A text from a colleague led to an unexpected acting job this summer for Shelia Antley Counts, Ph.D., an adjunct English professor in the Department of Languages, Literature and Composition.
Counts said she wouldn’t consider herself an actress, in fact, she’s only performed once other time in a play years ago in Greenville. But on Monday, she hopes that friends, students and colleagues will take a moment to check out an episode of “Justice By Any Means.”
Counts will make her national television debut at 10 p.m. December 5 on TV One.
Counts said the opportunity to be cast in the show came over the summer when Lisa Lopez, an adjunct faculty member in Computer Science, texted Counts to inquire about a casting opportunity for a TV show. Lopez, who runs Stisa Talent Agency, asked Counts if she could send the casting agency a head shot because she looked similar to a woman they were trying to cast.
“They were casting people for a show about a series of unsolved murders and Lisa thought that I looked very similar to a lady named Janet Dandridge, an activist involved in the search for a serial killer who reportedly killed hundreds of young, poor black women in California.”
Counts said that the story episode centers around Margaret Prescod who was relentless in her pursuit of the killer from the mid-1980s and into 2000s, which results in the eventual capture of a man who once worked as a mechanic for the Los Angeles Police Department.
Counts said that once she saw the woman, Janet Dandridge, who she would portray on screen, she could see that they did look alike.
“I spent July 26 – 27 filming the episode in Tennessee,” Counts said. “It was a wonderful experience — a once in a lifetime experience. It’s exciting to see the final product.”
Counts teaches freshman writing as an adjunct English instructor. She earned her B.A. degree in English from Clemson University and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education/English from Converse College. She is an AP-endorsed, public school-certified English teacher and has taught at both the high school and college levels for more than 10 years. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (Higher Education) from Clemson University in 2012.