One look at a scene from her film Bloggers, or 3 Sides, or Intruder, and you know that the talent of Gioya Tuma-Waku is almost too big for the screen to contain. Her intensity and passion commands challenging roles, and her dream is to work with Lee Daniels some day. What sets her apart from other working actresses is her professionalism and commitment. No doubt she will work with Lee Daniels, because acting is her life, and each role takes her closer to her goal. You can catch Gioya in her upcoming web series The Palms, where she plays yet another challenging character, Lacey, an addict—a role some actresses could never pull off convincingly because they lack depth, understanding, and gravitas.
The role of Lady in Red in For Colored Girls ,where she worked under the direction of acclaimed actress Saundra McClain, is a performance she’s very proud of, and she can add the film Dr. Brown to her list of credits. Gioya didn’t just fall into acting by accident, or on a whim. It seems she was born with performing in her genes. Ballet at the age of 4, theatre at age 10 as a genie in Aladdin, singing, and acting, as well as drama club throughout high school.
She says movies was her happy place to go to when she was young, and she wants others to feel pleasure at her performances. The degree she earned in acting in Los Angeles was just one sign that she had a burning desire to succeed. It isn’t enough for her to sit on the sidelines or wait for someone to come along and offer her a role. She goes after the roles with confidence and determination.
In a recent interview, she indicated that acting would always be part of her future, and that she never wanted to forget why she loved it in the first place. A lot of actors give up along the way, and are intimidated by rejection and competition. But Gioya knows that that is the part of the acting process, and not only takes it in stride, but uses it to make her a stronger performer.