Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing a talented, young, beautiful and fellow Haitian-American for this blog. Hailing from New Jersey, Claudeen Benoit does it all. After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she made her way to New York City where she continued to pursue her passions as an actress, singer and dancer.
Currently, Claudeen works as a field host for MTV Korea, covering all things KPOP (Korean Pop). What is KPOP you ask? It is a cultural movement that blends pop music, dance and fashion from South Korea. Artistic expression at its best.
1. It appears that you’re a triple threat in the arts. You sing, dance and act. Which do you enjoy the most and why?
To be honest, I am drawn and attracted to all areas of performance on an equal level. Each area produces a unique and specific satisfaction for me. What I find the most satisfying, (yet difficult) ,when it comes to performance is; being able to balance your talents and getting to a place where you feel you are 100% the best you can be, in all areas, at all times.
2. How did you come across the opportunity to be a field host on MTV Korea?
I am a huge fan of KPOP and South Korean Culture. After discovering the music, I was hooked. KPOP brings artistic expression to another level. The music video’s are visually stimulating, the fashion is impeccable, and the songs and dances are incredibly catchy. I also have a lot of respect for the KPOP artists. Although their performances seem very effortless and smooth, they are very educated in their art and train very hard for years before debuting. The opportunity to work for MTV K presented itself when I stumbled upon a casting online. I submitted my previous work along with my resume, and got called in. I had one audition and then was asked to come in and Co-Host UNITED CUBE LIVE in TIMES SQUARE a couple of months later, it was a blast!
3. What advice would you give todays youth on following their dreams?
To the youth I say; take your dreams very seriously, even if you find that other people don’t. Study the greats! Really educate yourself and put the work in. Be polite, be respectful, but don’t let anyone tell you that you “can’t” achieve your dreams… (yourself included). Anything and everything is possible no matter what your starting point is!
4. Who are your greatest inspirations and why?
My greatest inspirations come from many sources, it is difficult to limit it to just people. The Pyramids of Egypt inspire me. The Civil Rights movement inspires me. Harmony inspires me. My father inspires me. Gandhi, Anne Bogart, Grace Jones, Martha Graham, Toussaint L’ouverture, Albert Einstein, Mae Jemison, Lady Gaga, Sidney Poitier, Sigmund Freud, Napoleon Hill. I could go on forever…
5. What was that pivotal moment when you realized that the arts was your passion?
Passion is such an awesome word…But to answer the question, I can’t recall an outstanding moment in particular when I realized that this was for me; nor do I believe there is one for any artist. The life of an artist is a very difficult one. I do not believe that anyone who is truly serious about their art really makes a choosing to live this way. For most, it is an unshakable calling that is engrained into their being. If by chance, an artist somehow abandons their artistry, it will always find a way back into their life and into everything that they do.
All the best to you, Claudeen!