A 50 Mile Run for Protest with Nattalyee Randall
Jesse Specs Spellman
- July 7, 2022
Every few publications we come across our fellow runners that not only support our communities but also support each other from a mental perspective. We like to call these discussions healthy chats and this month we have the privilege of speaking with Nattalyee Randall founder of 50 Mile Run for Protest and Sobriety Club on Clubhouse. Nattalyee has touched countless lives over the last few years and this month we are blessed with the opportunity to speak with her.
MSM: You are a woman with many talents as you essentially have your hands in various projects. Let's chat about a few of those as you’re an actor, director, writer, and runner, but we’ll get to that in a bit. I’m a production guy at heart, post-production and there is a sense of fulfillment when projects are completed. Let’s talk about your journey into acting, how did you get into performing?
NR: I got into performing at an early age. I was 5 years old when I sang my first solo at church. I then fell in love with theater and began performing in community theater productions in my hometown. I realized I was somewhat good at it and had fun doing it, so I decided to pursue it professionally. I moved to NYC when I graduated college and the rest is truly history.
MSM: What have been some of your personal favs through the years, ones that have stuck out and stayed with you.
NR: I would say my favorite show I’ve done is Dreamgirls. I’ve played Effie White three times and have gained more knowledge of myself and the character each time. My favorite film that I’ve done is a film called “The Ghost Who Walks” that is on Peacock TV. I got to be a character that I wouldn’t normally play. It was super fun!
MSM: I’m curious as a runner, being a runner there’s something that helps us to view things differently with a sharper focus. Has running helped you professionally as a performer. To be more focused?
NR: Running has completely changed everything I do. It’s made me have more endurance on stage. My stamina is so high now! I have run half marathons before doing a show (I do not recommend this haha) and you want to talk about having to really hone in on all your skills and being focused on stage. It makes me feel powerful to know that my body can do so much in one day.
MSM: We touched on your acting but you’re also a writer/director with a few upcoming projects and short films. What are some future and current projects that you have, most of all how can we watch and support them?
NR: I am currently still on the film festival circuit with “The Race Against Race” and it will live on YouTube starting in August. I have a short new documentary I directed called “Don’t Look Too Far Ahead” that is about a basketball player figuring out what to do with life after college. That is going to be on next year’s film festival circuit. I also will be directing my first feature documentary. I can’t give too many details yet, but this one is going to really make people think.
MSM: Ok let’s switch up the pace a little bit and talk running. I always mention that running is a sport that anyone can do but it also is not easy. For you what was the start of your journey and most of all what was your why?
NR: To be honest, the beginning of my journey with running was to lose weight and get a flat stomach. My relationship with running has since changed dramatically. My running is a huge form of resistance against what people think a runner should look like. I’m not your stereotypical thin, in shorts, white, blonde runner. I’m a plus size, dark skinned black woman, who has some hips and a stomach. I want people to know that running can be enjoyable no matter what your weight is or how fast you go. For the most part, the running community is so accepting and loving of people who run. It can just be hard to find that community.
MSM: When did you know that running was going to be part of your lifestyle?
NR: I knew running was going to be a part of my lifestyle when I signed up for my first 10K race. I literally was thinking to myself “I am insane. I haven’t even run a 5K. How am I going to pull off a 10K?” But I went out to Roosevelt Island in NYC on St Patrick’s Day 2017 and ran with all these people who looked like a melting pot. I had such a fear of being the only big runner and coming in last place that I almost didn’t show up. That race changed my life and perspective on running.
MSM: As we mentioned earlier you have many talents when it comes to getting things done. Even with running you’re using it as a tool to create change and bring attention to issues in our black in communities. Let’s talk about the 50 mile Run for Justice protest which is another documentary that you're working on. How has the platform of running helped to shed light on the issues we’re continuously facing in our communities?
To continue reading please subscribe to the magazine, or login to your subscriber account below.