Netflix debuted their new series First Kill on June 10 to rave reviews. The series is a queer, teenage, vampire love story that is focused on a vampire named Juliette and a vampire slayer named Calliope. Juliette Fairmont, played by Sarah Catherine Hook, comes from a wealthy vampire family while Calliope “Cal” Burns, played by Imani Lewis, comes from a long line of vampire hunters. The two families’ hatred for one another goes back generations and it all comes to a head when the Burns family moves to Savannah, Georgia and the teenagers attend the same high school. The Netflix series is based on the short story by V.E. Schwab with the same and it is reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet as the main characters fall in love despite their families’ beef with one another.
Imani opened up about the show in an interview with the New York Post. "What makes this story unique is that it’s two queer teenage girls. I don’t think we see enough of that,” she said. “And, their fight isn’t with their sexuality, it’s this lineage that they were both born into. I think it’s interesting that they were both trying to prove themselves in obtaining their first kills, but they end up going on this different journey. I think it’s so awesome how it all plays out."
Get to know the killer cast below:
Imani Lewis aka Calliope “Cal” Burns
Imani’s character Calliope and her family are new to the sleepy town of Savannah, Georgia and while she comes from vampire hunters, she has yet to have her “first kill” (coincidentally, just like Juliette.) The 23-year-old actress, who hails from Queens, NY, explained what drew her to Calliope in the NY Post.
“I resonate with Calliope in so many different ways,” she said. “I tried to perform her from a place of strength, strategy, diligence. Being a young actress in a game where everything is a hustle, I related to her discipline and her hunger to prove that she’s worthy. I resonate with that feeling in the entertainment world. The character goes through these emotional changes. I love her combat, I love her agility, but I enjoyed them both equally when it came for her journey with herself and figuring out who she was.”
Aubin Wise aka Talia Burns
Aubin Wise plays Calliope’s mother, Talia Burns, and she teaches her daughter the ins and outs of being a vampire hunter. In real life, Aubin is a mother to a baby boy named Kai and has acted in several TV shows such as Atlanta. She is also a Broadway actress and has played in the popular Hamilton as two characters Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds.
Aubin recently responded to First Kill fans calling her a MILF. “I’m officially a #MILF love love love this 😌🙌🏾❤️,” she wrote.
Jason Moore aka Jack Burns
Jason Moore plays Jack, who is Talia’s husband and Cal’s father. While Cal and Talia are starting to question who the monsters really are, Jack is old school and believes that it is his mission to take down evil which he believes are the vampires. Just like Aubin, Jason’s background is in theater but he has also acted on TV shows such as the Netflix series The Punisher.
Dominic D. Goodman aka Apollo Burns
Dominic D. Goodman plays Apollo Burns and is one of Cal’s brothers. His character is more of a risk-taker than his brother Theo as he likes to go into battle with the monsters. Dominic revealed in an interview with Elite Daily that he actually performed his stunts. “This was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life, and I've done football, basketball, track and field, military training in college,” he said.
Phillip Mullings Jr. aka Theo Burns
Phillip Mullings Jr.'s character Theo Burns is more level-headed in comparison to his brother Apollo, which is also the opposite of his character Mike Alexander on Tyler Perry’s BET+ series Bruh who is a bit of a player. He doesn’t seem to have that issue in his personal life though. He recently got engaged to his Bruh co-star Alyssa Goss. He recently thanked First Kill fans for showing support for the series and his character. “SPOILER ALERT: if you haven’t finished First Kill… do that before you look at this post,” he wrote “The response from you ALL has been overwhelming in the most beautiful way. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Here are some moments I’ve cherished.”
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Featured image by Courtesy of Netflix
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Exclusive: Nivea Gets Real About Her Self-Love Journey And Why Being On ‘Queens Court’ Felt Like Therapy
You may be familiar with Nivea through her hit songs “Don’t Mess With My Man” and “Complicated,” but thanks to her reality television arrival, we are seeing the woman behind the music. The singer stars in the Will Packer-produced Peacock dating series Queens Court alongside Tamar Braxton and Evelyn Lozada. The series features the three women being courted by several men in an effort to find love. From day one, Nivea captivated viewers with her infectious laugh and down-to-earth personality, with many people wanting to see more of the Atlanta native on our TV screens. However, Nivea never expected to have this newfound fame.
