Reagan Gomez on being a black actress in Hollywood and her new series ‘Surviving’

photo courtesy of RGP Productions
photo courtesy of RGP Productions

Reagan Gomez got tired of waiting. The veteran television and film actress got tired of waiting for studio executives to expand their vision. She got tired of waiting for more major projects featuring Black female leads. She got tired of waiting for Hollywood to “get it.” So she did something about it. Gomez launched her own RGP Productions company with her husband, Dewayne Turrentine, and she started creating content for herself. She’s produced the webseries “Almost Home” and her latest project is the sci-fi webseries “Surviving.” Directed by Gomez herself, the trailer premiered online this week and the show airs in October and Gomez is excited for the world to see the fruits of her creativity.

“I wrote ‘Surviving’ four years ago and I knew when we were doing ‘Almost Home’ that I wanted to make this a webseries,” she explains. “When we wrapped ‘Almost Home’ season 2, we jumped right into ‘Surviving.'”

“I love the sci-fi genre, I love horror films, I love the fantasy world and I feel like people of color are never represented in these genres,” adds Gomez. “I’m on Twitter, live-tweeting these shows that we love and I see how much we love these shows, but I see we’re not on these shows. If we are–we’re the first to die! Or there can never be more than one at the same time. I feel like we weren’t represented well. So that’s the basis for my original content–I want to feature people of color in our own stories.”

“When people think of webseries they [mostly] think of comedy,” she says. “It was really up to me to bring my idea to life and put what I saw in my head onscreen. I knew that for this to work it had to look like it was on TV. Everything had to be right. And I think we hit the mark! In order to make this happen, we had to have the money. This was not a cheap show. It was very expensive.”

Gomez and her husband funded much of the project independently (“We had to be dedicated to this.”) and she was able to find collaborators who shared her enthusiasm and believed in the project. But she is passionate about what she does and she feels that the work she’s doing can make a major difference on many levels.

“I write all of my stuff and I directed the second season of ‘Almost Home’ but I’m new to directing,” she explains. “I had to deal with a whole lot and I’m so proud of it and what we’ve produced. I can’t wait to do it all again for season 2.”

She worked with director Matthew Cherry on the first season of “Almost Home” before assuming the director’s chair herself for season two of that series. “Surviving” marks her first time totally directing everything on her own and she’s loved the experience. She concedes that she had to face some derision regarding web content.

“There’s definitely a separation and an attitude of ‘we’re too good for a webseries,’ but a lot of people thought that about TV,” Gomez admits. “You can’t really give a f__ about what anybody has to say. You just have to do you and hope that the work that you do will represent for you. It’s not about begging anyone anymore. It’s about making your content and making it well. That’s all you can focus on.”

“I’m most proud of being able to present this show right to Twitter and to people who will love it or hate it. I don’t have to go through a middle man. I can do what the f___ I want to do and present it to you instead of having some middle man telling me what I should do or saying ‘I don’t know if we should have a Black female lead.’ These people never know what they’re talking about! They never know what people want–they just want to maintain the status quo. Being able to see what people want and people like and being able to say ‘here’s this show,’ that’s the best thing in the world to me and I want to be able to keep doing this.”

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