There is no doubt that all through the years, the recognition of reality tv continues to develop. Nonetheless, as each and every network continues to thrive off of the inception of their new shows, there is constantly a show that has helped pave the way. Quite a few of you might bear in mind the reality show “Baldwin Hills” that aired on BET from 2007 to 2009. The show highlighted the lives of the wealthy African American teenagers that lived in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. All through the series, we have been capable to see each and every cast member flourish as they worked towards their ambitions in life.
It has now been 10 years considering that the show final aired, and I decided to catch up with some of the prominent cast members to see what was it like becoming a reality star back then, the pros and cons of their expertise, and what they’ve been up to more than the years.
Catching up with Moriah Johnson, Gerren Taylor, Justin Walker, Ashley Calloway, and Etienne Maurice will let you to relive that moment of reality tv in the mid-2000s, and also take a appear at the wonderful points they’ve performed considering that the ending of the show.
Q: It appears like most teens nowadays would like to be on reality tv. You had that chance throughout your teen years. What was it like for you to be a reality star back then?
Moriah: It was tight! Undoubtedly an adjustment at initial, but it was an thrilling time for me. I had to get acclimated to becoming renowned, all even though attempting to sustain grades, a regular social life, and my ambitions with basketball at the time. It was a balancing act. It was actually getting the complete globe viewing and judging my individual life choices as a TEENAGER. Every person is not prepared for that type of consideration at such a young age as it can be a present and a curse. Fortunately, my expertise with it helped to mature me. I recall receiving a lot of like from people today, all for representing a optimistic image for my city and black youth all more than.
Gerren: Getting on 1 of the initial reality shows was a gratifying expertise for me. When I was approached for the show I didn’t know if I would have time to do it, but I’m so glad I did. The spotlight wasn’t new mainly because I was 1 of the youngest models in the game throughout my profession. I began modeling at 12.
Nicknamed “Baby Naomi,” I was the initial African American girl to do the Marc by Marc Jacobs campaign. I traveled about the globe undertaking LA, NY, London and Paris Style Weeks. I modeled for the hottest designers like Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Jeremy Scott, Alexander McQueen, and so on. I was also a judge on “America’s Subsequent Leading Model,” and a lot more. I graced the covers of international magazines, guest appearances on the hottest shows, news and entertainment publications. I even got a possibility to be on Oprah exactly where she had me “show her my runway walk” and interviewed me.
When the chance was presented to me to star in Baldwin Hills I was 16-years-old, and a junior in higher college. We had three prosperous seasons just before the show ended. Getting cast in the show helped me to acquire a complete new group of fans my age. I had the chance to meet some of my fans and interact with them. I like providing suggestions and words of encouragement to my peers.
Justin: Even although reality television wasn’t as significant as it is now, to be truthful, it was an eye-opener. Millions dream of becoming in that position & I unquestionably appreciated the chance. Even so, the switch-up was slightly uncomfortable. I under no circumstances sought out recognition just before, immediately after or throughout the show. I constantly just wanted to be Justin Walker, not Justin “the guy from tv”. I’m grateful that I was capable to share pieces of my life, specially the pieces that have been capable to inspire other people. To this day people today come up to me and share how I helped them specially when it comes to their relationships with their fathers and that is what tends to make me pleased.
Ashley: Getting a reality star back in the mid-2000s was a lot distinctive than now. Even though scripted to some extent, our scenes and scenarios have been a bit a lot more all-natural and genuine storylines in fact played out primarily based on how we felt. There was much less fighting and cussing and not absolutely everyone had a big character. It was a lot less difficult then than it is now!
Etienne: Getting a “reality star“ at that time was in fact a definitely enjoyable expertise. I was 16 at the time and I had just performed an episode “My Super Sweet 16” and then “Baldwin Hills” appropriate immediately after. Getting on Television had its perks for positive. My Myspace account was going up and receiving girls numbers at the mall wasn’t as really hard as it utilized to be lol. That was my initial small taste of fame. I was in higher-college and I was on Television? You couldn’t inform me something. I felt like I was the most lit teenager.
