Sister Swan: Erica Hubbard, Actor and Mentor

Hubbard: Making moves on and off screen.

You may have gotten to know Erica’s work from teen dance flick Save The Last Dance, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, or the ABC Family hit Lincoln Heights, where she stars as Cassie Sutton. Ms. Hubbard transitioned seamlessly from drama to comedy on Let’s Stay Together, the first original scripted sitcom undertaken by BET. Her character Kita may be sexy, single and a tad bit country, but don’t sleep on the actor in the role. She’s globetrotting and giving back with her own non-profit which supports urban youth with scholarships—with zero interest in taking degrading gigs. I’m always happy to find a successful woman who shares my ‘No Kneepads’ mantra. Re-introducing…Ms. Erica Hubbard.

Let’s Stay Together is a hit! How has your career been affected since its premiere?

I am so happy and humbled to work with BET on Let’s Stay Together because it is one of the very few projects on air that has a positive message about love and sticking together in a relationship.  Since the launch of Let’s Stay Together and portraying Kita Whitmore, I have had influx of viewers contact me via Facebook and Twitter saying how much they like the premise of the show.  Also, I have been contacted by producers and directors who want me to take a look at their projects from being on both TV Shows: Let’s Stay Together as well as Lincoln Heights.

What book(s) are you reading right now?

Currently, I am reading the book Super Rich: A Guide To Having It All by Russell Simmons.

Share something you do for work that’s harder than it looks.

Gaining and losing weight for different roles I portray.  Cassie Sutton on Lincoln Heights body frame is totally different from Kita Whitmore on Let’s Stay Together. Most of my characters I portray have a different cadence, body movements and personality.

Describe a moment of sweet vindication.

I went in for this one casting director who booked me on a TV show as a vixen, but wouldn’t see me as a homeless teen because she believed I couldn’t play to totally opposite characters.  To make a long story short, her assistant gave me a chance and brought me in. The producers and director loved my delivery. I ended up getting the job.  I was so glad to prove to the casting director that you can never underestimate the talent of someone who believes in their worth!

What’s the most dangerous aspect of these industry waters you navigate?

Not compromising myself in playing a role I know that is morally indecent.  Some viewers watching our work are impressionable, and sometimes I have to pass on a big budget project or turn down an opportunity working with an A-list star if the role is degrading.

Name two places you call home.

The two places I call home is the City of Chicago and Church!

Who are your influences?

My major influences are a lot of philanthropists who care about the community! I am the Executive Director of my non-profit- The Erica Hubbard Foundation. I truly believe that it is vital to give back to your community.  The people who I look up to care tremendously about social justice, health issues, and human equality.  If I were to provide you with a list my influences would include but would not be limited to people like Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Theresa.

We all need creative stimulation to be successful. What is your favorite creative outlet or inspiration, what I call “creative food”?

I think it is vital to be creatively stimulated in order to be successful. Whether you paint, write poetry, act, sing, dance, or play an instrument, it’s important to have a positive creative outlet. Personally, my favorite creative outlet is to perform in a stage play. Recently, I was nominated for a NAACP Theater Award for the theater project called “What Would Jesus Do.”  It was so rewarding and also fulfilling to express myself in front of a live audience!

What is your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is traveling around the world.  Recently, I visited the Island of Moorea in Tahiti Island. I love to experience and witness how different cultures live and operate daily in their societies. Traveling the world most definitely broadens your horizons on so many levels.

What projects do you have lined up for the future?

I am reading some feature film projects now that I am considering.  Also, I have my own production company and we are reviewing material to produce. In the meantime, I am enjoying portraying Kita on Let’s Stay Together, and working with The Erica Hubbard Foundation.

For more information on Erica’s non-profit, visit http://www.theericahubbardfoundation.org. The finale of Let’s Stay Together premieres Tuesday, April 5th on BET. Check local listings for airtimes.

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