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A Moment With the Men of Awkward Black Girl, Part 2

Avatar • Nov 14, 2011


Madison Shockley III plays Fred on the Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl


Lyman Johnson plays White Jay on the Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

For the past several months we’ve posted episodes of the Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, and it seems the male cast Lyman Johnson (White Jay), Madison Shockley III (Fred), Andrew Allan James (A) and Tristen Winger (Darius/Baby Voice) have developed quite a fan base here. I thought it would be fun to catch up with the guys. Click here for my interview with Tristen and Andrew.

Are you anything like your ABG character in real life? Do you draw anything from your real life experiences to play your characters?
Lyman (White Jay):
Am I awkward? No. “Awkward” these days seems to mean you’re not only clumsy, but also a bit neurotic. I might be a terrible dancer, but I have enough good sense not to lose any sleep over it, or worse, decide to stop dancing because of it. Contrary to what J says in episode 1, there are far, far worse things you can be than awkward. Judgmental, for one. Do I date interracially? Oh yea, you bet. There are so many wonderful, interesting people in the world that it seems like a bad idea to limit yourself based solely on where you were born. Who knows where your soul mate might come from or look like?

Our world is full of too many arbitrary, mean-spirited societal barriers that isolate us, and exist only in our minds. Some of that probably stems from what Carl Sagan called “dangerous, evolutionary baggage — propensities for aggression and ritual, submission to leaders, and hostility to outsiders”. The rest is fallout from slavery and other colonialist practices. Whatever the case may be, we shouldn’t let any of that stuff stand in the way of people today falling in love with whomever they want.

Madison (Fred): I’m definitely not a “heartthrob” in real life. Thats a hilarious question to answer by the way.The main difference between me and my character Fred is that he tends to be indirect and beat around the bush when it comes to women. I’m definitely more direct and honest about my feelings, even if I’m extremely awkward in expressing them. Unlike Fred, I like to show my interest in a woman by taking her out and learning about who she is before trying to close the deal, if you know what I mean. This is my first time really acting, so in several episodes you can find me smiling a lot. That’s how I am in real life and now I’m consciously trying to tame the smile a bit.

You all fit your roles so perfectly! Can you give us some insight into the casting and character development?
L:
As far as developing new storylines or dialogue, my contributions so far have gone no further than the occasional ad lib or word swap. But that said, the words on a page are only a part of what makes a character come to life. The rest falls on the actors, and to succeed they have to pour themselves into their characters. Furthermore, a good writer will take that evolving personality into account when writing later material. So in that sense my Jay is probably very different from what might have come about had they chosen a different man for the part.

I originally met Issa and Tracy through an old college friend. I heard they were casting an “awkward white guy” so I sent them my reel. Something in there must have worked, because I heard back from them the very next day. By the way, if any readers are interested, they can find my reel, as well as some full projects, at www.youtube.com/lymanjohnsonwork. My full, professional website is still under construction.

M: I knew Issa Rae from childhood when we were in Sunday school together. We re-united via Facebook. Soon after, we met up In Hollywood at the Roosevelt Hotel to discuss working together on one of my projects. A couple weeks later she asked me to be in an episode of her new web series. With no more information than that, I agreed to do it. The producer, Tracy Oliver, who also plays Nina, saw me play guitar one day and thought it was a talent worth showcasing on an episode. That was one time that my real life talents/personality were incorporated into the show.

One of the reasons we love J is that her hair is natural. Are you feeling natural hair?
L:
So much of what girls do to look the way they do is a mystery to me. If “natural” just means not-straightened, then bring it on. I love dreads and loose, wavy curls, but I’m not sure where those sorts of styles lie on the “natural” spectrum. However, I’m not married to any particular hairstyle or color; what looks good on one girl might be horrific on another and vice versa. So much of what makes a hairstyle “work” also depends on the shape of your face and your personality.

M: I’m definitely feeling natural hair, always have. I think black women with natural hair exude a sense of self confidence and individualism that’s really sexy. Instead of trying to conform to a mainstream standard of beauty by using chemicals and weaves, natural haired women embrace the attributes of their hair with styles that make them look beautiful and often unique. J’s mini fro is a perfect look for her and makes her more attractive to me than if she wore a long weave.

Are you single?
L:
I’m actually dating a very sweet and gorgeous girl from Botswana.

M: Yes I’m single.

Describe your ideal girl.
L:
My ideal girl is sweet and silly, with a foul mouth and a healthy disregard for decorum. She also has to be honest and good at communicating when we hit rough patches.

M: I love smart chicks. Intellect, ambition, and being down to earth are some characteristics that come to mind. I’m not simple, so a woman who takes the time to know me and what makes me tick is real important to me. I love all shades and sizes of women so “ideal” for me pertains mostly to a women’s mental. Growing up, my older sisters instilled in my head that I would walk a black woman down the isle though.

So there you have it 🙂 You can find Madison on Twitter @TheodoreMadison and on Facebook. You can find Lyman on Facebook.

