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is not your average young lady. One could say she has encountered more experiences than a
lifetime has to offer. But to Cardwell, she has no complaints whatsoever.
Cardwell is living out a dream she dream many years ago as
a young girl. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Cardwell nearly drowned at the tender age of
five. Lena remembers how she fell into the deep end of the pool unnoticed. Fortunately, a
gentleman who was standing on his second story balcony spotted me," says Cardwell.
"The miracle of the story is, he had been drinking and thought he was hallucinating.
But after he realized I was actually in six feet of water, he dove in after me and saved
Cardwell use to teach the neighborhood children to sing
and dance in plays she had written at the age of seven. It was then her mother realized
her daughter had serious talent. Lena mother paid for her dancing and gymnastic lessons.
Seeing how persistent Cardwell was her mother, Cally decided to let her sing for money at
Detroit's Eastern Market to pay for violin, piano and drum, singing and acting lesson. It
wasn't long after that Cardwell had secured a lucrative contract with Nike to do a
commercial. Cardwell and her mom packed their bags and headed for New York.
After arriving in New York, Cardwell learned the commercial had been scrapped. Not having
any money and no place to stay, Cardwell and her mom would make their home the local bus
terminals, train terminals or the Port Authority. "We would sleep anywhere we could
before we got kicked out," explains Cardwell. Cardwell began singing on the streets,
subway stations, train stations just about anywhere someone would listen. The money
started to trickle in. "What money I made, my mom used to save towards a place for
us. I even managed to put a little extra aside for dancing lessons at the Broadway Dance
School of New York.
During the day, Cardwell attended Manhattan's
Professional Performing Arts School. She secured an agent and began to go out on auditions
in between classes. Eventually, after a two year stay on the streets, Cardwell's life
started to turn around.
She and her mom had saved up enough money to rent a apartment with a roommate. To hear
Cardwell speak about her homeless experience, one would think she isn't fazed by the
ordeal at all. "Some people would say I'm in denial or have such a strong believe in
faith that I wasn't affected by the experience. I just kept visioning my dream and knew
one day it would come true."
Cardwell is definitely living her life long dream.
Successfully, she has beat the odds. She has appeared in numerous television series and
films including "New York Undercover," "The Steve Harvey Show," and
"The Object of My Affection" with Jennifer Aniston. However, Cardwell is best
known for her 2 year performance role as Simone on the NBC daytime soap opera,
"Passions." "It was great, I had a wonderful time and it was a great
experience for me." Fans immediately took to Cardwell and the character and were
visibly upset when she left the show. "I received so much fan mail, it was
overwhelming," beams Cardwell. "It made me feel loved and appreciated."
Cardwell continues to act but she has also embarked upon
a second career as a singer. Her first CD entitled, "Black Barbie" is scheduled
for release at the end of October. "I'm really excited about it, I've also wanted to
sing. Now I have the opportunity and I hope my fans will appreciate it as much as they did
Cardwell currently resides in the Los Angeles. In her
spare time, she enjoys ballet, jazz, horseback riding, poetry and martial arts and
gymnastics. Cardwell has come a long way from the mean streets of New York. She chuckles,
"I am now able to see the stars which once looked so far away." Little did she
know or realize, all she had to do was to look in the mirror and smile.
Press Contact: LaShirl Smith - (323) 292-3377