Want to Help True Blood’s Tanya Wright Create ‘Hairiette of Harlem’?

April 2, 2014

Want to Help True Blood’s Tanya Wright Create ‘Hairiette of Harlem’?

Help Co-Create Hairiette of Harlem AND Raise Money for Charity:

Fans of HBO’s True Blood will know Tanya Wright as Deputy Kenya Jones. You might also recognise this versatile actress from Orange is the New Black (playing the role of Crystal Burset) and The Cosby Show (as Tanya Simpson). Readers might also have read her book Butterfly Rising.Tanya-Wright-Michelle-Short-Photo-Session-085-300x300

Well, now Tanya is about to star in a new show; a very special new interactive web series called Hairiette of Harlem. The details of this new program are as follows (via Tanya Wright’s Press Release):

HAIRiette of HARLEM [is] an interactive web series about a woman named Hairiette Arms who learns to navigate her sad, funny life via her relationship with….her natural hair! The unique part of the show is that the audience gets to co-create the events of Hairiette’s life and whatever they decide will be written into the next week’s storyline. We’ll also launch a haircare line, where a portion of the proceeds will go to the Actor’s Fund, a 130 year old human services organization that helps entertainment professionals in crisis, need or transition.

How awesome does that sound? Want to hear more? Well, you can view the funding video below:

Alternatively, you can visit Rockethub and participate in this project by donating in order to get this fabulous concept up and running. You can help out by clicking here. As a further incentive, for the remainder of the fundraising campaign, Tanya will be releasing an essay a day from her upcoming book, I FOUND GOD IN MY HAIR: 98 spiritual principles I learned from…my hair! You can also follow her blog here to find out more about this project.

Finally, Tanya is letting all you Trubies know that even with her Hairiette of Harlem project, she will still get the time to show up in True Blood Season 7! So keep an eye out for Deputy Kenya Jones because Tanya had this to say about her in Season 7:

Watch for the return of Deputy Kenya Jones in Season 7 of TRUE BLOOD. She’s in rare form! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did 🙂

Sources: Hairiette of Harlem/Tanya Wright Press Release

Rockethub – ‘A CALL TO (HAIRiette) ARMS’: let’s raise $50,000 in 50 days!

Blogger – This Day Our Daily Blog (The Daily Blog of Tanya Wright)

(Photo Credit: Michelle Short)

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True Blood’s Tanya Wright Discusses Her Many Talents and Passions

August 9, 2012

There is Much More to the Actress Than Just Her Portrayal of Kenya Jones in the Popular HBO Series

hbo_true_blood_kenya_jonesActress Tanya Wright plays Kenya Jones on HBO’s series True Blood. Ms. Jones is an intelligent, educated, multi-faceted talent whose resume also includes writer, director, and producer among her skills. Recently, she has showcased her talents with a trans-media project called ‘Butterfly Rising’.

Ms. Wright developed ‘Butterfly Rising’ over the course of fifteen years. In addition to writing, directing and starring in the film that has enjoyed a successful festival run, Ms. Wright authored the ‘Butterfly Rising’ novel. The next incarnation of her project is an interactive game.

“BR (Butterfly Rising) is really an outgrowth of a script that I wrote 15 years ago called ‘A Turn to Grace’. It was a screenplay I wrote that was a semi-finalist in the (Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’) Nicholl screenwriting competition.”

Ms. Wright says that this first screenplay generated interest in her as a young, female, African-American screenwriter. The script itself languished because no one was interested in making a film about African-American characters in the 1920’s. After the death of Ms. Wright’s brother, she says the story of Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, understandably resonated with her. She became slightly obsessed with the activity of butterflies in a tree outside of her house, even making up stories about the delicate creatures. When the character of ‘Grace’ from ‘A Turn to Grace’ began to invade these stories, ‘Butterfly Rising’ developed into an updated telling of her original script with a multi-cultural cast.

Writing is Tanya Wright’s First Love, but Both Acting and Writing Are Like Her ‘children’

Ms. Wright says that early in her career, she began to get acting role after acting role, all the while continuing to write. She was told she would have to choose between the two because she wouldn’t be able to do both.

