Tania’s Take race, culture and the culture of race
Black Woman, Gay Man; Main Character Energy

Black Woman, Gay Man; Main Character Energy

July 13, 2021

There is so much in this episode it's best to share the topics covered:

Beyonce, Barbara Streisand, Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah, iconography, what makes an icon?, Peter Frechette, theatre, writing, playwriting, inclusion, BIPOC, LGBTQIA plus representation in theatre and film, tropes, writing hacks that use marginalized characters as devices to make white, cisgender, heteronormative characters more interesting or forgivable, being ones authentic self, why gay people can play straight but straight people shouldn't play gay, BIPOC and LGBTQIA plus supporting characters who we want to see with their own shows, agency, what we will no longer do as artists, advice to writers who want to write for characters from marginalized groups and the future of theatre. Tania and Mitchell also discuss a play they both were in where the gay and Black characters are misused and misrepresented, plus in a moment of healing, Tania shares for the first time an experience she had doing a play that was full of micro-aggressions that created a hostile work environment. This whole discussion serves as a cautionary tale for storytellers across all genres moving forward.

Mitchell J. Fain is an actor and activist with 30 years of experience in theatre, improvisation, circus performance and teaching. He is the cohost of The Queer View with Alexandra Billings. His credits include The Santa Land Diaries, The Red Line, Into the Breeches, Midnight Circus and more. 

Here are a few quotes from the episode:

"We are not tropes and our lives are huge...Just because you're not invited to the gay club or barbecue doesn't mean it doesn't happen." Mitchell J. Fain

"Don't desex me. Sex isn't just about sex. Since sex is the one thing that everyone thinks separates queer people from straight people, then you don't get to take it away from me. Don't take away the fullness of an existence." Mitchell J. Fain 

"You don't get to control my narrative." Tania Richard

"I will only show up as my full, authentic self." Tania Richard

If you want exclusive bonus content for this episode as well as access to antiracism educational content, original essays, cultural commentary, pop culture deep dives and comedy become a member at Buy Me A Coffee.

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The Queer View  with Mitchell J. Fain and Alexandra Billings

 

Avenging Nell Carter

Avenging Nell Carter

June 16, 2021

"To celebrate, honor and AVENGE Nell Carter." That is Tania's mission in this bonus episode of Tania's Take. Tania and her guest Steven Strafford discuss Ms. Carter's genius. They talk about her sitcom Gimme A Break, her amazing performances across genres and consider why she has never received the flowers she deserves. They also talk about being performers, the science of comedy, falling in love with theatre and performance during their formative years, addiction, race, body image and a performance of Nell Carter's at the 1992 Golden Globes that Tania is determined to avenge. Yes, the words "F*** Michelle Pfeiffer" are spoken. Twice. Find out why. Tania shares a regret that she has related to Nell Carter and a revelation. AND there's even some valuable take aways on how to be an antiracist and how to challenge your bias. 

08:45 old school comedy

16:38 our talk about Nell kicks off  

32:15 Nell's career trajectory that led to Gimme A Break

40:59 The Golden Globes story

58:57 how to be inclusive and unbiased

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Steve Strafford mentions his solo show Methtacular. Here is the link www.methtacular.com/show/

Twitter @stevenstrafford

Hiatus, Baby!

Hiatus, Baby!

April 29, 2021

Tania shares her reasons for going on hiatus with the podcast. She has a message for BIPOC activists and a call to action for accomplices who are ready to take it to the next level of antiracism. What are her thoughts on the Derek Chauvin verdict? What revelation did she have after the murder of Ma'Khia Bryant? What inspirational quote does she share with listeners and what does she have coming up? All that in under 15 minutes!

Tania will stay active on Instagram @taniastake

How to live a diverse, inclusive, intersectional life

How to live a diverse, inclusive, intersectional life

April 13, 2021

Tania speaks with Chelsea Devantez a comedian and podcaster who is also the head writer for Jon Stewart's new show on Apple TV. Chelsea's podcast is The Celebrity Book Club Podcast . She has a diverse set of authors and guests on the show and created a submission process for hiring Jon Stewart's writing staff that removed obstacles and broadened the net. We talk about how Chelsea is inclusive, intersectional in her life and work and we break down how she does it so listeners can apply actionable items to do the same. We need to be the change we want to see in the world and this episode gives you steps for your antiracist journey. 

@18:48 bursting bubbles to create inclusion

@26:14 personal stories as the key to intersectional understanding

@30:43 being open to feedback

@36:19 on comedy; pushing boundaries while respecting others

@40 removing obstacles: The submission process for Jon Stewart's new show

 

Two Daughters of Haiti

Two Daughters of Haiti

March 25, 2021

Tania wants to learn more about her mother and Haitian culture so she speaks with childhood family friend and founder of Daughters of Haiti-Chicago Cyndee Newman. Their mothers were friends and in some ways Tania feels Cyndee got to see sides of her mother that she didn't. The women talk about Haitian pride, food, history, resilience and being 2nd generation. They examine how to pass Haitian culture and identity to their children and the importance of knowing where you came from and who your people are. It's never too late to grab back the reigns of your history.

