Inspired By — Q&A With Actor-Writer-Producer Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni
Here’s another interview with an inspiring, creative person from Goldstar Pulse. Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni is creator and star of One Drop of Love, a solo show co-produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. She’s a spokesperson on the arts and racial identity, a board member of Mixed Roots Stories, and an honoree at this week’s Media Done Responsibly Awards for her commitment to diversity in Hollywood.
For more about Fanshen, head over to Goldstar Pulse.
Tell us about what you do.
I’m the writer, producer and performer of a one-woman show (One Drop of Love) exploring the intersections of race, class and gender and how these affect our most intimate relationships. I’m an educator and have taught (and learned from) students from all over the world. I’m also an advocate for equity and inclusion at all levels of media content production.
What live show had the most impact on you as a child?
I didn’t have access to a lot of professional live theater growing up, but I remember seeing Whoopi Goldberg’s one-woman show Whoopi Goldberg: Direct from Broadway (originally called The Spook Show) taped as an HBO special and I thought, “Who IS this beautiful Black woman, sharing stories of all these varieties of women!? THIS is what I want to do.” It remains one of the most powerful performances I’ve ever watched.
What accomplishment are you proudest of?
Making One Drop of Love has been so fulfulling. Before writing and performing the show, I had a hard time finding complex roles for Women of Color that I could feel good about. Now, every time I complete a performance, I feel so proud to have gifted myself the opportunity to portray a complex, self-actualized woman.
What personal project are you most excited about now?
We filmed a live recording of One Drop of Love last year and are now submitting it to festivals. I’m very proud that women make up 100% of our key crew positions on the film. We’ve already been selected for the Roxbury International Film Festival (the largest New England film festival dedicated to celebrating films by, for, and about people of color) and in the future I plan to distribute the film to schools and organizations that aren’t able to bring the live show.
Tell us about a live show that excited and inspired you.
I recently had the fortune of seeing Sarah Jones in a workshop production of Sell/Buy/Date. I’ve followed her work for a long time, but hadn’t had the opportunity to see her live. The show blew me away. The writing was superb. Her characters pulled me in and I didn’t want to see them go. She informed us of many sides of an important issue (sex workers) without us realizing for a second — until the very end — that we had been ‘schooled.’
What’s your dream achievement?
To have contributed to seeing Black, Brown, Asian and Native people, differently abled people, LGBTQ communities, and girls and women — all the time — portrayed in the world as the full, complex and strong people I know them (us) to be.