Sunday Matinee: Rocking the Couch [Film]

 

“Hollywood titans, Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, have been brought to their knees by the #MeToo movement. But they did not invent Casting Couch. The term casting couch has existed for decades. But in 1992, a case against talent agent, Wallace Kaye, was brought to court by 12 unknown actresses, who braved the loss of their careers, their privacy, and their Hollywood dreams. They stepped forward, despite the advice of their union, and brought the case to the police. Against all odds, they won, and no one listened.” – October Coast PR

In short: this movie made me fucking sick. Not because of the actual filmmaking, obviously. This is a perfectly fine documentary about a perfectly horrific subject matter. So, I guess it truly did its job in being disgusting. And what would disgust me the most? The fact that this shit is NEVER talked about! 27 years ago, there could have been a standard set to prevent shitty people from doing shitty things. But, much like every male-dominated industry out there, we just let it go. And while I should say that I am grateful that with the eyes of the world shifting to a digital space, and movements like #metoo and #timesup are making strides in changing the atmosphere…I find it very hard to be entirely optimistic. Will the idea of change simply fade into obscurity once again? Will the popularity of change become just a footnote of history when discussing our current decade to future generations? Will we forget about the whole situation until the day that Bill Cosby finally dies alone in prison like he deserves?

Again, I want to believe in the possibility of change, but I’m not holding my breath. But again, that is one reason I am grateful for a doc like Rocking The Couch. This is the conversation that needs to be had. More people need to realize that sexual assault and harassment in the world of entertainment is definitely not a new concept. Think about the fact that the events surrounding this documentary happened almost 30 years ago, and who the fuck knows how long before then. Well, actually, the filmmakers do. They kind of get into just that.

This doc also features the first time one of our dear friends popped up on screen, and I was simply fucking mortified! When our dear friend Sadie Katz appeared on screen, I simply wanted to scream. Not that I wasn’t moved (and again, disgusted by) the testimonials of the other brave women in the film, but Sadie is a very special person to the TWS world, and it really hurt. But, I am very proud of her for being her usual badass self and telling her story in Rocking the Couch. In fact, every single woman who appears in this film to tell their tale are commendable, and deserve the highest of praise.

Rocking the Couch is available now on Amazon U.S. and UK.

 

Michal Sinnott [Interview]

 

Photo by Braden Moran

Hello Folks! We have an absolutely brilliant interview for you fine folks today. We have some wonderful words from a person who is not only a gifted actress, but has recently added the credits of writer and producer to her list of talents with an very exciting project in which we shall discuss below. It’s Michal Sinnott, Everyone!

As most of you regular readers already know, we have a deep-rooted love for the world of gaming. And while the Fallout world may be where we occupy most of our time in the realm of video games as an art form, the insane world that is the Grand Theft Auto franchise is another beloved universe we love around here. And Michal Sinnott happened to play a major role in the latest installment of the GTA world, as Tracey De Santa in Grand Theft Auto 5. Michal is actually the third interview subject from this singularly brilliant game that we have had on the site (alongside our old friends Danny Tamberelli and Matthew Maher), but we actually spoke with them long before we learned about the beauty of this game. So, we are very excited that Michal was able to tell us a bit about what it was like to work her magic into this legendary release.

And as it usually tends to, we discovered that Michal has done just a plethora of amazing work in her time that we so excited to share with you all today. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the incredibly talented Michal Sinnott! Enjoy!

 

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I understand you started acting quite early, and even grew up with a mother who was also an actress. While I understand you may have had an obvious influence around, but what was it that drew you personally into the world of acting?

I was very shy as a small child. When I did my first commercial with my mom when I was seven, I instantly loved it. Honestly, I think it was exciting and safe to be someone else. There was a lot of unrest and chaos in my early childhood. The opportunity to play someone else in a different set of circumstances from my own was exhilarating. I loved everything about it – wearing different clothes, taking on emotions that weren’t my own or else having a safe space for emotions I shared with the character, having this space to take a break from my own life and embody someone else. And I was praised for it. I was good at it. So I’m sure that fed my love for it as well. I loved the safe space in which to play without consequence. Acting has always been the biggest breath of fresh air for me. Even the difficult characters are a joy because it’s just wonderful and peaceful to take a break from being Michal!

