my poetic voice. The play started from a Spoken Word Poem, which was inspired by my experiences not only with men, but my journey in how I love and viewed myself with men.
Versify Media: How do you balance your work life, personal life and business life all at the same time? Do you find that to be a challenge for you?
Naima: It is very challenging, especially being a mom. But I incorporate my family in all that I do for one. Two, I am good at managing my time for things. You have to, and making sure that you put some self-care time in as well. Using a calendar is helpful. I recommend for anyone, schedule all your time, for example if you know you have tasks to complete for your company but you also work a 9-5, have a family and other household duties. Look at everything you have to do and carve out the time to work on what you need to and plug it into your calendar. It keeps you organized and productive all at the same time.
Versafi Media: Have you been working on any new projects this year? If so, what are they?
Naima: Yes, I have written four stage plays this year and a poetic memoir entitled Pure. One of the stage plays is currently being worked on through an intensive for production. It is entitled Cry Pray Put on Lipstick.
Versafi Media: Since the pandemic hit earlier this year, many small businesses has shut down. With Covid-19, has it affected your business at all?
Naima: No, it has not, in fact it only allowed me to leverage other resources and the internet is one of those things as well as Zoom. I think we just need to reimagine ourselves during these times and take advantage of what is available.
Versafi Media: To you, what does the word Entrepreneur mean?
Naima: It means to not only believe in what you do, what you offer and what you provide others, it also means taking risks. Being an Entrepreneur is not for everyone, and it is a tough gig to have. However, to me it is extremely rewarding.
Versafi Media: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a business owner/entrepreneur?
Naima: My advice would be to begin with research, develop a business plan for your business, and network as much as you can. Never give up, at times you might get discouraged because being a business owner is a marathon not a sprint to the finish line. Savor the moments and welcome the journey.
Versafi Media: You are also an author as well. What inspired you to write your books?
Naima: My books are inspired by many things. Most recently, I have published my poetic memoir, Pure. Pure is a book that is inspired by my life experiences and literally my story. Pure can be purchased on my website and it will be autographed.
Versafi Media: What makes you versified?
Naima: I am constantly working to create new ideas and manipulate the areas of my creative expression to give back. Let’s do it big, out and to the world.
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