Aspiring actress and Anthropology Society president dreams to be the best of both worlds

Ekeme Ekanem, Anthropology Club President,  poses for a portrait on a bench near Art Hill on May 2, 2016. At Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif. Photo: Taylor Arthur.
Ekeme Ekanem, Anthropology Club President, poses for a portrait on a bench near Art Hill on May 2, 2016. At Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif. Photo: Taylor Arthur.

The years students spend in college are meant to be eye opening and prepare them for the real world. For Anthropology major and aspiring actress Ekeme Ekanem, balancing school and acting, and never losing sight of who she is as a person is key.

Born in Buffalo, New York, Ekanem moved with her mother to Phoenix Arizona at the age of two. Ekanem says  Buffalo’s “closed minded attitude and cold weather” is what motivated her mother to leave.

As an aspiring actress, Ekeme, 19,  moved to California two years ago to be closer to Hollywood in hopes of expanding her opportunities. She attended the Arizona School of Arts, but wanted to pursue an education in Anthropology, which was another reason why she decided to come to California.

“I want the best of both worlds when it comes to acting and academics. I know I want a Ph.D, but I also want a great role and a lasting career in acting,” Ekanem said.

On the other side of the textbook page, reads the script and the pursuit of a career in the world of entertainment, Ekanem still does auditions all the time, one of her roles was in a scene with actress Judy Greer in FX’s show “Married.”

Maintaining focus in both worlds is a role that Ekanem plays really well, and even though acting may seem like a career with less stability she has full support from her “free-spirited” mother.

“She’s like a, ‘whatever you want to do’ kind of person. She moved to Costa Rica just because she wanted to. I am a little less free-spirited than her,” Ekanem said. “I like the security of going to school and having a set plan, but I also like the ‘not sure plan’ of acting.”

As president of the Anthropology Society, Ekanem is no stranger to interacting with people and likes the opportunity of learning more about different human customs and cultures.

“The connection with people and the opportunities to travel is why I  originally chose linguistics as a major. It not only teaches you how to communicate and learn about other cultures, but also you get paid to go places and travel and that’s the coolest thing,” Ekanem said.

Ekanem was the vice-president of the Anthropology Club last year, and became president at the start of the 2016 Spring semester.  She has formed friendships with members of the club, including current vice-president Sharon Basch.

After working closely together, Bach thinks Ekanem fulfills her role well. Bach has noted that Ekanem is very effective and follows through with the club’s activities and with her duties as president.

“She has continued the trend of pushing forward and making sure that the people who are involved find something that they are interested in. Our club has expanded by a lot, and I think it has to do with her leadership skills,” Bach said.

Joseph “Noble” Eisenlauer, professor of anthropology and archaeology at Pierce College, is the faculty advisor for the Anthropology Society. Eisenlauer met Ekanem through the club, and believe that she does a good job of fulfilling her duties as president.

“She gets along well with people and she follows through, when she says she’s going to do something she gets it done. I don’t think in the past we’ve had such good, consistent communication with our membership.,” Eisenlauer said.

“The biggest legacy I want to leave behind is that we won’t understand each other until we want to understand each other. In the end we are all connected we are all human,” Ekanem said.