*A week ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Hollywood Actress Erika Alexander to talk about her latest projects and take a stroll down memory lane. Many people know her best as Cousin Pam from the “Cosby Show” and Maxine Shaw from “Living Single.”
What many may not know is aside from acting, she is co-author of the award winning comic book series “Concrete Park,” she is an advocate for women and children, and was a national surrogate for the Hillary Clinton Campaign.
Alexander has had many successful roles in her career. Some that ended up becoming household names. Throughout her career she’s been silently perfecting her craft in the acting world as well as literature world. When asked which role for her was most memorable she said they each were memorable.
“I’d have to say they’re all memorable in their own way because each point in your life, every 2 or 3 years you change or adapt. That’s what happened to me. I literally am inside of these roles and I don’t look at any one of them as being less influential than the other.”
She later mentioned her up and coming roles Beyond a sci-fi series, and Get Out which will be in theaters February 2017. After each role Alexander takes a lesson from her experience and forms some sort of bond with her cast-mates and people on staff. When asked if she is still close with former cast-mates from previous roles she responded,Yes!
“Kim Coles we did the BFF chronicles and she’s lovely. She’s really funny and she just got married last year…I’m closest with her, but I’m also very close with T.C. Carson who played Kyle. We were born on the same day in real life. November 19th. Scorpios! It’s so weird because we’re very much alike… Then there’s Latifah who I see every now and then but not much… We all think of each other as family. But as family grows, when you grow up, you don’t often see family.”
Her book “Concrete Park” spawned from an attempt at making it an ongoing science fiction series. The original idea was created by Alexander and her brother who had many ideas for science fiction concepts; however, she wasn’t pleased with his ideas. So she later teamed up with her husband Tony Puryear who added his own twist to the story. Once the book reached its final stage, they went around trying to sell it as a series which at one point got set up as a series.
“We ran into a studio head that told us with our story, black people didn’t like science fiction because they don’t see themselves in the future. After we left this ridiculous man we were so angry and depressed. Then Tony looked over at me and said, forget it! I’ma draw it!”
READ RELATED STORY: ‘CONCRETE PARK’ COLLIDES WITH ‘BLOKHEDZ’ AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY
Puryear has a background in art. He had no background in illustration and comic book creation prior to Concrete Park. He taught himself after 50, how to draw comics. From there they reached out to the Mike Richardson, a publishers at Darkhouse Comics, and then Concrete Park was born.
Throughout Alexanders life, she has had many set backs that led to her come ups. She’s always believed that if you are aligned, your gift will sometimes push you in the direction you need to go in.
When she is not acting she goes with the flow of life. She recently volunteered a lot of her time to The Hillary Clinton campaign as a surrogate which has now come to an end. Our conversation was held a week BEFORE Tuesday’s election and of course we know the outcome. With that in mind, here’s what Erika said at the time:
“I expect Hillary to win because she has a better ground game… My expectation is that America will win by selecting her. No matter how hard it was to get over this hump, she is the better candidate, and she’s fit to lead. and she definitely has a lot of the underground, underlying apparatus.” Here we are. The first woman who’s been called cunt, been called liar, been called deceiving, she’s turned out to be the most truthful candidate running.”
Although those hopes didn’t rise far for Hillary, Alexander wants all of the women around the world who are working that 9 to 5 trying to purse their dreams daily to listen to the very simplest advice being given.
“One of the things I like to say all the time is HAUL ASS! You have less time than you think… Things take longer than you expect because people drop out, or you loose money, or somebody gets pregnant, or someone gets ill, all of these things come up… Just move quickly. Move past that resistance.”
If you would like to keep up with Erika and her up and coming projects visit: erikaalexander.com.
(story by Chelsea Rhym – [email protected])