“We had come across a lot of famous people who said a lot of complements, but nobody really acted on it” … until someone did!

As you all well know at this point, I love discussing the early days of building a career in the entertainment industry on Collider Ladies Night. Each path is unique but no matter the situation, “making it” in Hollywood often feels like a one-in-a-million accomplishment that requires the utmost dedication and passion to persevere through a process that is often riddled with rejection and seemingly insurmountable challenges. But you know what could make all the difference during that venture? Having someone who’s already done it in your corner.

While chatting with Dominique Fishback for the release of Judas and the Black Messiah, she revealed that a well known actor did have her back, Hocus Pocus’ Kathy Najimy. Here’s how Fishback put it:

“In the midst of doing MCC [Youth Company], I got into this other organization that allowed us to travel all over the world and meet people like Nigel Barker who took my photo. And I was like, ‘So I’m like a Top Model and I’m not even famous!’ He took my photo in 2012 and that was really special. And I met Kathy Najimy from Hocus Pocus and Sister Act. She saw me and she said, ‘Oh, you need to be in everything. TV, film, theater, everything.’ And I was like, ‘Thank you,’ but I really didn’t put too much pressure on it because we had come across a lot of famous people who said a lot of complements, but nobody really acted on it.”

Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker in Hocus Pocus
Image via Disney

Turns out, Najimy was different. Here’s what happened next:

“She was like, ‘Do you want to do spoken word to my daughter’s music for Joe’s Pub?’ And I got to do that for a Glamour magazine event. And then she was like, ‘We’re gonna be going to LA. Do you want to come to LA and do some pieces? And if you make your way to LA, I will get you some meetings with some people, casting directors and a commercial agent.’ And so I got with a commercial agent. They were just in LA and they said, ‘Well, we can’t really do much for you because you’re in New York, but we can send you to …,’ and then they sent me to my first agent.”

Words of encouragement are mighty nice, but taking action in support of another’s potential is different. In an industry with sky high pressure, it’s especially heartening to hear that Najimy took steps to actually make things happen for Fishback. But Najimy’s support didn’t stop at offering up some profession connections; her family was also there to celebrate Fishback’s accomplishments. Fishback added:

“I remember I had a rehearsal with her daughter the day after – it was either the day of my college graduation or the day after – but I was like, ‘I’m gonna do this rehearsal,’ and I went down and we’re just rehearsing the song and then [Kathy], her husband and her daughter Samia, they come out with a cake and sing, ‘She’s a jolly good fellow,’ and it has a candle on it to celebrate my graduation. That was so sweet.”

Daniel Kaluuya and Dominique Fishback in Judas and the Black Messiah
Image via Warner Bros.

If you needed a little mood booster this Monday, hopefully this story did the trick! But do stay tuned because we’ll have many more inspiring experiences to share when we unveil Fishback’s full episode of Collider Ladies Night later this week, just in time for the February 12th HBO Max release of Judas and the Black Messiah.

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This is reason to celebrate.

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