roxas39 (roxas39) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Andrea Lewis Talks Natural hair and her new web series “Black Actress”

Tell us about your new web series “Black Actress”.

A: “Black Actress” is a scripted web series following the character “Kori Bailey” in her trials and tribulations of pursuing an acting career as a black woman. Each episode features an interview testimonial with a celebrity black actress telling a little bit about their own story in the entertainment business.

Natural hair post!!!!

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Introduce yourself!

A: My name is Andrea Lewis and I’m from Toronto, Canada. I’m an actress, singer and a writer.

What did you set out to achieve in creating a series like “Black Actress”?

A: I created the show for a few reasons. First, I wanted to celebrate black women and actresses and showcase our diversity and beauty in a way that I don’t get to see on TV and in film. I also wanted people to see a new POV of a black woman and see us as “normal”. We’re funny, vulnerable, scared, passionate, we’re just like everyone else.

Do you have anything in common with the character “Kori Bailey”?

A: The character “Kori Bailey” is in a very desperate and insecure place in her life and career in the show, and I was once in a place just like that, so I can definitely relate to her. All of her experiences in the show, good and bad I have experienced in real life or have a friend that has, so there’s definitely a little bit of me in “Kori Bailey”.

Will we see any other familiar faces in the series?

A: There’s a lot of familiar faces in the show! As I mentioned every episode features an interview with a celebrity black actress like Tatyana Ali, Naturi Naughton and many more, and there are cameo appearances from Tristan Wilds, Melanie Fiona and super model Damaris Lewis. The show has a lot of really great guests!

Why did you make the decision to go natural?

A: I’ve always been natural. Thankfully my mom doesn’t know anything about relaxers so the conversation never came up in my house. But I went through a period where I straightened my hair all the time and had some serious heat damage and my transition back to health was basically the same process of transitioning out of a relaxer. It took love and care and leaving heat alone and it wasn’t until I got my hair back to a healthy state that I started to just let my hair be, and wear it in its natural state.

How would you describe your texture?

A: I’m never able to go with the charts because whenever I see them, the pictures that go with the numbers all look a little different and it’s just so hard for me to tell. But my hair is basically fine, I have a lot of hair, but the strands are fine. It’s very soft and can easily be manipulated and will shrink up in 2 seconds with any hint of moisture or humidity.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.

A: I keep my hair fairly simple and I often wear it down. I use Mixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner and/or Kinky Curly Knot Today and a little bit of coconut oil. And I treat my hair on a weekly basis with Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner. That stuff is great! My shampoos change all the time. I just look for sulfate free, but I haven’t found one that I stick with. I like the Shea Moisture Shampoo and right now I’m using Moroccan Oil Shampoo. But for the most part I do a lot of wash-n-go’s. After washing or wetting my hair, I put product in, let it air dry, and go. I used to frequently do finger coils or ringlets on my hair when I was obsessed with perfect looking curls, but now I don’t care and I appreciate the “wild” look.

What does wash day look like for you?

A: Wash day is my hair treatment day! I detangle with organic coconut oil and put Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner on my hair, leave it on for 30 minutes then shampoo it all out. I wash my hair either once a week or every two weeks depending on how busy I get. Like I mentioned, even though I have a lot of hair the strands are fine, so luckily my wash/hair treatment day doesn’t take me all day, but I love it because I enjoy taking care of my hair.

Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.

A: I’m a wash-no-go type of girl and I usually do it the night before I have somewhere to go, so I guess that makes it a wash-n-night type of style lol. I pineapple it once it’s dry and go to sleep. The next day it’s quick and easy for me to shake it out and go, and make this look last a few days. But if I’m really in a bind then I love a big messy bun with a scarf. I swear adding a scarf to anything will make it better, especially your hair.

How do you combat shrinkage?

A: I’m big on using my fingers as a pick for my hair and I find that helps with shrinkage. My hair has a ton of shrinkage and it could be down my back straight, but at my chin when it’s curly lol, so if I don’t pick it out as much as possible I’ve got nothing! I also use the pineapple to help with my shrinkage. After I’ve applied product I let it air dry and then pick it out. I put it in a pineapple for like 20 minutes and then I’m good. A little more length, and lots of volume.

What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?

A: The front of my hair requires the most attention. It’s very sensitive to everything, especially heat and it’s naturally a looser curl pattern than the rest of my hair. I once had heat damage and this area took the biggest beating. It took me awhile to get the front of my hair back to a healthy state and its natural curl. For a long time the front of my hair was practically straight and I’d have to manipulate it as much as possible to get it to match the rest of my hair. It was a lot of work.

What are 2 do’s for your texture?

A: Do: Use a little coconut oil on your hair if you have a texture similar to mine and Do use water, your hair loves and needs water, the more the better and the quicker it’ll grow!

What are 2 don’ts for your texture?

A: Don’t use a lot of heat on your hair, it’ll ruin it! And don’t take your hair for granted, it’s beautiful and uniquely yours.

On the glass ceiling in Hollywood for black actors/actresses:

“There’s a ton of limitations for black actresses in Hollywood. We truly don’t have as many parts or opportunities, and most of the execs still see us as a “risk” when it comes to taking a chance and put us in a lead role. It’s changing slowly but surely with shows like ‘Scandal’ and ‘Sleepy Hollow’ having black female leads. But it’s still only one character in a show and [most of] the other characters are white. It’s very hard in this industry for people of color but despite the lack of opportunities most of the actors I meet are very optimistic that a big change is coming.”

On her worst audition experience:

“My worst audition was maybe 5 years ago in LA and I was going for apart that I knew I didn’t suit but my agent was sending me for anyway. It was for an older character and I’m always weary going for parts like that because I never look old enough to play late 20s much less a person in their 30s but I went anyway. I tried my best to dress the part but when I got there and seeing the other actresses in the waiting room I felt like I interpreted the character wrong and looked like a little kid, which was my first let down. When I actually got in the room to do my scene the casting director had me do the scene a few times but she was really unhappy with all of my takes and she finally said ‘This isn’t a Nickelodeon show, it’s an adult comedy-give me some grit.’ I was so thrown off, I think I just stood there silent for a minute. I just came off of ‘Degrassi,’ which is a Nickelodeon show and my confidence was seriously bruised! I was thinking I’ll never be able to transition out of kid stuff, I’m stuck in my comfort zone. That was definitely one of my worst experiences at an audition because I was so insecure.”

On the toughest role for black women to break into:

“All of them! LOL! Honestly there’s no one type of role that I think we have a hard time breaking into because all of them are hard for us to get. From the sexy girl, the hero, the girl next door, the villain you name it, it’s a fight to be able to convince someone to let us act it! But it’s changing slowly but surely, shows like ‘Orange is The New Black,’ ‘Scandal,’ ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ ‘Awkward Black Girl’ and hopefully with ‘Black Actress’ you’re seeing a big change and these roles won’t be so difficult for us anymore.”

The message behind “Black Actress”:

“I hope for other black actresses to want to share their own stories and to be able to laugh at some of the experiences that play out in the show. I also want people who are not black or women to watch the show and see that they can relate to it as well. At the end of the day, the show is really about pursuing your dreams and finding yourself amongst this crazy entertainment industry. And most importantly I want people to see young black women in a different light, having fun, being vulnerable and just living and with that I hope they see a bit of themselves.”
Tags: black celebrities, canadian celebrities, interview, television

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