Spoken Word Poet, and STARZ’s Candace Nicholas-Lippman details her journey from a budding poet to a star in full bloom!

We had the pleasure of having one of the most amazing and touching conversations with Candace Nicolas Lippman, the rising star among the cast of  STARZ’s hit series, Blindspotting. Lippman is a magnetic spoken word poet hailing from Sacramento, who’s journey is a testament to her vibrant upbringing and her deeply rooted faith in God and divine timing, plus her dedicated commitment to representing and empowering Black and brown girls across the diaspora in the arts. With an impressive resumé and an electrifying one woman show on the move, get ready to be uplifted and inspired as we dive into the incredible world of Candace Nicolas Lippman.

We started off as Candace broke down her journey to landing the role and how she brought the character of Janell to life. Now in its second season the spinoff to the 2018 film is captivating audiences with its raw themes and use of sharp witted and lyrical spoken word monologues.

“I loved that movie …[Blindspotting]  so much! …and then I saw the audition for the series, and I was like ‘Jesus!!’ I feel so much like this role is for me. I feel like I am Janelle. At the end of the day, your will be done.”

Nicholas-Lippman went on to discuss how she saw the original film. Created by Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, The Little Mermaid, Blindspotting film) and Rafael Casal (Blindspotting, Amend, Are You Afraid of The Dark?) and set in present day Oakland, Candace broke down the parallels that connected her to the character.

“I’m from very humble beginnings in Sacramento and Janelle is from Oakland. So there’s so much of us that parallel, you know, and I just immediately identified with her, and even the way the whole audition process went, I just kept manifesting that thing.”

As she beamed and smiled through the story of manifesting this opportunity, she went on to dig deeper and share the importance of her character.

“After the very first audition I wrote on a piece of paper, ‘Candace Nichols Lippman set to star as Janelle in the Blindspotting spin-off, I now have that paper framed, I continuously kept speaking life over this and claiming this. Even in times when it looked like the role was going to someone different, I kept believing that this was for me.”

Blindspotting is Candace’s debut series role, however her journey through Hollywood as an actress and as a poet proved to be one of both dedication and faith with a career spanning over 10 years, she describes the hustle and grind of Los Angeles. Lippman draws inspiration from her deeply rooted upbringing, but credits the love of her character from viewers to her desire to provide Black and brown women with a world that accurately represents them and breathes truth into their experiences.

“Janelle is such a key element. She’s there for so many people. We often see her in the role of the mama, the auntie, the one who’s there. We learn so much about her in how she loves the people around her, but even more we see after revealing her secret at the end of last season, being a wife and a stepmom, the viewers really learn that there is a real story behind her.

When discussing developing her character, one thing that stood out is; although the show highlights spoken word poetry and monologues within the script, Lippman’s character Janelle does not often engage in the poetic elements. Lippman herself is a renowned spoken word poet, with pieces covering a range of themes, subjects and topics.  Some of her most notable pieces include Kingdom Called and Dear Black Girl.

“I guess it began with Good Trouble, with Dear Black Girl being the thing that really put me on the map and made space for me on television, I’m grateful for that. That was my first time my poetry was ever really on national television and for it to still be so relatable to so many women and men, and you know, is beyond a blessing. “

She goes on to describe the larger opportunities that arose from her work being highlighted and shared on television. Not just from Good Trouble and Blindspotting, but even the birth on her acclaimed one woman show A Rose Called Candace.

“That really gave me my big opportunity to showcase this other side of myself that God revealed to me where I’m gifted,” going on to say, “ It was all designed by God, and that’s why it was meant for me to take this long and for it to be this.”

Her face beamed while giving honor to God and reiterating her intention with making this dream a reality and fully understanding the plan, purpose, and assignment she was called to.

We see more productions that include individuals with experience in theater. The cast of ‘Blindspotting’ alone includes previous cast members of both broadway and off broadway performances, adding even more to the diversity and skill set of an ensemble cast.

You know everything from the dance, from the poetry, from the music like it’s literally just theater on screen.”

This led us to our final discussion which was, What’s Next For This Rose called Candace?

As mentioned Candace is the creator of her own off-broadway production entitled, A Rose called Candace, telling the story of her family,  her life, and most important; her faith whilst finding freedom.

“It’s literally my journey in trying to be free, and to find freedom and understanding who I am. I’m not here to entertain, I’m here to tell my truth and hopefully inspire others to do the same.”

“It means so much to me to keep growing and learning and following what it is God has assigned me to do. I think that is what as a woman and specifically a beautiful brown black woman to be in these positions and in these rooms, it means something. To keep growing and keep completing the task in which God has assigned me and fulfilling my purpose in a way that inspires other women to do the same.”

With season 2 of Blindspotting out now on STARZ, we have to learn about the character of Janelle. As for Candace, she spoke about her plan to relaunch her off-broadway solo show, A Rose Called Candace, even going on to add additional dates and cities as well! Candace’s hopes of touching young women across the world has definitely paid off with all of her knowledge, faith, and experience.

Be sure to see Candace Nicholas Lippman as Janelle on STARZ and the STARZ App. We are excited for the return of A Rose Called Candace” in even more cities than before. For more information be sure to go to Candace’s official site

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Photo credit Persona PR