“But I saw lots of people that I liked and I admired doing it. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck did it with Good Will Hunting and Emma Thompson did it with Sense and Sensibility, Billy Bob Thorton did it with Sling Blade.  Now it’s common place but the idea that those two things needed to be separated was a prevalent idea and it’s like asking which one of your children do you want to kill off: the actor or the writer.”

Ms. Wright did not choose between the two. She kept writing as she got work as an actor, the culmination of which is the script for ‘Butterfly Rising’. Ms. Wright says that acting and writing are both vitally important and each one helps her to be better at the other.

Tanya Wright Believes Her Education Has Given Her Confidence and Choices

Ms. Wright is a graduate of both Vassar and George School. She characterizes her education as ‘world class’. Born in the Bronx to a teenage mother, Ms. Wright credits her education with providing her with choices that are limited only by her own vision. She says her education has empowered her to go into the world to make changes or make a difference.

“In fact there is a quote in BR (Butterfly Rising) where my character says “you always got a choice even when your back is up against a wall. You always have a choice so don’t ever think you don’t have a choice”.”

True Blood is a Deep and Complicated Show

Ms. Wright says that True Blood is a fantastic world that is complicated and different than anything she could imagine. In addition to being a sexy show about vampires, it’s also about love, being an outsider, and other fundamentally human things. She says these themes are simply couched in entertainment and sexuality.

When asked about the most difficult or fun things about working on True Blood, Ms. Wright admitted to not liking the high number of night shoots. She claims to not be a night person and does a lot of sleeping in her dressing room.

“The greatest thing about working on the show like TB (True Blood) is that the reality is so heightened that it’s almost like doing a play or an opera because it’s so over the top the externals are so stylized that for an actor to be working in that world it’s so much like theater that you don’t really get a chance to do that too much in television so that’s probably the coolest thing working on a show like that.”

Ms. Wright has many other projects that are moving along quickly, now that she’s experienced some success with ‘Butterfly Rising’. Still, she says BR is the project nearest and dearest to her heart and refers to it as her “passion project”.

You can read more about Tanya Wright’s personal and professional thoughts on education and cinema, being an African-American woman in Hollywood, and working with Heavy D. ‘Butterfly Rising’ was the Opening Night film at Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM.

 

Sources: The Jackie Movie, Butterfly Rising The Movie, HBO

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See True Blood’s Tanya Wright’s New Movie “Butterfly Rising”

April 7, 2012

Tanya Wright who plays True Blood's Kenya and author/producer of "Butterfly Rising"

“Butterfly Rising”

Lucky fans of True Blood‘s Kenya, Tanya Wright, who live in the San Francisco area can see Tanya’s movie, “Butterfly Rising” before it is given a wider release. The movie, based on Tanya’s debut book of the same name, will be shown at the San Francisco International Woman’s Film Festival in San Francisco,California, Saturday April 14th at 3pm at the Roxie Theater. In its 8th year, the SFIWFF is billed as a “comprehensive three-day celebration of films directed by women. The 2012 selection of diverse films celebrates the exceptional contributions of women in the world of cinema and represents a convergence of excellence in filmmaking from around the globe.” Tanya let us at TrueBloodNet.com know that not only will you be able to see the movie before others, but that autographed copies of the book will be on sale at the event. Tanya confided to us that not everything in the book is in the movie so you will want to pick up the book! “Butterfly Rising” leads off a 3 movie trifecta at the Roxie that night being followed by “All She Can (Benavides Born)” the story of a woman weight lifter trying to win a scholarship to fulfill her life’s dream and “Connected: An Autoblogography About Love, Death & Technology” the tale of our love/hate relationship with technology. To get tickets and ensure you can get into the event, visit the Francisco International Woman’s Film Festival site!

