I’m Ajarae Coleman, and if you talk to my close friends, they’ll all tell you I’m someone who loves to “raise the bar.” My family has always had high expectations of me. I have high expectations of myself. So it’s important to me to inspire my audience and collaborators to raise their personal bars. Alongside my acting career, I’ve developed a business that I am extremely proud of. As the founder of TheWorkshopGuru.com, I encourage workshop companies and casting directors who teach workshops to raise the bar by giving actors a powerful voice in the casting workshop world. I also publish a free weekly video blog that helps actors take their careers to the next level. Most recently, I’ve created online programs for actors, including one that assists actors in executing a successful relocation to Los Angeles, and another that provides ongoing mentorship and support in the form of a mastermind group.
My mom named me after the awe-inspiring matriarch of my family, my great-grandmother, Amy Jones Ray. I never met her, but I’m told I’m very much like her. So I love my name, but it’s a challenge to pronounce if you’re reading it for the first time. So, let me give you a lil’ help. It’s “Asia-RAY”.
I was raised in New Jersey, and now I live in Los Angeles where I get to raise the creative bar for myself every day. Along the way, I earned a Biological Anthropology degree at Harvard, trained at UCLA and the Beverly Hills Playhouse, and worked on several shows, including ABC’s SCANDAL, REVENGE, and PRIVATE PRACTICE, CBS’s THE McCARTHYS and 2 BROKE GIRLS, NBC’s DAYS OF OUR LIVES, TNT’s PERCEPTION, and more. I’ve also co-created an action comedy television show called SMACK Unit. I’m thrilled to call myself an actress and entrepreneur.
My other passion is childhood education. I taught sixth grade in Compton as a Teach For America corps member, and the experience changed my life. I was lucky enough to get the best education the country has to offer, and I believe all kids deserve the same. I volunteer as a reader at an elementary school, and continue to raise the bar through the educational reform movement. One of my goals is to build a school in my hometown of Orange, New Jersey.
So, speaking of raising the bar, I want to hear from you. Tell me below what bar you want to raise in your life!