Vegetarian Elite
Actress, Vocalist & Choreographer Trina Parks: Vegan is Forever      
Part 1
Part 2
Welcome lively viewers to Vegetarian Elite. On today’s program, we are honored to feature the elegant and multi-talented American performing artist Ms. Trina Parks. An actress, vocalist, choreographer, dancer, and dance lecturer, Ms. Parks has mastered all these arts to perfection using her God-given gifts and extraordinary perseverance.

My name is Trina Parks and I was the first African American bond girl/villain, my character was Thumper. And I am a strict vegetarian, strict vegan, and I just love that you have Supreme Master Television, because I am definitely going to watch it, because I agree with that. As a vivacious actress with a unique presence, Ms. Parks has appeared in TV specials with the famous American actors Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.

She is perhaps most praised and remembered until today for making cinematic history as the first African-American woman featured in a James Bond film - “Diamonds Are Forever” starring Scottish actor Sean Connery. Born to dance, Ms. Parks has mastered multiple dance styles and traveled the world as the lead performer with a number of prestigious dance companies. Equally at ease as a creator of dances, she choreographed the 1975 Tony Award-winning musical “The Wiz,” starring American superstar singers Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.

On top of it all, Ms. Parks has been a vegetarian, and now a vegan, for over 34 years! Although having passed on when Ms. Parks had just been born, her mother, an interior decorator, had somehow intuitively known that her unborn daughter would become a performing artist. Ms. Parks’ father was a great jazz musician who was constantly on tour, yet made the time to instill in Ms. Parks knowledge that would bring to life her mother’s words.

You’re a multi-talented artist sensation, an actress, vocalist, choreographer, principal dancer and dance instructor. You grew up with a famous saxophonist father, and graduated from the New York High School of Performing Arts, with a major in Modern Dance with the Martha Graham Technique. Do you consider yourself born to be a performer? Because you’re certainly talented.

Well, actually it was so funny because I was told by my aunt that my mother said that I was going to be a performer.


And I actually found this out in my adult life, it had to be maybe 25 years ago, she told me this.


You’ve worked with a lot of different dance companies as a principal dancer. How do you describe your evolution as a dancer through these many experiences?

Oh my gosh, it was so many – starting out at the High School of Performing Arts. I did my audition for the High School of Performing in New York. But I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to do this dance or not, because ironically, I also applied for the Bronx High School of Science.

Just two completely separate careers.

Completely separate. I was very good in getting projects together. Terrible in math, but I just was good in science. I just applied for all these three schools and all that I was accepted in the Bronx High School of Science. I obviously was accepted in High School of Performing Arts and then they asked me to come back and do the dance again. Anyway, that’s how it all started, in the school. I had the most wonderful teachers, a Martha Graham teacher. One was Norman Walker, who was in her company, and met one of her dancers in the ’50s.

Celebrated American choreographer Ms. Martha Graham developed a dance technique that went beyond the tradition of classical ballet and pioneered the field of modern dance. Mr. Norman Walker is another choreographer with a living legacy. Ms. Trina Parks learned from the best of the best.

Martha Graham used to come to the school periodically and teach Helen Tamaris who was in her company, was one of our guest teachers, and I ended up being a soloist in at my senior year, doing her. “Negro Spiritual,” she choreographed way back in late ’30s. I was chosen to do “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.” And they’re on reel in Performing Arts Library in New York. And it started that thing going for me, because from there, I met Pearl Lang. I used to go to the Graham School in New York. Sometimes after school I would take classes at the Graham School down in the village in New York, and I also started to going to Katherine Dunham school, which was a completely different technique.

Sounds like you’ve worked very hard in your area.

Oh then, I was all about dance. I was all about dance.

Ms. Parks shares some of her memorable and humorous moments of performing live on stage, tales that reveal her winning spirit.

I was with the Chester Whitmore Dance, Black Ballet Dance Company. We were touring Europe, this was around the ’80s. I was wearing high heels for the number that I was doing. It was my solo song and dance number, so I sprained my ankle. But anyway, I came out on stage hopping…

(Oh my goodness!)

with a cast on and I kind of stood there. I sat on the edge of the stage and I did the whole dance sitting on edge of stage. I was doing “What’s Love Got To Do with It.” And then I thought if I go downside and I lifted the leg up like that, and go like that, and the crowd was just roaring.

The show must go on (Oh, absolutely.) was really true.

