The first time I officially met Franceli was at a recent photo shoot campaign for National Hispanic Heritage Month. Her personality lit up the entire room. Franceli Chapman is a force of nature with endless energy. She exudes positivity wherever she goes, particularly within the entertainment community. She started her own talk show, “Celi’s Hangout” that airs every Monday at 7:30 pm is broadcast live using Google Hangout. Each week the show features a roundtable of guests who openly discuss topics ranging anywhere from how to live on an actor budget, to finding an Agent, to Latinas speaking out. Franceli continues to encourage those in her community by engaging them and forcing them to stand up and be counted. Check out my discussion with her below.
Q: What part of the Bronx are you from?
A: I’m from the South Bronx.
Q: Describe what you do and how long you’ve been doing it.
A: I am an actress/writer who’s decided to take matters into my own hands. I started performing at an early age, but my first professional play was 9 years ago. I went on to write a play that was produced at the Castillo Theater and create/host my own Talk Show called Celi’s Hangout!
Q: “Celi’s Hangout” is the perfect outlet for indie artists to openly discuss the logistics of surviving in entertainment and being successful. What sparked the idea and how do you prep for the show?
A: My Mom loves Oprah! She can do no wrong in my household lol. The new wave has arrived, Google Hangouts and in watching other Hangouts I thought to myself this would be cool if we had a platform for artists to have roundtable discussions that aren’t being had. I used to be a radio personality in college for a popular hip-hop station in Virginia and this was a way of meshing all the things I love. I get to talk to people, inspire others & create something I hope is meaningful.
Q: What are some future plans you have for “Celi’s Hangout”?
A: I plan for Celi’s Hangout to be a full fledge engagement & meeting of the minds with our artistic community. Bringing folks together. The “Oprah for Artists” (jajaja) but seriously I want the panel to have big names and not so big names on the same panel talking and sharing their point of views from both sides of the coin.
Q: We recently spoke about the lack of diversity in the industry – why do you think it’s easier to portray Latinas or black women as a caricature rather than a real person for network executives?
A: I feel that the industry is taking two steps forward while taking one step back. There is a surge of independent work that is beautiful & real, yet the mainstream women are the stereotypes of maids or over sexed. Caricatures are easier to handle. We don’t have to take them serious or respect them for that matter. There is so much to say about this but I digress.
Q: Any final words for the readers of Uptown Collective?
A: Stay true to who you are. Don’t sacrifice you for what you think “they” want. YOU were uniquely made and it sets you apart, use that to make others see that YOU are what they want! God Bless!