Victoria Rowell*Actress Victoria Rowell is currently planning her move back to television with a new series “The Rich & the Ruthless”

Most people remember Rowell as the character Drucilla Winters in the series “The Young & The Restless.” Rowell, who recently participated in the ESSENCE Festival’s Empowerment Experience, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to help launch the show, “The Rich & the Ruthless,” a dramedy that exposes the workings of the soap opera business.

Hmm, sounds very interesting!

Rowell sat down with ESSENCE.com to share her vision for the show, her experience with this year’s ESSENCE Festival, and her participation in the new ESSENCE counter-stereotyping campaign, #HeIsNotASuspect.

ESSENCE.com: What’s the focus of The Rich & the Ruthless?

Victoria Rowell: The show is a dramedy. It’s about a soap opera, The Rich & the Ruthless, and the owner, Augustus Barringer, who has two small children in their 20s. One child doesn’t want the show, but the other child does. It’s about how Augustus navigates staying on the air. He’s African-American—think Bob Johnson or Quincy Jones and think major Black entrepreneurship. I am going to play the protagonist Calysta Jeffries, who is from Mississippi and was raised by her grandmother. 

For the first time on a show, you are going to see how a Black actress in Hollywood is juggling the red-carpet life, but also the real-deal life of a family in Mississippi.

ESSENCE.com: Where did your vision for the show come from?

Rowell: The vision came out of my many years in the entertainment industry. I worked in daytime television on three different shows, including The Young and the Restless. I also drew on my theater experience. I started out in classical ballet in New York City at American Ballet Theatre School, Julliard and Ballet Hispanico. That was drama.

ESSENCE.com: You launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to get the show on TV. Why did you decide on this route?

Rowell: It’s grassroots and emblematic of what I’m about. The goal is to raise $50k in now less than 40 days. Kickstarter has changed the paradigm forever in that the public is now selecting what they want to see on movie, TV and Internet screens. They are investing in the entertainment they wish to see.

To read more of the interview go to ESSENCE.