If you’ve been following her on Instagram, you’ll know exactly what we mean – Diane Britt-Smith radiates positivity and exudes a contagious energy that’s hard to resist. In this episode, Diane sits down with Christina Daves to share her incredible journey of reinvention at the age of 61 – transitioning from a rewarding 30-year career in broadcasting to becoming a successful actress and model. Join the conversation as they discuss everything from career transitions to the beauty of pro-aging.
The Broadcasting Years
Diane has gained a multifaceted skill set with her extensive background that includes radio, television, film, communications, and broadcasting. With a remarkable career spanning three decades at the Voice of America, an international media agency, Diane dedicated her expertise to crafting compelling narratives, particularly in the dynamic landscape of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Her time covering Sub-Saharan Africa are imbued with a deep appreciation for the impactful stories she encountered during her three decades at the Voice of America. Among her favorites are narratives focused on polio eradication and HIV/AIDS mitigation, where she witnessed the resilience of communities facing significant challenges. Through her storytelling, she sought to illuminate the diversity and richness of the African continent, challenging stereotypes and presenting a more nuanced perspective to her audience. Beyond her professional endeavors, Diane made it a point to pass on her love of Africa to her children, creating transformative experiences that allowed them to appreciate the continent’s cultural vibrancy, historical significance, and the strength of its people. In doing so, she not only enriched her own understanding but also imparted a legacy of respect and admiration for the multifaceted tapestry of Sub-Saharan Africa to the next generation.
As her career evolved, Diane navigated a transformative path, transitioning from managerial and creative roles to the pivotal position of Director of Training, a shift prompted by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This transition showcased her adaptability and commitment to excellence in the ever-evolving field of media and communications.
A Natural Storyteller
At the core of Diane’s personal and professional pursuits lies a common thread—storytelling. She reflects on this connection, stating, “There’s a connection between my careers and my hobby.” Diane’s journey unfolds like chapters in a captivating book: “ . . . as a producer, a video producer, I was a storyteller . . . As a street portrait photographer, I do the same thing . . . As an actor, a commercial actor, I’m telling a story . . . I realized that the core of everything is my desire to tell stories in different ways.” Her realization underscores the fundamental essence of her endeavors – a profound desire to narrate stories in diverse and compelling ways. Diane’s storytelling prowess is not just skillful but also authentic and engaging, a testament to her dynamic personality that brings narratives to life in a way that only someone as vibrant as Diane can achieve.
The Acting Bug and Modeling Ventures
Beyond her professional broadcasting endeavors, Diane’s journey includes early experiences in acting and modeling in Washington, DC, which she temporarily slowed down due to managerial responsibilities.
While her broadcast career was exciting and fulfilling, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic marked a pivotal turning point for Diane. As a renewed passion for acting and modeling ignited inside, changes that occurred due to the pandemic gave her the push she needed. Seizing the moment, she dived back into the industry with fervor, exploring various facets such as commercial acting, commercial modeling, and voice acting. This renaissance showcased Diane’s resilience and adaptability, as she fearlessly embraced the opportunity to rediscover and expand her capabilities in the dynamic world of entertainment and media.
Diane’s journey through modeling and acting has been a tapestry of diverse experiences, ranging from healthcare ads to cosmetics and skincare campaigns. When asked which gig was her favorite, Diane simply proclaimed that, “each gig is awesome in its own way” because each unique gig, such as working on a Delta Airlines commercial, brought its own set of joys and challenges. Her style and presence on social media have also made her a standout. Her positivity cuts through the noise and engages her audience.
Diane underscores the importance of self-care and embracing one’s natural beauty. Balancing her professional life, she engages with social media, sharing snippets of her journey through captivating photography and participating in speaking engagements that allow her to connect with a broader audience. Through her multifaceted career, Diane continues to inspire, proving that beauty and fulfillment can be found in embracing the diverse facets of life.
“What’s for You is for You”
When asked about her greatest accomplishment since turning 50, Diane turns the conversation to her evolution as a mother. Her pride extends beyond her own accomplishments to the remarkable journeys of her children. As young athletes, her sons participated on the swim team. Not finding their footing, one day they tried diving and discovered it was a sport in which they could really excel. “They weren’t very fast,” Diane says, “. . . So they walked over to the diving board after swim practice and started hurling themselves off the board. The diving coach said, ‘No more swim team, you’re divers.’ And they went on to excel in big ways. So again, what’s for you is for you.”
Both boys were divers in collegiate settings. One son was a professional diver for a period, while the other entered the world of finance. Yet in a departure from conventional career trajectories, her sons embarked on unique paths, eventually finding their true calling in acting. Their success in the realm of performing arts stands as a testament to the importance of supporting and encouraging children to pursue their passions, even when those passions lead down unconventional roads. Diane’s unwavering belief in the significance of individual fulfillment and authentic expression has not only shaped her own career but has also fostered an environment where her children could follow their dreams with confidence, resulting in a family legacy that reflects the diverse and fulfilling nature of pursuing one’s true calling.
Embracing Aging and Pro-Age Advocacy
Diane, with her wealth of experiences and a career spanning various fields, approaches aging with a refreshing perspective that reflects her pro-age advocacy. She emphasizes the significance of self-confidence and being comfortable with personal choices, such as embracing natural hair color. Diane navigates societal expectations gracefully, highlighting the positives of getting older. Wisdom and confidence comes with age. In the face of criticism and negativity often found on social media platforms, she champions an ethos of support and inclusivity, encouraging individuals to celebrate the diverse journeys of aging. Diane’s advocacy extends beyond personal choices, promoting a cultural shift towards appreciating and respecting individuals at every stage of life, fostering a society where age is not a limitation but a testament to a life well-lived.
Drawing from her rich experiences in pro-age advocacy, modeling, and acting, Diane offers valuable advice to women aspiring to venture into these realms. She underscores the significance of thorough research and continuous learning, emphasizing that staying informed is key to navigating these dynamic fields. Diane advocates for exploring niche opportunities that specifically cater to women over 50, recognizing the unique strengths and perspectives they bring. Her advice includes finding inspiration from others who have paved the way and creating personalized plans that align with individual aspirations. In essence, Diane encourages women to embrace their journey with a spirit of curiosity, resilience, and a commitment to ongoing growth.
Diane Britt-Smith leaves us with a powerful message – that life’s most fulfilling chapters can unfold at any age. Her journey exemplifies the richness that comes with embracing change, the power of storytelling, and the boundless potential that lies within each person. As she continues to inspire others, Diane reminds us that the path to reinvention and pro-aging is paved with limitless possibilities, encouraging everyone to embrace their own unique journey with positivity and self-discovery.
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