BOOP AKA MYA

 Over the weekend TFF chatted with the lovely 'Boop' from popular lesbian web series New York Girls TV. Boops character "Mya" is one of the leading ladies on the show and her demeanor, intellect, and sexual energy have made her a favorite amongst NYGTV viewers.

The New York native is no stranger to the arts even though New York Girls TV is her first major acting gig. During our interview we discussed her passion for theater, coming out as a teen, and her first girl crush who wooed her with footsies and fruit cups. Enjoy the interview and share with friends! Miss Boop is absolutely FAB.

Follow Boop on Instagram and check out New York Girls TV by clicking the link below!

TFF: Tell us a little about yourself. Who is Boop and what made you want to start a career in acting?

Boop: Well, I’m young woman who was raised in different sections of New York such as Brooklyn, L.E.S and The Bronx but mostly in Brooklyn. I consider that my hometown. I’m very connected to it. Boop is actually a name someone who I used to be involved with gave me. She called me that because I considered myself the “Black Betty Boop” and since Betty Boop is a timeless classic as well as the first female sex symbol to be as independent as she was, I was instantly drawn to her; even as a kid. My mother would purchase old cartoons for me and Betty Boop was my favorite. She also danced which was my greatest passion at the time.

What I loved about her was that she was a sex symbol and didn’t even know it. In her cartoons, all she wanted to do was have a good time, dance and live comfortable with her little dog pudgy which ironically, I have a small dog myself. As far as acting, I’ve always secretly wanted to do it. I went to performing arts schools because I wanted to major in dance, which I did. However, I’d always find myself very attentive and intrigued by my classmates who majored in drama/theater. I never pursued it but when New York Girls came along, I decided to stop being a punk and go for it.

TFF: Very interesting. What were your hobbies and interest as a kid?

Boop: As a child, I was into arts and crafts. I was pretty much into anything that was crafty from Play-doh to Color-By-Numbers coloring books. I also enjoyed puzzles and playing double dutch (if my mother let me out) Lol. As I got older, I listened to a lot of music. I was obsessed with R&B/Soul and I’d dance in my room to the sounds. If I wasn’t in my room dancing, I was making up dances with my cousins/friends at their house. We loved watching videos and making our own.

Me and my cousins actually did a Source Awards show on our own. I hope no one ever finds it! (Lol) If I wasn’t doing those things, I was writing poetry or giving advice to people in AOL chat rooms. That’s if someone wasn’t on the phone (dial-up days). I was fascinated with the internet and how you were able to communicate with people from all over. 

TFF: You sound like you were a very curious kid! Tell us a little about what coming out was like for you. Were your friends and family supportive?

Boop: I never really came out to my friends or family (except for my mother) since I didn’t feel like I was old enough to outwardly discuss sex. I was very young when I knew so, I kept this to myself. I didn’t think that I necessarily needed to “come out”. I guess as a kid, sexuality is not the most important thing when you’re still too busy trying to pass all of your classes and make sure you don’t end up in summer school. Or being left behind a grade which I never was. My mother is Puerto Rican and those women are HEAVY HANDED. I didn’t want to get my ass whooped. (Lol) However, I finally came out to my mother around the time I was in my sophomore year in High School. I told her over the phone because I was truly afraid of her response. It went exactly like this:

Me: “Mom, I have to tell you something.”

Mother: “What, you pregnant?!”

Me: “No, mom.”

Mother: “You’re gay?”

Me: “Yes.”

Mother: “Well, I don’t know what you want me to say. I mean…I’m not exactly ecstatic…”

So, I guess that was the second worse thing a mother could hear her child tell her and although she wasn’t supportive about it, I didn’t expect her to be. I just told her because I got tired of her asking me about boys and relationships with them. My mother has a thick skin which she raised me to have so I was okay whether she supported me or not. To me, your sexual preference is not something that needs support but rather acceptance and eventually, she accepted it; this was all I needed. My mother eventually became more than supportive though. I think I have the best mom when it comes to that, actually. She even watches NYGTV faithfully!

TFF: When did you come out to yourself and realize you may actually have an interest in women?

I came out to myself after a few games of Manhunt, Hide & Seek and House. I can’t tell you how old I was but I definitely played the Daddy a few times and liked it. (Lol) Women were always sexy to me for as long as I can remember. My first crush was a Jamaican girl in the first grade named Shanae Russel. We played footsies under the lunch table and all of that. She even shared her fruit cup with me at lunch. I swore it was love (Lol) I didn’t know about gay/lesbian lifestyles; I just knew I loved her. 

