She Grew Up Competing in Pageants
Teyonah spent a majority of her childhood competing in pageants. "I started by doing pageants in South Carolina. [First] the school pageants and then the ones at the local mall," she told Coveteur. "It was so expensive though. So my mom would do my makeup, and I would wear some of her clothes. We made it work. It [wasn't] like what you see on TV where people are spending thousands of dollars to compete. That wasn't us; we didn't have it like that. But it was fun and I enjoyed the competition of it all." She enjoyed competing until she realized she couldn't talk, so she joined the drama club in middle school and that's where her love for acting blossomed.