Cherie Johnson [Interview]

 

Happy Friday, Folks! I’m just going to go ahead and throw this out there for you all: Today is my birthday. I am 34 years old today. I bring this up not as a means to receive further acknowledgement for the “achievement” of simply turning a year older. No, I bring it up because I cannot help but think about what a wild ride this life has been, and more importantly how it correlates with the amazing person we have the distinct pleasure of showcasing with you all today. So, I will refrain from beating around the proverbial bush, and just come out and say it: Today’s interview subject was my childhood TV crush. From about the ages of 8 to 13 years old, Cherie Johnson was my favorite person to grace the television each and (hopefully) every Friday night. And if I were able to go back 20 years ago and tell 14 year old Ron that I would one day have a website where “Maxine” would be one day appear, I would have called myself a damn dirty liar. But alas, here we are!

Cherie Johnson is a legendary television and film actress, writer, producer, and as we learn within the text below, a wearer of so many different employment hats. If you didn’t quite get the reference above, she portrayed Maxine in my favorite TV sitcom of all time, Family Matters. And as I said before, she was the damn bee’s knees to a young, puberty-driven Ron throughout the 90’s. While the young boys and girls around me were fawning over Kellie William’s performance as Laura Winslow (which I will admit, was completely understandable, and I may have done the same from time to time), I will say with pride that I was more invested in Laura’s charming friend Maxine, portrayed brilliantly by Cherie Johnson.

And as we were so fortunate to learn through a series of questions that Cherie graciously answered for us, she is a woman of power who has continued to work diligently throughout her life. She came into show business at a very young age, and has continued to shine since her days of Punky Brewster. Johnson has a series of ventures pulling her this way and that, but continues to succeed at what she does best, which is what the youth of today would probably call, “being her best self.”

So, Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the even more wonderful human being, the great Cherie Johnson!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of acting? I know you started out at a very young age, and may have had some influence. But, what was it about this world that personally made you want to continue working in this profession?

I was inspired when my Uncle wrote Punky Brewster and used my name for one of the characters. It didn’t make sense to me for another little girl to play a role “I thought” was written for me. Honestly, I have always been little pushy… probably too self assured but after 7 auditions the then President of NBC Brandon Tartikoff was convinced it was written for me as well and my Uncle was able to give me the job. Which not in a cocky way but at 6 years old I knew it was mine anyway. I pretty much continued to work in the business because I looked up and it was 20 years in. I dropped out of college while working on Family Matters (they weren’t going to work around Urkles college schedule and everyone else) so my dream career as an architect was not going to happen. I did what most people do: stuck to what I know and expanded in different ways so I wouldn’t get bored to death.

Throughout the 90’s, you worked on my absolute favorite sitcom that the world of television has ever produced. Of course I am talking about your role as Maxine on the incredible series Family Matters. And full disclosure: I had a BIG crush on Maxine growing up. And I am certain I am not the only one. So, I am curious to know what your take away from your time working on this fine program? How was your experience overall?

Thank you Maxine appreciates the support. She was a fun character to play I mean who wouldn’t want to be a ditzy wild-child! Family Matters was really a family matter for me, LOL. My uncle was the producer, one of my aunts was his assistant, my mother catered and my older brother worked in the camera department. Shawn Harrison “ Waldo” is one of my best friends and Darius McCrary and I have loved each other before the show (We had the same agent) We are all a part of great TV history and for that I am thankful. Our Crew and Cast were all very talented people. Looking back on the experience it was a great show to be a part of. Punky Brewster and Family Matters are both Blessings.

Beyond the world of acting, you are also an acclaimed writer in your own right. You have a few books available, and are currently an assistant editor for Fever Magazine, which is extremely impressive! So, when did the writing come about? What made you decide to dip your proverbial toes into the literary pool?

