By Allen Payton
Antioch hails many students with childhood dreams. Some say “I want to be a doctor,” or a “District Attorney” maybe a “football player.” Khira Thomas always told her peers “I’m going to be an actress!” Almost 10 years have passed since she graduated from Deer Valley High School with the Class of 2003, and that’s exactly what she became.
“I knew it was going to happen someday,” says Thomas. “I told everybody I would, and that’s what I was able to accomplish.”
How it was going to happen, was another story in itself.
The first step for Thomas was to earn a degree in Theater. By being accepted to the California State University of Northridge, she would live close to Hollywood where she could learn about the business and stud the craft at the same time. “Being in proximity with the university and the Hollywood offices gave me the advantage to learn both my craft and the industry at the same time,” says Thomas. “They worked hand in hand with the jobs I booked and the exercises I did in class, I had 1 up on other actors at auditions because the casting directors saw I had the training to handle the part.”
One of the first things Thomas did upon arriving in Los Angeles was to get a feel of the TV and film industry.
“My very first encounter was attending a taping of the Wayne Brady Show, in 2004,” she said. “I was in shell shock seeing the movie magic unfold on set. From that point on I was in hot pursuit, working my way up to be a part of it.”
She was soon doing research on how and where to find auditions, and what it took to get acting jobs. It started with taking acting classes, then using those skills to find auditions and land roles.
“In a way, I felt as if the industry was gravitating to me, because eventually I was landing more jobs in a matter of months than those actors older than me, who hadn’t in years. I felt at home with the entertainment industry, and still do,” said Thomas.
Thomas found herself in the midst of many perks of the industry: walking the red carpet, earning money, and meeting notable celebrities. Thomas’ 1st major break was in the film “Lakeview Terrace” starring Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Wilson, and Kerry Washington.
After that, there was no room for backtracking, Khira wasn’t accepting anything less from that point on. This led her to landing supporting roles in more projects. She played a deceptive mistress in “House of Flesh Mannequins,” a horror movie heroine in “Poe,” a sexy decoy in “The Marriage Chronicles,” and a bus driver in “Bus People.” All are available on Netflix and/or DVD.
“It’s such an amazing feeling to watch myself on screen and be recognized by others” she stated. “It took so much and so long for me to do all of those films, and to finally see them out is such a relief. I always told people I was going to Hollywood to make movies, work with famous people, and walk the red carpet. Now I have a resume that speaks for itself.”
Her mother, Antioch resident Robin Reed, who watched her daughter in all her school plays from Kindergarten through high schools, said “I’m very proud of Khira for following her dreams.”
She caught the acting bug when she played the lead role in the play “The Princess and the Frog” in third grade.
“Khira had never been away from home,” Reed said. “So for her to leave home, move to L.A. where she didn’t know anyone, I was impressed by her strength.”.
“But my proudest moment was when I watched her walk across the stage to get her degree in theater from Cal State Northridge.”
Khira was the first member of her immediate family to graduate from college.
Although Khira Thomas has fulfilled her goal of becoming an actress, it’s not the end of her pursuits.
“I still do not feel as if I hit the prime of my life, yet” she shared. “I know I’ve done quite a bit as an actress, I still believe I have more roles in me to become even more successful.”
Ten years ago she had a dream to become an actress, and 10 years later she is looking to become a pivotal figure in the entertainment industry. There’s still time for her to walk the red carpet to the Academy Awards stage and to become a major entrepreneur.
She also wants to serve as an example to other, future actors who wish to be at the top of their game, like Khira expects to be very soon.
“I told people that I was going to be an actress, and I did it, now I’m telling you all I’m going to be a legend because if I knew then what I was going to be, then I ought to know what I’m going to be now!”