While filming a movie for Nickelodeon a few years ago, actress Andrea Lewis had an eye-opening experience. One of her fellow cast members showed his agent around set, addressing everyone by both their real and character names. When he got to Lewis—the only Black person on set—he introduced her as “Andrea … the urban one.” As she recalls on her website:
"I was so confused, I mean I understand that I’m the only Black girl in this movie and more than likely I was cast because they needed a dose of color and this is their way of showing “diversity” but to be introduced to someone in that way? The urban one? Wow! I didn’t see myself that way."
That moment inspired her to write and star in Black Actress, a new Web series appearing on Issa Rae’s YouTube channel. In the premiere episode, Lewis plays Kori Bailey, an actress returning to the ever-stressful auditioning world after a “much-needed” hiatus and a breakup with her boyfriend, whose own acting career seems to be on the rise.