From being a certified real-life firefighter to acting in one of YouTube’s best web series with over 2 million viewers, STUDVILLETV’s Toni Fields is “just living her life.” When I caught up with Fields, there was a lot to learn about this talented actor and artist. Not only does she play Channing on the hit web series STUDVILLETV, but she is also a certified firefighter, artist, model, and athlete for the Women’s Football Alliance. I recently caught up with Fields and here she is in her own words.
KELZ: Who is Toni Fields?
TONI FIELDS: I’m an actor, a model, do voice overs, I’m a visual artist, and I’m an athlete.
KELZ: How did you find out about STUDVILLETV? What attracted you to the character Channing?
TONI FIELDS: I was on Facebook, and Sheri, the producer of the show, asked me if I wanted to come and audition for a role. It’ll be a lead role, you’ll be playing my character, you’ll be representing my life, and I went to audition for it. I made everybody laugh, she liked how I presented Channing, and that’s how I got started acting.
I enjoy playing my role as Channing, who is the hopeless romantic on the show. Being apart of STUDVILLETV has definitely opened a lot of different doors for me. Since I’ve starting acting with STUDVILLETV, I’ve been presented with other roles.
KELZ: How would you describe Channing?
TONI FIELDS: Business woman, firefighter, has a professional career, hopeless romantic. Has a deep connection with friends, a strong bond.
KELZ: Any similarities between yourself and your role Channing?
TONI FIELDS: Yes, we actually have quite bit. When Sheri and I were talking, I told her what I was doing at the time. I was actually just finishing up at the firefighter academy. When she presented the role to me, I had just got my firefighting certification. I’m actually a firefighter, my character is a firefighter. I love dancing, my character loves dancing. I think I’m a hopeless romantic as well, but I think Channing definitely takes the cake, you know, getting gasoline put on her, that’s just crazy. I’m glad we have that difference, but we do have a lot of similarities.
KELZ: You’re an artist, what type of art do you create? How long have you been creating your art?
TONI FIELDS: I’m a visual artist. The last show I did was a live painting, sat on stage and painted as Jurni Reign was performing at her event called ‘Under the Radar’ in Dallas, Texas. I specialize in doing portraits, I use mediums such as pen and ink, graphite, oils, and I also do sculptures. I used to teach art back home in Detroit, so art is definitely a big part of me.
Been doing art since I could grip a pencil. I come from a family of artists. Been doing portraits since I could pick up a pencil, that’s my forte. Lately, I’ve been using the creative side of my brain and painting more, doing more symbology in my work. Have ventured off to this surreal realm.
KELZ: Any artist(s) who are an inspiration to you?
TONI FIELDS: Salvador Dali is my favorite artist. He is a genius. Romare Bearden, he’s a very good artist who inspires me as well. I think he is out of New York, he’s a very good collage artist. I just like to see people playing with their brains, stepping out of the box, and with me being a portrait artist, when I see something I just put it back on the paper. How I see it kind of like a copy and paste. They inspire me to step outside the norm and push myself as an artist.
KELZ: How do you choose your subjects?
TONI FIELDS: For the most part, I get a lot of people who send me a picture saying can you draw this for me. As far as pictures I want to draw, it’s all about contrast. I love pictures that are black and white, red and black, something that has really strange contrast to it. Something that just pops out from the picture.
I have a native background so that inspires me as well.
KELZ: Where can fans check out your art?
TONI FIELDS: Currently, I’ve been getting booked for different shows. I will be booked for more galleries and different shows coming up. My website will be coming up the first of the year and that will be a way for people to find out exactly where I’m doing my shows at, where Toni Fields is going to be at next.
KELZ: Will there be a tour or do you just go wherever you are booked?
TONI FIELDS: Right now, pretty much wherever I am booked. I haven’t opened the idea of doing a tour, but I’m not closed to the idea either. It’ll definitely be in the future.
KELZ: What is next for you? Will there be a season 3?
TONI FIELDS: I’m definitely open to season 3 of STUDVILLETV and 4 & 5. However long STUDVILLETV wants to operate, I’m definitely gonna be apart of it. Like Sheri, she gave us a really good idea, it’s a really good show, I’m liking the fact that the show is coming from a stud’s point of view. You know masculine female point of view versus the femme role. Showing the other side, a reverse in roles in dating. I like this show and the direction it is going, and however long it operates, I’m definitely gone be apart it. However, me as an actor, doing voice overs, a model, I’m definitely want to open myself up to different roles, pursuing different characters. I’m not just stuck on being or portraying one character, I’m open to portraying different characters. I’m really looking forward to doing an action feature, that’s my dream.
KELZ: Where can fans keep up to date with what you’re doing?
TONI FIELDS: My website tonifields.com will be up at the top of the year. I also have Instagram and Twitter–that’s @toni_fields and my Facebook is facebook.com/sweetestsoldier and I don’t currently have a YouTube but will soon. YouTube.com/STUDVILLETV
Check out STUDVILLETV Season 2 now streaming on YouTube and season 3 will debut in 2015.
Interview by Kelly Newsome (KELZ)