I love my life now and I love who I’ve become but it was a long road to get inner peace in my own life and acting provided a sanctuary from anxiety and a lot of complex circumstances that I didn’t entirely understand before doing a lot of self work as an adult. Acting is still an escape for me but now I don’t cling quite as tight. The present is pretty great too these days, so it’s a joy to be someone else because it allows me to think and feel in ways I might not experience otherwise, but life as me is pretty wonderful, too.

We have spoken with quite a few folks who have worked in the world of video game voice over acting. We actually featured both Danny Tamberelli and Matthew Maher on the site, but unfortunately it was prior to being aware of the beauty of Grand Theft Auto V. And now here you are! So I am curious to know what it is like to be a part of such a legendary franchise? Do you get the “your voice sounds familiar’ statement a lot?

Oh I love Danny. I loved working with him. It was incredible to be a part of something so big and iconic. And a lot of people don’t know this, but it’s actually far beyond voice acting. My voice is just one part of it. It’s performance capture, meaning we performed the scenes on a sound stage with 36 cameras that corresponded to our movement. We wore the suits with the balls so the movement of the characters is our movement and then they recorded our faces at the same time with a pin hole camera attached to a helmet we wore so you got our facial gestures and then those gestures were digitized by a team of animators who pixilated our faces for years. They did a body scan of us before we shot and then used that for the acting which became data for the animators. It was kind of like a mix of theatre, soap acting, and green screen work but entirely it’s own.

When I met some of the animators at The Game Awards when we won Game Of the Year, they stared at and chatted with me in the most intense way. Their job had been to animate my face for 3 years! It was surreal for all of us and made me feel both weird and so strangely honored. When I was a kid, I always dreamed about doing a part that resulted in being made into an action figure. In a lot of ways I got my wish. Tracey is like a cartoon version of me – but with a very different sense of style, thank God, and all my body parts blinged out a bit, too! Ha. I’m always tickled when I get sweet fan mail for Tracey. And it’s so fun when people learn that I played Tracey, especially if they’re gamers.

On a super rare occasion with a die hard gamer, they might say my voice sounds familiar, but for the most part I go around with my secret identity. I spoke in a nasal register for her, so I don’t sound quite as annoying as her, thank goodness! But it’s fun to go into her voice with a fan. People get a big kick out of it and I do too.

We have also spoken with a lot of folks who have worked in the world of Soap Operas. And you are no stranger to the breakneck world of acting within the world of Soaps. So I am curious to know what you thought about working in that world? How much did it differ from other types of sets you have worked on?

I loved having a recurrent on One Life to Live. I’m afraid I was a bit of a snob when I graduated from drama school, and I thought I was somehow above being in a soap in the midst of all that Shakespeare and Chekhov training. But you get out there in the real world and start slinging drinks at night as a waitress or bartender while you hit the pavement in the day for acting work and you quickly realize how lucky you are to book anything. And kudos to soap actors for memorizing so much copy every day. When I was on the show, we’d shoot 6 one hour long episodes in 5 days! Think about that. Grand Theft Auto V took 3 years to shoot. One episode of Law and Order takes 2 weeks to shoot and we’re shooting more than one episode of OLTL in less than a day! That’s insane. You have to be so on your A game. You get one take and if you flub a line, they just cut it. There’s no take 2. Soap actors get a bad wrap, but honestly I think they’re incredible. You have to be so good to move that fast. I was in awe of how quickly the machine moved along. I was just a small part of it, but the big soap stars who have all that dialogue and emotion going on, it’s a real feat to watch.

I am very intrigued by your upcoming project Born That Way. It’s such a unique story that I am hoping we will get to see soon? Can you tell us a bit about this project? What inspired you to write this tale?

Thanks for asking about Born That Way! It’s been a passion project of mine for some time now. We’re in late Development with it now, meaning we’ve raised some of the funds and had a successful shoot of aerial and land footage in Tanzania, where the film opens. We are in the process of attaching name actors for the other lead roles and once we do that, we’ll be able to raise the rest of funds to shoot the rest of the film in New York City, where it largely takes place.

The film is about a lot of things but at it’s core, I think it’s about our lost connection to each other, and to the Earth, to something beyond the tangible, be it soul or otherwise. I call it A Magical Realist Present Day Fable for the People.

