*Shahadi Wright Joseph is an 11-year-old actress on the rise who recently performed at the second annual Young Talent Awards in Los Angeles, CA  where she was nominated for Best Young Actress in a TV special.

The Young Entertainer Awards is a foundation created to provide a positive space for young entertainers. The foundation offers a donation-funded scholarship to the individual, or performing arts institutions, who may need assistance with advancing in their entertainment career. Nominees of the event include Jaden Piner of the Academy Award winning film “Moonlight” and Neel Sethi of Walt Disney’s “The Jungle Book.”

Joseph made her TV debut starring as Little Inez from “Hairspray Live,” co-starring alongside stars Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande and Derek Hough.

“I would have to say the rehearsals were my favorite part, because I loved getting to learn all of the new choreography and being able to see each other everyday, just be normal and being able to make mistakes in front of people you love,” Joseph said.


She also said the choreography was very new and challenging at first, but after practicing she said it felt good to get the ‘60s style dance moves down.

Before television, the young actress made her mark on Broadway in “The Lion King,” where she starred as the young lioness Nala. Also, she starred in the “School of Rock” where she played Madison and was an understudy for the role of Tomika.

Joseph also won a Rising Star award before being cast in “Hairspray Live.” She has also been nominated for an Astaire award in the category of Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show for her role in “School of Rock.”

Aside from traveling for auditions, the Brooklyn native has hosted the Harlem School of Arts Winter Blaze Dance Concert for two nights where she ran into Aubrey Lynch, producer and choreographer who helped train Joseph for her “Lion King” role.

shahadi wright joseph - thelionking-nala

She also currently teaches an acting class for Class Act New York that occurs every two months. The class consists of choreography and a “School of Rock” workshop.

Shahadi Joseph encourages young girls who are considering making more of a television or on-stage presence to take classes at Class Act New York because it has taken some people very far.

“Class Act New York is also a great way to start acting or getting singing lessons if you want to start doing that kind of stuff like musical theater or TV movies, it’s basically a class where you can learn basic acting or singing lessons,” she said.

For MORE info, visit www.ShahadiWrightJoseph.com.