Hype Hair: Where do you think your web series falls in the dynamic of black media and media in general?
Andrea Lewis: I try to do just that. I try to show the diversity of black people within in. That’s something like for me growing up as a black entertainer, I really just didn’t get to see was that diversity. I know what we look like, in my family there’s every shade. So for me when I was younger everybody was black to me. So for me I always wanted to see some type of diversity so when it came to me making Black Actress, I worked really hard making sure you saw that, my eyes on what it’s like to be a black person. Some of us are dark, some of us tall, some of us are skinny, some of us have out hair straight, some of us have our hair curly; we’re all so different. And then I think there’s genuine beauty in our community so I’m trying my best to touch on all that it is without putting us in a box. At the same time I don’t think this is “urban” I think this is just what it’s like to be black.
HH: How do you come up with the topics?
AL: The topics are interesting because it’s a mix of my real life scenarios. I did an episode on hair and that sparked because I was talking to my friends about hair. I had this conversation with one of my girlfriends and she was like ‘this natural hair is not it for me, I’m going to wear wigs.’ I told that to another one of my girlfriends and she was like ‘forget wigs, girl you do you, never wear a wig.’ So that was a real debate amongst my friends and it’s a very real conversation that black actress have to have. So the topics come in like ‘I need to address this,” inspiration from my real life, and the shenanigans I get into.
HH: What are some of the best things you got out of working on Black Actress?
AL: One, I always feel really fulfilled. I feel like Oprah, I feel overjoyed. I’m very proud of every person [I work with]. When my editor sends me something, I’ll text them and be like ‘you’re so beautiful, you don’t even understand.’ I’m just that kind of person.
Another is seeing other people’s reaction to it is like ‘wow,’ because you never know, you can make it and no one can see it or they don’t love it like you love. [And lastly] everything, the fact that we get stuff shot—That’s a feat in itself—I didn’t procrastinate writing the script. I actually wrote it and sent it out to people, it’s like, good for you, you’re an adult, you actually put together a web series.
HH: What is the hardest part about doing the show?
AL: All of it has its own stresses, but maybe organizing all of the actors when we’re filming. I’m always the point of contact with people. I do the groundwork, I’m not one of those people that’s like ‘I’m going to send my assistant to reach out for you.’ If I really want you to be in it, I’ll send you an email or tell you to email me. So, a lot of times people will be emailing and calling me and I could be in the scene and I’ll be like, ‘I should get an assistant because this is technically what I’m not supposed to be doing.’ But I enjoy managing everything. I enjoy seeing it come together, finding a really good editor, camera man, and sound person. I think the challenges are just tackling such a large project.