My Nola Life: Onset of TNT Claws Season 3 and OWN Queen Sugar

What’s not to love about a good dramedy starring five badass women slaying from stylish hair do to their blinged out manicured nails and toes!? And I was front and center to see Nicey Nash work her magic! It was an unforgettable experience.

Claws returns for a third season on Sunday, June 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch the teaser trailer above.

Claws, created by Eliot Laurence (Welcome to Me, The Big Gay Sketch Show), centers on Desna Simms (Niecy Nash), the owner of a Florida nail salon, who uses her mani-pedi proprietorship as a front for laundering money for a local pill mill. She is joined there by Polly Marks (Carrie Preston), Annalise Zayas (Judy Reyes), Virginia Loc (Karrueche Tran) and Jennifer Husser (Jenn Lyon). The series also showcases the criminal gravitational force of crime boss Clay “Uncle Daddy” Husser (Dean Norris). Names such as Jack Kesy, Kevin Rankin, Jason Antoon, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Suleka Mathew, and Harold Perrineau also appear on the series.

Like her character, Nash will be on double duty this season as she directs an episode for the first time.

I have to share this!!! I will be portraying an audience member on an episode of Claws in a Mocked Talk Show featuring my favorite spiritual advisor, Iyalna Vanzant!!! Don’t tell Oprah, but I have a special place in my heart for Iyanla, she has brought me out of the basement of life so many times. I can not give out any more info, but please watch the new season 7 of Claws on TNT, and you will see you girl, Dee aka NolaChic!! As Niecy Nash put it in her animated, outgoing voice, “Yall ready?? Cuz the cameras will be on y’all!! The whole world is going to have all eyes on you!! Your friends gonna call you and say Girl you a star 🌠🎬 I saw you on tv!!!”

Iyanla offered to take a picture with us, but time did not permit, and someone was able to get a not so good picture of her and Niecy Nash on set, but nothing like a picture where everyone is cheering. The experience itself will be treasured for the rest of my life, but I’m thankful that a stranger thought so much of me to send me the picture regardless of the quality.

I have been a loyal follower of Iyanla Vanzant’s since the early 90s. I have all of the books, and all that she embodies has helped me throughout my adult life. My Auntie introduced me to her ministry when I was in my early 20s and had I not got “In the meantime,” then, I would still be in it…

What I love about Iyanla is that she’s so brutally raw, but it all comes from a loving, nurturing and caring place. We do not realize how much we need that gut-wrenching truth, and it’s best received when it comes from someone who has walked the walked.

I never understood what people meant until now when they told me to ” Never stop being transparent, never let financial gain water down my writing and never to let the naysayers take my voice!” It’s exactly what Iyanla Vanzant has been doing, using the lowest and darkest places of her life to helping her followers heal.

People are amazed at all. I overcame, and it makes me look back and say, “Wow, how did I survive that!?” ” I didn’t really go through that? Did I???” I never thought that by sharing my story, blogging about my trials, and tribulations that within the pain of my words, I was helping someone else. But I can see it now as I look at my nightstand at the Iyanla Vanzant books I have read, and those books contain her pains, secrets, but she shared to help others such as me. I still have her 1st live show on cassette featuring Howard Hewitt in New Orleans! I feel proud not only to even possess her written and audio works, but proud of myself for using them as life tools and learning life lessons through them.

Isn’t it amazing that our painful testimonies can be used to help someone else as well as heal us? Taking a look back from where we came is healing and reassuring that we can overcome all that is set up to come against us. The past can be a great reminder and encourager that tells a story of how we made it. The very things that we feel will bring us to our graves will gift us and others with life.

We need to feel proud to bear our scars, and maybe we should start showing them off. We need to tell the stories behind the thick dark healed skin that looks ugly and deformed against our beautiful soft skin, but the markings of our scars prove that we have healed and its there to remind and protect us.

Being on set with Niecy Nash and Iyanla Vanzant was inspirational and made me feel proud of all that is the black woman. The energy between them was that of loving friends, and it poured over unto us. I felt that what I missed in the past for whatever delay was waiting for me right around the corner. I felt their shine pushing me into my light. My light may not shine on the screen as their’s, but I certainly have the light on me. Their voices echoed of wisdom and love. And their body language was a queen like yet had a headscarf in their purse. I literally felt their spirit, their fun, charming personalities, and everything that radiated from them; it was indeed a phenomenal experience!

This chance meeting happened out of the blue, and I had only been back home two days before my friend called and told me about the work and they called me the next day. I so much needed to feel free, to get dressed up and not go anywhere in a sense was needed. I’m not quite ready to be around people, I been trying, but this is a complicated process. I try to find Shana in everything I do; she was the. I was saying, “Go, Dee, just Go! They know who you are! Go, Dee!” when there was an event that called for a Nola Chic appearance, but I wasn’t quite sure if they felt that way. I went to events because she told too.

I do feel like I’m on the road, I see my light, and I will get there for it to shine on me right on time. Today, I’m still sad, depressed, but I have joy in my heart, and I’m smiling for the most part.

