We know and love Ranada Shepard as the creator of TV’s Born Again Virgin and it looks as if she’s just getting started when it comes to building her very own empire! We sat down with the woman of many hats to discuss what made her want to get into the world of entertainment and what you can expect to see from her very soon!
What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment?
My mom inspired my interest in the world of entertainment at a very young age. No, this isn’t the story of the performing mother who passed the torch. This is the story of the crazed fan (fanatic) of All My Children and all things Erica Kane. The mere mention of the show became entertainment in itself as I watched her recap the shocking twists and turns at the beauty salon, church, and at social gatherings. I didn’t understand it, but I knew I wanted in on that excitement. I was determined to find my way into the business and figure it out.
How did you get the idea to create Born Again Virgin?
As a new writer, I was trying to get my foot into a writer’s room and land my first official writing job, when D’Angela Proctor, a friend and former SVP of Programming at TVOne reached out because she was looking for original programming. The network was looking for something in the vein of Sex & the City meets Girlfriends. I submitted a script and they responded to one of my four main characters who had recently set out on a journey of celibacy. This character was someone that we all felt women could relate to. With the support of the network, I created a show around this character entitled Born Again Virgin. I was thrilled that this was my first writer’s room experience, as well as my very first series.
Tell us about your new project?
The untitled Freeform comedy is set in Los Angeles. The series will follow Becca, played by Jordin Sparks, and her newly discovered half-sister Jesi, played by Gigi Zumbado, as they’re thrown into each other’s lives by an online genetics test and have to figure out how to go from strangers to sisters.
What has it been like working with powerhouse, Kenya Barris for this new project?
Working with Kenya Barris has been amazing. His ability to think on a different level is impressive. The guy is a visionary. He’s a visual artist and without a doubt, he trusts his instincts. I’ve learned so much in this process and it’s only the beginning.
What do you hope to accomplish in the years to come?
My goal in writing for television has always been to humanize people of color and to tell true versions of our stories. Especially women of color. My mother has thirteen sisters, which ultimately means I was raised by fourteen Black women. The women in my life have so many levels, layers, twists, and turns and it has always been a passion of mine to tell stories of the women I know.
For more on Ranada Shepard, follow her on Instagram today!
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