These are dangerous days. Born That Way is a film that speaks to many of the social justice issues of our time. It is a film that subtly challenges the status quo in all sorts of ways. It’s a small story between 5 people — but with the use of music & cinematography, it should feel epic in form. It touches on everything from the rights of the undocumented, to animals as sentient beings, to the displacement of indigenous people, to police brutality. It challenges our notions of gender & sexuality & what it means to love regardless of the physical form you arrive in to this world. It is in fact a protest of sorts. But it’s choosing love and forgiveness as the ultimate radical act. ‘For the people’ comes from the Constitution & reverberates in the Gettysburg address. It’s a call to our consciousness & our rights to freedom for all. Born That Way is a story about freedom from self & the cages we create for our spirits. It’s about judgment and all the ways that we judge ourselves and each other. It’s about our connectedness. I am you & you are me.

 

Photo by Meera Michelle

And in our selfie obsessed world, it feels like the kind of story I want to tell right now, the kind of story that I want to see. There’s still so much nihilism out there in cinema. And look, I get it. The world is really messed up and we’re in a hell of a pickle. But what are we gonna do about it? Stop naming it and start declaring that it’s not gonna go down like that! What we need is a blackhole. But what we’re capable of, is all the light in the universe. I want to see stories that look at what’s happening and offer solutions to make it better. That’s what I’m interested in.

About a 10th of the film is in animation. It lives in the world of Run Lola Run, or Amelie, or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, with a nod to Moonlight or Beasts of the Southern Wild. It’s about a bunch of adults who never grew up, and now they have to.

You can watch our proof of concept that’s received over half a million views on FB on our website, bornthatwaythemovie.com

We hope to go into full production this year.

If you were given the opportunity to portray any historical figure in American history, who would you want to portray?

I just saw a documentary on Jane Fonda which really made me admire her so much. I didn’t know much about her. She made mistakes in front of the world for which she was vilified, but she also was so courageous and such an outspoken activist. I really identified with that devotion towards both film and political activism. She was a fearless trailblazer towards both the anti-war movement and second wave feminism, in the midst of contending with a very confusing and painful childhood. She was born into privilege but she really worked to make her own way. She had nine lives. It would be incredible to play her.

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

I’m co-directing my first feature in a few months with a wonderful friend, Alexandra Clayton. We’re organizing a very DIY shoot abroad with a group of friends. It’s a female driven ensemble comedy. I’m a co-writer with Alexandra and my husband Joseph Schollaert, and I’ll also be acting in it. So there’s a lot of hats at play! If it fails, we’ll still get a fun vacation out of it, so nothing lost no matter what! But I expect that we’ll create something really special together. It’s exciting to dive in and do something now because Born That Way is such a long term baby.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My nephew just turned one year old the other day. I FaceTime with my little brother Isaac a lot with him. He’s always all smiles. It’s wild to see your brother’s face in his little boy. I love it. I love being an Auntie. I love watching his enthusiasm for the world. And I love watching my brother’s love for his little boy. It’s all a ton of joy to witness.

David Rodriguez [Interview]

Photo by Parrish Lewis


Hello Folks! And welcome back to another exciting week here at Trainwreck’d Society. Today we have some wonderful words from another brilliant writer and filmmaker that I know you are all going to love. It’s David Rodriguez, Everyone!

In recent years, David has been working on some of the best television that is available today. As we have noticed over the last decade or so, TV is where it is at these days. Some of the best minds are telling some of the best stories in these modern times. Case in point: TNT’s Animal Kingdom, which is absolutely fantastic. And wouldn’t you know it, our incredible interview subject today happens to be one of the people bringing this truly original program to life. Also in the world of TV, David has directed a plethora of episodes for other amazing series such as Power, Chicago P.D., Queen of the South, and so many more, some of which will be discussed below.

But, beyond the world of television, Rodriguez is also an accomplished filmmaker, which is the actual main reason I was so excited to have him grace our digital pages. In 2013, he wrote and directed the modern mafia classic film, Once Upon A Time in Queens. I absolutely adore this film, and truly believe it should be ranked among the best of its kind. David called in heavy hitters of the genre, such as Michael Rapaport, Paul Sorvino, Chazz Palminteri, Steven Bauer, and more to tell this gripping tale of the mafia in the more modern world. Again, I love this film, and was so excited to talk to David about it, and so much more.

So, Folks, please enjoy this absolutely stellar interview with the modern legend himself, the great David Rodriguez!

