INDIE COMEDY HEADS TO UP CHANNEL ON JULY 12, 2015
LOS ANGELES (June 29, 2015) – Actress-Comedienne LYDIA NICOLE steps in as Producer and creates a positive message with Robert Townsend’s indie comedy film, PLAYIN’ FOR LOVE, set to premiere on the cable network UP Channel on July 12th.
PLAYIN’ FOR LOVE centers on the relationship between a high school basketball coach, his players and a single mother who helps turn the team around. Nicole produced together with Townsend, who also directed and stars in the film alongside Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Being Mary Jane), Esai Morales (The Brink) and Jenifer Lewis (The Wedding Ringer).
The film was part of an initiative promoting non-violence in the crime-plagued Overtown community of Miami, which has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. The project included a film training program designed to offer local youth and college students a positive alternative to violence through hands-on education.
Nicole is thrilled to be part of such an uplifting venture, which has been resonating with audiences on the film festival circuit. Nicole explains, “I have been working with Robert for the last 10 years learning the ins and outs of producing. We have made several films, web series, and documentaries that have been amazing but what I especially have loved about producing “Playin’ For Love” is that we actually got to go into an inner city to teach young people how to make a film, employ them and then come out with a finished product that not only are we proud of but they can share with their friends and loved ones and say “I helped make this”. This is the kind of art I love being part of. It feeds the creative soul as well as the social justice aspect. I also love that we are not waiting on someone or something to give us but we are getting it done ourselves.”
The film is just the latest way in which Nicole has been working to foster positive messages and behavior in America. This actress, writer and comedienne has become known for her streetwise wisdom as the ‘Common Sense Mamita’, delivering Latino’s a hilarious in-your-face dose of ‘tough-love’ honesty about all aspects of their life. Her popular vlog has become a regular segment on Latin Heat Entertainment (LatinHeat.com) and more recently on the web-radio podcast Robles & Rosado (RoblesandRosado.com).
Previously voted by Hispanic Magazine as one of the ‘Top 100 Latino Comics’, Nicole hosted The Comedy Store’s weekly Latino Comedy Night, a stint that lasted for 2-years. She went on to participate and produce the stand-up comedy shows “Funny Ladies of Comedy” and the all Latina “The Hot and Spicy Mamitas,” which performed before sold-out audiences nationwide and recorded a hit comedy CD with Uproar Records. Lydia’s acting career spans over 30 years, guest-starring in numerous television shows and films including the Oscar-nominated film “Stand and Deliver” starring Edward James Olmos.
Nicole has become an inspiration for thousands of women and at-risk teens by turning her own turbulent upbringing into a life of celebration. She frequently speaks at inner-city schools, churches and juvenile correctional facilities, an experience she is turning into a life skills book for young adults. She has worked with the California Youth Authority, Athletes & Entertainers for Kids, PEACE Fund and ArtsReach, with whom she collaborated on the award-winning documentary “When The Bough Breaks.” Her producing credits also include “Why We Laugh,” a documentary on the history of African-American comedy; “Los Americans” the first dramatic Latino web series; and the dramatic bio-pic “In The Hive,” based on the life of Vivian Sanders, a woman who started a high school in for at-risk boys.
Up next, Nicole will mount a full theatrical run of her highly-acclaimed autobiographical one-woman show, “A Rose Grown in Spanish Harlem,” transforming herself into 25 different characters in this coming-of-age story from her days growing up in New York’s Spanish Harlem.