But Minnie had a heart as big as a whale

I came on with “Minnie the Moocher.” And then all of a sudden the music stopped. I kept going, now you’re talking about 3,000 or more people. Now they know backstage that something was going on with the music and they’re like “Oh my gosh.” I kept singing louder and louder. The man in the booth, and the whole audience, I mean they were just clapping, I mean I didn’t do, I just kept going. I mean, what are you going do, stand, “Okay, where’s the music?” No, there an audience there. So I was just kept going and going and louder and louder and I got to the right very end section of the song and the music came back on and I was right on

on to the music; I surprised myself. But, I was, “Oh God, I thank you God,” and I got a standing ovation. I was so happy, I just almost clapped myself, you know when I was leaving.

That’s amazing! I always feel that the true singer really doesn’t need music, because your voice is the music itself, isn’t?

Yeah, that’s right, that’s so true. And I’ve done live Broadway, and the theatre and all, and you project because you know how to breathe anyway from my dancing experience, in the beginning of dancing. We’re breathing from your abdomen, stomach here, all through and it helps in your singing, and so this is what I have been trained to do for years before. So you project to the last person in the audience, so that’s what I did.

Ms. Parks accredits a part of her natural abilities to her talented father, Mr. Charles Frazier, a jazz musician who performed with the legendary Duke Ellington and also played lead sax for the famous Cab Calloway Orchestra. When her father took young Trina to her first piano lesson when she was nine years old, little Trina jumped up from the bench and started to dance instead of staying seated to practice the piano! Needless to say, dancing came very naturally to her from the very beginning.

My father was in Chicago with Cab’s band when I was born. He taught me so very much about loving, and he’s a musician. And he was, I mean he’s been around everything – he played with Cab Calloway, Jimmy Lunsford before that, Chris Calloway back in the ’30s and ’40s. But he knows all these people, you know, singers, Don Washington, played at the Apollo several times.

And he taught me to be very humble. Daddy didn’t smoke. And he taught me those values – the values of being honest, being straight-forward with people. I knew all kinds of music, because he taught music. He taught classical music, because he played the flute, he played all the wind instruments. He ate healthy. He did. And he was so much an influence to me, character-wise. He loved children, and he loved animals.

Ms. Parks is indeed “like father like daughter” in more than a few ways.

Absolutely. I love animals. I’ve always had cats, a lot of cats. I love all animals. I get along with them really well. I think that they’re like children, they are innocent creatures, and they’re loving unless they have a master that makes them not. I think that they are in most cases, they are, and they could be wonderful, wonderful companions. Especially like those people in hospitals and all, you can see how they even have animals come to hospitals, and do that, and befriend the people in the hospital, just the senior citizens and all.

When did you become a vegetarian and why?

I’ve been a vegetarian since ‘76. I met someone that was really way before his time. He was into the raw, whole thing, back in the ’70s. And he started to educate me about meats, and would give me a book to read: when they do kill the animals, what animal’s poisons get into each one and diseases of other fish. So I would say in ’76, I weaned off of all meats, and then last was fish.

And what change have you noticed becoming a vegetarian?

I feel lighter. It’s a whole other body feeling – you don’t feel sluggish. I didn’t really eat that much meat even before, fortunately. And I remember when I was doing this at Broadway, I was eating a hamburger. And that hamburger did something, it just messed my stomach up. I was thinking about it, “Oh, you know, this stuff, I don’t need this.” My breakfast, I have all organic foods, but I’ll have organic cereal and I drink soy milk because I don’t drink dairy.

No dairy And, I’ll have blueberries and cranberries and peaches in my cereal in the morning. At 5, after teaching, I’ll eat, maybe at 6, maybe 7 something. And I have veggie burger, some greens, I love collard greens. I don’t eat any fried foods. Veggie franks, I get them at the health food store. Veggie chili. Everything that’s to me are natural, coming from the earth, coming from nature all round, is the most healthy for you as a human.

Delightful viewers, this concludes today’s edition of Vegetarian Elite. Please join us again next Saturday, February 26 to find out more about the vibrant life and dazzling career highlights of the gorgeous vegan performance artist Ms. Trina Parks. She’ll share more about her thoughts on her plant-strong diet, what it was like being in a James Bond film, her spiritual outlook, and her work to inspire the next generation of performers.

What goes in, always shows on your face. A lot of people that have problems with their skin and all. It’s what they eat, you know, a lot of what they eat, most of the time. If you’re in line in your life with good spirit and God-like qualities, you’ll bring that to you and it will show through your body, through your face and through your actions and all that. And that’s the way I, I like to be.

