Winsome Sinclair: ‘We are Being Paid to Make Believe’

Winsome Sinclair: ‘We are Being Paid to Make Believe’

Originally published on The Industry Cosign May 27, 2015

When you work and collaborate with directors like Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, John Singleton and Lee Daniels, you tend to stay in business based on your work ethic and highly sought after skills. Being involved with institutes like the African-American Women In Cinema Foundation, the New York Women In Film and Television and the Star Project for the American Black Film Festival is nothing to frown upon either. With accolades like the few (And believe me, there are MANY more!) mentioned, it’s no surprise that Winsome Sinclair is someone that you need to know!

Keeping busy is something that seems to be natural for Sinclair as her most recent projects include the LIFETIME TV movie “Seasons of Love” produced by Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson, and the HBO film, BESSIE, which starred and was produced by Queen Latifah. Winsome graciously spared some time to talk to The Industry Cosign about how she got her start, what she does and some advice to those who wish to sustain a long career.

What was the driving force that led you to pursue a career in the entertainment field?

Actually the truth is, I didn’t choose this, it chose me .. ( LOL ) Long story

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You’ve been in the film industry for over 20 years. When you first started, did you imagine having the type of journey you’ve had thus far?

Absolutely not! I feel so lucky/blessed every single day, words can hardly express. When I worked on my first film (Mo Better Blues), I thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I took it. I had no aspirations for a career at that time.

The names of the directors you’ve worked with include Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone and Lee Daniels, so it’s fair to say that you might be considered a big deal. How is your mindset working with such big name directors as opposed to working with lesser known ones? Do you feel added pressure when working with the more esteemed ones?

Big Deal??? Ok, I will take that (LOL)! For me, I treat all of my directors the same. I do the best that I can (We.. #TeamWSA), do our best at all times. Because you never know where someone will end up. Somebody that might not be well known today could be a very big deal in the public tomorrow.  All of the well known directors that we have worked with have been extremely gracious so there wasn’t any perceived pressure at the time. I will admit however that when I look at the WSA (Winsome Sinclair & Associates) resume in hindsight, I do feel a strong sense of pride. And good fortune.

As a casting director, if you had one choice to cast either a movie being released theatrically, a TV/Cable movie or a TV show, which would you choose and why?

Hmm, not sure how to answer that. They all bring a different power to the table. I would even love to cast theater, more specifically, BROADWAY, in the future as well.

What advice would you give someone who wants to become involved in this fickle industry?

The advice that I would give is to make sure you always operate from a place of supreme integrity because at the end of the day that is what transcends time. Be a person of your word, that’s what gets and keeps repeat clients. And I would also add, HAVE FUN & LIVE YOUR LIFE. Don’t take any of this too seriously because at the end of the day, we aren’t saving lives for a living. We are being paid to make believe.

In this day and age, most successful people branch off to involve themselves in different ventures. What else are you doing outside of Winsome Sinclair & Associates?

Winsome Sinclair & Associates is a Producing, Casting and Consulting firm. In addition to that, I, as the face of the company, also teach, serve on panels, as well as serve on charity boards. And I also am the CEO of a family (Sinclair) brand BREEZES LIFESTYLE.

How has social media helped you in your line of work, if, indeed, it has helped you?

Social Media changed the game. It definitely brought about stronger brand awareness and an ability to reach out to our public in a more specific way.

Has there been a mistake that was made by you that, if given the chance to relive that moment, you would do over? And what was that mistake and how would it have changed the outcome of that action?

Let me get back to you on that… Actually on 2nd thought, I come from the school of thought that If  I learned something from the outcome, that I still benefited in the end. All in all, I really have no regrets. I count it as JOY!!

You’ve sat on panels, you are a member of several organizations and you even serve on the board of the African-American Women in Cinema Foundation. How important is it to you to give back and give people direction in terms of making this their career?

It is extremely important that I give back whenever I can and share the wealth of knowledge I have garnered over my career with the next generation. It is also important that I have balance and make sure that my life and focus and energy are not one dimensional.

If Winsome Sinclair wasn’t casting movie projects, what would she be doing for a living?

WOW… I often think about that. I actually have been able to do all things that I love (Cast, produce, teach, Motivational Speaking). I guess if it had to be something, it would be something in Hospitality or interior design. But with the launching of the BREEZES LIFESTYLE BRAND, I am going to be able to pursue those avenues in my future.

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