Blacktress is watching her favorite Sunday night TV shows, (all of which she hopes to appear on one day) when suddenly it hits her, that not one of these shows has ever featured a blacktress in a major or recurring role. I hate America, she thinks. Ordinarily she might call Nirvana to complain about this. But just that morning the girls agreed to begin The 21 day No Complaining Challenge, recommended by Oprah.com. So she calls Iyanla instead.
May 28, 2012
January 10, 2011
Today, Blacktress finds herself walking onto a small studio lot with a self-assuredness that surprises her. In the last year she’s booked the role of a Ugandan refugee, a depression era jazz singer, a teenage Crip girl, and is in serious contention for the role of Chantal, a pre-op tranny hooker. Today, she’s up for a part far less challenging.
This breakdown reads like my bio, she thinks. Piece of cake.
January 4, 2011
Blacktress watches as her I-phone lights up and sings a digital blues riff.
“Hey Sam,” she says eagerly.
Her agent talks quickly as if Blacktress is a stenographer in need of a challenge.
“ Sotheywannaseeyouforthisthing. Saglowbuget. Theroleof… Chantal. A gorgeous pre-op tranny hooker.”
Is there even such a thing? Blacktress wonders.
He goes on.
“The producer’s got a name.”
Blacktress rolls her eyes. Don’t we all?
Sam powers on.
“They’vebeenlookingallover. They’ve seen boys, girls, he/she’s, and shims. Younameit. Theycan’tfindit. Gogetit.”
December 28, 2010
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On a Thursday evening Blacktress and her British friend, Ann are waiting in line amongst film snobs and film students for a free screening of the new art house indie, Red Romance.
“Its getting a lot of Oscar buzz and I hear the performances are impeccable, ” they overhear the woman in front of them explain to her husband.
Blacktress and Ann are seemingly there to enjoy high art, but are actually there for the much publicized down and dirty sex scenes.
“I hear the lead girl gets head for ten minutes. In real time.” Blacktress explains to Ann.
“Oooooh! Lovely,” she responds. Her proper English accent warms over with a smoldering breathiness.
“What would respectable single girls do without kinky, art films?”
September 22, 2010
You may not know her name, but if you are a fan of network and cable episodics, chances are you know her face. She’s been steadily working since she landed the recurring role of Annie Price on the Shield in 2004. This past television season she was probably all over you DVR delivering memorable performances on Law and Order SUV as a transsexual teacher, on Hawthorne as the hilarious and heartbreaking homeless woman Isabel, or True Blood as the con artist Miss Jeannette among others. This season she debuts as Lt Maureen Mason on the well reviewed and highly publicized Detroit 1-8-7 on ABC, where she’s found her home as a series regular. In between takes of the TNT show Hawthorne, we caught up with the bubbly actress over the summer to discuss the craft, the business, the hair, and the life in LaLa land.
September 20, 2010
It’s the closing night party for the play, Dusty Melody. The walls are lined with LA theater types, their plus ones and the kind of actors whose faces you know but names you don’t. Blacktress is tangled within the crowd wearing a short red dress, sipping a dry red wine. But she’s more high from the successful run of the show than the libations. People are buzzing about eager to acknowledge her performance. A handsome man in his thirties taps her on the shoulder and immediately begins blowing smoke up her ass.
“I just wanted to say that you were absolutely wonderful. Won- der- ful. I saw the show twice.”
He leans in closer.
“And you were my favorite.”
“Thank you. It was a lot of fun.”
“So what’s up next for you?” He asks.
May 31, 2010
Blacktress is driving through the NoHo arts district in the valley when she spots a marquee in front of a small theater that reads: Sexy and Suicidal, LA’s fourth longest running stage play. Blacktress is glad to be driving away from the theater instead of towards it. I can’t believe it’s still running, she thinks.
Blacktress is no stranger to the production. She’d been cast in the show years ago after being in LA for only two months. The playwright/director/producer Tony White called to give her the good news.
“But I didn’t audition,” Blacktress said dumbfounded.
“I went over your resume and I liked it. I’ve been doing this a long time. I can just tell you’ll be right.”
Blacktress was confused but in no position to turn down roles. Tony went on to explain the intricacies of his masterpiece.
May 24, 2010
In NeverLAnd you don’t have to look around too hard to spot those affected by the Peter Pandemic. Michael Jackson wasn’t the only one. The town is filled with Lost (Angeles) Boys and Girls who’ve run away from home, who like to hang out and get high on fairy dust, and who nourish themselves with happy thoughts: like star trailers and pool parties in the Hollywood Hills. These lost boys and girls are so afraid of growing up, that the most taboo question you can ask at a stranger at a dinner party is: “How old are you?” Try it. Most will look at you as if you’ve just asked them details about their morning bowel movement. Especially actors. We don’t want to grow up; we work in Playhouses. And who does? Not when getting older is associated with wrinkles, sagging skin, erectile dysfunction and general crabbiness?
(Click more to see the rest of this photo story…)
May 10, 2010
It is Saturday night and Blacktress is more than happy to spend it gabbing with her girlfriend Iyanla on the phone, while playing Virtual Catch-up: the ritual of perusing the Facebook pages of old friends from back home in lieu of ever actually calling them.
“Why would I ever call these people? This is far more entertaining.” Blacktress says while scrolling through wedding photos of a girl she never much cared for in middle school. “Terrible color scheme,” she notes.
“And they’re all married back home,” Iyanla bemoans. “Every. Single. One. By twenty- five. And they all have two kids. In LA we have two roommates, maybe. But home everyone’s got two goofy-ass kids.”
“I know, what’s up with that?”
“They grew up.” “We moved to Never Never Land where everyone still has dreams.”
May 3, 2010
It’s the middle of the week and Blacktress is downtown at The Edison. Her friend and former roommate Terrence Clarke, is slumped over on the barstool next to her. It’s happy hour, but Terrence isn’t smiling. He has become romantically (meaning sexually) entangled with Hollywood heavyweight, Sasha Brown, a successful actress. Sasha also happens to be, not so successfully married to Keyvon Brown, a Hollywood featherweight.
“It’s a sin,” Terry says earnestly between gulps of his Cabernet. “It goes against all my beliefs.”
Most of the people Blacktress meets in LA have long abandoned their childhood religious beliefs, in favor of practicing something more exotic, like Buddhism, Spiritualism or Narcissism (that is if they aren’t Scientologists.) But Terry remains joyfully devoted to his Christian faith; a faith that, up until now, has always guided him down a righteous path… Even if that path veered around golden career opportunities.
“I won’t trade in my integrity for an IMBD credit,” Terrence once told Bilal Patrick, an independent filmmaker. A few months back, Bilal was desperate to cast him in the highly offensive role, “Monster Thug” in his movie, Hood Niggaz: Da Untold Story.