VH1 recently announced that Season 3 of its scripted show Single Ladies
would be the last for the popular series. Over the past several seasons, we have watched the main characters of the show deal with love, happiness, sadness and deceit. One important player in all of that has been actress Charity Shea who plays April Goldberg. With a handful of episodes left before the series ends, Charity was kind enough to sit down with us and talk about the shows cancellation, what playing April has meant to her and her love for the fans of the show.
Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us about your character April?
Charity Shea – April is a sweetheart. We always call her the sunshine of the show. She got married at a really young age. When you are 18, you think that is what you are supposed to do because you think you are all grown up. She married the love of her life and then seven years later realizes that she was very domesticated and never really got to hang out with her girls and have a blast. She just became a housewife really quickly. She ends up going out on her own, dating and hanging out with her friends and making different career moves and choices. Throughout all the seasons she is finding herself and learning lessons. She makes a lot of mistakes, but she learns from them. I think she has great integrity and honor and she’s very competitive. She is really a sweetheart and that’s what I really like about her.
Pop Culture Principle – April has had an interesting journey from Season 1 to where she is now. As an actor, how have you enjoyed being on that journey?
Charity Shea – If I look back on April, I mostly think embarrassing. She always had to do some crazy scene. She was kind of the RomCom of the show, so it was always like embarrassing me somehow. I go to kiss Reggie and he pulls away or I did the gynecologist scene were his head gets caught between my legs. All that stuff was very embarrassing, but it’s all really fun. I am more of the lighter side of the show. I never really have the dramatic scenes, at least not in the last couple of seasons. It’s always fun to come to set and get to laugh. Working with Damien Dante Wayans was so much fun because he’s hysterical and Letoya is hilarious as well. So, every day was fun for me working on scenes and laughing hysterically on set.
Pop Culture Principle – In what ways are you like April?
Charity Shea – They call me RomCom in my normal life. I’m the girl who will walk down the street and trip. They’ve all given me that name because they can’t believe all the things that happen to me. I’m like April in that kind of way, but we are different because I have had a long relationship and I have very close tight knit friends. I stick with one guy because I am not into all the dating and I stick with one job. I think we are also the same in that she learns lessons really well and makes mistakes and I do as well. I learn from my mistakes too. I’d like to think that I have good integrity and honor. I also like the tenacity she has in her job.
Pop Culture Principle – All the characters on the show have great taste in fashion. How much input do you have in what you get to wear on the show?
Charity Shea – Yea we do have some input. It does get a bit frustrating because there are so many chefs in the kitchen sometimes. I can have an outfit that Anthony Williams, our costume designer likes and I love and we’ve worked really hard to put it together and then producers won’t like it or they will like something that I am not a fan of. Anthony Williams has to get a lot of outfits together and present them to the producers, so he’s not just finding 5 outfits for an episode, he’s got to find 15 outfits for the episode that are amazing. It’s a lot of work that goes into getting everyone to like the outfits, but sometimes you have to wear something you aren’t comfortable with or don’t like, but I love working with Anthony because with every outfit he always took a chance. So, whether I loved it or not, it made a statement; it was risky and very fashion forward. Even if I didn’t love it, which 99 percent of the stuff I did love, I liked the fact that it was a fashion statement. The fashion on the show is incredible and he is incredible. I had begged the producers to work with him since Season 1 when he first started designing some dresses for Stacey Dash and I begged them to get him to work with all three girls. Finally by Season 3 it happened.
Pop Culture Principle – Single Ladies has such great diversity, was that something that attracted you to the show?
Charity Shea – I think I was attracted to the role because it was really cool that it was very women driven and Queen Latifah was behind it, which was really cool. I like that the show has a Sex in the City feel to it with girls that have strong friendships. I want to try different things out in my career. I got to be on a college show very much like Dawson’s Creek and now I’ve done a show like Sex in the City. So, that’s basically what attracted me to the role. Plus, if Queen Latifah gives you the thumbs up, that definitely has to be a good thing.
Pop Culture Principle – What do you thing separates Single Ladies from Sex in the City?
Charity Shea – I definitely think this has a different feel to it because it is set in Atlanta. I feel that it’s more urban, so it has different storylines that you wouldn’t see in a show based in say Los Angeles or New York. We obviously have 3 women and they had four. We probably would have gone on and had four with Letoya, but I liked that it was all about the three women and then that gave a lot of opportunity for other people to come in. I always called Travis who played Omar the fourth woman. There should never have to be another girl, it should be Omar because he’s so fabulous. So to me, Omar is our other fourth girl because the show is about the four of us. DB Woodside who plays Malcolm is tied to Keisha on the show, so he’s really the Mr. Big of our show.