Q: What would you say have been the pros and cons of becoming on a show that gained so a lot recognition?
- The influence that it brings (based on how you use it).
- Obtaining the chance to shed a optimistic light on black youth and providing people today my age one thing to relate to. Regardless of whether it was going to Mama J for life suggestions, discussing with my dad which college I really should go to, and as we all bear in mind, dealing with partnership challenges.
- It was motivation to reside with strong character values recognizing that I had all eyes on me.
- The often overwhelming consideration.
- Men and women believing they know all about me without the need of ever meeting me.
Gerren: Pros– For the most aspect it was all optimistic vibes from becoming on the show. I produced tons of new buddies and contacts functioning with BET for these 3 years. I’m buddies with a handful of cast members TIL THIS DAY. There have been the perks of becoming on tv, Lots of Absolutely free stuff 🙂 One particular of the most satisfying pros of the job was that I was blessed to have the chance to travel about the globe assisting young girls with self-esteem challenges and self-like.
Cons– There have been no true cons, but toward the finish of the show there was a perception from some people today that I was a stuck up model. That is the opposite of how I am in reality, which a lot of people today discovered out when they met me in particular person. When I would be out in the streets and run into people today my age, specially girls, they wouldn’t know how to speak to me pondering I’m this conceded diva. After they would strike a conversation they would comprehend I wasn’t that way at all. I’m likely the goofiest, loving, down to earth particular person you will meet. I have a soft spot for babies and modest animals lol.
Justin: I think each chance is a very good chance if you are provided a platform that can assist other people. The “Baldwin Hills” production group and BET did an wonderful job of permitting us to be us and focusing on subjects that necessary to be observed and talked about. Our drama aspect back then wasn’t primarily based on us fighting or displaying our ass. Our drama was each day challenges, whether or not you lived in the hills or the flats in any city, somebody was going to be capable to relate to one thing taking place on the show. Getting on a preferred show back then didn’t spend as a lot as they do now lol, but it did open doors and has permitted me to meet wonderful people today and make relationships that nevertheless flourish to this day.
Ashley: Intriguing adequate, there have been handful of pros for me. Coming from an entertainment household with a renowned mother (Vanessa Bell Calloway), I knew what fame was and all the consideration that it brought and for some cause I was not expecting that with the show. When the show became super preferred it was a bit overwhelming for me and became a big deal when I went to Spelman College for college. The pros have been that people today currently knew my name and felt connected to me in some type but the cons have been just that, people today currently knew me and had a preconceived opinion on who I was. This produced me even a lot more mindful of becoming in the spotlight and how I chose to maneuver.
Etienne: When you get that type of consideration at such a young age you are prone to let all that get to your head. Luckily, I had incredibly supportive buddies and household (specially my mom[Sheryl Lee Ralph]) that have been capable to preserve me grounded.
It was a definitely lovely, empowering moment in my life to be on a show that people today loved and gave a platform to young black little ones to inspire and entertain a generation of young black and brown little ones like myself throughout a monumental time in America. Obama had just been elected as President and was campaigning for Hope. We have been the shining instance of that.
Q: It is been 10 years considering that the show final aired. What have you been up to considering that then?
Moriah: Due to the fact the show ended, I’ve graduated from Tuskegee University with my Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy which I at the moment do for a living. I’ve been preparing to get back in front of the camera, with excellent appreciation for the journey and all that comes along with the procedure of becoming an actor. Due to the fact the show, I’ve also been jet setting! I’ve been to eight distinctive nations taking in the distinctive cultures and all they have to offer you (vlog coming quickly). Usually speaking although, I’ve been focused on attaining economic freedom, education to preserve myself wholesome, and most importantly increasing spiritually and mentally, all even though enjoying life 1 day at a time.
