Former Resident Seeing Her Acting Dreams Come True
Although actress Raina Simone Moore is pursuing her dream in Los Angeles, California, she will always call Canarsie her home.
"I've lived in California for two years," she said during a recent phone interview with the Canarsie Courier , "but I look back fondly on the fifteen years I resided in Canarsie. I loved running in Canarsie Park and going to the Canarsie Pier. I was into anything in Canarsie that involved the outdoors."
Moore, who attended Meyer Levin Junior High School, South Shore High School and then Canarsie High School, recently starred in an episode of "Boston Legal," in which she was cast as a young, pregnant woman who was a slave to a well-to-do Haitian family and charged with the murder of her owner.
"I was drawn to this part because I wanted to give some type of voice to those who have none," said Moore. "A lot of women are out there struggling and I want to educate them through my characters and show them they need to live for themselves - not for others."
Jamaican-born Moore has had a hunger for acting ever since she auditioned for and was chosen to star in a production of Frederico Garcia Lorca's "Blood Wedding" at Stony Brook University. Moore later moved back to her parents' home on Remsen Avenue, where they still reside, and transferred to Brooklyn College with a desire to explore the world.
"I always loved to travel, so I lived in France for a year. I found that while I was traveling people had certain visions of how Americans are based on what they'd seen in movies. I wanted to present different images to people. I came back with more of a hunger to act and represent more powerful portrayals of women."
After France she moved to San Diego, California, where she studied theatre and dance and the UCSD. Some of her theatre performances included roles in: Fools in Love, Two Gentleman of Verona, Huck and Holden, and The Marriage of Figaro. She has starred in numerous commercials and, prior to her spot on "Boston Legal," she co-starred on the CW 11 sitcom "All Of Us."
Currently working on film projects and pilot auditions, Moore said she remains grounded despite the distracting life of being an actor in L.A.
"It often seems like people can get lost here," she said. "You feel drawn into the scene and you lose your real sense of direction and purpose. But being in L.A. has taught me a lot about myself - to concentrate, stay pure and be yourself no matter what. It seems easy for one's personality to escape.
"That's why I love coming back to Canarsie, which I do a couple times a year to stay with my family," she added. "It's so much more at ease there and it's nice and quiet. I want everyone back home to know that you can achieve your dream and empower yourself, but be conscious of what's important to you. A lot of things may happen to you in life and you become distracted - but keep focused and you can accomplish so much more."