So here we are, a very small independent production company sitting with an Emmy award-winning actress and accomplished author, yet Carolyn was more concerned with our comfort level than receiving any type of preferential treatment. Carolyn is truly one of a one of a kind woman with her own views on the world. To many, the term ‘broad’ can be offensive, but somehow Carolyn described it in a way that left you aspiring to achieve the title. Everything from Carolyn’s eccentric rings, huge smile and photos by Jonathan Mannion spoke directly to her energetic, charismatic and infectious personality. Carolyn is a beautiful person and a ‘class act’ that was an absolute pleasure to work with.

I Am...Carolyn Hennesy

We really enjoyed the time we had with LisaRaye, and some of the things you hear about her are true. Yes, she showed up on time and was dressed in all white, she even had a wardrobe change and returned to set wearing…all white. Yes, she is very strong, extremely stunning in person and definitely has a presence that demands respect. However, it’s the things that aren’t talked about as often that come to mind when I think about her now. I see someone who was able to find her self-worth while being teased as a child and a woman who is strong enough to ask herself tough questions during the most vulnerable moments of her life. After our time together, we are very comfortable saying that LisaRaye is a rare individual who would be the same remarkable woman if the cameras of Hollywood never found her.

I Am...LisaRaye

I Am...Niecy Nash

This interview is a very special one to us at AWJ. Niecy was the first woman to lend her name to the I Am…web series and our first interview. Honestly speaking, there is no way I can verbally express my gratitude to you Niecy. Your short time with us has made us better and opened numerous doors of opportunity and growth for AWJ. For this we are forever grateful.  I literally can’t thank you enough. The first words that come to mind when thinking about Niecy Nash would have to be ‘very professional’ followed by ‘extremely genuine.’ Niecy showed up at least 20 minutes early with very detailed questions about our shoot.  Once the interview started it became very clear that we were talking to a rare woman.  It’s not too often you meet people who are able to articulate the perspective they’ve gained from the challenges that life has presented as candidly as Niecy. Niecy has played many roles to entertain us all, but none were as meaningful as the role she played in mother’s life after loosing her brother to a violent crime. Her honesty and strength captivated our entire crew, and even brought tears to her friend and our second interviewee’s (Tatyana Ali) eyes.

I Am...Tatyana Ali

Most of us fell in love with childhood character, Ashley Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but it is just as easy to fall in love with Tatyana, the woman. Tatyana is extremely pleasant, genuine, humble and very sweet. She had a sincere interest in touching the lives of other women and believed in AWJ’s message of changing lives. We were very humbled when Tatyana complimented us on the work we were doing and the ascetics of the site prior to our interview. Tatyana described herself as a ‘friend’ in her I Am… statement, and after spending time with her, we’d all be fortunate to be able to call her just that.  We wish Tatyana and her sister, Anastasia, continued success with their production company, HazraH Entertainment, which they named after their grandmother.

I Am...Sheryl Lee Ralph

Sheryl Lee Ralh has truly made the word ‘DIVA’ her own. ‘Divinely Inspired Victoriously Anointed’ is a perfect description of what she embodied during our time together.  She had the grace of an angel, the inspiration to change the lives of others, has found victory in trying times and the gift of leaving a lasting impression on those around her.  She wanted to make sure the crew was very comfortable, and offered small nuggets of knowledge to help spread the word of AWJ.   We all feel very fortunate for the pleasure of meeting Sheryl Lee Ralph and are honored to have worked with her.