Ernestine Johnson: ‘Digital Lives Matter’ Lead Actress Talks Living Your Passion

“I’m a 100% believer in taking risks and following your passions. I don’t say dreams. I say passions because that’s something that’s innate in you.”

Ernestine Johnson is a promising new actress who is excited to make a positive impact through her passion, acting. A pro in the business, Johnson got her start at ten years old, appearing on shows such as Seventh Heaven, Sabrina The Teenaged Witch, and Parent Hood. In addition to her acting career, Ernestine also performs poetry. She attended an arts high school and majored in theater once she went on to college. Earlier this year, she shared a riveting piece combing her own words with the lyrics to Beyoncé’s hit single, Formation.


In an interview with RYSE, Johnson expressed that she loves acting and performing poetry an equal amount. In fact, she says that the two are interrelated, though she notes that “when I’m performing my poetry, that’s me, that’s my passion and it’s a different energy.”


Having most recently appeared in Think Like a Man Too, Johnson is the lead actress in new film Digital Lives Matter. The film, produced by Terri J. Vaughn and Nina Holiday Entertainment is groundbreaking, not only will it ask viewers to question their digital lives, but it is produced and primarily written by black women.


Johnson is very excited about the debut of Digital Lives Matter and her role in it. Fellow cast members like comedians DC Young Fly and Emmanuel Hudson provided her with many positive vibes. “It was very cool because outside of acting we all have our own individual things that we’re great at. It was cool to bring all of these different art forms together and get us all on one set.



Actress Ernestine Johnson on set with actor/comedian D.C. Young Fly

“It was so fun coming to work every day. We all worked very well together. We’ve done shows and worked together before so we all had a natural chemistry.”


Digital Lives Matter is classified as a comedy and seems to promise many laughs. That said, we usually find things funny because there is a kernel of something more meaningful underlying the humor. As Johnson explained, “Yes this is a comedy, but there is definitely a huge, huge deeper meaning.


“[The film questions] social media and the ways that social media affects our society. It’s going to make you laugh, but it’s also going to make you think. People who have a lot of followers and all of this social media influence . . . it is kind of like a mind control on people.”



Many of us think we can separate what we consider our “real lives” from our digital lives or digital presence. In many ways the world we engage with online feels so much more vast than the one we encounter every day. The film tries to break down the walls we think are there between these two worlds.


“You may not realize that your digital life and your day-to-day life are a little bit more of the same than different. When you have a social media presence, it kind of is a part of who you are now.”


That said, Johnson certainly endeavors to make the most of her social media presence – in a good way. “Before I went viral on the internet, I wasn’t really interested in social media. But once I thought ‘Wow, this video went viral. This video was seen by over forty million viewers,’ that’s making an impact.



This phenomenal young actress took many risks to having accrued her accomplishments. Because of this, she is very excited about the accomplishments this film has already made. “So many people want to paper chase, but I think we all need to purpose chase. When you follow your purpose, so many doors are opened that you never even would have imagined. I traveled over a thousand miles from home to chase my passion.


“What I want people to know about this film is that it was directed by black women, it was written by black women, both production teams involved featured black people. Black people financed it. We often want opportunities that we don’t get, and we [are the ones that] have to create them. What this Director has done is create our own opportunity. We are making the change that we want to see.”


Ernestine Johnson is without a doubt a powerful woman making positive changes in the world through her amazing artistic skills.


Digital Lives Matter debuts on September 3rd. See the trailer here.


Photo source.

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