Before she was an actress on shows like NCIS and Grey’s Anatomy, Skye P. Marshall was in the Air Force.
- Posted on Oct 30, 2018
Skye P. Marshall always knew she wanted to join the military. She had practical reasons for wanting to enlist—getting a bachelor’s degree without going into debt—but also felt it would fulfill her purpose. Marshall has always felt led to inspire others. What better place for inspiration than the armed forces?
Although not religious when she enlisted, in hindsight, she says God’s guiding hand is evident, down to which branch she joined. Originally she signed up to join the Navy.
“I was in line to swear in with the Navy. I looked across the hallway and saw the Air Force line,” Marshall told Guideposts.org. “This feeling overcame my body and I’ve always been one to trust my instinct.”
She left the Navy line and went straight back to the Air Force recruiting office, resigning herself to a lifetime of people asking her if she joined the Air Force because her name was Skye. Marshall served for three years. When her enlistment ended she attended college and eventually got a corporate job in New York City. On the outside, everything was going exactly as planned. But something was missing.
“I called my mother and told her I’d worked so hard for this cubicle, but I’ve been here two years and I’m not happy,” Marshall said. “She said, ‘Ask God for clarity, but whatever you receive you can’t judge it.”
At the time, Marshall didn’t have a relationship with God, but she didn’t have any other ideas so she decided to give her mother’s advice a try.
“I prayed every day and within two weeks I woke up before my alarm clock and the answer was clear as day,” Marshall said. She should be an actress.
Marshall has always had a penchant for theatrics. As a child, she would entertain relatives at family gatherings. She performed in high school theater productions and military talent shows, but she never thought of acting as a career.
“I tried to fight it, to come up with excuses. High school drop outs can be actors. It was a year after the economy crashed,” Marshall said. “But I couldn’t unhear my mom’s voice saying that whatever next steps God delivers, you can’t judge them.”
Marshall decided to listen to the answer she received in prayer. She quit her job and moved to Los Angeles. Marshall relied on God after she made the move. She also humbled herself—and it was through this humbling that she got her first breaks. She met someone at a catering gig who got Marshall her first part. She started praying more specifically for roles and soon landed parts on shows like NCIS, Black Lightning and Grey’s Anatomy.
“I’ve learned in the practice of prayer the more specific I can get in my prayer the faster I’m going to manifest my desires,” Marshall said. And so she began to pray in earnest for her dream. “I prayed for a military role.”
She dreamed of a military role and even had a few auditions, but was told she was too attractive to play a military member. Everything changed when she worked with the actress Sarah Drew on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Little did Marshall know, Drew was producing Indivisible, a faith-based film with prominent military roles.
Indivisible tells the true story of Army Chaplain Darren Turner as he struggles with faith, combat and his marriage before and during his time deployed. Drew plays his wife Heather in the film. Marshall was brought in to audition for the part of Sgt. Shonda Peterson, who is tasked with protecting Turner.
“It was the exact role I’ve been praying for,” Marshall said. She was elated when she got the part, but there was one big drawback.
“I had to put on an army uniform,” Marshall jokes.
During the shoot, Marshall kept herself busy making sure everything looked right. She straightened hats, tucked in laces and adjusted postures. She even found herself pausing mid-conversation to address actors playing officers in the movie.
“My military experience helped me out in every aspect [of this film],” Marshall said. “From knowing the way you hold an M16 to the way you carry yourself in uniform.”
Going from the military to corporate America to acting might not seem like a natural progression, but Marshall sees the thread tying everything together.
“There is a difference between your career and what you’re passionate about,” Marshall said. “Purpose is God given. I enjoy and am passionate about acting, but my purpose is to motivate and inspire.”
Playing Sgt. Peterson was the perfect combination of Marshall’s career and purpose.
“Faith is at the core of every credit I have every obtained,” Marshall said. “I don’t believe any opportunity found me without me planting the seed—and the seed began in prayer. I realized how powerful I am when I co-create with God. It’s limitless.”
Marshall’s biggest hope is that Indivisible speaks to military members.
“When the battle in uniform is over and they have to face battles out of uniform—whether within marriage or with their mental health—I hope this movie inspires them to fight for their lives,” Marshall said. “And I hope it inspires them to be open and available to receiving help from their communities and God because both are available 24/7.”
Indivisible is in theaters now.