David & Tamela Mann, Kim Fields, Towanda Braxton & More Star in TV One’s Christmas movie ‘Merry Wish-mas!’

Hello World,

Happy FriYAY! I know it’s a looong way from Christmas (and I’m ready to be done with cold weather), but I’ve found it’s always great when we can look forward to something in the future. So keep reading for something we can look forward to at Christmas time…

TV One has announced that production is underway in Atlanta for the new original holiday movie, MERRY WISH-MAS. This Christmas movie stars Tamela Mann (The Manns) as Keneisha ‘Kenni’ Wright, a single and successful Atlanta businesswoman who hasn’t returned home for the holidays in years, she plays opposite her creative and life partner, husband David Mann(The Manns) as Jessie Jenkins, an old high school friend. The two reunite at Jessie’s fledgling wellness facility, the Beverly Living Center, where Kenni is reminded of the transformational power of love, hope and faith, amplified by the spirit of the holidays. The Manns also serve as executive producers on the project, which will premiere this winter on TV One.

Directed by award-winning actress, director and producer Terri J. Vaughn, this feel-good romantic comedy revolves around Kenni, who has avoided the annual holiday trip to her hometown of Columbia, South Carolina for years. While she is hoping for the best, as with any family, there are unresolved issues lingering that could make the holiday not so bright. The movie also stars veteran actress Kim Fields(Living Single) as Celine, a regular at the center who loves seeing the new smile Kenni puts on Jessie’s face, but is protective about his feelings. Towanda Braxton (Braxton Family Values) plays the role of Natalie, the persistent local woman who has a crush on Jessie. Elizabeth Omilami (Madea’s Family Reunion) appears as Kenni’s matchmaker mom Regina, while Chrystale Wilson (The Player’s Club) steps into the role of Kenni’s sister and food truck entrepreneur Dionne, adding a high dose of sibling rivalry. Rap artist Yung Joc, best known for popular singles “It’s Goin’ Down” and “I Know You See It,” makes a cameo appearance.

I love a small church. This church had beautiful stained glass windows, but unfortunately, I didn’t quite capture them in this photo…But you can get a feel for the sanctuary though…

I got a chance to visit one of the set locations, a lovely, small stone church where the finale is being filmed, and interview Roger Bobb, whose company Bobbcat Films is executive producing the movie; Terri Vaughn and her Nina Holiday Entertainment partner Cas Sigers-Beedles, who wrote the film. In addition, I was also able to speak to Elizabeth Omilami  (the daughter of Hosea Williams from Hosea Feed the Hungry) and Chrystale Wilson.

Below are a few notable quotes:

On David & Tamela Mann:

Roger Bobb: I’ve known David and Tamela for ages. I love them as entertainers and as a family. The world will never have enough of David and Tamela.

Terri J. Vaughn: Everyone is used to Tamela being an anointed pillar of strength, but in this movie, the character that she is playing is a bit snooty. She thinks that she created a life that is better than what she experienced in her hometown. So you will see her in not the best light. David usually plays the comedic role, but he’s the straight man in this movie. He’s a strong, spiritual pillar.

On Favorite Scenes:

Terri Vaughn: One of my favorite scenes is a heated discussion between Tamela, her sister and her mom played by Elizabeth Omilami. Another one juicy scene happens between David and Tamela in a junkyard. They have a romantic moment in the middle of junk.

Roger Bobb: I can’t give it away but the finale of this film is amazing!

On Messages in ‘Merry Wish-Mas’:

Elizabeth Omilami: Forgiveness. Life is too short to not forgive. Even if you were right, go back and apologize.

Chrystale Wilson: We don’t respect the elderly like other cultures do.  The movie also touches on sibling rivalry and jealousy.

On Nina Holiday Entertainment:

Terri J. Vaughn: This is a divine working relationship and friendship. We’ve been through divorce, remarrying and kids. Cas is super talented, super creative and super smart. She is literally the person I talk to every day.

Cas Sigers-Beedles: (With laughter) We’re work wives! This is the first Christmas film I’ve written. I wanted to tell a story about a woman who is somewhat like me. She is career-driven but afraid of love but she wants to love.

Elizabeth Omilami: When you laugh out loud, you know you have yourself a good writer. My husband was like, ‘What are you reading?’ When you have a great script and the lines are poppin’, you want to do the work.

I filmed a brief video of Terri Vaughn and Cas Sigers-Beedles as they discussed their partnership. (Obviously, I have more to learn in this medium.) After The Altar Call was one of several media outlets invited to the set….

“Heartwarming stories like Merry Wish-Mas that bring families together and make us laugh are as much a part of the season as Christmas trees and Santa himself,” said Vaughn, who makes her TV One original film directorial debut. “And this movie, touching upon family conflicts, singlehood and love, money woes, and wishing for Christmas miracles, is set to become a highlight of the coming holidays.”

So are you looking forward to this new Christmas movie starring David and Tamela Mann?

