Wendy Raquel Robinson lights up the TV screen

wendy_raquel_robinson

Known for her role as the beautiful and sassy sports agent Tasha Mack on BET’s No. 1 rated show “The Game,” which earned her an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.” Wendy Raquel Robinson is back, lighting up our television screens with her ferociously funny persona on TV One’s new show, “Here We Go Again.” Robinson has managed to build a brand for herself and maintained a positive image throughout the years. This Howard graduate has an artistic background not only in acting but as a dancer, choreographer, director and a at her daily affirmations she truly believes in. –starling thomas

Tells us about your show.
Well, “Here We Go Again” is a generational show and it’s a comedy that really looks at single women; well, I can’t even say single women. This is the hardest thing that I have had the entire press junket because [there are] so many elements about this particular show. Yes, I had my daughter at 16 and she had her daughter at 16 and now her daughter is 16 and cut to now she’s pregnant again. So, it explores that relationship that we don’t talk about in our households forever and then cut to her baby daddy he’s like wow! Now I can redeem myself because I wasn’t able to be the father that I was at that particular time and now I can do it again and here we go again! It’s a lot! It’s so layered. It’s an urban look at modern family, it’s blended families with professional women and even though we had the hiccup back in the day you know, when I had my baby I still went on and got my college education. She’s a lawyer, and boom, we’re doing it.


Why is it important for women to control their image?
If we don’t control what we put out there in the mainstream media or even in urban media, who else will? I can’t say that I control my image necessarily but I do like doing stories that are by us, about us and represent us in a wonderful way. They’re extracting Black history from the schools so if we don’t create strong women that represent something, then what kind of legacy are we leaving? What kind of carbon footprint are we really putting out there? I think it’s very important to represent.

What is Wendy Raquel reading right now?
Oh my God! Well, what’s so bad and so funny is that I have a Q and A book, a journal that I started back in January and one of the questions were “What are you reading right now?” And I was like wow not enough. But, I read a lot of periodicals and urban literature. I don’t have a book that I am actually reading right now and out of all my strengths and weaknesses I think that’s the weakest thing that I don’t   have right now. So God! What are you reading right now? (She laughs) Not enough! And I am being totally transparent because it’s like I’m not reading enough and that’s on my list of things I need to do.


What are you listening to?
What am I not listening to? As of late I am so going back to Earth, Wind & Fire, and unfortunately with the loss of Maurice White, it takes me back to a happy place. I grew up with Earth, Wind & Fire and Richard Prior and when I say I know Richard Prior back and forth, verbatim. I’m listening to Earth, Wind & Fire and going back to that happy place for me and you know that’s the way of the world. And I love Rihanna’s new stuff, yeah, I am listening to that. I love Beyoncé but I mean Rihanna’s new stuff, I’m a dancer too but I go back to my happy place with Earth, Wind & Fire.

Talk about when you were growing up. Did you want to be an entertainer or performer, has that always been your dream?
Growing up I was that kid that had way too much energy and I started as a dancer. I put on plays in the backyard ever since I was 7 or 8 years old and I didn’t know that this was something to do, it was just something that I had been doing innately forever and it was time to go to college. So it’s like OK, you go to college and then you get out of college after you’ve majored in drama and it’s like you’re majoring in what? Everybody thought I was crazy at Howard but yeah, I’ve always been lip-synching “Touch Me in the Morning” by Diana Ross when I was little. I let music kind of guide me and it was always a vehicle to express myself. I didn’t know that it was always what I wanted to do, but it was what I always did that allowed me to do what I always wanted to do, if that makes sense.

That makes a lot of sense. Is there anything that you would have done differently along the path?
I don’t live in regret, I have had some hardships and it hasn’t been easy. Business wise, I would say I would have made stronger choices and I’m a Leo so I’ve been very loyal to certain situations that I probably should have let go a long time ago. In terms of different representation and management, but I believe that one thing has lead itself into another. I don’t live in should of would of could of, I’m present, I’m smelling the roses and I can learn from that. If I could tell my younger self that if ain’t working for you, then let it go! It’s OK to let it go and grow.

What affirmations do you lean on?
Wow. “To thine own self be true.” That’s my big mantra and I guess everything kind of goes back and forth with that but if I’m doing me and I mean really doing me, everything else will fall into place. That’s my biggest one and that’s my biggest challenge that I have too, trying to be true to me. And it’s not the easiest thing because I’ve been a people pleaser before so that’s my biggest thing.

What other projects are your working on?
Dinner With the Family. It’s the funniest film I have done in a long time! It’s Marques Houston, Karrueche [‘Tran], and I play Clifton Powell’s wife. Clifton Powell and I go back generations and we’re husband and wife and Marques Houston is our son and it’s one of the funniest things that I had fun not only filming, but just being a part of the atmosphere. So, that comes out April 1, and then my nonprofit is everything for me. Amazing Grace Conservatory, that’s my life. We’re putting on a show May 14 and 15 and we’re calling it Hope in the Hood, which is an original play that I wrote and I’m directing and producing. It’s a musical and it’s loosely based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but it’s about a little girl whose name is Hope and she is growing up in South Central L.A. She runs away because she is being abused by her step mom and she goes off into the city and she meets these seven entities who work at the car wash on Crenshaw.

What can you tell the audience about building your team and your brand?
It goes back to when you asked me if there was anything I could change, if I could tell anybody it’s to listen to your instincts and when God gives you that whisper of something ain’t right, listen to it and trust it. Surround yourself with experts that are in your field. Be it the producers, directors, writers, glam squad, spiritual advisers, just all the way around. Just make sure that everything is divine and don’t deny that intuitive spirit that. When you say that I was a brand, wow, I didn’t even think that I was a brand but I’m consistent so the consistency has developed into a brand. I love consistency and people love consistency. If there is any key element that I have ever had in terms of success is that I’m consistent. Not predictable but consistent. I’m going to show up, I’m going to show out! You don’t know what I’m going to give you in a scene but I am going to deliver.

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