(New Post) Why I made #BlackActress – My tribute to Women of Color! xo

March 2013 I launched the indie go go campaign for my web series “Black Actress” and I was scared as hell! I kept thinking of a million different ways that I could try to avoid having to do this but at the end of the day my only solution for getting the funds was crowd funding, so I closed my eyes and did it.

It was hands down the 40 most vulnerable days of my life and a true test of how optimistic and positive I am as a person. Asking people for money is not easy whether they are strangers or friends, it takes a lot to remove your pride and admit that you need something from someone in order to help make an idea, or a dream a reality. And I had many days where I feared I wasn’t going to reach my goal. I questioned whether my idea was unique or interesting enough and I had to keep asking my self why was I doing this? As hard as it was I believed in my idea and I had to stick with it until it came to my life. In 40 days I learned to remove my doubt and to only see the finish line. When my campaign was over and I reached goal I was proud of myself for sticking with the scariest thing I’ve ever done and I was beyond grateful to know that everyone else believed in me enough to help me see my vision all the way through.

Now let’s rewind a bit to where, why and how “Black Actress” came to life. It was 2008 and I was filming a movie for Nickelodeon. I was having a great time filming in Vancouver, I was the only black girl on the set but it wasn’t anything new to me, I grew up that way. One day one of the actors was introducing everyone in the cast to his agent and he went around saying their names and what role they played and then he got to me and he said, “This is Andrea, she’s the urban one” …..”Blank Stare” what does that mean? I was so confused, I mean I understand that I’m the only black girl in this movie and more than likely I was cast because they needed a dose of color and this is their way of showing “diversity” but to be introduced to someone in that way? The urban one? Wow! I didn’t see myself that way.

And that’s when I had enough. Yes, I’m black but that’s not ALL that I am! I realized at that moment as an actress that I had more experiences as “the urban” one rather than just getting to play a girl, a normal girl in a story and I yearned to feel like that. I really wanted to create something that let people see that as women of color we are more than just a dose of brown on your screen or “the urban ones”. We are normal people, with hopes, dreams, funny stories, sad stories, and we see ourselves the same way you see your self.

That’s when the idea for “Black Actress” was sparked! I first brought it to my friend Maya Washington aka Shameless Maya and I spoke to her about it everyday but it wasn’t the right time for it because I didn’t quite know where to go with it or how to get it made. So I kept it in the back of my mind and told people every once in awhile when I felt comfortable sharing my creative ideas.

Fast forward to 2012 and I’m at an awesome panel in New York City where a bunch of black film makers including Issa Rae are discussing why they turned to the web and started creating content regardless of what the studios and networks said they could or couldn’t do. They were all successful in telling a new story for people of color and they all just did it! That was all I needed, I had this idea for years, kept having it replay in my head over and over but I just needed the courage to bring it to life and now was the time. After that panel I told a few people my idea, and everyone was immediately excited, they thought the concept was dope and wanted to see and hear more so I got to work.

The main theme I wanted to show in “Black Actress” was the diversity of women of color and that our stories are relatable to everyone. Especially people in the entertainment business, we’re all after the same thing and the struggle is the same for all of us.

Black women are diverse, we all have different hair types, complexions, bodies, and stories and it had been such a long time since I’d seen anything that really showed the true range, diversity and beauty of us. If there’s one thing I love seeing is a group of black women together, dark skin, light skin, brown skin, kinky hair, curly hair it doesn’t matter! When you show us with the essence of our true spirit which is strength and let us shine with our natural looks then you get to see a true sight of beauty. I wanted “Black Actress” to show this as much as possible and I really do hope then when women are watching it, at some point they see someone that looks like them.

Also I wanted to show our story is not so different and so “urban” in comparison to our peers. Every actor or entertainer I know whether, black or white, gay or straight, male or female has struggles! Has to work hard, doubts themselves, has at least one crazy friend, has a love hate relationship with elements of their career and the list goes on! We have more in common then people think and if we explore these stories I think the television and film world would be amazing and there wouldn’t have to be such a divide! I wanted Black Actress to show this as much as possible and to have universal themes that didn’t have to do with color and that at the end of the day there doesn’t have to be this box for Black Actresses to live in.

So fast forward to today, Tuesday Nov 5th 2013 and I’m here. Happy, excited, proud and grateful. So many people inspired me and helped me to make this show come to life and I hope to do the same for someone else. Thank you to everyone involved with Black Actress! It will be out on a weekly basis so enjoy the first episode at 4pm EST/ 7pm EST and let me know what you think! xo


– Andrea

(New Post) @HuffingtonPost – Black Voices Supports #BlackActress By @NeshasAgenda

Issa Rae Backs New Webseries That Aims To Show Black Women As More Than Stereotypes

Our favorite ‘Awkward Black Girl’ Issa Rae is on a roll dishing out project after project. Not only is she working on an HBO series, and starring in a few webseries, she’s also producing and curating content on her YouTube channel.