If my being a part of Claws doesn’t excite you, let me tell you that my eight-year-old daughter was cast on Queen Sugar as Blue’s playmate! It’s a birthday party scene, and she’s the little girl jumping on the bounce house. Let me add that I asked Kofi aka Ralph Angel if I could take his picture and he said, “I can do better than that. Let’s take it together.” Like omg, you know I couldn’t contain myself!!😆😍💕

Niyah did well on set. But on our way to the set she vomited in the Lyft. And the driver immediately said “Lyft is going to send you a bill for $300” without looking back to see that it was primarily on her with a little on his rubber mat; which I cleaned as he drove with my scarf as my baby cried. And said she was sorry. As we exited the highway, I asked if we could stop to wash his mat off, and he agreed when he saw it wasn’t bad at all. He didn’t report it after all.

Went to set and the nervousness kicked in along with some nausea, but she didn’t vomit. Not sure how the cast found out that she wasn’t doing well, maybe it was the scene where she laid on the bounce house, but cast including the director, Kofi Similarly, and his love interest came out to baby her. It really touched my heart that they would care about my baby. They literally spent time with her trying to make her laugh n etc. by asking her questions, asking her about her favorite things, telling their nervous moments and 1st time acting even getting ginger ale n snacks they were terrific! I wish I could let them know how much it meant to both of us that they went so far for my baby. We think superstars are these bigger than life ppl who can’t relate to us. They are us full of compassion, feelings you know, and we need to treat them as we would anyone else.

Kofi Siriboe was willing to take a picture with Niyah after, but my phone died. I think he will be cast again so she can have her memories. But seriously, my baby was worried about Oprah being there, and she wanted to do her best for her. I hope when she goes back, she is over her nervousness. Plus she has a disability brachial plexus, and she didn’t want to be treated any different, because of her hand. No one noticed not even the kids, and that was reassuring for her. I didn’t know just how much all of this affected her we were home. She’s my inspiration, my strength, and joy. Niyah is the definition of an overcomer. She does everything with one hand with hardly any help. She adapts to life so quickly it’s amazing. I’ll share her story soon!

I never thought of an opportunity such as this could happen to me, especially at this time of my life. I remember saying the same thing about writing blogging and working on the radio, but amazingly, I have fallen into these rolls of life with ease. Well, the bad heartbreaking roles resulting in a real-life flat face fall that leaves me bruised and broken, but I rise to the challenge.

My life in New Orleans is filled with days of soulful creativity! The jobs I have taken on since I moved back home are all connected in their various forms of freedom of speech, the use of writing, and telling our stories. It’s as if I was written into all the scripts opportunities that have presented themselves upon my arrival. New Orleans is all that I knew she would be. Amid my pain, she helps me pin my sorrows of my soul, giving me an outlet of healing and freedom. The warmth of love here far better than vitamin D. You never know I may be on this path for my last role as a movie writer ☺️!

A native of New Orleans, who left her beloved New Orleans to spend twenty years of living in the land of Minnesota Not So Nice. Minnesota was full of opportunities but would learn that the soul of the state and the people who made it was just as icy cold as the temperatures. After the years and my 40th birthday flew by, I decided it was time to pack up my youngest child and come back to my roots, my birthplace the city that not only birthed me but gave me life. I would not be who I am without my New Orleans beginnings. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a premature baby born with a severe medical disability. And only With the help of my mother, was it possible for me to BE! I was able to endure and survive the obstacles laid before my child and me. In a city that was built by my family, but did not allow for us to reap the benefits I overcame. Charity Hospital was my second home — a building filled with miracle workers who made it possible for my daughter to have life. I have lived a life of rainy days with peeks of sunshine, that are my children, including those not of my womb. I'm the proud mother of three and a grandmother of three. My dream was to live the life of the nursery rhyme of ”The Old Lady Who lived in a shoe,” and for the most part, I did. I cared for several children over the years as a special needs foster parent. I would learn that my love was not enough for some children, but I loved them through their pain. I'm not sure if I ever had a case of true love or came close to what love looks like on television, but I had my share of men and the mirage of love. I survived two abusive marriages. Though I longed to return to New Orleans on a daily bases, I must admit my move was one of the best decisions made for me. I am a college graduate; I was a successful entrepreneur. I coowned a soul food restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I developed the talent of creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul. He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute. But with the challenge of creating a simple wedding cake, I was able to find healing. I created the House of Cakes in honor of him. Minnesota life had me pretty materialistic. I worked to the point I do not remember much, but work and handing my children love money. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, the ultimate provider and being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me of what I was told was a generational curse of lack of everything from money, love to even self-love. But for the most part, that life poisoned my heart and soul. I was blinded by visions fed to me by the media. I was told I wasn't anything unless I was better than the Jones's. I lived being ok with a broken, bleeding heart. Life like this did not exist in my family while living in New Orleans from what I viewed with my eyes and soul. We may not have had all the things I acquired over the years, but we were happy, we were together. Family outside of New Orleans wasn't family anymore. We lived separate lives and had awkward moments when we bumped into each other in public. I hated living in Minnesota even though life their helped me in so many ways. I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home, myself, my New Orleans. I'm here, and I love it. Even being in the so-called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes, New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together, we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up!. I just know in my heart that New Orleans will provide for me. There's a bank account with funds in it owed to me by way of back pay for my ancestors. And I will receive my inheritance, and I will continue the traditions and customs of the old to keep the heartbeat of New Orleans beating. I'm down in the boot, living the life that feels right to me awaiting my destiny...

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