When did you first discover your passion for the world of filmmaking? What made you decide that this was the world in which you wanted to earn a living?

Not to sound cliché but I had a passion for filmmaking from a very young age. My oldest sister Janet spent many summers is taking me to blockbuster movies like Jaws, Star Wars, and Rocky to name a few. Unfortunately, I did not know or have a way into show business. I also didn’t know what a director did. As a young kid I watched TV quite a bit and only knew what I saw on the small screen. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that there were many creative people behind the scenes and I feel like that heightened my desire to want to discover and ultimately pursue becoming a filmmaker.

What was your very first gig in the world of film or television? And did this experience help in any way to shape the artist you have become today?

My very first gig in the entertainment industry was being an extra in a Busta Rhymes music video. Not sure how much that influenced me or shaped my desire to become a filmmaker but, I can tell you that I was thoroughly embarrassed because we went to elementary school together and I couldn’t even look at them. Years later I directed my first feature, Push, which I wrote and produced and that is probably the experience that made me realize this was a worthwhile journey.

David Rodriguez & Michael Rapaport on the set of “Once Upon A Time In Queens”. Photo by Kelsey Bennett.

 

Your 2013 film Once Upon a Time in Queens is absolutely brilliant. It’s such a wonderful and compelling story with some amazing performances. So what inspired you to bring this story to the screen? What was it that compelled you to bring this story to life?

Once Upon a Time in Queens was an absolute passion project. Growing up in New York I experienced what it was like to see and come across major mob figures. They were revered, they were heroes, they were villains, they were people that many of my friends looked up to. I often thought about the danger of living a life like that. Years later when I began to write the screenplay I thought of the idea and what it must be like to spend 20 years in prison, get released, and come back to a much more progressive environment and society. The main characters daughter played by Renee Props was a role that I thought could really catapult the film into a space that was topical and new. Working with Paul Sorvino was a wonderful experience as well. He was so invested in this character. Unfortunately, the producers mismanaged the release of this film and it didn’t get the attention and acclaim we all thought it deserved. 

The hit TNT series Animal Kingdom that you have worked extensively on as a producer and director has really been gaining some traction over the last 2 1/2 seasons, and I understand it has already been picked up for a 4th! So what drew you to this project? What made you want to work on this brilliant project?

The Animal Kingdom subject matter is interesting to say the least. The characters are flawed, the stories are compelling, the matriarch figure is despicable but interesting. Animal Kingdom feels so real on so many levels but what really attracted me to becoming the producing-director on Animal Kingdom was the opportunity to work with John Wells. He’s such a generous and smart person to work for and at the very least, I find myself picking up lessons and nuggets every day we’re in contact.

I have also been hearing great things about the Showtime Original series The Chi. I’m also curious to know what drew you to this particular project as well? And what can fans expect to see in the coming season?

I can’t tell you what fans should expect for season two of The Chi as I’m no longer involved with the project but season one was certainly a thrilling and exciting experience. Growing up in the South Bronx and witnessing all that I did made The Chi very familiar to me. I guess you can say that I brought my personal experiences with me and that became the reason why I directed and produced the first season the way that I did. I poured my heart and soul into that project and I’m happy that my hard work contributed to it getting a second season.

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

Going back for another season of Animal Kingdom is what the future holds but during hiatus, I’ll be directing the season six premiere of Power and a new show from Mike Kelly, What/If, for Netflix.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I’m in Chicago directing an episode of Chicago PD so the last thing that made me smile was looking forward to the chicken parm at The Palm which is where I’m headed to right after I’m done here.

Sunday Matinee: Nothing To Do [Film]

 

“Nothing To Do is the story of 50 something Kenny, an aimless DJ at an oldies station in Philadelphia. He’s called to a hospital in Washington D.C., where he’s informed that his father Irv, due to many complications, is at the end of his life. Something Irv has kept from his children. It’s suggested that Kenny and his father discuss hospice. Kenny’s younger sister, a more accomplished person, tries to intervene. She wants to send her father back to the hospital to “get better.” – October Coast PR

 