TFF: That’s hilarious! Ok so on to NYGTV. Tell us about how you ended up on the show and what that experience has been like for you.

Boop: The director of the show, Amira Shaunice, found me through the hashtag #BrooklynLesbian (those things work!) via Instagram. She loved my look and thought I’d be perfect for the role of Mya. I graciously accepted and have been on the team ever since. The experience has been nothing short of amazing.

I personally have been having the time of my life meeting new people, networking and sharing so many ideas with people. It’s inspired me so much to the point where I can’t see myself slowing down. I’m in it for the long run and I hope it exceeds the expectations of the director, cast and fans. We all work so hard but it’s all worth it after we see the finished product and read those comments! (Lol) Of course with the good you get the crazy, not bad. And by crazy I mean a lot of people asking for you in your DM’s on social media. However, whether these people are crazy or just eccentric, they are fans and they deserve love too! (Lol) It just becomes a lot and it doesn’t seem like it’s slowing down. Many people find themselves in my DM’s or inboxes trying to take me to a museum like I’m Mya when that’s not me. I wont say I dislike museums but, that’s not my ideal date. 

TFF: The character Mya is one of the main characters on the show. She’s kind of like our resident Bette Porter. How are you like your character and how are you different?

Boop: Mya’s demeanor is the most in common I have with the character. Everything else is pretty much separate from me other than style of dress because those are all my clothes. (Lol) Boop is a lot less reserved than Mya. There are many things that Mya did that Boop wouldn’t do, for example: Boop wouldn’t go on a date with a married woman, sell drugs, stand Taj up the way she did, let Ashley finish that HORRIBLE and OFFENSIVE speech, kiss someone’s girlfriend at a party, walk around half naked in a hotel hall-well…Boop may actually do that! But you catch my drift. Boop can be professional but once it’s happy hour, it really is happy hour and she has no limit when it comes to fun.

TFF: On the show, Mya is a stud turned femme who prefers to date femmes as well. What are your views on femme for femme relationships in real life?

Boop: Femme on femme relationships tend to be very challenging, not because the two are struggling to figure out who wears the pants, but because many femmes aren’t lesbians to begin with. I remember it being a “trend” and some still consider it to be. A lot of us get caught up thinking that a femme is the perfect type for us as lesbians but many of them are either fed up with with men, bisexual, uncertain, exploring or just plain straight. The hard part is keeping up with these changes while still trying to figure out where the two of you stand. I was so devastated when Tina from The L Word was having cyber sex with a man online. You just never know! But please, don’t even get me started on Studs because that’s a horse of a different color! They have their hurdles, too. 

TFF: Stuck between a rock and a hard place!  Last question. What is your ultimate goal in life and what makes you genuinely happy? What are you passionate about?

Boop: My ultimate goal in life is to help women realize that we need to support one another because I truly believe that we’re the stronger sex and that we deserve more respect; not from society but from ourselves. Although I am a lesbian, this love for women goes much deeper. I have sisters, cousins, a mother I love dearly and female friends who go about their lives who every now and then lose sight of how powerful they are. From the earliest text of any bible to the latest article in a magazine, we’re constantly being shunned or considered a service to man on a much larger scale.

I loathe the fact that we’re half naked or exposing ourselves (I actually empower that but in good taste!) for the likes of others rather than for us to be considered as art. What’s more beautiful than a woman’s body? Women like Rihanna are looked at as trashy to many but I feel like she’s very empowering and the first naysayer WOULD be another woman. We don’t support our own sex at all and it is probably my biggest pet peeve. Weren’t we, as early humans, less clothed to begin with? Were we judged for it and are men equally judged?

There’s a scene in The L Word where character Max (lover of Jenny at the time) discussed how you didn’t have to put a lid on a boiling pot of female lobsters because once they realize they’re in a pot of boiling water, they keep one another down so that NONE of them get out as to say “if I’m not getting out, no one is”. However, you couldn’t boil male lobsters because they’d climb on top of one another to escape so they’d need a top on the pot. I never forgot that scene and it will forever be my favorite because it spoke volumes. After Max finished this story, everyone at the table didn’t care to continue the conversation for lack of understanding.

I understand that we as people of color, need to support one another, but the sisterhood we never truly had, is overdue and if we don’t recognize what it’s doing to our women (not just of color) then we’re just as blind as everyone was at that dinner table in that scene of The L Word.

Aryka RandallComment