Movie Description

Publication Date: August 5, 2010
Lilah Belle has always been a trifle odd to folks in her tiny town of Lucasville; a “singer who didn’t sing no more,” Lilah is prone to dancing in the streets, dressing outlandishly and weaving fantastic stories. But when her beloved brother dies suddenly, Lilah’s grief sends her into a topsy turvy tailspin. Desperate to escape her painful new reality, she hits the road with the unlikeliest of travelling companions: Rose Johnson, a newcomer whose scandalous behavior in the small, sleepy town has branded her a scarlet woman. Anxious to escape their bleak realities, the women strike out in a stolen vintage pickup truck, barreling toward a fated encounter with the mythical, magical Lazarus of the Butterflies. Legend has it that Lazarus can “heal you and make your dreams come true.” The adventure that unfolds will transform their destinies, binding Lilah and Rose together forever. Richly evocative, Butterfly Rising is a timeless tale of friendship and courage, etched with pain and joy.
Check out the movie’s website at: butterflyrisingthemovie.com
Tanya Wright, True Blood's Kenya, presents her premiere novel, Butterfly Rising.

Tanya Wright, True Blood's Kenya, presents her premiere novel, Butterfly Rising.

Follow Tanya on Twitter! @tanyaTTwright

Credits: Francisco International Woman’s Film Festival
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Tanya Wright’s “Butterfly Rising” for Kindle On Sale!

March 29, 2012

Tanya Wright, True Blood's Kenya, presents her premiere novel, Butterfly Rising.

Tanya Wright, True Blood's Kenya, presents her premiere novel, Butterfly Rising.

Sale!

Tanya Wright who plays the strong, down-to-Earth Kenya on True Blood reached out to let us know that the Kindle version of her acclaimed book, Butterfly Rising, is on sale from Amazon for only 99 cents until April 8th, 2012. The novel, the first that Tanya Wright has written, won a “Debut Novel” prize at last year’s Brooklyn Book Festival. Don’t miss out on your chance to get this wonderful book!

Book Description

Publication Date: August 5, 2010
Lilah Belle has always been a trifle odd to folks in her tiny town of Lucasville; a “singer who didn’t sing no more,” Lilah is prone to dancing in the streets, dressing outlandishly and weaving fantastic stories. But when her beloved brother dies suddenly, Lilah’s grief sends her into a topsy turvy tailspin. Desperate to escape her painful new reality, she hits the road with the unlikeliest of travelling companions: Rose Johnson, a newcomer whose scandalous behavior in the small, sleepy town has branded her a scarlet woman. Anxious to escape their bleak realities, the women strike out in a stolen vintage pickup truck, barreling toward a fated encounter with the mythical, magical Lazarus of the Butterflies. Legend has it that Lazarus can “heal you and make your dreams come true.” The adventure that unfolds will transform their destinies, binding Lilah and Rose together forever. Richly evocative, Butterfly Rising is a timeless tale of friendship and courage, etched with pain and joy.

Reviews:

K. Moll said on Amazon.com:
The story of these two women really captured my heart as I read about how their friendship changed one another’s lives.
Bill Homes said:
I loved the friendship that was created by Lilah and Rose, two unexpected characters who were complete opposites, but had more in common as they discovered during their journey from Lucasville to Newhope to beyond.
Christina Marsee said at GoodReads.com:
I loved the friendship that was created by Lilah and Rose, two unexpected characters who were complete opposites, but had more in common as they discovered during their journey from Lucasville to Newhope to beyond.
You can follow Tanya on Twitter @tanyaTTwright
Credits: Amazon.com, GoodReads.com
Cover Art via Tanya Wright
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Tanya Wright’s Butterfly Rising

April 29, 2011

Sharing During a BlogTalkRadio Interview:

Butterfly Rising by Tanya WrightMany know Tanya Wright from her role as Deputy Kenya Jones on True Blood, but what you may not know is that in addition to acting she’s also a writer and director. Published last year, Tanya’s book “Butterfly Rising” is a poetic inspirational story about friendship and courage. The film of her screenplay, Butterfly Rising, marks her directorial debut. BlogTalkRadio host, Cyrus Webb recently interview Tanya to discuss her acting career, new book, and film.

“The story is about two women who have had enough of their small town life and they’ve set out on the open road to meet this mythical medicine man named Lazarus of the Butterflies. And it is their hope that their dreams will come true. Ultimately they do, not in the way that they think however. And I think that’s true of life and certainly of all of us. We have an idea of how things should be, or how we would like them to be. And when those things happen, they sometimes don’t look the way that we think they would, or even should.”

