Friday, October 10, 2014

Essense Adkins - TV

  (C) 2014 by Rych McCain, All Rights Reserved. No part of this column may be reprinted, re-posted or duplicated without written permission from Rych McCain Media/Syndication. Violation is subject to applicable laws.

Essense Adkins - TV

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist and Facebook (Like Me)

         Essence Atkins

A Heart Felt Performance On A Serious Subject

                                                           Photo Courtesy UP Lifting Entertainment

L-R: Essence Adkins and Lynn Whitfield
Being an adopted child and growing up without knowing your biological parents always makes for emotional drama. It is a serious subject that many experience but the answers on how to handle meeting either both or one of the real parents for the first time for a child turned adult is a moment that either the parent or child is prepared to deal with. Actress Essence Atkins best known for her roles on The WB’s “Smart Guy” and UPN’s “Half and Half” turns in a heartfelt performance in the Up Lifting Entertainment network’s TV movie “My Other Mother” where she plays Candace “Candy” Meyers a successful anchor on a top-rated TV magazine show who is content with the love of her adopted family. Candy has never even thought about her biological family until she travels back for her biological dad’s funeral and meets his family. This leads to meeting her biological mother played by Lynn Whitfield who has issues. The two of them are left to sort things out and begin a life that leads to a different path for both.

L-R: Essence Adkins and Jasmine Guy
   With the subject matter of this role being so heavy, how did it affect Atkins personally in real life especially having to bounce off of Lynn Whitfield who can really bring it to a role? Atkins runs it down, “This was my third time working with Lynn so she was a big part of why I said yes. When they told me she was going to be playing the role of Mary Jo I was like OK where do I sign up? She’s an immense talent. She’s a great woman and I love spending time with her as well but watching her craft a character and coming up with everything and being so detailed it’s such an inspiration and I learned so much from her. The role its self and playing the role; I mean anytime you step outside of yourself and into another’s shoes, I hope  you can gain not just the audience watching but for us as artists, gain that perspective and appreciation for what it is you do have. And yes that fact that Candy is adopted and she reaches a point in her life where she feels like she definitely needs some answers. I think that’s universal and it happens at different points in our lives. They’re not necessarily middle age issues they are like kind of as we get older we keep looking back and evaluating ourselves and maybe even maybe having a sense of our mortality we start to want different answers to different questions that we haven’t yet asked. So I think that’s where Candy is in this journey.”

     This made for TV movie was shot in Atlanta on a tight schedule in only two weeks. For a 90 page script that’s almost 10 pages a day which is a grueling pace. Is there a psychological difference when Atkins shoots in different cities such as Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles or elsewhere because all cities do have different vibes which can affect the actors? She responds, “No one has ever asked me that before. I feel differently when I’m in those places so I imagine that it kind of calibrates in some way as how you carry yourself throughout the city and the space. The people of the city are different as is the energy and vibe. I’m from New York (Brooklyn) and even though I’ve lived in California for a long time I still don’t feel like I move or navigate through the world like a Californian and my husband says that all the time. He’ll ask why are you walking so fast?”

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