Thank you for your pleasant company today. Coming up next is Between Master and Disciples, here on Supreme Master Television. May your inner beauty and grace shine forward to illuminate the world.
My name is Trina Parks and I was the first African American Bond girl; my character was Thumper. And I am a strict vegetarian, strict vegan, and I just love that you have Supreme Master Television.

Ms. Trina Parks is a greatly talented American performing artist and vegan. As we learned in part one of the show, she has trained under dance legend Martha Graham and has traveled around the world enthralling countless people with her natural talents in acting, singing, dancing, and original choreography.

Diamonds never lie to me
For when love is gone
They lustre on

Ms. Trina Parks is perhaps most well known for her memorable role in the James Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever,” starring Academy Award-winning Scottish actor Sean Connery as James Bond.

You’re best known is being the first African American female in the James Bond movie. Please can you share your memories of being in that film?

There’s so many. Working in a film with a big name was okay. I mean it wasn’t, “Oh, I’m doing a James Bond!” No, it was like, “Okay, I am doing a film,” and I approached it as if I was doing Broadway, same thing, any theater. I didn’t care who was in it. “Yes! I will do it!” When you’re young, and in my 20s, and I’m saying, “Oh great,” and we get on this set. Bill, the stuntman, at stage, he was directing. And he said, “Show me some things here to see what you can do and that.” So after I fall on the couch, I turn around and I do, if you remember, I do that twist thing. I made it something. “Okay, now let’s try this” – and he kept it. So all that is mine. But that’s what I am used to doing on stage, I do my own thing.

Ms. Park’s role not only required her being extraordinarily fit physically but also demanded a display of martial arts – which she demonstrated flawlessly. Thanks to her talents, her tough yet beautiful character, “Thumper” was a match for any opponent.

So obviously you needed a lot of fitness to be working in the profession, both the dancing and the acting. Have you always been so fit ?

Well, dancing helps. A lot of Dunham technique is karate, and I have to give her credit for that. And then I took hours at the gym. But they wanted someone that knew just not dance, but could act too it helps.

As then and now, Ms. Trina Parks glows with radiant health, muscular strength, energy, and grace on and off screen. But lifelong professional dancing is only part of the explanation. Ms. Parks has been on a plant-based diet for more than 30 years. What goes in always shows on your face. A lot of people that have problems with their skin and all. It’s what they eat, most of the time. If you’re in line in your life with good spirit and God-like qualities, you’ll bring that to you and it will show through your body, through your face and through your actions and all that. And that’s the way I like to be.

Apart from reasons of health and wellbeing, Ms. Parks is vegan because she is an animal lover, refusing to take part in the killing, confining, or torturing of any animals.

How can you digest something, after you see that happening? To me, it is very cruel. You wouldn’t want it to happening to your child or your mother or your father. I don’t eat fish either; fish is poison to me that will get into your body when it’s killed.

Ms. Parks’ compassionate meat-free diet has often influenced others around her to examine their own lifestyle choices.

Most women I can think of, dancer friends of mine, they go out to eat, and I say just try it. We’d go out and I have some veggie chili or veggie hamburger, something like that and, “Hey, it’s not too bad. It’s filling. Yeah, the taste is good!” That’s happened a few times with me.

I did an autograph signing. It was the New Green Life Expo. There were celebrities in another room and we were signing our autograph. And I had my autographs from the movie “Diamonds Are Forever.” I felt so good to be a part of that kind of situation, oh yeah, natural, because I don’t push my being a veggie to anybody. I just say, “This is the way I am,” and I felt good about it. And I am at this age and most people think I’m younger than I am.

I’m vegan. And also what goes into your body comes out. And that's why I feel, so being green and being natural is always the best way.

Don’t mean a thing All you got to do is sing! Equally at ease as a dancer and creator of dances, she choreographed the 1975 Tony Award-winning musical “The Wiz.” For Ms. Parks, dancing is a lifelong love that will never be dimmed.

What does being able to dance actually mean to you?

It has given me so much experience of meeting people. People from all over the world that just appreciate what you do, not because of who you are or how popular you are. And that’s been such a God given joy to me, a blessing that He has given me. He’s given me my life. I am here to do for people and to create and give to people what God has given me.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

For Trina Parks, with remarkable God-given gifts comes a sense of duty to share them with others. Not only does she perform to make audiences happy, Ms. Parks is dedicated to teaching the next generations of performing artists.

What is your goal in teaching dance to others?