Letting go of someone can obviously be a very tough thing to do. It can be even more tough when you tend to be wandering the earth aimlessly yourself, unsure of what it is you are supposed to be doing with your own life. The lives of others tend to serve as a distraction to the internal chaos that swells within you. And when the person you are forced to let go of happens to be your own father, the inner conflict can be even more treacherous. How do you let go? How are you supposed to feel when it seems like the act of letting go is far easier than you would have hoped or imagined? The idea of knowing what is right is also the idea of losing all hope can be treacherous idea to deal with, but can also be seen as very necessary. These thoughts and more are what I took away from my delightful viewing of Nothing To Do. There are no heroes to this story, just people. And sometimes, just being alive can be a struggle that takes as much courage as anything. Nothing To Do is a wonderful film about love, loss, and ability, and the lack there of, to say goodbye to those who matter the most to us. Nobody wants to watch their loved ones perish, but sometimes acceptance is the only answer.

 

 

 

Paul Fahrenkopf gives an inspiring performance as the everyman Kenny who is suddenly handed the task of caring for his ailing father in his final days. The manner in which Fahrenkopf handles such a relatable character is absolutely brilliant. At no point did I truly despise the character of Kenny, and at no point did I truly feel that bad for him. And there was nothing to hate about his manner in dealing with such a horrendous situation. I could simply relate to the character, which is in my opinion, a far greater feet as an actor. You don’t have to simply love or despise an on screen presence. In actuality, I believe that writer and director Mike Kravinsky created some sort of magic when he was able to make Kenny’s sister (wonderfully portrayed by Connie Bowman) seem like more of the “bad guy” for desperately trying to save her father, who was obviously beyond being saved. There is a brilliant juxtaposition of what is good and what is right that happens throughout Nothing To Do, and it is definitely a major factor when it comes to the charm of the film.

 

Ultimately, this story that is based on real life events, is about the power of family. The bonds of family never die, as the old saying goes. And even when we leave our physical selves behind, the concept of family will never truly die. It’s a delightful concept, and one that Nothing To Do exemplifies very, very well.

Nothing to Do is now available on Amazon in the US and UK, and coming to iTunes worldwide in February.

 

Saturday Special: Cecil [Film]

 

“It’s 1996 and fourth grader Cecil Stevens (Sark Asadourian) finds himself switching to a new school after his parents (Jason London, Jenna von Oy) decide to separate. Cecil becomes fast friends with Abby (Christa Beth Campbell), a rambunctious school newspaper reporter, but gets off to a rough start when she notices that, due to his horrible lisp, he can’t pronounce his own name. So he decides to change his name to that of his hero, Michael Jordan. His whole school learns a lesson about acceptance after he and his friends start a business with the corrupt principal that sells celebrity names to kids.”

 

I’m just going to jump right out and say it….Cecil is an absolutely wonderful film. On the surface, it is a film geared towards children. Sure. But, on a much deeper level there is so much more to enjoy about it. It is zany, whimsical, and just whole lot of fun to watch. The production design of the entire project is absolutely magical. But, it is what is below the surface of it all that is so amazing to me. Growing up is a real pain in the proverbial ass. Especially when you feel like you are a little bit different than those around you, and aren’t quite able to understand that everybody is different and weird in their own way, and in the end none of the shit that is happening to you at the time truly matters. And beneath all of the animation and wonderful sound effects, this is the true spirit of Cecil, in my opinion. It’s not entirely a new concept per say, but I can honestly say that I have never seen the subject tackled in this manner before. The toxic home life, the ever-supporting Grandma, and the idea that true friendship should not be measured by popularity amongst your peers…it’s all there. Plus a truly terrifying antagonist who seemed only seconds away from causing actual physical harm to a handful of 10 year olds. It is seriously just such a fun flick with a wonderful message, and it should be enjoyed by people of all ages.

 

When it comes to performances, the adults absolutely nailed it. Jason London & Jenna von Oy do an amazing job as the parents who just can’t get over themselves to even understand what their child is going through. And Valerie Jan Parker is an inspiration as a teacher who really, really, wants to do the right thing and connect with her pupils, but ultimately could probably be found as a bitter and beaten down teacher 23 years later who is simply counting down the hours until her first glass of wine for the night. Being a student of the 90’s, and the spouse of an educator, it’s all a puzzle that unfortunately goes together quite nicely. And of course Sark Asadourian is wonderful as the titular character. He is a delight, charming, and down right adorable. But, the actor who truly blew my mind was none other that the film’s true star, the incredible Christa Beth Campbell.

