SINGLE LADY: LISARAYE MCCOY
In an industry that seems to be constantly looking for “the next big thing,” sustaining longevity and relevance is difficult, if not impossible. But that’s exactly what actress/entrepreneur and humanitarian LisaRaye McCoy has managed to do. From films and scripted series to music videos and reality television, LisaRaye has captivated both male and female fans since she burst onto the scene in the 1998 film The Players Club.
The daughter of a Chicago businessman and former fashion model, has built a successful career portraying women who are both sexy and savvy, resourceful and resilient and who are unapologetically comfortable in their own skin. And, in many ways, these women are much like LisaRaye, herself.
LisaRaye credits the firm foundation her parents provided for shaping her into a confident and resilient performer and businesswoman.
“I learned how to be a boss at an early age,” she laughed. “Growing up in Chicago, I had the best of both worlds. I knew what it was to have a father who was the breadwinner, and a mother who played a more traditional role. My father allowed me to go with him on his business trips around town, and as a kid in my room, I would play both secretary and boss.”
LisaRaye has gone from playing boss to running a growing entertainment empire that includes managing her own busy career to acting as “mom-ager” to her daughter Kai - an aspiring model. And while she has learned a lot on her own in this business, she carefully guides her daughter – both in life and in business – by giving equal doses of sage advice coupled with real-life experience.
“Mother-daughter relationships can be very complicated. First, a child depends on us, then they don’t need us, then they go through a phase when they don’t like you very much, ” she said. “But ultimately, they come around to the point where they can say ‘Mom, everything you said, I don’t know why I didn’t listen!’ There are things I can teach my daughter, but other things, she needs life to show her. So I’m letting her go on her own journey.”
And speaking of journeys, over the past several years, LisaRaye has walked the sort of path that both legends and fairytales are made of. Roughly one year after the end of her hit series “All of Us” – notably executive produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith – her husband Premier Michael Misick announced the end of their marriage. Never one to shy away from the spotlight, the former first lady of the Turks and Caicos Islands was suddenly forced to shoulder the disappointment and pain of a very public divorce.
“I loved being a first lady,” she confided. “It was a fairytale that was mine for that time. I understand and appreciate it , and that experience helps me move forward and makes me strive to do something and more. We stayed married longer than we should have because of everyone else’s opinion about us getting divorced. ”
On her website, LisaRaye challenges visitors to “let go of the past and live a full life;” and that’s exactly the mantra that helped her cope and come out of divorce with a new perspective and renewed determination. “Coming out of that space, I had so many questions: ‘How did I get here and how do I get out of here?’ When you’re going through something, you have to pick yourself up and remember who you were so you know where you’re going. Get up and keep moving, because being broke is not an option!”
Fans of LisaRaye’s hit series Single Ladies on VH-1 will see this same type of growth and transformation in her character Keisha Greene. As LisaRaye shared with us, Keisha has done some learning from past experiences, as well.
“The difference between Keisha last season [versus in the upcoming season] is Keisha is more vulnerable and in love. She is stuck like glue to Malcolm. She’s learned from playing games in the past and now she is happy supporting her man. I think a lot of women relate to the characters on the show because we all know women like them. I love that Single Ladies shows how women communicate and it shows strength in women, “LisaRaye shared. “Friends disagree, but we also love and support each other. I’d like to see more films and televison programs show more of that.”
And to ensure that more programs reflect the lives of real women, LisaRaye is taking on the daunting task of developing projects and opportunities for others. Some of her upcoming projects include the launch of her flatiron line in partnership with beauty brand Redpro.
LisaRaye is known for her chic impeccable style and, of course, wearing her signature color: white. But perhaps the scret to her enduring beauty is her commitment to taking care of herself from the inside out.
She is quick to give God all the glory for everything she has accomplished. And in those moments of quality, quiet time, she makes it a point to relax and reward herself. Her beauty and relaxtion regimine includes the things she loves, like hiking, smooth jazz and feeling the warm California sun on her skin. LisaRaye’s recipe for detox includes a 14-day juice cleanse using green vegetables with an apple which she guarantees will make any woman feel great.
“I’m a leisure kind of woman. I care more about enjoying my time than I care about giving all of my time away. When I feel good, I feel more empowered, and that makes me want to empower others.”
To keep up with the latest LisaRaye news, please visit: http://www.lisaraye.com/
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For more information about Single Ladies, please check out www.vh1.com