Dina Washington is a literal postal professional, and then some. Walk into the Uptown post office and you’re greeted by her luminous smile and positive vibes. She is upright and energetic, yet collected and positive. Washington looks at you with deep, soulful eyes and you know she is plugged in. And she’s multi-talented! If she looks familiar, it may be that you have seen her in your doctor’s office. No, not sitting and waiting with you. Read on …
Where did you grow up?
Kingston, in the Ponckhockie neighborhood.
What’s your sign?
Where do you work?
United States Postal Service for 33 years. I started in 1984 as a casual and returned in 1985 as a career employee.
Wow, that’s a long time! What has kept you working there all these years?
I have the best customers, ever. I truly enjoy what I do. Paydays are an incentive as well.
How do people treat you?
For the most part, people treat me nicely. I try to treat others with courtesy and respect and I usually receive the same in return.
What did you do this weekend?
I went hot-air ballooning. It was a lot of fun. We were tethered because it was windy. I wasn’t scared, but I got a little nervous when I looked up and saw the open flame, right there over my head in the air. I didn’t expect that.
Divorced for many years.
Three adult children.
Yes, “My Heartbeats.”
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Describe your community in Kingston when you were growing up.
I grew up in a very tight-knit community. My neighbors were my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends. The majority of them owned their homes so there weren’t a lot of new people moving in and out. There were two bars, two churches, three stores, a laundromat, a senior residence and lots of children. All of the parents looked out for one another’s children. They would dry our tears, bandage our knees, give us treats, etc. If we stepped out of line, we were chastised on the spot and then again by our own parents when we got home because the news usually arrived before we did. Professor Benjamin Wigfall opened Communications Village practically in my backyard. He and his vision came to be a very attractive force in our community for children and adults alike. We all would just gravitate towards that barn. Altomare’s candy factory was right down the street from my house on Gill Street when I was growing up. My older brothers worked with “Mr. Mike” Altomare making his famous candy canes and hard candy which became so popular during the Christmas holiday season! While I don’t remember everything, there are so many sweet memories.
Tell me how you got into modeling and acting. Where can one see your pictures?
I got into modeling and acting after I stopped coloring my hair a few years ago. I was approached by an agent who requested my head shot and resume, before I even knew what that was. She pointed me in the right direction and as a result I booked my first TV commercial for Upstate University Hospital, “My Grandmother.” Since then, I’ve been in several commercials for CDPHP. The most recent print advertisement was for HealthQuest. I’ve been pretty active this year with all of the local opportunities to work in film. I also recently played part in a promotional video for I Love NY, which as I understand will be in constant rotation at Mohonk Visitors Center. You can probably find the commercials on the Internet. I’m not sure if they’re still in rotation.
Do you sing or dance? Ever perform on stage?
I sing and dance. I was a member of the Kingston Community Choir for many years. I am a member of a liturgical/praise dance ministry called “One in the Spirit.” We choreograph and dance to Christian music as we are led by the Spirit.
What do you do with stage fright?
If I am auditioning, I breathe and focus really hard on what I am doing to get through it. When I am singing, it is usually with a group, so I don’t experience that when I sing.
Do you volunteer in the community?
When my schedule permits, I volunteer at the A.J. Williams-Myers African Roots Center.
What are three of your favorite spots in Kingston?
Upper Hasbrouck Park, walking around the Uptown district, my grandchildren’s houses.
Sports or hobbies? Tell us all about it.
I love to travel. Kickboxing training. For the last few years I’ve participated in the Avon39 The Walk To End Breast Cancer. Walking 39.3 miles is tough, but it pales in comparison to what patients have to endure. I watched my sister fight like a champ for 16 years.
What is your life motto?
Spread love, not hate.
Definitely an owl.
What three words would your kids use to describe you?
Loving, strong, humble.
Sunbathe or moon bathe?