Andrea Lewis is more than just an actress, she’s a director, producer and true creative revolutionary. Many of you may know her as “Hazel” from Degrassi, however that’s just one of the beautiful characters that Lewis has brought to life.
Her mockumentary web series, Black Actress follows Kori Bailey, a retired actress on the journey to her next big gig. The premiere episode debuted in 2013 on Issa Rae’s YouTube channel and has gathered an audience of around 98k viewers since. Here at The Dinner Table, we’re all about sharing stories of multidimensional black women so we knew that Andrea’s seat at our table was long overdue.
We were honored to have Andrea share with us her inspirations, aspirations and what dish she would "chef up" and bring to our dinner party. See what she had to say below:
We know you’ve been acting for a long time but tell us how you got your start?
I got my start with acting when I was a toddler. My mom was walking with me in a mall in Toronto and a casting director approached her and said “your daughter is so cute, she should do commercials” and she gave my mom her card. At the time my mom was a bit unsure about it but the next year she was off on maternity leave with my brother and had a lot of free time so she called the casting director and she remembered us and I got started from there!
What was it like to go from starring on a television series to becoming a YouTube sensation? They're such different platforms, were there any major differences? Similarities?
Television and YouTube are very different platforms but in order to achieve success in either field it takes the same amount of work. I started a platform on YouTube to have control over my career and personal brand but it has taken a lot of self motivation in order to maintain my online presence and to make it into something unique. Being on television for most of my life taught me to have discipline and an overall level of professionalism that goes into everything I do, especially my online work.
Tell us a little about Jungle Wild Productions!
Jungle Wild Productions is my production company that I started a couple years ago. My first production with it is “Black Actress” and this year we’ll be releasing Season 2 of Black Actress on February 5th and a few other shows that will be coming out in the next few months.
What has been the most rewarding moment of it all?
The most rewarding moment of putting together a show like “Black Actress” is actually shooting it, I often have to pinch myself because I can’t believe that my job is to create, write and play in a world that I dreamt about!
Do you consider yourself multidimensional? What would you bring to our table?
I am most definitely a multidimensional woman! If it were a real dinner I’d bring dessert because I love sweets lol but I’d also bring good conversation, I’m a talker and love to share my own experiences with like minded people.
Who are some of your greatest influences and inspirations when it comes to fully being the woman you were meant to be?
My greatest influence and inspiration is my mom, she is truly living to her potential and being the woman that she wants to be and it’s very inspiring to witness.
What advice would you give to someone who wishes to follow in your footsteps?
My biggest piece of advice would be to follow your gut instincts, listen to your heart and don’t be afraid to go for what you want.
Check out the first episode of the 2nd Season of Black Actress below: