Numa’s focus is on exploring themes of identity, feminism, female sexuality, and untraditional family dynamics. It was so great to get the chance to find out a little more about this amazing and talented woman.
Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you get started?
I've been writing and acting since I was a little girl 6, 7, 8 years old. It's always been my life path. I started to explore photography in my early 20's and developed into a visual artist at that time. Now with my company Black&Sexy TV all of those things roll into one.
You have received a lot of support with Kickstarter campaigns. How did you come up with that idea?
I've been watching and supporting other Kickstarter projects for a few years now. We really took our time to build an audience before we launched our first one. So the idea was born from seeing others succeed as well as fail at it. We studied and learned from each along the way - including our own.
YouTube has revolutionized television programming. What has it been like to be a part of this movement?
It's very empowering and exciting. Any idea we have I feel 100% confident that we can produce and have an audience there to respond to it. That's what every performer, writer, and artist wants, a platform to communicate what they are trying to express.
What advice can you offer aspiring producers?
Learn by doing. Be patient and at the same time develop a reputation for keeping your word. When you can't keep your word due to production "issues" develop a reputation for making it go right.
Who are your role models?
Lucille Ball. She's one of the earliest producers, comediennes, and stars all around. I want to create timeless work like hers that defies racial barriers. She broke through a lot of glass ceilings.
What accomplishment are you most proud of to date?
- Growing Black&Sexy TV from the ground up
- Working with HBO to develop my web series The Couple
- Black and sexy has a great deal of programming
Let’s talk hair: What is your regimen?
I'm very low-key maintenance because I do not enjoy doing my hair. I do not enjoy doing my makeup either. Day to day I only wear mascara and light gloss or fun colored lipstick if I'm going out. For my hair I prefer a soft slightly messy look most days. When I need something more put together, I have a great hairstylist who I have trusted for five years with my hair. She does all of my cuts, rod sets, and will press my hair when I want a straight look for something. She is great. In between my appointments with her or if she is unavailable I co-wash my hair. If it's feeling extra dry I will do a longer conditioning treatment, but I don't do this often, maybe 4-5 times a year. Then, I twist my damp hair into Bantu knots and take it out the next day. I use olive oil leave-in conditioner when I remove the knots and if I want more volume I will diffuse the roots. The best days are when it's the second day of my twist out and I don't have to do anything but pin it if I want to and keep it moving.
Has your hair affected your work in your field?
I've been asked to straighten or "tame" my hair for roles. There are also many times I have booked roles partially because the director or casting agents loved my hair. I stay flexible with it. I understand certain roles require different looks. Because of what I do with Black&Sexy TV I feel much less pressure.
What inspired BlackandSexy TV?
It all started with the film A Good Day to be Black and Sexy. I photographed the movie poster and that was my first creative collaboration with Director Dennis Dortch. Dennis then wanted to create YouTube videos to promote the theatrical and DVD release of the film. That then expanded into the first Black&Sexy skits which I helped to produce and cast. During this process I started to have a vision for Black&Sexy becoming a network with serialized content. Dennis shared this vision and agreed that we should move into doing episodic work as well. Next thing you know we were developing some of those skits into series and Jeanine Daniels came up with The Couple. There's more details to how we continued to grow, but that’s the nucleus of how it started. Dennis' long time collaborator and Director of Photography Brian Ali Harding was filming everything and making sure the aesthetics throughout were signature. Together we all made a great team and are still growing the company together. We are all inspired by making a difference and changing the landscape.
I noticed that a lot of the women that are casted have natural hair. Is this intentional or just a result of vast women accepting their natural hair, including actresses?
It's largely intentional. First of all natural hair is so diverse and that it keeps us having the most interesting and beautiful women. Seeing women respond to casting notices and they basically all have the same type of wig or weave in is so boring. We want to be intrigued by what we look at and have it reflect our culture in a way that's often put to the side or not celebrated. We don't have a mandate though. We have actresses that wear their hair straight as their characters or in their real life - or wear weaves that are straight - or more of a naturally curly or kinky texture. We have variety is the point. A true variety of beauty and intriguing looking women, and men I might add.
How do you care for Rockwelle's hair?
Oh I'm terrible. I hate to see her cry or even say ouch. I co-wash her hair just like I do mine and I'll twist it into Bantu knots from time to time to help with the tangles. In the morning I spray it with Curly Q's La La Meringue Curl Moisturizer and I finger comb it. She mostly wears a little ‘fro every day. Occasionally I will brush it up into a top knot or pin the sides with bobby pins to give her a slight frohawk look. I use the olive oil leave-in conditioner on her hair when I can get her to sit still and let me moisturize it throughout. Her hair is in no way perfect every day. I'm not that kind of mom. It's very low key and she's 3. Her hair is very healthy, strong, and 100% natural though so I am very proud of that.
Give us a day in your life. What is your typical day from morning to night? Any rituals?
I wake up every morning around 6 am. I'm the first one to wake. My daughter gets up around 7:30 am and my man works well past midnight most nights so he sleeps until around 7 am. That first hour I just breathe and sometimes will take a moment to visualize something I look forward to happening. I try to focus on being happy and thankful, even if it's for just a moment when I wake because I know it's important to set a tone for my day. All of this thought process happens right away and then I'm on my phone scrolling Instagram and Twitter, reading business articles online, and forwarding relevant ones to my partners. Then, my daughter wakes up and we cuddle in bed for a while. This is a highlight of the day. Then, it's time to get up and get going. If I'm in workout mode however, I wake up put my running shoes on, and get out of the door before I can talk myself out of it. Then, I do my visualizations while I move my butt.
This is really good for me because I clear my head when I'm outside alone like that. I should do that more often! The rest of the day is always in one form of production either writing or prep for a shoot or we are shooting. I'm also working on acting roles and art projects at the same time. I do my best to get something definitively accomplished before my daughter gets home from preschool. Dinner time is family time and nighttime is another segment of the day to squeeze some work in for the many projects we are doing. By 11 pm I'm pretty tired and gotta get my beauty sleep going. I'm not a woman who has a nightly beauty ritual. I just keep my face clean. I do sleep on a satin pillowcase because I don't like wrapping my hair at night. It's not very sexy ya know? I will do it if I really need to protect a specific style but otherwise it's me and my satin pillowcase - hair free for play.