Pop Culture Principle – Single Ladies creative team is pretty much all female. Do you think that gives a better insight into relationships and situations then if it were an all-male creative team?
Charity Shea – You know, I think it does when you are coming from a woman’s perspective; obviously these are three girls and how we feel. In my situation with the first season, I had to portray what it was like to be one of the women who were involved in a scandal. Whenever you see a scandal breakout, it’s always about the guy that did it, his wife who is the victim and then the 19 other girls. This was really a look inside what it was like for one of those girls. They really are people, they really have feelings and they mess up too and their lives fall apart as well. I think coming from a women’s perspective it’s great to have female writers involved, however it did frustrate a lot of our male co-stars on the show because there was so much estrogen. I do think that men balance women and women balance men. When you have a business with too much estrogen or too many guys in a room, I do think a mix is great because it becomes a balance and it works well.
Pop Culture Principle – If you could sit down with April and offer any advice, what would it be?
Charity Shea – It’s tough because she’s been through so much. I think right now, focus on your career and love will kind of fall into your lap and that’s kind of what she is doing. This season that would be the kind of advice that I would give her. Be yourself, focus on you, do what you have to do, focus on your career and be a strong woman. Love will kind of find its way in and that’s kind of what starting to happen and we’ll see how it plays out with David. It does get really, really interesting and it’s worth watching because the season finale is on fire.
Pop Culture Principle – When all is said and done on the show Single Ladies, where do you hope April is in life?
Charity Shea – If we knew we were typing up loose ends, I would say it would be cool to see her get married because she was so against. It. Obviously for the season finale, I can’t give anything away, but it’s definitely a season finale that should go on, so that’s a real bummer. If the writers knew that this was the situation, they would have tied it up, but I am excited for the season finale.
Pop Culture Principle – VH1 just recently announced that Season 3 of Single Ladies will be its last. What are your thoughts on the series cancellation?
Charity Shea – VH1 doesn’t have that many scripted shows, so I definitely didn’t think they were in a place to lose any. For a cable show on our night, we were usually in the top 5. We do well compared to a lot of the other shows on cable. I guess it’s just a network decision, maybe a change of pace. They wanted to go in a new direction and that’s usually what happens when the head of a network leaves and another one comes in, they kind of want to put their stamp on the network, so I guess that’s what is happening here. That’s show business.
Pop Culture Principle – What will you miss most about Single Ladies now that it has been cancelled?
Charity Shea – You know, that’s a good question. I’ve talked to all the actors personally and we’ve obviously all had our conversations about this. First it’s shock, then it’s confusion and then you start to get depressed and it’s sad. Take away the financial aspect; we’ve been working with these people for four years. You are going to miss working with your friends and seeing the producers and crew every day. You will miss the people who drove you to set every day and your makeup and hair teams. Denise and I are best friends and we will be friends after this, but it’s going to suck not being able to work with her because we love working together. The chances of us working on another project together are very slim. Usually when a show ends, you will stay in touch, you’ll have lunch maybe once a year. There is sadness that I probably won’t see Travis or DB much anymore. We’ll probably do a lunch once every six months or so. Everyone will go their separate ways and play other people.
I will miss April dearly. I love her; I shaped her along with the writers and the producers of the show. We’ve had passionate conversations about April. Sometimes there have been arguments and sometimes we agree, but I’ve fought for this girl, I fought for scenes for this girl. I fought for her development as well as the producers. When you work that hard on something, it breaks your heart to see it go. It doesn’t matter if its 4 years down the road or 10 years down the road, it always has to end. It’s like a break up and it’s never going to be easy. I will miss everybody; I will miss my character and I will miss being one of the single ladies. It’s very sad. I’m not going to lie, I woke up depressed this morning; I walked my dog to feel better. I’m really sad.
Pop Culture Principle – What would you like to say to the fans that have supported Single Ladies?
Charity Shea – We have the best fans! We have the greatest fans ever. They’ve watched religiously and have supported us from the beginning. I just adore our fans. They supported us when Stacy left; they supported us when we changed showrunners and we didn’t know how that was going to go down. They have just been loyal fans from the get go and it means the world to me. I love my Single Ladies fans and I just want to thank them for sure!