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Out from the heart of Harlem, New York, is up and coming actor and screenwriter, Azania Vernon. As a youth, Azania dreamed of excelling on the basketball court. Playing for the prestigious Rice High School, a catholic school in Harlem, New York, his dreams of playing in college and potentially overseas seemed closer than he thought. Azania was invited to play in the Big Apple City All-Star Classic, which featured some of the top players in New York City. Azania attended Miami University of Ohio on a full academic scholarship. Azania was not able to play for Miami University of Ohio basketball team due to title IX. So, he decided to take some classes at Miami University Hamilton, a branch college from main campus, so he can play basketball while going to school. To fulfill his dream in playing in college, he would sacrifice driving thirty miles each day from the main campus to Hamilton campus for classes, practice, and games.
While taking a few acting classes at Miami University, his professor told him he was a phenomenal actor. But Azania was only focused on playing basketball and trying to make the team at Miami University. Instead of coming back home for the summer, Azania opted to stay in school and work out with the basketball and football team lead by at the time, Pittsburg Steeler quarterback, Ben Rothlisberger, former New York Jets safety, Alphonso Hodge and former Cleveland Cavaliers NBA player Chet Mason. Azania took another acting class his senior year where the professor told him he should really think about pursuing acting. As always, Azania was focused on basketball and on graduating on time. After graduation Azania could not land a spot on a basketball roster. Thankfully, he was recruited and got a job with Shaw Industries, which sent him out to Los Angeles.
One of his friends from New York, opened up his arms when Azania came to Los Angeles and the two soon became roommates. Azania was immediately bitten by the acting bug when he would watch his actor friends work and while he would help them out with their scenes before auditions. Azania then lost his job with Shaw Industries but did not want to move back to New York City. This was the catalyst for him to begin his process in becoming an actor. It was difficult for him to find an agent so he started "crashing" auditions. Everyone in Hollywood told him that was a no-no, but his determination kicked in. In 2008, Azania was able to do a short film directed by Spencer Longmore. Azania thought he would able to get a representation but unfortunately he was not able too. Due to not finding any work and unable to bring in any income, Azania had to move out of his apartment. Azania was homeless, sleeping in his car, sleeping on friends couches and taking showers at the local fitness center before going on auditions.
Azania slowly booked commercials and started to get more background work. But it wasn't enough for him and Azania began to doubt himself. He made the decision to move back to New York and wanted to quit the industry all together. Luckily, his close friend convinced him to push through. Azania began reading screen writing and acting books during his time back in New York. His creative spirit was revived and he started to develop his own scripts. Azania fell in love with film and acting all over again. During this process Azania realized if he wants to be in film, he must create his own lane and platform.
  • Producer (1 Credit)
    Streetlights2020
    Short
  • Acting (1 Credit)
    Streetlights2020
    Short
  • Writer (1 Credit)
    Streetlights2020
    Short
  • Director (1 Credit)
    Streetlights2020
    Short
Official Selection
Streetlights
KickFlix
Portland, OR
2020
Special Mention Award
Streetlights
Global Shorts
Los Angeles
2020
Special Mention Award
Streetlights
One-Reeler Short Film Festival
Los Angeles, CA.
College
Miami University of Ohio
Black World Studies
20022006
High School
Rice High School
19982002
Birth Date
December 30
Nickname
A.Z.
Hometown
Harlem, NY
Gender
Male
Zodiac Sign
Capricorn
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