Any thoughts?

‘Black Panther’s’ Letitia Wright, T’Challa’s Little Sister, Nearly Gave Up Acting for Christian Faith!

Hello World,

I cannot unpack all that is #BlackPanther the movie at this moment because there were levels and layers to this movie. I saw the movie yesterday, but I think I will have to see it again so that I can take in all that was offered in the movie. I mean it touched on so many areas worthy of dissertations from the divide between Africans and African Americans to the warriors that are black women and how they have saved black people to boys growing up without fathers in the black community…

But when I came across this article, I knew I needed to share it with my tribe. As I joked this morning on social media, all praises to Black Panther but ALL of the honor, glory and praise belongs to the Lion of Judah, JESUS! Apparently, Letitia Wright, who portrayed Shuri, T’Challa’s impish and brilliant little sister, agrees! She nearly gave up acting before landing this role of a lifetime…Apparently, acting had become an idol in her life…I can relate. I have some writer goals that have probably taken up more residence in my heart than what God intended…So I’m working that out…But check out what Londoner Letitia Wright said on “This Morning” about developing a personal relationship with God and how that relationship changed her perspective on acting and everything else… See the quote and video below…

I was going through a lot. A very difficult time in my life. I just needed to take a break from acting because I really idolized it. So I came off from it. And I went on a journey to discover God and my relationship with God. And I became a Christian. It really just gave me so much love and light within myself so much so that I felt secure. I felt like I didn’t need validation from anyone else or from getting a part. My happiness wasn’t dependent on that. It was dependent on my relationship with God.

Let the Church Say Amen…

Just for kicks, here I am at the theater to see Black Panther last night…#WakandaForever…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you seen #BlackPanther yet?

Any thoughts?

Kim Fields Releases ‘BLESSED LIFE: My Surprising Journey of Joy, Tears, and Tales from Harlem to Hollywood’ – NEW BOOK ALERT!!!

Hello World,

Y’all know I love me some Kim Fields. For the longest time, she was the only little black girl on television in the ’80s! She is #blackgirlmagic before there was a name for all that makes black girls and women special in this world! In fact,  I interviewed Kim Fields previously on After the Altar Call! (Click on the link if you want to check out the interview!) Kim is everywhere again as she recently starred in a “Question of Faith” which was released in September and last Saturday, she starred in “Wrapped Up in Christmas.”

And now Kim Fields has penned a new book “BLESSED LIFE: My Surprising Journey of Joy, Tears, and Tales from Harlem to Hollywood.” Check out a description of the book below:

From “Facts of Life” to “Living Single” to “Dancing with the Stars” to wife and mom, here’s the BLESSED LIFE of Kim Fields, veteran actress, TV personality, and star.

Kim Fields has lived most of her life with people thinking they know her, which is understandable. From her first job on a Mrs. Butterworth syrup commercial at age 7, she has spent 40 years in the public eye. There were 9 years as Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey on the classic sitcom The Facts of Life, 5 more in her 20s starring as Regine Hunter on the seminal coming-of-age show Living Single, and most recently appearing as herself on Real Housewives of Atlanta and Dancing with the Stars.

Behind the camera, she has directed episodes of Kenan & KelTyler Perry’s Meet the Browns and House of Payne, and BET’s Let’s Stay Together. Between gigs, the pop culture icon’s life has included theater, spoken word, music, speaking engagements, and simply being present to the point that she cannot go a day without someone stopping her to say, “When I was a kid, I wanted to be Tootie” or “You were my role model.”

Flattered and blessed, after four decades in the business, Kim finally understands the role she has played onscreen and off as a successful, outspoken African-American woman. However, for as much as she’s been in the public eye, people have really never known her the way they think they have, and that’s because she, herself, spent most of her life figuring herself out. Now, at age 48, she is ready to set the record straight. She says, “It’s not that I’ve been misunderstood. It’s that I finally feel like I understand me enough to tell the life story that I’ve been asked to write for years.” It will be a chronicle of living, learning, and keen moments of self-discovery as she’s journeyed through the many facets and chapters of life. Fields found faith at age 14 and has found God to be right there every step of the way since then.

According to Radar Online, Kim writes about starring on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

The actress, 48, confessed that she hated being on the Bravo show in her new memoir, Blessed Life, saying that the entire experience was “bizarre.”…The Facts of Life star admitted that she hated filming, saying: “Briefly looking back on the whole season, here’s some of what I discerned: Being myself, sharing my reality in a quasi-real reality can be a bizarre vibe.” She slammed her costars for not being authentic, and claimed that “for much of the filming [she] felt like [she] was in a chess game, constantly ready for and even trying to anticipate the moves of those in front of and behind the camera, while being strategic with [her] own, while staying a few moves ahead in [her] mind.”

To read an excerpt of this book, click HERE!

Below is a video of Kim talking about her book!

I would definitely like to read and or review this book!

Any thoughts?