VV: What is one of one of the greatest things you’ve learned from your cast mates?
JF: I’ve always had this professional fascination with Kim Osorio. I was super geeked to interview her back in 2008. And even as vulnerable as her book was, I’ve always put her on this pedestal. Thus far, I’m being reminded that the difference between a legend and not a legend is the work.
In media, it’s a small world. With that said, what’s the tricky part about working on and off camera with these women?
Understanding what’s for camera and what’s not. It’s tricky also because we haven’t been able to talk about it. There’s so many misleading things about the show and about the cast; that was the hardest part. There’s all this going on and I can’t really set anything straight. I’ve seen all of my cast mates out and about, and you just smile because it’s a common secret. It’s a little sorority.
How do you think the show will lend itself to your brand?
The other question I get is “What do you do?” By the end of the first season, it’ll be very clear what I do.
You went on the show as a writer for VIBE. What other hats will be revealed?
I’m a freelance writer. Everything I do began with writing. Whether I tell that story in an interview with a rapper–thus deeming me “the rapper whisperer”–whether I tell that story first person on a web series or whether I strategize on how to tell Ne-Yo’s story, it’s all consistent; I’m just telling stories.
What do you think young women of color will get from this?
I feel like young women are going to see themselves. I never watched Basketball Wives because I didn’t see myself. I’m struggling to get my career off the ground, not have my baby daddy finance a clothing line for me that I’m not designing myself. That’s not my life; that’s not my reality. I remember [when I had to] decide whether to spend this money to take this trip because I know it’ll be good for me professionally or pay my rent. I want young women to walk away from this saying, “Somebody does get me. It’s not just me. I’m not alone,” especially women of color.
That’s not to take anything from Basketball Wives; that’s not to take anything from Love & Hip Hop. But we aren’t here to be somebody’s girlfriend, wife or housewife. We are professional women. You get to see us deal with a lot of challenges in different ways, and it’s great to see this spectrum of women who know how to or don’t know how to deal with what’s in front of them.
Well, will there be love sprinkled in the mix? Are you dating?
I am dating.
Will we get to see it.
Yes. You will get to see my life.