Music gently floats through the Village as a crowd gathers around the source. Every Monday and Wednesday after class she plays her guitar.
Satta Murray, a theater major at Pierce, recently moved from Rocklin, a small suburban town an hour away from the Bay Area, and welcomes the liveliness of Los Angeles County.
“Everyone knows me for having a lot of friends because I can get along with anyone. I’ve been all over campus and I’m just like ‘People, come to me,’” Murray said. “When people see me with my guitar, they come up to me and tell me about shows and open-mics.”
Murray’s inviting personality has allowed her to quickly make friends in new surroundings.
“Satta is a very open minded person,” her friend Gio Collins, a theater major at Pierce College said. “She has a beautiful spirit. Something about her makes you feel comfortable with expressing yourself.”
Murray grew up in a “boring” town “in the middle of nowhere.”
“There was nothing going on where I came from. It’s like a Napoleon Dynamite town,” Murray said. “If you’re someone like me who wants to get out there and do crazy stuff and see shows, become a musician or an actor, that was not the place to be. I moved out here to get out of there and start my life.”
Murray’s parents, who are both musicians and Rastafarians, filled their home with music, particularly reggae music. Her mother was a reggae singer but has not performed much since she began teaching ten years ago.
“I have a very music oriented family,” Murray said. “My mom is the one that mostly passed down the music genes. I’m basically doing what she did and carrying it on. When I was ten she gave me the chance to sing with her on stage.”
According to Murray, Reggae music is a huge part of Rastafarian culture. Her mother and father are more involved in the Rastafarian religion than she is because it was not forced on her.
“I represent what I am as a Rasta with the colors: red, gold, and green, the dreads, and the reggae music,” Murray said. “Later on, I want to be more dedicated to it and learn more about it. So I know more about the religion and what it is about.”
As a part of her culture, Murray has had dreadlocks for 15 years, since she was three. Dreadlocks run in the family, she said. Her mother has dreadlocks that reach down to the floor that she twists and puts them in a head wrap. People are very curious about her dreadlocks, she said. They will ask her if it’s real and they ask her how she maintains it.
“People ask me questions everyday about my hair and I don’t get impatient about it. I’m used it. My hair is natural and curly. I love it because it’s me,” Murray said. “Everyone knows me for my hair. ‘That girl with the dreads.’ That’s all you hear. That light-skinned girl with the dreads. They are special to me and I don’t think I’m going to get rid of them. I’ll be the old lady with dreadlocks.”
When Murray was younger she would attend her mother’s show and watch from the crowd as her mother performed on stage.
“My mom is a great performer and think that’s what mainly made me want to do the same thing,” Murray said.
Murray was also inspired by the Nickelodeon show, “The Naked Brother’s Band.” This show influenced her to pursue music, particularly bass guitar, as well as acting.
“I was so obsessed with it,” Murray said. “I saw the girl playing bass and I thought it was so badass. It’s one girl in a band full of guys. I wanted so bad to be on that show. Ever since I was ten I would look up “how to be an actor.” That’s all I cared about.”
Ever since Murray was just 8 years old it was always one of her biggest dreams to move Los Angeles. She has always had a passion for acting, singing, writing, dancing and playing guitar. She has always just wanted to be an entertainer.
“Everyone in my family knows me for being the comedian, the weird one, and always performing for people and acting crazy just to get reactions out of my family,” Murray said. “Everyone has always said I should get into acting.”
Since arriving here, Murray has registered with Central Casting Agency to appear as an extra on television and movies. She has so far gotten a couple acting jobs on various television shows filmed in the area. She recently got two actings jobs with this agency. She filmed for the television show Major Crimes for ten minutes and received $72 in compensation. Her second job was filming for NCIS at Six Flags.
“I’m just trying to be these acting jobs,” Murray said. “I am so determined. I finish one and I’m like ‘Great! I got to go on to the next one! I got to keep getting more!’”
Murray is a full-time theater student at Pierce and said that she is “learning skills with acting that [she] never [had] before.” However, because she has a full schedule of classes, she isn’t often available for many acting jobs that are available during the week.
“I have a lot of classes and they kept getting in the way of jobs because when you submit yourself for an acting job sometimes they want you for three days or sometimes they call you back, but I have class and I can’t miss it,” Murray said. “So now I will probably be two classes here next semester to focus more on acting.”
Although she has always had a passion for acting, music will always be her number one passion.
“I have to have music every second. It just brings a lot of joy to me,” Murray said. “I love entertaining people with music.”
According to Murray, she has often been judged by people before they got to know her. Because of Murray’s eclectic taste, she said some people may become intimidated by her style, a mixture of punk, goth and hippie.
“She’s a really chill, fun person to talk to about music and new bands,” said Murray’s friend David Tucker, a music major at Pierce College.
Murray plans on taking a music or guitar class next semester. She is currently taking three different acting classes at Pierce. Murray said that her experience at Pierce has been one of the most interesting experiences she’s ever had.
“The theater class I’ve been taking here has changed the way I think about people because everyone one in that class is such a different character. You see all the stereotypes. The guy who seems like he’d be a jock, the girl who looks like she’s mean for no reason, the girly-girl who thinks everything is happy and perfect, me–what the hell am I,” Murray said. “We had an assignment in which everyone had to tell a story about themselves. It was eye opening. You never know what someone else is going through. You really can’t judge people because you don’t know their story.”