ALTOVISE (Alto) Lawrence scooped the Black Entertainment Television Top Actor SA award on Thursday.
The beauty says she counts all her rejections as blessings as they helped her get where she is today.
She walked away with a cash prize of R100 000 and a contract with African talent specialists Restless Talent Management, a weekend getaway for two at Sun City, Hollywood representation and a role in a feature film.
Alto is from Reiger Park in Boksburg and is a Wits dramatic arts graduate.
Asked how life was before she won, she said: “It was not easy. I used to go to auditions and get rejected. Not because I wasn’t talented but because when they were looking for a coloured girl I was told I wasn’t coloured enough because of how I look.
“And when I auditioned for a role where they were looking for a black girl, I was told I wasn’t black enough because of the way I speak.”
After graduating, Alto scored a big role in the Market Theatre production, The Colored Museum where she acted alongside well-known actor Aubrey Poo.
The final challenge in Top Actor saw her competing again finalists Francois Jacobs and Nicolas Nkuna.
“When I got into the top three I knew there was no runner-up option and I had to win.
“So I was not surprised that I won because I have worked hard all season to get as far as I have.”
) Tune in for the reunion episode of Top Actor SA on 11 June on BET (DStv channel 129) at 7.20pm.