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Creator Lab

Learning from the very best entrepreneurs and change-makers of our time. We dig deep into their stories, have honest conversations about how they made their ideas come to life and the lessons learned along the way.
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Dec 7, 2018

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).

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Full show notes & timestamps:
https://www.creatorlab.fm/erika-alexander-actress-get-out-cosby-show/

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 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

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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
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