Mamie~Louise Anderson

Born and raised in Harlem, New York City, Mamie-Louise Anderson is Los Angeles-based. She grew up in the Jefferson Projects of el barrio and early public education took place in East and West Harlem. The oldest of four children and parentless since her thirties may explain sympathy for the unaccountable (or "no-account") characters in her fiction. She was lovingly nurtured, coaxed and inspired by a trio of extraordinary race women - goodness graciousness, personified. Artists and loving souls. Gran'ma Rosalie, Aunt Frankie (nicknamed Babaloo) and Cousin-Sister Myrna set the artistic and spiritual standard. The brilliant educators at Harlem's Wadleigh, Jr. High School were so dedicated to Negro progress, that in 1965 they helped young Mamie win a scholarship to the Westover School for Girls, an exclusive prep school in Middlebury, CT where she was one of only two "Negro Firsts" in the inaugural ABC Program. 1969: in life-altering rebellion, she abdicated a scholarship to Yale, one of that institution's first class of women students, for a more phantasmagorical education as a "Liberator" in Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre. She left the bucolic landscape, cloistered courtyard and village greens of New England and hurled herself into the polyrhythmic drama of Harlem at the height of the unruly Black Arts Movement, seeing no way to resist a phenomenon that brought countless artists into the community and, subsequently, the mainstream. An original member of Sonia Sanchez's Countee Cullen Library Writing Workshop in Harlem, early work appears in the Black Arts classic, three hundred and sixty degrees of blackness comin at you, an anthology edited by Sanchez. A detour led to Boston where a brief marriage ended in divorce, yet lifelong friendships were forged in the midst of blizzards. She earned a BFA from Emerson College, graduating magna cum laude when her son, actor, musician, kung fu initiate and producer, Bokeem Woodbine. was only four years old. The path of the single mother began on public assistance and wound through nonprofit institutions and arts communities of Boston, New York and Los Angeles. Anderson worked on parallel tracks of arts educator and administrator on the one hand, and avant garde "artivist" on the other. Recently starring in cabarets with Trevor Ware and Howlett Smith, Mamie~Louise has added jazz vocalist to her resumes (posted on LinkedIn and all casting websites).