The latest project she’s behind is entitled “Black Actress,” and falls right in line with an issue that hits close to home for African-American actresses and creatives trying to make it in Hollywood. The webseries, created, written by and starring actress Andrea Lewis, features cameos and commentary from the likes of Tatyana Ali, Naturi Naughton, Essence Atkins, and Jenifer Lewis.

“My channel started off with ‘Awkward Black Girl’ but I always wanted to be a curator of great content, so when I saw “Black Actress” it was just like ‘wow this story is hilarious.’ I know so many women that have gone through this as an actress,” said Rae.

The mockumentary style series centers around “Kori Bailey,” played by Lewis, as she“struggles with the pursuit of getting her big break.”

You may recognize Andrea Lewis from her role as “Hazel” on the hit show “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” Since then, Lewis has appeared in guest and recurring roles on the Syfy network and CTV and is set to appear in BET’s upcoming TV movie “A Very Larry Christmas.”

“I grew up in the acting industry and I’d yet to have an experience on a set where I didn’t feel like ‘the black girl’ whether it was the way a script was written or how the cast/producers/director interacted with me,” Lewis said in an email to The Huffington Post.

“I just wanted to explain to people that ‘I’m just like you!’ I’m vulnerable, I have dreams, I’m pursuing a tough career, I have a passion, I have an opinion, sometimes I make mistakes, I’m a person.”

Click Here to Read the Full Article

Thank you Huffington Post, Rhonesha and my girl Damaris Lewis for the support! xo





(New Video Post) “Black Actress” Behind the scenes – web series coming in September

This has been the best month of my life! I’m so excited, confident and in control of everything that I’m doing and I cannot wait to share it with you guys!

I told you guys before that over this last month I’d be doing a bunch of traveling for my web series and I’m glad to say that both my trips to LA and New York were incredibly successful and productive and I got everything done on my to-do list! There’s nothing better than having an idea and courage and vision to see it through and I’m so glad that I’m finally in the stage of my life where I am not afraid to go big or go home when it comes to my ideas, dreams and plans! I’m getting shit done son!

“Black Actress” is completely on schedule, we had an amazing shoot because of the hard work of both the cast and crew and to top it off everyone had a smile on their face! Out of all the sets I’ve been on, this was my favorite for very obvious reasons but mainly because I really saw where my life is going and that this is the position that I’ve always wanted to be in and feel most comfortable in. It’s a good day in “Lewyville” check out the video below to see some of the people I had the pleasure of working with for “Black Actress” Can’t wait to share it with the world!  You can follow “Black Actress” on both twitter and instagram for more behind the scenes and updates!


Black Actress Indie gogo…if you don’t ask you’ll never receive

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I have some very exciting news! I’m taking my biggest leap of faith to date by writing, producing and starring in my first web series. The series is called “Black Actress” and it is a scripted mockumentary about a character named “Kori Bailey”. Kori is a struggling actress pursuing an unconventional career in an upside down world. The show is going to incorporate interviews and stories from some very well known black actresses such as Tatyana Ali (Fresh Prince of Bel Air), Tracee Ellis Ross (Girlfriends), Keke Palmer (Nickelodeon) and many more.

I’m producing, “Black Actress” with Issa Rae a very successful, producer, writer, actress who created the most popular African American web-series to date, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl”. Issa is also producing a TV show with Shonda Rhimes who is the creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” on ABC.

I’m very excited about this project because it is a story that I’ve wanted to share for years. The show is not just about black actresses but it is a show for anyone who has pursued and believed in a dream when it didn’t make sense to everyone else around you. I’m so happy to finally be bringing this project to life with Issa and as the first show from my own production company, “Jungle Wild Productions”

This project would not be complete if I didn’t allow you all to be apart of it! I’ve created an Indiegogo campaign for “Black Actress”. For those of you who don’t know, Indiegogo is a crowd-funding website that allows people to donate money towards creative projects that they want to see brought to life. I am officially launching on Wednesday March 6th but I wanted to share this with all of you earlier because as I said before you’ve supported me thus far and I need your support more than ever now. Check out the link below and donate what you can, and spread the word about “Black Actress”!

Black Actress Indiegogo Campaign:



Thank you so much for your continued support!