For the remaining of 2020, Natasha’s mantra is to surround herself with greatness and with those who see the greatness within her.
Before entering Hollywood, Natasha Ofili worked in the fashion industry. She is the first Black Deaf Woman to graduate top of her class at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (Los Angeles). She is also the first Black Deaf woman to work as a Designer. Natasha has designed for licensors such as Hello Kitty and Disney for Dillard’s, Kohl’s, Target and Ecko Unlimited.
2019 was the launch of visibility on screen. Natasha had her first two debuts on 2 TV series which are currently steaming: Ryan Murphy’s The Politician on Netflix where she played Principal Karen Vaughn in 4 episodes and Amazon Originals’ Undone created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Pudy where she played a Deaf Teacher in 2 episodes. In the show Undone, Natasha is the first Black Deaf Actress is to be seen as an animated character in the show.
Early 2020, Natasha was cast as one of the leads for Deaf West Theater’s Spring 2020 production, Orphée, as Eurydice. Unfortunately, after opening night in March, the show was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As an African American Deaf Woman, Natasha has the voicing skills to perform speaking roles. While using her voice on The Politician for the first time, it was a good challenge. She enjoyed the process and progress she made when playing Principal Karen Vaughn. Natasha will use her voicing as a tool that she has for any speaking roles. Natasha’s true expression is her hands, American Sign Language (ASL). When she played the Deaf Teacher using ASL, it was exciting to show authentic and true representation of Deaf people on the screen. She will always represent her community as who she is to inspire future Deaf and Hard of Hearing people of color to follow her foot steps in the industry. This is her fire and drive.
Entering the commercial world of acting in late 2015, she landed big branded commercials: 7up commercial that was nationally broadcasted in 2016 and a commercial for Apple, Inc. called “Accessibility - Sady,” which has been renewed until 2024.
When Natasha landed her first lead role for a short film in 2014, Words not Spoken, her character was a lesbian African American teenager dealing with life challenges. At that time, Natasha did not invest time in becoming an actor. She didn’t believe she can do it. Now Natasha does believe she can do it.
Natasha discovered a newfound love of writing stories, directing, and producing, starting with her short play, Reflection: What Do You See? In June 2020, inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests, Natasha co-wrote and produced with Storm Smith, a creative project Am I Next? to spotlight attention on the Black Deaf Community. The short video generated 100,000+ views across social media platforms. This project is something she felt proud to work on to bring focus on the Black Deaf Community. Her love for writing continues to flourish as she creates stories that the world will see, feel, and remember.
Natasha wrote her first play and it is exciting that is leading somewhere. She will share more soon what the progress is of this play.
Natasha thanks her mother for her existence who migrated to America from Sierra Leone, West Africa. Natasha faced her own personal challenges when at the age of 18 months, she became Deaf. However, her challenges only served as a positive driving force, and with her creative talent and sheer determination.