Gerren: These days I’m enjoying mommy-hood. I have a lovely infant girl named Miyoko Amor (@miyoko_amor) who is five. She is my complete life and requires up all my time lol. Now that she’s a small older I’m venturing out a lot more. I’m functioning on my on-line children’s boutique Miyoko’s Closet (@miyokoscloset ), promoting the cutest kid’s garments and accessories, and I’m beginning my management enterprise back up named TaylorMade Models (@taylormademodels). I also perform exclusively with a handful of Hollywood clubs PH Day Club & Ballet Hollywood. I’ve not too long ago gone back to college to fine-tune my enterprise knowledge and enhance my craft. I’m super busy and blessed at the possibilities God constantly presents to me.
Justin: Effectively becoming that it has been 10 years considering that the show I will say there’s been the speak of a reboot (but you didn’t hear that from me lol). I consider it is protected to say that more than the years I’ve been producing babies and infant-producing music lol. I am now a father to six of the most intelligent, talented, lovely and handsome little ones on this planet, Kassidy, Alexa, Santana, Breeze, Blaze, and Bear. In 2017 I was blessed to marry my oh so lovely and wonderful wife Marilee Walker.
Musically, I am half of the production group “SoufWest” with my brother Gumbo and most not too long ago we did production on 10 songs for Eric Bellinger’s “The Re-Birth two,” which is at the moment becoming viewed as for a Grammy. Some of these songs function Jeremih, Victoria Monte, and the late excellent Nipsey Hussle. Also we’ve developed or have written for artists Armon & Trey, PartyNextDoor, ELHAE, Lyrica Anderson, Mario, Wale, Stacy Barthe, Ciara, Leikeli47, Pleasure P, K. Mitchelle, Candice Boyd, Brittany B, Moniece Slaughter, Knotch, Jada Arnell, Watr, Ezelilem, Rauziel, Derrius Logan and Flash Garments.
I’ve been blessed to acquire many awards such as a BMI Award for Danity Kane’s – Broken. I am nevertheless signed to Sony/ATV but also incredibly fortunate to have an amazing group to assist advance my profession, like my new rep Danielle Middleton who goes more than and beyond for me. 2019 has been an wonderful year, I not too long ago began a label “Classic Entertainment Label” with Kevin W., that will be run by me, Rosemarie Tan & Gumbo.
Outdoors of music, I am also maintaining my acting expertise fresh with an upcoming play: “Hello America” by Brandon Rainey. I am traveling the nation as a Youth Motivational Speaker with the organization Sandy Hook Guarantee. I perform closely with pal and enterprise manager Justin Brimmer (Unorthodox Inc), Ivan Jones, Darille Marrow, Joshua “JoJo” Joesph, Neiman Johnson, Chris Porton and publicist Tyra Nicole on 2020 enterprise ventures, ranging from clothes brands to legal marijuana.
Final but not least I am bringing contemporary black corporations to Leimert Park with my brother Joesph Gaspard. It might not appear like a lot, but all of this combined with my little ones and wife, I got my hands complete and I wouldn’t adjust it for the globe.
Ashley: Due to the fact the show aired, I have graduated from Spelman College with honors in Economics and started functioning at Delta Airlines Corporate in sales improvement. Immediately after my time there, I began functioning in entertainment at Inventive Artists Agency in Television and Film then on to Brand Partnerships at Studio71. Now I am a literary manager at Colour Inventive functioning with writers, producers, and directors of colour. On the side, I run my household enterprise the Regency West situated in Leimert Park.
Etienne: 1st of all, I can not think its been 10 years. So a lot has occurred inside these years. I’m nevertheless acting and generating films. I‘m now CEO & Founder of my production enterprise, WalkGood Productions (www.walkgoodproductions). We just closed a deal with a important studio on a show I co-designed and star in. I also have a quick film that I co-developed and starred in alongside Loretta Devine and Aisha Hinds named “The 1st Day Back. It is a strong story directed by Deshawn Plair and co-written by Sade Oyinade about the aftermath of a college shooting in Philadelphia and how this neighborhood will be forever changed immediately after such a traumatic incident.
All I can say is that at the finish of the day, I am blessed beyond measure and I am honored to have produced an influence on people’s lives whether or not it be significant or modest. I just want to continue to make meaningful art, influence a generation, and make my household proud. Forward ever, backwards under no circumstances.
TSR Employees: Jade Ashley @Jade_Ashley94