“I never thought of myself as no TV personality chile, like never,” Nivea admits to xoNecole. “But watching the show back, I’ve literally catching myself laughing, falling out, screaming, and laughing at myself. So with that being said is that I’m always so uncontrollably myself like it could be shocking, I guess even for me. But I’m glad I made people laugh, or they could relate to me because I was definitely being myself.”
While the dating series was a unique experience for all the ladies involved, Nivea found herself in quite a conundrum throughout most of the show. Unlike Tamar and Evelyn, who were both able to narrow down their options to one guy by the finale, the “Laundromat” singer had two guys she couldn’t quite shake, Ty and Mack. The difficulty of choosing between the two men was apparent as Nivea would often say on the show how both of them appealed to different sides of her. The mom of four tells me that she was really “torn between the two all the way up until the end.”
But in the finale, she made the ultimate decision of choosing herself.
“I’m a very instinctual being, and I trusted honey,” she explains. “I’m so into my intuition, and I really go with [my] gut feelings, and I kept saying I’ll know since it took up to the last dang on day anyway. I said okay, when I’m making this final decision, I’ll feel where my heart is pulling me, what my mind is saying, and everything was saying, nah, neither one was the one.”
She continues, “You know when you know. As I’ve had not-so-great relationships, I’ve had good, healthy ones as well, so I know what that exchange at least should feel like. The same way as you know when something don’t feel right, so I had to say deuces to both of them. And Mack and Ty are so cool, though. I had two cool dudes, I must say.”
"I said okay, when I’m making this final decision, I’ll feel where my heart is pulling me, what my mind is saying, and everything was saying, nah, neither one was the one.”
Nivea is a mother to four children. She shares three children with her ex-husband, singer/ producer The-Dream, and one with rapper Lil Wayne. While those relationships didn’t work out, the “Okay” artist is determined to find her person and credits her self-love journey in helping her weed out those who aren’t worthy of her love. Being on Queens Court complemented her personal journey as she felt like the process was a form of “therapy” for her.
She explains how talking with the guys, the hosts of the series, Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete, and Evelyn and Tamar, helped her see things about herself that she needed to change such as setting boundaries and no longer always putting others’ needs in front of her own.
“Tamar and Evelyn showed me that it’s nothing wrong with being like, ‘I'm not putting up with that shit.’ Like, I don’t have to take this,” she says. “They are very much set in knowing of what they deserve, and anybody that's not honoring that of what they want in their lives then they stop it at the door.
“I’m the 200th chancer, you know what I mean, and now it’s like from not just in every way. I’m not allowing a lot that I would use to in the past. Like uh, uh, stop that bullshit at the door before it festers like I'm used to doing.” While her self-love journey is ongoing, she can now take what she has learned so far and apply it to her dating life. The beloved singer got emotional as she began sharing the type of man she wants in her future.
Photo courtesy of Nivea
“I’m looking for somebody who mirrors me now. That mirroring in the past, my God, and now I’m able to say dang, I did do that. I was a part of that. Now that I love who I’m becoming, I want that mirrored. I’m okay with what’s coming next because I know I’m a better me,” she says as she becomes overwhelmed with emotion.
“I know this time around it will be because, I hate to say it, I've been forced to do self-work and just constantly being let down and disappointed and heartbroken. It forces you to say, like seriously what am I doing wrong? And I don’t like that word wrong because, a lot things are yin and yang, and more left and right than right and wrong.
"Now that I love who I’m becoming, I want that mirrored. I’m okay with what’s coming next because I know I’m a better me.”
She continues, “I’m just ready for the next season, I know that my next forever person is going to be a support system for me. They will be spiritual, they will be educated in many ways. I can feel it. It’s gonna be really powerful and I can’t wait chile. I’m glad I’m finally ready and I can trust myself again.”
Nivea just released her new song “Killa” and will be releasing the music video soon. She is also working on her new album.
Follow Nivea on Instagram @thisisnivea.
Feature image courtesy of Nivea