Erika Alexander, Actress, Writer & Co-Founder of Color Farm Media


 (You can listen to the podcast by subscribing to Creator Lab on iTunes, Spotify or your favorite podcast app, just search for “Creator Lab”)
Erika Alexander is an actress, writer & co-founder of Color Farm Media. She’s well known for her role as the iconic character Maxine Shaw, Attorney-at-Law in the 90s sitcom Living Single. She was a regular as Cousin Pam in The Cosby Show & appeared in the Oscar-winning film Get Out (2017).

Show Notes


 Here are five things to listen out for:
(1) Childhood – her candid experience growing up as a child actor from the age of 14, her relationship with her parents & how this impacted her throughout her life.
(2) Being the “other” – feeling like an outsider when she first had some success
(3) Importance of Diversity in Film & Media – how she’s approaching this challenge with Color Farm Media, why it’s important to hire the best people regardless, but find a balance to tell diverse stories
(4) Role of Therapy – how she dealt with depression, navigated lows and the importance of mental health
(5) The Future – hip-hop in Bollywood, collaborations of color, the projects she’s working on with Lionsgate & the importance of long-form conversations

Time Stamps


2:32 – Introduction of Erika
4:45 – Her role on Living Single
8:38 – Erika’s childhood
12:15 – Was Erika always outgoing?
15:36 – The “look at me” gene
18:26 – First time acting
23:12 – Erika’s mom’s influence
25:46 – Becoming famous and losing her family
27:31 – Religion and belief when growing up
30:40 – Early pain struggle & depression
32:40 – Being the “other” in the family
36:45 – Ways to cope with parent pain
41:05 – Therapy and mental health
50:41 – Race and misrepresentation in work
51:52 – Race is an illusion
54:13 – Color Farm Media & it’s mission
57:06 – Ben Arnon help & info
61:17 – Current work
66:25 – Black Lightning
71:53 – Making diversity authentic
77:02 – Importance of diverse writers
82:25 – How to change in industry
85:33 – “I’m a badass at acting”
93:00 – Collaborations of color
95:50 – Hire the best writer, but include all
98:14 – The impact of long-form conversation
101:56 – Looking to the future

Links


Thank you to our sponsor, Instasleep Mint Melts, the drug-free sleep aid that melts in your mouth. You can check them out on Amazon here.