When asked by interviewer Cyrus Webb what she hopes the audience takes away with them, Tanya replied:

“Well, the visual metaphor for the book and the movie is the butterfly. The butterfly is the symbol for change. It’s the symbol for metamorphosis. It’s the symbol for transformation. And it’s something that we will not, any of us, escape in this life – change. Good, bad or indifferent. So I hope that people embrace change in their lives. And more easily as a result of this movie.”

The world premiere of the film Butterfly Rising will be held May 8th at the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival in Seattle.

The complete interview can be heard Here.  And for more information on the the film, visit Here.

Book Signing:

Fans in New York City had a great opportunity to meet with Wright on April 9, 2011. She was at the Hue-Man Bookstore for a book signing and movie preview for Butterfly Rising.  A friend of skarsgardfans.com was able to attend and take pictures of the event (see below photo). Wright also met with fans in Washington D.C. at Howard University on the 19th for a book signing and discussion.

 

Tanya Wright Book Signing 4 2011 C N.B.

 

Source: skarsgardfans.com – True Blood’s Tanya Wright Talks Butterfly Rising

(Photo Credit: CreateSpace Publishing and N.B.)

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You Are Invited to the Book Signing of ‘Butterfly Rising’

April 12, 2011

Meet Tanya Wright in New York:

Tanya Wright's Butterfly RisingThis Saturday, April 9th, Tanya Wright (who plays Kenya on HBO’s True Blood) will make a public appearance.

Anyone who has a copy of her book, ‘Butterfly Rising,’ or would like to purchase one, can head on down to Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe on Frederick Douglass Blvd. in New York and get it signed by the actress/author. You can also catch the screening of the trailer to the movie.

‘Butterfly Rising’ is the story of two broken souls, Lilah Belle and Rose Johnson, who steal a car and take a road trip to see ‘Lazarus of the Butterflies.’ Tanya wrote this novel in response to the death of her brother. It has now been made into a feautre film.

The full details of Tanya’s appearance can be found on the Hue-Man website.

Source: Hue-Man Bookstore

(Photo Credit: Hue-Man Bookstore)

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True Blood’s Tanya Wright to Speak about Women’s History Month

March 15, 2011

Wright is Presenting at East Stroudsburg University at 4PM on March 15

True Blood's Tanya Wright (Kenya Jones) talks about Women's History Month and her own personal experiencesTanya Wright (Kenya Jones) kicked off Women’s History Month this afternoon by presenting at Beer’s Lecture Hall at East Stroudsburg University (ESU) in Pennsylvania. The ‘True Blood‘ deputy (and tough cookie) is speaking about her journey as a creative black woman in Hollywood, as well as how she learned to develop opportunities as an artist. Wright recently published her first book, “Butterfly Rising,” a story inspired by her own experiences with personal tragedy and transformation. The screen version of the book, which Wright wrote, directed and produced, will soon make its way to the independent film festival circuit.

Wright is currently holding a contest via her “Butterfly Rising” Facebook fan page to help others realize their dreams. 

ESU is planning to celebrate Women’s History Month with a series of events – all open to the public – and at no cost unless otherwise noted. For a schedule of events, please click here.

Source: Pocono Record – ‘True Blood’ actress kicks off ESU Women’s History Month events

(Photo Credit: NYC.gov)

Edited by: Shanea O’Connor

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Enter to Win a “Dream” Consultation with True Blood’s Tanya Wright!

February 21, 2011

Tanya Wright Announces a New Contest for Butterfly Rising

Tanya-WrightDo you have a dream? Is it something you’d like to accomplish but for whatever reason you don’t think you can? Tanya Wright (Dep. Kenya Jones) would like to help you turn your dreams into reality!

In addition to being an actor, Ms. Wright is also a published author of a book entitled Butterfly Rising. But writing the book was only the first part of her dream. Butterfly Rising is now a movie that is both written and directed by Wright. The film is due to make its way onto the film festival circuit this summer. In celebration of her dream coming true, Tanya is holding a contest to help one lucky winner realize their dream with the help of a consultation with her!