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NinaG
NinaG
9 years ago

go Madison’s sisters!!! 🙂
and I like how Lyman mentions his gf is from Botswana lol

June
June
9 years ago
Reply to  NinaG

FYI: Doesn’t mean she is black, just means she is from Africa 🙂

Ogo
Ogo
8 years ago
Reply to  NinaG

ita!

Nubiahbella
Nubiahbella
9 years ago

That interview made me like the show even more.

OH My God, I am like Issa now I don’t if I prefer Fred or white “J” lol!

Niani P.
Niani P.
9 years ago

I freakin love all these guys!!!! Especially Madison (Fred). He should keep smiling I love it, lol

Ari T
8 years ago
Reply to  Niani P.

hehehe…I agree! I love this show with my whole heart!

vxvxixxc
vxvxixxc
9 years ago

OMG — Lyman’s answers were verbally orgasmic! Madison seems like such a sweetheart, and he’s my friend on facebook! Totally a nice guy. Thanks BGLH!

catryn
catryn
9 years ago
Reply to  vxvxixxc

OMG I love that term– ‘verbally orgasmic’. I HAVE to use that in real life !!!

intelligentblackbeautiful
intelligentblackbeautiful
9 years ago
Reply to  vxvxixxc

I agree!!! I thought it was just me that had a moment when I read Lyman’s responses, especially his answer to the first question. But I loved reading all of the interviews, the guys of ABG are just amazing (as characters and in the interviews).

Jade
9 years ago

It was nice to get to know the guys a little better, thank you BGLH!!

Khadijah
Khadijah
9 years ago

Love these guys. Lyman and Madison are awesome. Beautiful men. Thanx

Grey poupon
Grey poupon
9 years ago

Suddenly the dream I had about Fred last night doesn’t seem so random lol

Tasha UK
Tasha UK
9 years ago

Love these guys. On thing I can say about the show is it’s not shallow, and seeing these interviews shows me why, the cast have substance also.

Love White J’s answers also (but I don’t think he got the natural question :)). Fred seems lovely.

Wish the show and both of them all the success!!

Monique, Sofull Sista
9 years ago

Awe — these were AWESOME interviews Leila — thanks for sharing. I love how everyone seems to be real, down to earth, intelligent and talented.

PS — I think it’s funny how Madison said he smiles a lot, but is toning it down for Fred — his smile is just adorable to me.

Juliette
Juliette
9 years ago

I agree Fred has a great smile..I <3 it!!

Juliette
Juliette
9 years ago

great interview both guys are great 🙂

LBell
LBell
9 years ago

YAY! So great to meet these two talented actors. Looking forward to seeing more of them in the future.

Thanks for these interviews, BGLH! 🙂

Asea
Asea
9 years ago

I have to second that YAY! This is awesome! Thanks so much for posting!! I heart this show and will continue to support brothers and sisters (no matter tha color) doing positive things!!

YelloKat
9 years ago

This was interesting. For ABG, I definitely rooted for White Jay up until the last episode. Reading these interviews however, makes Fred sound better on paper at least. Lyman seems like he doesn’t appreciate a classy woman, and that’s not my type of guy. Great interviews, though. Thanks!

Likewaterforchocolat
Likewaterforchocolat
9 years ago
Reply to  YelloKat

I think that white Jay is a liberal guy who doesn’t sweat the small things, does not define life in limited terms or takes life too seriously. I don’t think a quintessential hoity-toity, frou-frou chick would be his type.
Fred seems to know what he wants, is multitalented and artistic and sounds good on paper.

But, it seems that only one is in a committed relationship.

Jordan
Jordan
9 years ago

no i’m even more confused, i don’t know what team i’m on anymore! great interview, i want them both to win J…

Lila Mandela
Lila Mandela
9 years ago

Awww I love them both! The web series is soo good! Issa, you’re the bomb!

Dora
Dora
9 years ago

Lyman is Soo Hot!!!!!!! I love youuu

somer
somer
9 years ago

I love this series. Great interview.

Ogo
Ogo
8 years ago

OMG! Why am I just now seeing this? Great interview! I will now continue to crush on both! Lol.

Starry118
Starry118
8 years ago

Great interview! I enjoyed learning more about the ABG heartthrobs. They’re so intelligent & talented!

Lilly Fioranelli
8 years ago

Oh, sorry. Thumb screws, then. diablo 3 gold

Gabby
Gabby
8 years ago

OMG, thanks for share this interview.
Those guys just rock, I‘m in love for the both of them!!!
They are cute and kind…

I just would like to know if the Botswana Lyam gf is black or white?

Tati
Tati
8 years ago
Reply to  Gabby

Botswana has a very small White African population, so I’d assume that his girlfriend is Black.

And I can’t believe I’m reading this interview just now! They are so sweet. Makes me love White Jay even more <3

Kelly
Kelly
8 years ago

OMG I love this guys sooooo much!! What the f‑in hell why do the guys around here suck so much. I want to have their babies.

Gina
Gina
7 years ago

Oh my Lord, Madison I LOVE YOU if your reading this, can I be that black woman you walk down the isle?

Smart, sexy, talented and he plays the guitar?
AND HE IS INTO BLACK WOMEN?*swoon*

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