What happens when you're an African American Victorian Era loving Anglophile cosplayer? That's actually the jump-off of Aydrea Walden's (Webby nominated) series Black Girl in a Big Dress. The web series follows Adrienne as she navigates re-enactments, and romance from fantasy to IRL.
Walden started out as a newspaper reporter. Doing everything from marching through a booby-trapped cornfield to cover a drug bust, helping a police officer negotiate a standoff, and standing next to one of the most notorious serial killers in the country.
Eventually, Walden realized she could write great, inspiring, and powerful stories without all the life-threatening situations. So in 2002, she picked up the dream again, moved to LA, and started writing scripts.
Walden's writing credits include: Nickelodeon, NBC/Universal, Hawaii Film Partners, Highlander Films, The Second City LATC, iO West, the Now Write! Screenwriting Book Series, Makers Studios, and Disney. And as an accomplished performer, she's also multiple Moth StorySLAM winner, regularly does standup and storytelling shows, and recently completed a run of her one-woman show - The Oreo Experience: A Total Whitey Trapped in a Black Chick’s Body - based on the blog of the same name (which has been featured on Good.is and Jezebel).
About a year and a half ago, Walden was talking to a friend , and said that she wished there was a show that combined all her favorite things: Period dramas, romantic comedy, British-style TV, and sketch comedy. His response, "If you want it, why don't you create it." And couple months later, she had the first season of Black Girl in a Big Dress written.
Walden also says that part of the inspiration for BGDB was wanting to show the diversity within diversity. "There’s still somewhat of an assumption that ‘black’ stories must be very serious or very dramatic, or about struggle," she explains. "But black people also have fun, and play around and love romantic comedies, and do all the goofy things that white people do," she says.
"Black Girl in a Big Dress has fun with one of those goofy things," explains Walden.
Also a point of pride for Walden and the series, it's diversity. "It's becoming less unique, but I'm incredibly proud of how diverse our cast and crew was," she shares. Detailing how the director is a woman, the Cinematographer is from Africa, and that the cast is primarily women. Even Sound, First AC, Makeup, Post Producer are all women.
But if there's one thing Walden wants people to take away from the series, it's this one simple idea. Sharing, "I hope that viewers find the show to be joyful, inspiring, and thought-provoking. I hope that people watching know that whatever their Big Dress is, they should put it on and have a blast!"
Photo by Mark Mulgrew (click here)