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Real talk with… Niecy Nash

September 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Cover Story, Feature

by Kimberly Bailey-Tureaud

Nash has developed an online show called "Let's Talk About It," which fulfill her desires to help others find love.

For years, Niecy Nash has been a fixture in our homes on such shows as “Reno 911,” The Style Network’s “Clean House,” “The Insider” and most recently, the hit TV Land series “Soul Man,” with Cedric the Entertainer.

The new show “is about a soul singer who was very hot and popular in the entertainment business in Las Vegas, and decided to walk away from the limelight to become a ‘soul saver,’” Nash explained. “Essentially, he left the stage for the pulpit, and relocated his family to St. Louis to pastor his father’s church. I play his wife in the series, and it is a blast and something the whole family can enjoy.”

Coincidentally, the premise mirrors Nash’s real-life biography: her first husband was a soul singer who left his singing career to pastor a church. It is a part of her history that Cedric the Entertainer and the “Soul Man” producers were unaware of when they approached Nash about joining the cast. Still, ever-vigilant about how African-Americans are depicted in popular culture, Nash was initially apprehensive about taking the role.

“One of the things I was excited about, when I had my first meeting with Cedric, was the concept of the series displaying a positive relationship between the husband and wife,” she said. “On some reality shows right now, you have the word ‘wife’ in the title of the show, but the women are not really wives and you don’t see the black men. The only time you see the men is when the women are rolling their necks around talking crazy to them. So the question I initially asked was, ‘What kind of relationship will we have?’ In a traditional sitcom, the husband and wife are usually the butt of each other’s jokes. I was not interested in doing that. I was pleasantly surprised to know that ‘Soul Man’ would allow my character to show black love – and the entire family dynamic.”

Neicy Nash is determined to work on projects that her children will be proud of.

Indeed, as the mother of three children  and a stepson, from her marriage of one year to electrical engineer Jay Tucker – Nash is determined to work on projects that her children will be proud of. Her “Leave it to Niecy” reality show, which aired on TLC, was a window into her life that didn’t attract large viewership.

“I don’t think ‘Leave it to Niecy’ was sensational enough,” she said. “It was unfortunate. In contrast, any time you have black and brown women slapping each other around and cursing each other out on television, the ratings are great. But when you want to love your husband and positively raise your children, I don’t think some people find that interesting. I loved everything we did on the show, whether we ever did another season or not. When I lay my head down to go to sleep at night, I sleep very well knowing that I showed what second-chance love and family looks like. I loved showing love and successful blended families. The good part about not doing the show right now is that my husband can go back to his normal life, because he never wanted to be in entertainment and be on TV.”

Meanwhile, Nash has developed an online show called “Let’s Talk About It,” which fulfills her desire to help others find love.

“Along with writing my book, my online show … on Yahoo illuminates the vision I have of myself as a lover not a fighter,” she said. “I see myself as a matchmaker, and once I fell in love again after my divorce, I wanted all of my friends to find love. I actually introduced my friend Sherri Shepherd to her husband at one of my parties – I sure did.”

Nash advises women to never give up on finding a true soul mate. “Never give up on the thing that God created you for,” she said. “We were created to love a man. That is the whole reason Eve [in the Bible] was made out of a man’s rib, because it was the necessary ingredient for him to have the love of a woman. Don’t shy away from the thing we were created for. There will be hurt and hard times, because that is what comes with it. But when you make a wise decision about a man, you commit to the union.”

Another strong bond that Nash likes to discuss: that which exists among black actors and actresses in Hollywood. When one person succeeds, she said, everyone celebrates.

“We have a lot of support for each other. I remember when the auditions for the role in the hit series ‘Scandal’ were held, and every black actress in Hollywood wanted that part,” Nash said. “We all heard that Kerri Washington got the lead role in a one-hour drama with a woman of color leading the charge — and there was such overwhelming love and congratulations given to Kerri by fellow actresses attending an Essence luncheon. We all said, ‘My sister got the role.’”

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