Mikala Gibson is an award-winning stage and screen actress, screenwriter, published writer and master teaching artist. She has appeared on major networks such as HBO, Showtime, AMC, BET and PBS. Her work has also been featured at the Cannes International Film Festival, Sundance, SXSW, Austin Film Festival, Urbanworld Film Festival and the American Black Film Festival, to name a few.
After discovering her raw talent at a young age, Mikala’s father encouraged her exploration of theatre by often escorting her to local plays and introducing her to the local directors as “the next big star.” Taking the advice of these directors, Mikala enrolled in acting classes and eventually earned a theatre scholarship to the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX.
While at UIW, Mikala earned an ATAC Globe nomination for her performance as Maria in Twelfth Night and went on to win the ATAC Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Globe award for her performance in Picnic. She was also honored with the “Most Creative Writer” award for her collection of poems and short stories.
Mikala graduated from college and went on to work in professional theatres across the southern region and started her television and film career. She has since been the recipient of many honors and awards such as, a Giorgee Best Supporting Actress Award, two Best Actress awards from the 24fps Film Festival for her performances in the films Shoppin’ and Hope’s War and an honorable mention Best Female Actor from Fort Worth Weekly Magazine for her performance in Gem of the Ocean.
Gibson believes that acting is the most humbling experience. “It’s hard to judge people after walking in their shoes. Everyone has a story and part of my job is to tell that story.”
When she is not on set or stage, Gibson is usually teaching theatre and creative writing to the next generation of young artists. Having taught successfully for 15 years, Mikala is a sought-after lecturer and conducts workshops centered around being an effective teaching artist. In 2020, she founded The Black Artivist Collective, a platform that celebrates and highlights black artists who art using their art and/or notoriety to address racial and social injustice.
Mikala is married to award-winning indie filmmaker and television director, Ya’Ke Smith and together they are raising their son, Zuberi.