Although she’s best known for her roles in the sitcoms “Martin” and “My Wife and Kids,” Tisha Campbell-Martin said her character in the Lifetime series “The Protector” is the dramatic role she was looking for.
“I needed someone to see me in a different light than doing a comedy. I wanted people to recognize that I can still do anything. That’s what this did for me,” she said of her Lifetime role as Detective Michelle Dulcett.
While Tisha appreciates her success in comedy, she said drama is where she started, and she’s glad to be back there.
“I actually come from a drama background. I did a lot of musical theater in New York,” Tisha told Sister 2 Sister, but after getting a grasp on comedy, that became her bread and butter.
“I became the go-to comedy and sitcom girl. It’s a thin line between comedy and drama,” said Tisha, who feels comedy is a bit more difficult. “Making someone laugh is harder than making them feel other things. It’s not that easy.”
The veteran actress recounted how comedy clubs were her classroom.
“What I would do is go to the different comedy clubs and sit in the back with the comedians to try to figure out what was comedy. Those are the ones who told real stories,” she said.
That might not seem like the traditional route to TV fame, but Tisha is used to doing what is necessary to survive in her field.
“For most African-American artists, the career lifespan is about five years. Most people don’t realize that. They think it’s easy and easy money. You have to be diligent, relentless and willing to change,” she said.
Watch a clip of Tisha in "The Protector" and tune in Mondays at 11 p.m. (EST).
—Tracy L. Scott