Oh, to know all types of techniques, and that’s how I was trained. I was trained mock ballet, started ballet when I was eight, nine years old, Brooklyn Academy of Music, so I know that technique, the western technique, the ballet, the jazz. We would learn character, which is like Spanish. I was dancing African before I even started modern. So rounded technique to me is so adamant for you to know. I’ve taught many ballet dancers of course the Dunham technique.

Through her wealth of knowledge and experience in the world of dance, the graceful Ms. Trina Parks teaches Modern, Jazz, Broadway, African, and Haitian dance to all age groups and credits her training with another renowned dance instructor, Katherine Dunham.

My goal is to have my students or whoever I’m teaching, to know the technique of where it came from. Even I’m teaching Graham or if I’m [teaching] western technique, or if I’m teaching African, Caribbean, Brazilian – Haitian is the base of the Dunham technique. Especially in a workshop to the dancers they can see how rounded you really should be.

Is it true that you’ve also taught dance to special education students and church groups at rehabilitation centers, because that is very kind hearted and caring of you. What inspired you to do that?

Well actually I can’t take the credit, because I was teaching in the New York public school system. But it’s a section where they have special teachers that are doing special art projects and you’re hired into different schools throughout the Brooklyn and Bronx area. And they gave me one of the schools. I had taught before, especially kids, but I didn’t know I was really going to have so many, and this time I really had some people that were in wheelchairs.

I didn’t give them any kind of special treatment, because then I think it makes them feel like, “Maybe I can’t do it.” So let’s just go ahead and try it. So they were just laughing and I just laughed with them like a kid. So they would just have fun and I realized that’s how you do it. Just let it go, let them do, let them see, let me see how you can do with this music, and just try this step and see how you can move with this, just move. And that’s the way I like to be. Believe in the spirit and be good to people and help people in a way they can.

The way I do in my career is helping kids that can’t afford to pay $35 or $40 for a class, when I teach professional. So I teach them for way less through another organization. And I love to see the kids grow. A lot of kids that I’ve been teaching for years and years that are not professional and in schools, have so much potential and I love to see them grasp that little time that I had with them, that I can give them. And they love the naturalness of it, the natural dance that comes out to them.

Giving of her time and energy to help others be as inspired as she is, Ms. Parks strives to bring joy to others. In 2010, she attended Supreme Master Television’s 4th anniversary concert as a presenter for a performance featuring Supreme Master Ching Hai’s poetry. She expressed at the time how much she resonated with Supreme Master Ching Hai’s endeavors, through art and other means, to uplift the world.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has a very earthy and loving and God-like quality to all of her poems and herself in general. She is that. And she is about love, and I love her feelings about the war. And you don't need war if you had that love for each other.

Upon receiving a specially autographed copy of Supreme Master Ching Hai’s newest book “From Crisis to Peace – The Organic Vegan Way is the Answer,” Ms. Parks sent the following message to Supreme Master Television: I received the book yesterday. It’s always something so very special and right up my alley of things, that I believe in and follow… what the Supreme Master and your staff are about. Thank you again and again for your gifts of kindness and your continued support of me in all ways. Blessings, Trina

Our thanks, Ms. Trina Parks, and applause for being an outstanding artist with a humble heart, selfless spirit, and willingness to share your God-given talents with the world. Wishing you many heavenly blessings in all your versatile endeavors to bring beauty and happiness to generations of people everywhere.

America, my home sweet home!

Lively viewers, we appreciate your time with us today for the final part of our two-part series featuring famous vegan performance artist Trina Parks. Coming up next is Between Master and Disciples. May your heart dance to celestial sunshine by day the shimmering stars at night.

Hi, my name is Trina Parks. You're watching Supreme Master Television. Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

  Plant-powered Olympic Hopefuls: Distance Runner Jessica Sedlock & Ski Cross Racer Sven Winters 
 Extreme Mountain Biking with Austrian Vegan Sports Scientist Dr. Katharina Wirnitzer - (In Austrian German) 

Most popular
 Veg Elite Lists
 Humor and Humanity: Comedian and Activist Dick Gregory
 Detoxing with Food Pioneer Karyn Calabrese: "Welcome to My Raw and Vegan World!"
 Hollywood Actress Elaine Hendrix: For the Love of Animals
 Spirited Actress & Dancer Tonya Kay: Connecting with Oneself through Raw Veganism
 Vegan Vacations with the Healthy Voyager Carolyn Scott-Hamilton
 Spice Williams-Crosby:The Story of a Hollywood Action Actress
 The Birth of Bahá’u’lláh: Bringing Oneness to Humanity
 Simone Reyes - Activist Angel for the Animals
 William McNamara - On the Forefront of Acting and Animal Activism