To say that Christa Beth Campbell was brilliant in Cecil would be a dire understatement. Campbell showed a charisma and almost divine ability as a performer on this film. I was truly blown away with every second she was delivering dialogue or truly dissecting a scene, and I am convinced that she is destined to be a very big deal in the years to come. To posses such raw talent at such a young age is a thing that makes a prodigy. And when it comes to the world of performance, Christa has just that. Mark my words, within the next decade we are going to be seeing more and more of her, and we should all be very excited about that fact.

To wrap it all up, Spenser Fritz has written and directed something truly wonderful when it comes to his latest project, Cecil. It’s a fun, light-hearted and zany take on the real pressures of trying to find your true self, and learning to love yourself for who you truly are. In all honesty, I knew I was going to love a film about the fourth grade set in 1996, as it was specifically aimed almost directly at me, who was indeed a fourth grader in 1996. But what I walked away with after seeing this delightful film was so much more than just a feeling of nostalgia. I felt an actual physical joy after watching this film, and I am certain that everyone who migrates towards this amazing coming of age masterpiece will feel the same.

 

Cecil is available now on DVD and VOD wherever you stream movies. Learn more at cecilthemovie.com.

 


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/310464762″>Cecil</a&gt; from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/visionfilmsvod”>Vision Films</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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.

Bahia Watson [Interview]

 

Hello There, Folks! I am absolutely delighted to share this amazing interview with a wonderful young actress who is as impressive as she is talented. It’s Bahia Watson, Everyone! She is an incredible actress, who you can catch on the critically acclaimed Hulu Original series The Handmade’s Tail, and in so damn much more to come. Bahia has been doing some amazing work both on screen and on the stage, and we are so excited to have her grace our digital pages today.

Beyond acting, Bahia is also a wonderful musician, poet, and playwright who is determined to speak her mind and spread her talent across the globe. The limits in which a person of this much are seemingly endless, and we are so excited to see what the future holds for her. Which is why are so happy that we were able to get a few replies from her to share with you all today.

So Folks, please enjoy some incredible words from the even more incredible human being, the great Bahia Watson!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of acting? Was it something that you have always been passionate about? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

 

I guess I stumbled into this world. I’ve always loved stories and writing. I grew up dancing, but I never wished to make a career of it. After graduating high school I took a psychology course and fell in love with the human mind and how personalities and emotions are constructed. Around that same time, there was a large casting call for extras in my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. I wandered into that and was thrilled by whole behind-the-scenes society involved in film and television making. And then I started auditioning and taking acting classes and kind of fell in love with the challenges that acting presents. I never dreamt this would be my life. it’s been a winding journey.

 

You have been a regular on a series that is truly one of the greatest available right now entitled The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s such a dark story that, sadly, doesn’t seem so unlikely to become the real world someday. Anyway, I am curious to know how it has been to work on such a wildly successful television series?

 

It’s exciting. I read the book in high school, and it has always stuck with me as a profound and frightening envisioning of the future. The world Margaret Atwood has created is so deep and thorough, and so being able to be inside of it and a part of bringing it to life, is a thrilling honour. When I first auditioned, I was blown away by the writing, and I continue to be. It’s such a strong group of artists working on this show, I’m happy to be in such exquisite company.

 

 

Although the subject matter can be dark, do you still manage to have a good time on the set of The Handmaid’s Tale? What do you do to stay loose and a bit less terrified on the set?

 

As comedy is often borne of tragedy, we definitely find the humour in the darkness. nina kiri, who plays alma, and i are totally the clowns on set. and ann dowd is a treasure. we have fun.

 

If you were handed the opportunity to portray any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

 

Oooh, interesting question… Josephine Baker, maybe? or Lorraine Hansberry.

 

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

 

I’ve open[ed] a play at the Soulpepper Theatre company in Toronto, it’s called The Virgin Trial, where I play a young Queen Elizabeth the first. On March 28th, I will be producing and performing a one night only variety show called MASHUP which i create with my friend liza paul, at theatre passe muraille in toronto. in the fall we did a short performance for TEDxtoronto under the theme of identity, you can watch that here: https://youtu.be/uxFoJ4Z3X5Q. it’s a kind of island circus ting. and… you might just catch me on another futuristic show soon too.

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

 

Killing Eve. i’m obsessed with villanelle.