@00:10  A love letter to my mother Dr. Edna Richard

@11:56 The Haitian approach to living

@17:56  Haiti's rich culture and history

@19:54 Haitian American vs. African American 

@24:09 Learn about Daughter of Haiti-Chicago 

@29:50 Tania wants to be a debutante

Join Daughters of Haiti's Bold, Beautiful and Black: A celebration on March 28th at 6p CST

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Meghan, Harry, The Bachelor and Sharon Osbourne at the intersection of pop culture and race 2021

Meghan, Harry, The Bachelor and Sharon Osbourne at the intersection of pop culture and race 2021

March 15, 2021

Tania is pulling a Beyonce and "dropping" a surprise episode cuz there's just too much going on in pop culture about race for her not to comment. She addresses the controversy around the Meghan and Harry Oprah Interview (TW: Suicide), the latest updates on The Bachelor franchise including their decision to television a conversation that should never made it on air and she talks about the Master Class on white tears gaslighting gave displayed on the daytime talk show The Talk. All of the events are classic examples of what not to do if you want to be an anti-racist. 

@2:02 Tania gives the latest on The Bachelor and why they should have never aired a conversations between Matt James and his Dad

@8:16 A message to organizations who are hiring Diversity and Inclusion Consultants

@10:22 Why don't have to accept an apology

@13:02 Meghan and Harry: a major takeaway and why Tania doesn't think Harry is a hero

@22:04 The Talk, white tears and the dynamic that happens everywhere between white women and Black women

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Does this mask make my forehead look fat? or Things the pandemic taught me

Does this mask make my forehead look fat? or Things the pandemic taught me

March 11, 2021

"It's the process of living. Doing, learning, repeat." In this episode Tania shares the things she learned about life, love, relationships, loss and herself as we approach the 1 year anniversary of the lockdown. With each lesson Tania gives the listener a prompt for their own self reflection. Tania goes deep with some of the revelations she has had, her experience with having cover and pneumonia and the collective impact of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery. She also shares her observations as an Antiracism Educator and gives some tips on how organizations can move forward in their antiracism journeys. Tania shares some of the BIPOC, LGBTQIA activist/fabulous humans she has discovered during the pandemic and she reveals the mission she has added to her activism. 

 

@2:17 The case for therapy 

@13:10 A parenting hack 

@22:37 BIPOC and LGBTQIA activists amplified

@25:02 Takeaways for organizations on their antiracist journey

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The Magical Bachelor

The Magical Bachelor

February 26, 2021

Tania and her guest screenwriter (Once On This Island Disney+ ),playwright (School Girls; or the African Mean Girls Play) and actress (The Curious Case of the dog in the Night-Time) Jocelyn Bioh break down this season of The Bachelor, the cultural relevance of the franchise featuring its first Black bachelor and the controversial conversation between The Bachelor host Chris Harrison and first Black bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. You don't have to be a Bachelor fan to get something out of this episode. Find out why Chris Harrison gave a master class on how conversations about race can be hijacked by "well meaning allies". Tania and Jocelyn talk about the mathematics and calculations Black women do on a daily basis just to get by in white spaces. Is The Bachelor reaching its logical, necessary end? Did Rachel Lindsay do the right thing by holding back in the conversation or should she have told Chris Harrison off? Did the producers of The Bachelor use Matt James? Tania says this to the Bachelor franchise, "The clock is ticking, it is time to be authentically inclusive or see ya later." This episode is a perfect example of how pop culture reflects so much of what we need to learn, know and do about race. 

JOCELYN BIOH (Playwright/New York Play Exchange) is a Ghanaian-American writer/performer from New York City. NYC acting credits include In the Blood (Signature Theatre, Drama Desk Nomination) , Everybody (Signature Theatre, Lortel nomination); Men On Boats (Playwrights Horizons); An Octoroon (Soho Rep); Neighbors (The Public Theater); and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2015. Her plays include 2015 Kilroys’ List selection Nollywood Dreams which was presented in 2017 as part of The Cherry Lane Mentor Project, School Girls; Or The African Mean Girls Play (MCC Theater, 2017/18, Lortel Award, OCC John Gassner Award, Hull-Warriner Award, Drama Desk Nomination, Drama League Nomination, Off Broadway Alliance Nomination, Kilroys’ List 2016), African Americans (Ruby Prize Finalist 2011), Goddess (book writer) and The Ladykiller’s Love Story of which she conceived the story and wrote the libretto with music/lyrics by Cee Lo Green. She is a commissioned playwright with Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theater Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Second Stage Theater. She is a resident playwright at Lincoln Center and is a Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence with MCC Theater for 2017–18. BA in English and Theatre from Ohio State University and MFA in Playwriting. 

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Brandy’s Cinderella and everything starts with a wish

Brandy’s Cinderella and everything starts with a wish

February 16, 2021

Tania and Gina cover everything Brandy's Cinderella from its cultural impact to Tania's Cinderella rush. Does Tania need a Cinderella intervention? How many times did she sob while watching? Is Gina secretly a musical theatre geek? How did the combination of Whitney Houston, Whoopi Goldberg, R&B star Brandy even happen? And has Hollywood learned anything about inclusion since Cindrella's history making success? A celebration of the power of Whitney, the magic of Disney, the wonder of Whoopi and the love of sisters. 

This episode is dedicated to our dear sister Melissa Mary Richard who left us too soon.

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Actor Morocco Omari from Wendy Williams The Movie

Actor Morocco Omari from Wendy Williams The Movie

February 3, 2021

From Chicago to Los Angeles to Africa, Tania covers the gamut with actor and friend Morocco Omari. Morocco is starring in Wendy Williams The Movie on Lifetime. He talks about how much a child needs their village, his many almost wrong turns, how he has been guided by instinct and his ancestors, his experience in the military and dealing with PTSD. He shares his "never say die" attitude , Wendy Williams and his plans to bring his family to Rwanda. Morocco has had recurring roles on Empire, P-Valley, Homeland and was in 12 Bridges with the late Chadwick Boseman.

 

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