The Next Big Thing: Internet Series on way from Montclair writer/actress/producer

Meet the next Big Internet Series: BabyGirlBluesand OtherColoredPeople

Assitant Camera Dominique Davis and David T Koenig as Dr Dave
Assitant Camera Dominique Davis and David T Koenig as Dr Dave Briana Walters
Diane Lilli

There was a very hot commercial in the eighties, where a woman was working, and frying up dinner for her family, plus juggling the everything that had to be done for her life, without breaking a sweat. As the singer crooned “I’m a Woman”, you had to ask: Can one woman really do it all?

Tia Dionne Hodges is a Montclair wife and mom who is also a writer, working actress, producer/directer, and educator who seems to have figured out how to “do it all”, just like that woman in the commercial years ago.

Tia has been working steadily in film, television, and on the stage for years. But this renaissance woman has more than one talent, and she decided to create something on her own, from concept to release, to share her vision.

Called “Baby Girl Blues and Other Colored People”, the new online series is joining the ranks of hit shows like Orange is the New Black Or House of Cards, by going live on the internet.

“This is filmed as improv not as a script,” she noted. “We have an outline of what each episode is about, but it is not shot in sequential order. The series is improved. All we have is an outline of what each episode is about. It is done with union actors; 3 of us are in an indie film we just shot in January called “STEPS”, which was written and produced by Eddie Harris, and executive produced by Shaquille O’Neal.”

To find the new series, which is not live yet, you can visit the website at BabyGirlBluesand, in the Fall. It will also be live on YouTube.

“We shot the first season, all 12 episodes, and it’s free to view,” said Tia.

Each episode is 4 1/2 minutes.

The storyline is close to home for Tia, who said “The premise is an actress who is a working actress, and is on verge of a break through or break down.”

Filmed on location in New Jersey under SAG-AFTRA's New Media Contract, the cast includes Tia as immature actress D.D. Baldwin; Justin Anthony Kennedy as D.D’s narcissistic musician husband; Dave T. Koening as D.D.’s and Justin’s eccentric therapist, Dr. Dave, and Phynjuar who plays D.D.’s mother—the one-of-a-kind Broadway and QVC star—Magdalena.  Danny Greenberg and Julia Rosenberg round the cast out as D.D.’s new and adorable assistants. This is an uber-professional production.

I visited the set recently, to get an inside peek into the making of this new series.

From what I saw, this series is not only as professional and fascinating as the mainstream Netflix or Hulu hits, but even more groundbreaking.

Watching one scene, which took about 5 takes, I was mesmerized by the nuances of the professional actors on set. The give and take between the actors and the breathy, mind-blowing delivery of actress Phynjuar, kept me on the edge of my seat (on top of scripts), and had me yearning to see more, and see it fast. (I have to wait!).

With a goal to have a full 30-minute series, funding is needed and now Tia is looking for a savvy investor to help her get the full-length series completed.

Filming the ups and downs of a gorgeous Black American woman, form the dramady of her life with an outrageous sexy mother, a therapist, husband ,assistant and others,

will keep you wanting to see more.

What sets the this series about is the sharp writing—the outline that Tia has created for the actors to use as a skeleton to hang the meat and bones of the series on—which is no fluke, since Tia has a Masters in English Literature, and is the Author of Play.Speak. (OddInt Media, publishers), an instructional workbook of 40 monologues for young actors.

Tia has also been teach privately and at Performers Theatre Workshop, a highly acclaimed performance school in Maplewood for 15 years. Her former students include 2015’s Tony Nominated actor Brandon Uranowitz (An American in Paris), Kathryn Allison making her Broadway debut as the Fortune Teller in Aladdin, and many, many others that have gone on to study at NYU, USC, Ithaca, Montclair State University, Boston Conservatory, Syracuse, University of the Arts, and Harvard, to name a few.

Already in love with the show and wanting more, Tia then put the icing the cake, when she told me she also hired former students and actors and crew from other shows she has worked on, in order to get them involved.

“I want to create projects with people I love,” she said. “All I want is the chance to do this, and share what I love to do, so we can all be together.”

Having it together is what this talent does well, and with such a cutting edge premise,

with a crisp flow and a strong story line, let’s hope this series joins the other hit series sweeping the internet.

It’s time for a new voice - and readers, I think I found it!