Meet Tanjareen Thomas!

There is no shortage of talent when it comes to LA based actress Tanjareen Thomas! This ambitious beauty is not only taking over TV, film, &  radio but is the proud owner of her own production company (Citric Cinema) too!

Tanjareen currently plays the role of ‘Rachel’ on the hit show on Bounce TV’s popular urban sitcom, FAMILY TIME. The show includes celebrity guest stars  of Lynn Whitfield, Miguel Nuñez, Lawrence Hilton Jacobs, Jackee, plus comedians Rodney Perry, Al “Hitz” Shearer, and Clayton Thomas!

Tanjareen is thrilled to be part of the successful sitcom, adding; “I can’t believe my mom is Lynn Whitfield! And I’m so excited to be a part of the history on this new network.  We’re making a good quality TV series that shows a family of color in a fun relatable way, without being stereotypical…And being a diverse actress is great.”

She has also been featured in popular  films & shows such as  Johnson Family Vacation,  Without A Trace, Days of Our Lives, &
Girlfriends, just to name a few!  As a radio personality, Tanjareen has co-hosted numerous episodes of Speedy’s Comedy Corner at Jamie Foxx’s Foxxhole on Sirius-XM, Chopping It Up Live on DherbsRadio.com and many weekly talk shows for AfterBuzzTV.

Recently released on November 11th, Tanjareen was featured in Bill Duke’s new coffee table book, “DARK GIRLS,” alongside celebrities such as Lupita Nyong’o, Vanessa Williams and Karli Harvey, all sharing intimate insights on embracing their skin tone. The book offers a full-color companion volume to the acclaimed NAACP Award–nominated documentary “Dark Girls.”

Tanjareen  launched her career at California State University Northridge receiving a BA degree in TV and Film.

Let’s get to know Tanjareen Thomas a little better!

Tanjareen Thomas -photo

You currently star as the sassy sister on the first-ever African-American broadcast network Bounce TV’s popular sitcom, FAMILY TIME! How did you first launch your acting career + how do you get into the mindset of playing your character?

I knew I wanted to be an actor since my 1st school play at the age of 6, so when it was time for college, I majored in Media Management & Production. I did a college internship at Paramount Pictures, and one of the producers there got me a speaking part on an MTV sketch comedy show. (Isn’t nepotism great?) Then I modeled bikinis on one of the talk shows at Paramount and that got me my SAG card. After being in the union, I booked a recurring role on NBC’s CITY GUYS and I was on my way! My sister is my best friend, so playing a close sister on FAMILY TIME comes naturally. To get into the mindset of playing a lipstick lesbian, I think about the lesbian friends I have and how they carry themselves. They’re bold and witty fashionistas who are a lot of fun to be around. And at their core, they’re nurturing and generous. When I’m in my wardrobe fittings and before I portray “Rachel”, I reflect on those women and I think it makes my character really likable.

You were featured in Bill Duke’s Dark Girls, how did you connect with the overall message of the book of embracing your skin color?

Growing up brown-skinned, I learned to be funny and smart at an early age so I could get the same attention I noticed the lighter skinned girls getting. The DARK GIRLS book experience let me know that there were others who knew my struggle. After years of spiritual work, I have learned to truly love my dark skin and I was hoping the book would encourage others to do the same. Unfortunately, after seeing the finished product, I don’t think Mr. Duke chose the best photos to show us in a flattering way. Oh well. His intentions were good :-/

We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you and why?

I’m inspired by so many actresses; Taraji P Henson, Jennifer Garner, Angelina Jolie, Regina King, and Kerry Washington (even way before Scandal), all show how to be fierce, funny, sexy, kick-ass, and excellent at their craft. They can portray comedy and drama equally well and convincingly embody each of their roles.

Living out your dreams can sometimes get to be a bit overwhelming, how do you regroup and motivate yourself when you’re feeling a little defeated?

I keep a Gratitude Journal and I write one page per day of all the things I’m thankful for. It keeps me focused on the wonderful things that I’m blessed with, so I have no time or energy to feel bad about things. If I don’t book an audition or sell a show, I know a better opportunity is coming!

Where do you see your career in acting taking you in the next 5 years?

With a BA degree in Media Production, I’m also a producer. I have 3 TV show ideas in development that I plan on having sold and on the air soon. So hopefully, I’ll be a Black Whitney Cummings with multiple shows on the air that I’m Executive Producing, and I’ll be acting in 1 or 2 of them. (Oh, I guess I’m also inspired by Whitney Cummings and Tina Fey 🙂 ) And in my spare time I’ll co-star in blockbuster films. Hopefully, I’ll get a hot fight scene in one of ’em.

We’re all about empowerment! What does EMPOWERMENT mean to you?

Empowerment, to me, means taking your life into your own hands and being responsible for your own happiness. God allows us to co-create whatever we want in life. So there’s never a reason to moan and complain. If you don’t like your school/your job/your mate, go get a new one. If I’m not happy with the acting roles I’m booking, I can produce by own projects. “The only thing stopping me, is me when I stop!” That’s power.

What are 3 pieces of advice you would give to girls who want to pursue their dreams but are too nervous to start?

1) Ask yourself what you’re actually afraid of…then go for it anyway!

2) Close your eyes and imagine yourself actually doing the thing you dream about. Visualize it, feel it, smile about it. Next imagine yourself 10 years from now, never having tried to reach that dream. What would your job, friends, social life, neighborhood look like without that dream? Visualize and feel that. Now imagine living the rest of your life without ever experiencing that thing that just made you feel good. You owe it toyourself to at least give it a shot.

3) Man the hell up!! It won’t be an easy journey, but if you focus on all the mini triumphs and keep striving, you won’t live your life in “What ifs”.

Time for the Faves! Celeb Crush? Artist? Food? Movie?

I don’t think I have a Celeb Crush, but I love following OchoCinco on Twitter ‘cuz he has a nice chocolatey physique and his tweets are filled with Love and Hilarity.

Artist – I’m embarrassed at how huge of a Lil Wayne’s fan I am. There’s something about ratchet music that just gets me pumped!

Food – vegan soul food (yes, it exists)

Movie – I watch about 9 movies per month, many are excellent. There’s no way I can choose a fave.

Check out more Tanjareen Thomas here!

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