Sydney Mikayla has been enjoying her run as Trina Robinson on General Hospital since 2019, and the actress feels she knows what it took to be offered the role. She also shares how she has embraced the traits that make her unique.
Sydney Mikayla — Embracing Her Blackness
In a column she wrote for Backstage, Mikayla explains how embracing her blackness helped her land the coveted part. “I believe that authenticity can be a difficult word for an actor of color to process,” she shared. “Sometimes, we might wonder if our likeness is palatable and understood by white audiences. I used to believe that authenticity was straightening my hair to fit into certain roles, or to be more ‘sassy’ so as to be deemed the funniest Black girl.”
But Mikayla looked for inspiration from people like Issa Rae and Tiffany Haddish and realized the importance of reaching “into the depths of my likeness, to explore the awkward, oddball, insecure parts of me that I thought no audience could relate to.”
It’s that truth of herself that she brings to her role as Trina every day. Truth be told, the actress wasn’t sure her acting style was right for the show, not knowing if she could “cry on cue” or do some of the drama required in the right cadence, but she didn’t let that cloud her mind during her audition.
“I tried to make Trina as genuine and raw as possible; instead of making her an over-the-top teenager, I made her a vulnerable 16-year-old who is loyal, independent, and fun,” she explained.
As she’s brought more of herself into the character through the years, Mikayla has continued to search for the authenticity of Trina—something she brings into every character she plays, asking herself, “How does every role I play relate to me?” and “How can I make it relate to others?” She cites an example of playing Wolf on Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts.
“As I prepared for the role of Wolf specifically, even though I knew she was an action-packed superhuman, I also knew that she was a scared little girl in desperate need of friends, a pack of her own,” Mikayla said.
“Oftentimes, strong Black girls are masculinized and ostracized by society, so I knew it would be easy to fall into the trap of making Wolf more subdued. That wasn’t who she was, though. She was a tough warrior, and after hearing fans’ feedback, she seemed to be a role model for many young girls who wanted to be strong and fearless just like her.”
On GH, Trina is dealing with the controversy of her dad Taggert faking his death and blaming Curtis, and she fears she is the reason that his marriage to Jordan broke up. She’s also schooling Cameron about white privilege, something that Mikayla herself is proud to display on the screen. Here’s hoping we get more of Trina’s truth in the years to come. General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.