Check out our interview with artist, activist and entrepreneur Olivia Charmaine.
Embracing her melanin, queerness, and womxn power after making her mark in the TV & film industry as one of Hollywood’s best-kept secrets, Olivia is finally turning the camera on herself with her new weekly live stream show, “The Tea,” currently on IGTV.
In addition to working on “The Tea” and running her own full-service production company, Olivia also regularly moderates and participates in panels discussing diversity, women in the industry, creativity, inclusivity, and more.
Follow Olivia @olivia_charmaine
Hi Olivia Charmaine, please tell us a little about you?
I’m a film & TV producer that recently started my own production company called Black Monarch Entertainment. Though I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, I was born in Los Angeles, and a lot of my dad’s family are California natives. I always felt pulled to Los Angeles and the entertainment industry in particular, even at a very young age. I mean, my fifth birthday was Hollywood-themed, and I apparently asked my mom to teach me cursive in preschool because I had a dream where I stepped out of a limo and didn’t know how to sign my autograph. If that doesn’t sound like a calling, I don’t know what is!
How did you get started in the business?
I was an actor and musical theater performer from childhood up until I went to college, when I decided to pursue an understanding of the business side of the entertainment industry. I received my BFA in Film & TV Production from New York University. After graduating from Tisch, I began my career specializing in girls’ media, the business side of animated content, and comedy development. I’ve been bouncing between New York and LA for a decade, and the city will always hold a piece of my heart.
Tell us about your new weekly live stream show on IGTV, “The Tea?”
I’ve always hated Tuesdays and always had a deep love of tea, so I first decided to craft a new Tuesday morning ritual of pausing for a cup of tea as a way to brighten my Tuesday mornings. I decided to go live on Instagram to share my new practice with my followers, and my dear friend Twiggy Pucci Garçon was sweet enough to join me. For half an hour, we covered topics such as their career as a choreographer on the TV show “Pose” and the details of their self-care routine, and I quickly realized that I wanted to cultivate a space for these conversations every week. Every Tuesday at 8 am PST/11 am EST, I go live with a notable figure or two and discuss their career journeys, current events, wellness tips, as well as other interesting facts about them that may be surprising for our audience to learn about. The community is growing, and you never know who is going to drop in next to sip and spill the tea!
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I love being a champion for new and often marginalized voices. While diversity and inclusion are currently trending in the business, I’m here to ensure that they remain a top priority and that marginalized voices have consistent access to quality opportunities.
Best career advice ever given?
The best career advice I’ve ever been given is to reach across and pull up as you ascend and always leave the door open behind you.
Quote: “It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.” – Lucille Ball
Book: “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi
Where can we follow you?
Photo credit: Dominique Oliveto