Vibrant, creative and armed with an old soul, Alexis Harris and her stories breathe honesty and intentionality, despite living in a society that thrives on sex, drugs, social media and reality television.
A self-proclaimed “actor that produces”, Harris dreams of employing art to change perspectives, values and lives for the better. The first step for the Killeen, Texas native was writing, producing and starring in her own scripted web series, Harper’s Radar, last fall. Over one hundred Southeast actors auditioned for Season 1 of the award-nominated series. Filming for the second season kicked off earlier this month.
Along with “being the best actress of all time”, her ultimate goal is to own a mainstream media company and television network. At 23-years-old with two degrees under her belt and a second season on the way, it’s safe to say Harris is headed in the right direction.
Blossom: How did you get your start in acting and film?
Alexis Harris: My career in acting began in 2013, shortly after appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres show. Ellen chose me, out of 20,000 women, to be the new face of “easy, breezy, beautiful” CoverGirl cosmetics. It was my first time visiting LA and I fell in love with the arts. When I got back home to Texas, I began working at a performing arts center and I fell in love with acting. Then, I moved to Atlanta because of the plethora of opportunities for young women of color. I thank God for leading me down this path – everyone deserves to uncover his or her passion.
Blossom: What type of stories are you passionate about telling?
Alexis Harris: I’m passionate about telling stories that encourage people to avoid succumbing to societal pressures. It’s easy to feel like you should conform to fit in. I want to remind people that it’s okay to be different. It’s cool to have standards. Education is sexy. Morals are attractive. There is more to life than partying, stunting on social media, and trying to keep up with the ever-changing culture. I think these stories are incredibly important.
Blossom: What shows or films or storytellers inspire you to create?
Alexis Harris: Honestly, I think Ava DuVernay is inspirational. Queen Sugar is my favorite show out right now. I think it’s beautifully shot and well written. My mom, Keesha Harris, also inspires me to create. She actually inspired me to write Harper’s Radar.
Blossom: What inspired you to create Harper’s Radar? Tell us about the project.
Alexis Harris: It’s a funny story, actually. Harper’s Radar came about when I was laying in my mama’s bed watching Friday. We were talking about how iconic that film is, especially in the Black community. My mama told me Ice Cube wrote the film and it was one of his first ventures into the film industry. Then she said she wanted to write her own projects one day. Prior to that conversation, I hadn’t even thought about creating my own projects. A few days later, I wrote the entire first season of Harper’s Radar. Harper’s Radar is a web series that follows a young blogger, Harper, who is fearless in her pursuit of authenticity despite living in a world full of selfies, social media, and phonies.
Blossom: Why does the world need Harper’s Radar now?
Alexis Harris: Because it’s different… and it reminds people that it’s okay to be different.
Blossom: What feedback did you receive on the series?
Alexis Harris: The feedback has been incredible. We have been nominated for several awards, including “Best Web Series” [Content Creators of Atlanta Awards] and “Best Promotional Trailer.”
Blossom: How necessary do you think it is for aspiring actors to create their own content?
Alexis Harris: It’s 100% necessary to create your own content. Everyone has a story to tell and it deserves to be told. I’m always encouraging actors to write, even if they think they can’t. There’s freedom in creating.
Blossom: What challenges did you face in creating and marketing your own content? How did you overcome them?
Alexis Harris: The financial challenges were tough. We wanted a high-quality show, which didn’t come cheap. We overcame this by investing in ourselves, crowdfunding, and praying…lots of praying!
Blossom: You are filming Season 2 now. What can we expect? Where can we watch Season 1?
Alexis Harris: You can expect to be entertained! Viewers are eager to find out what happened between Edward and Meredith in the popular “trunk” scene. We have the answers to all their questions. Season One can be found 100 percent free at www.HarpersRadar.com. Season 2 will premiere mid-September!
Blossom: What’s next for you?
Alexis Harris: Next, I’m launching a media company with my brother, D’Eligant “Scrap” Harris. We finally have our own equipment and the freedom to film on our terms!
Blossom: Where can we find you online?
Alexis Harris: You can find me online at www.AlexisAndCompany.com and @CoverGirlAlexis on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. I’d love to connect and collaborate.