Monday, August 18, 2014

Exclusive Interview With Torrei Hart (Atlanta Exes)

Acceptance Got Her Groove Back

By Belinda Trotter-James

Torrei Hart is the super talented ex-wife of comedian Kevin Hart.  How could this be?  They would have made a great team together producing some funny material.  Oh well, Torrei is not sitting home crying over spilled milk.  She is knocking down doors with her explosive comedic writing and acting skills.  She produces her own You Tube channel and is one of the cast members for VH1’s Atlanta Exes.  In this exclusive interview we find out that Torrei is this brilliant diamond who time has come to shine.

If you look on the Internet there was a lot of things said about Torrei before the show aired. To try and set the record straight on everything would be like trying to count how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie pop.  “There has been a lot of things said about me,” explains Torrei, “However, on the show you will get to see who I really am. I can't address every single thing so all I can say is that people will have to believe what they want to believe. It is what it is."

Before you can begin your new life as an ex-wife you have to shed the old skin of the wife.  There is definitely a mental healing that must take place. Torrei got through mentally with a lot of fasting and a lot of praying. "I was in denial for a while. I didn't sign-up to be a single mom. I didn't sign-up to be divorced,” explains Torrei.   “I was in denial, but as time went on, I started fasting and really got into the Word. I started speaking to God and asking him questions and waited to hear the answers. That's how I mentally went from wife to ex-wife. When I finally accepted it, I thought, ‘Wow it's not a bad thing after all.’  When the kids go to hang out with Kevin, I got a lot more work done. I started to look at the positive side of the situation.  I had to tell myself, ‘I don’t have the children for three days, so now I can really, really work and not be interrupted.’  I knew that they would be in good hands because they are with their father. So that's how I started transitioning. I would dive into my work and get my projects done.  That's how I transitioned from being a wife to a single mother."
Acceptance, sitting still and listening for the word of God always gets you through life's challenges. It sounds crazy to sit still and think that your problems will just disappear however, when God is in charge, that’s exactly what happens.  "You're supposed to sit still and praise Him," explains Torrei“ When you're praising him you take the focus off yourself and that's supposed to be the plan.   When I wake up in the morning I just start praising God.  I was amazed that I would sit for an hour and a half. I had never done that before. I also noticed that going through what I went through brought me closer to God.  I think that's one of the things He wanted to do.  I just said I'm giving it to You and I'm taking the focus off of me. Once I did that, I started seeing movement and creativity flourishing even more. I saw my attitude changing and I started letting go of hurt feelings or saying things to myself like ‘Why me? Why is this happening to me? I took the focus off of me and put the focus on who it was supposed to be on.
Talk about being at the right place at the right time Torrei goes to the same church as one of the producers of the “Atlanta Exes” show.  Torrei was asked to be in the “Hollywood Exes” however, at the time she was shopping her own reality show and declined to do it.  She didn't close the door totally and told them to keep her in mind if something else should come up.  As fate would have it, here she is being cast for the Atlanta Exes show.  Torrei said it came at a perfect time because she needed a change. "I like the idea of moving to Atlanta and starting fresh," says Torrei.  “It was something that I needed at that moment. I needed a change of pace. I was stuck in a routine in L.A. and I wasn't moving forward like I wanted to. I felt a little stagnant so, it actually worked out good."  The Atlanta opportunity was something that she just could not pass up.  It worked out so good that she's thinking about staying in Atlanta or at least keeping a place to stay so she can go back and forth from L.A. to Atlanta.
Moving to a new city, state or country can be both exciting and scary at the same time.  Finding people who have your same interests is very important when it comes to being comfortable in your new space.   Torrei had met two of the cast members, Christina Johnson and Tameka Raymond. She had knew of them but did not know any of them personally.
Before Atlanta Exes Torrei was keeping herself busy with producing, acting and writing. I had the privilege of viewing some of her work and she's pretty damn good. If you get a chance please check out her Pretty Funny Fish channel on You Tube. She produces and writes all the skits with her partner Simone Shepherd. They edit and distribute the videos out themselves.  Everything is basically done in-house.  The skits were so good and so funny that they caught the eye of Russell Simmons who reached out to her because they were looking for content for Def Digital.  Between writing, producing and having people reach out to her for original, great content Torrei really didn’t have time to cry over spilled milk.  If the milk is still on the floor, it’s probably stale by now! 
Her Pretty Funny Fish channel all started because she, along with her partner Simone, didn't see many comedy roles for women of color. "We did all the hiring ourselves. We hired our friends and brought them on board so that they could get their creativity out and eventually it turned into something bigger,” says Torrei.  “It is very rare for African American women to secure certain types of roles. It's getting better out here, but it's not the same like it is for other races.”
 Companies are starting to realize women shop for everything and they like the color pink. Items that normally had a choice of one color…. silver is now coming in an array of colors. Computers, phones and screwdriver tools are coming in yummy colors.  This does not exclude the beverage industry Torrei has positioned herself in this year.  A complete line of mixers are waiting for your in 1700 Walmart locations by Ms. Torrei Hart called SKIMPY.  The bottles are made in a design that will have you thinking twice about throwing it away.  She was talking with her manager one day and told him of her desire to create some type of juice, mixer or an energy drink.  “It didn’t matter the type of drink”, says Torrei. “I just knew I wanted to be in the beverage market. I just felt that there weren't any beverages that catered toward women of color.  We actually came across as a company in Texas which was women owned who already had different products in the beverage industry. We approach them and it just so happened that they were trying to expand their market.  We ended up partnering and we have a few flavors that are now in 1700 Walmart stores across the country. I really like the company because its women owned and I'm all about women empowerment.  I felt it was a great way for two women who were from totally two different backgrounds to merge.
  Just when you thought Torrei couldn't put anything more on her plate, we find that she and her sister have a foundation called SOAR. "My sister actually started SOAR. We had always wanted to do a foundation and this came about because my sister had been through a bad breakup and divorce. Then with everything I went through in the public eye, we felt like it would be something good to do for women. My family also has a creative center called White Dove. It's for kids and mainly women to come and be creative and get into the arts.  If they're going through any issues in life, this is a place where they can come and be safe.  My sister and I thought we needed a place just like White Dove for women as well because there are a lot of women who are hurting, going through abusive relationships plus breakups and have no place to go. We were blessed enough go through our situations with family and a great support system.  We felt if we could help more people, this would be the way to do it. There are always women who are going through things and don't know where to turn. That's why we decided to start SOAR.”
After all the hurt, the pain, the tests and the challenges Torrei sores to new heights that she probably never thought was possible. If you don't experience life, what the heck would you write about in your book? Everyone has a story and everyone should write a book about life's experience. Torrei is actually in the final stages of finishing her book.  "It's actually done," says Torrei. "I'm in the final stages. I have to do my cover shoot and once I'm done with all of that, I will be looking to put it out in the next couple of months. It's actually my memoir.  Actually, it’s not just a regular memoir; it's a self-help memoir. I teach lessons in the book on everything I went through.  I talk about how I overcame everything that I went through and the tools I used to get back to being in a happy place.

Fans can connect with Torrei in her VIP club where she does different events as well as meet and greets. When you join, you get special VIP privileges when she's in your town. When you come to any of her book signings and you are a VIP club member, you'll get special VIP treatment.  Keep in touch with Torrei on Twitter  and of course Who’s That Lady Entertainment will post updates on Torrei’s busy life.

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