I started writing songs and books when I was 5 years old. My mother told me the best way to go down in history is to write a book. So it has always been a goal since then before acting because living for eternity was a huge goal for “Little Cherie” hahaha. As I grew writing became a sense of relaxation and therapy. Professionally it started with my first film  I Do I Did then to authorship, next I was writing columns for various magazines and now I was promoted. Fever Magazine has been my writing home for 5 years I write the Pulse article (whispering I write about sex) how fun right. So the promotion is amazing. I am surrounded by beautiful women, we interview your favorite entertainers, I get to travel to exotic places, we have an amazing Wine and Dine article a show on our site “Foodie” it’s really a dream job that never feels like work. I play all day! I eat the best food and I am surrounded by beautiful people.

 

 

Also beyond the world of acting, producing, writing, you can throw entrepreneur onto your list of professional duties, as you have recently opened a spa in Hollywood, Florida. Kind of the same question: what made you decide to join the world of self care and relaxation? Is it something you have always been passionate about? And can you tell us a bit about your business, and what sets it apart from other spas out there?

Growing up my mother owned a gym, so self care was taught to me early in life. During my hiatus weeks on Family Matters I worked at my family owned gym and later became a nutritionist. Being on TV is kinda like working customer service so imagine never being about to take that costumer service badge off? Relaxation is essential to your mental health. There is nothing more beneficial to your mind, body and spirit than an excellent massage. Kian is really the brain child of my partner Alycia. She mentioned in October we should open a spa, and by my birthday in November we had keys!

Kian Spa is an appointment only spa. Which means it’s never crowed and our elite clients never have to worry about it being busy or sharing their relaxation time with other clients. We also feature one of the only Bella Shape Machines in the United States. Bella Shape is revolutionizing the dermatology world one session at a time. For patients seeking the best non-invasive aesthetic and medical procedures, Bella Shape is unlike all other options in the market. Bella Shape provides a multitude of aesthetic and medical treatments from one device, it streamlines the cost of providing beauty and medical procedures non invasively. All of our products are 100% natural and we offer a variety of nutritional services.

With over 36 years of experience in the world of entertainment, and having literally grown up within the world, I am curious to know what your opinion of the current climate in the world of film and television? With the advancements in technology, such as streaming capabilities, what are your thoughts on how art is created in these fields today? Is everything become oversaturated, or are more opportunities seeming to come available for many different people?

Well let me shake my head. We are in a time when people are famous with no talent. While they are making millions, many talented people are stepping back and kinda choosing not to work for the crack head wages that are being offered. Now under some of these new SAG approved contracts. Anyone can be a producer now, they are making films paying actors $100 a day…I come from a much different time.

With so much going on in your life, from writing, acting, business owning….how do you manage your time? And more importantly, what would a little “me time” look like for you? 

Thank you for having so much faith in me you believe my time is well managed hahaha. In-between homeschooling, taking my daughter to Tae Kwon Do 4 days a week I get some working in. Usually by multitasking, phone calls with a baby on the hip. I just cast a project last month titled “Black’ and found it was easier once I hired my 4 year old as my assistant. Giving her duties really helps my days run smooth Besides she thinks she works at Kians Spa and she is the official product tester for Kian and all of our products at www.Going2natural.com

I am a mother of small children there is no me time hahahah I am happy when I get a chance to sit down and write a blog entry for www.adviceformysistas.com or eat a meal like a real one, not the left overs off a kids plate.

 

What else does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers? 

I will be coming back to internet radio this year with Cherie’s World. It will give me a chance to connect with friends who have supported me my whole career, while we use the platform to speak on current events, health, and everything entertainment. I have an awesome TV project in development with Antwon Tanner and Hilary Burton! You will get to see us in a different light.

What was the last thing that made you smile? 

Reading this made me smile. Thinking about my life, I couldn’t have imagined it being this good and my daughter. Her cute little face always makes me smile. It’s 4am and she just woke up to keep me company. I’ve learned to treasure every moment so I have to go now its snuggle time! Thanks for having me.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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