The Details

In the movie, Butterfly Rising’s leading ladies Rose and Lilah Belle set out to meet the “Lazarus of Butterflies, a legend who can heal you and make your dreams come true.” In the spirit of the movie, Tanya would like to offer one lucky winner a one on one strategic planning session with her to figure out how they can make their dream into reality! The winner will also receive a copy of the book Butterfly Rising.

To enter, all you have to do is write your dream on Butterfly Rising’s Facebook wall here. Whoever receives the most likes from the community will win.

There is one catch, however. While Tanya Wright will help you strategize about how to make your dream come true, you MUST be willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

So if you are willing to do whatever it takes but don’t know where to start, write your dream on the Butterfly Rising wall and it just might come true!

Sources: Facebook– “Dream Made Real Contest”
ButterflyRisingtheMovie.com– “Writer/Director:  Tanya Wright”

(Image Credit: Westchester Magazine.com)

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Tanya Wright: Overcoming Tragedy with the Help of Her Dog

February 17, 2011

Sharing on the Close Connection to Her Adopted Friend

Tanya Wright and MacarenaTrue Blood star Tanya Wright (Deputy Kenya Jones) like many, has a four legged friend. Her dog, Macarena, has helped her cope and heal during some difficult times in her life. Recently Tanya shared Macarena’s story with peoplepets.com and the immeasurable change she’s made in her life.

Six years ago while hiking in Runyon Canyon Tanya noticed an ad for fostering and adopting black Labs. Coping with the recent loss of her brother, Barron, Tanya didn’t hesitate to call and offer to foster a puppy. The fostering of Macarena quickly turned into adoption as the connection between the two grew.

“She’s been a great source of joy in a way that humans are sometimes not, she teaches me how to keep it light and get out of my head.”

Tanya’s upcoming project, a book and film entitled Butterfly Rising was partially inspired by her relationship with Macarena, who makes a cameo in the movie.

“At that time in my life, I was going through change. I was contemplating my life and what I wanted to do with it. I think the dog was such a vital part of my healing process that it seemed strange not to include her in this story that I was writing.”

Butterfly Rising, the book is available on Amazon. For more information about the movie, visit www.butterflyrisingthemovie.com.

Source: www.peoplepets.com – True Blood’s Tanya Wright Turned Personal Tragedy Around — With Help from Her Dog

(Photo: Courtesy of Tanya Wright)

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Tanya Wright to Appear at Literary Tea

January 3, 2011

13th Annual African-American Writers & Readers Literary Tea

Tanya WrightOn January 17, 2011, True Blood’s talented Tanya Wright (Kenya Jones) will appear at New York State’s Westchester Library’s 13th Annual African-American Writers & Readers Literary Tea along with authors Yvonne Thornton (The Ditchdigger’s Daughters) and Dolan Perkins-Valdez (Wench: A Novel).

Not only does Tanya portray the no-nonsense, Officer Kenya Jones on True Blood, she’s an author, screenwriter and will make her directorial debut with the film version of her novel.

At the Literary Tea, Vassar educated Tanya will be speaking about her novel, Butterfly Rising:

Lilah Belle has always been a trifle odd to folks in her tiny town of Lucasville; a “singer who didn’t sing no more,” Lilah is prone to dancing in the streets, dressing outlandishly and weaving fantastic stories. But when her beloved brother dies suddenly, Lilah’s grief sends her into a topsy turvy tailspin. Desperate to escape her painful new reality, she hits the road with the unlikeliest of travelling companions: Rose Johnson, a newcomer whose scandalous behavior in the small, sleepy town has branded her a scarlet woman. Anxious to escape their bleak realities, the women strike out in a stolen vintage pickup truck, barreling toward a fated encounter with the mythical, magical Lazarus of the Butterflies. Legend has it that Lazarus can “heal you and make your dreams come true.” The adventure that unfolds will transform their destinies, binding Lilah and Rose together forever. Richly evocative, Butterfly Rising is a timeless tale of friendship and courage, etched with pain and joy

If you’re in the Westchester area, be sure to reserve your place for this worthy cause.

Source: Westchester Library

Photo Credit: WestchesterMag.com

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