By Mya Kay
For Tara Wallace, the actor, designer and single mother of three, life has changed drastically since her appearance on Love & Hip Hop New York. But there’s one thing she wants people to know for sure – she’s more than just a mother. She’s a multifaceted, down-to-earth, woman of purpose that loves trying new things. This fall, her face will be shown in a different light. From her reality TV debut to her latest role as the host of the upcoming Impact Network motivational talk show, Soul Food, Tara has much to say and she’s now doing it with soul.
Each week, Tara and her guest sit down for a heart-to-heart and discuss their journeys, from breakthrough moments to successful milestones, as culinary expert Chef Nancie (Celebrity Chef, as seen on Good Morning America) cooks up amazing and easy-to-make recipes.
I was able to interview Tara about the upcoming show and also, catch a sneak peek of the episodes. Here’s our chat:
Mya: How did you get connected to the show and what made you say ‘yes’? What was it about this show that made you say I want to do this?
Tara: I’ll start with the second part of that question first. It is extremely important for me to show different sides of myself. Sometimes you do reality TV and you kind of get pigeon-holed or you’re in a space where you feel like you have to do just that. So, I had taken a lot of time off while trying to figure out other things and explore other options for myself. With that being said, I was introduced to a man named Steve Marcano over the phone. I wasn’t in New York at the time so when I made it back to New York, Steve pulled up to my apartment right away, and we had lunch. By the end of that conversation, we were on the phone with Royal (Impact Network’s Chief Creative Officer) and we were talking about, what I wanted to do, and who would I want to sit and talk to. Steve gave a lot of room to be creative and when we actually got to set, Royal was very specific in the direction on what he wanted the show to be and where he wanted it to go. So, when all of that came together, “Soul Food” was created.
Mya: Other than the amazing recipes that Chef Nancie prepares, what is the one thing that you hope people take away from this show?
Tara: Well, the one thing that is inevitable that you will take away is the conversations and what you learn from those conversations. Food is the one thing that brings us together, right. We’re always sitting down with friends and with family, having dinner. I’m from the South so Sundays after church you go to someone’s house to have dinner. So, it’s like the bonus to sit down, have this conversation and enjoy an amazing meal. It’s extremely true to life. This is what we really do – something so simple yet so impactful being brought and displayed on Impact is amazing. So, I think that’s what I want people to take away from this because people are sharing some really deep things about themselves, things that perhaps we didn’t know, perhaps we didn’t think that person could’ve gone through such. I think that it’s so weird when people are stunned by obstacles that people have to overcome. But it’s just as common as anything else and it shouldn’t be such a, I can’t believe this, but rather how did they get through this? Let me prepare myself. What are some of the steps that they chose so that if this happens and when it happens what can I take from this to move forward? For me, in a time where we’re kind of living off of the quick fix of Instagram, where we’ve done our makeup and then we put the filter on that and the picture is perfect, we forget about the real life and what it took to get to that picture.
Mya: Since you have been on a show that may have shown you in a negative light, you’ve had to work over the years to take good care of your soul. What is your recipe for your soul care?
Tara: Well, the recipe for my soul care is I try to do everything in love. I think that’s the one thing that’s just natural. You don’t have to think about it. I’m all about what feels right and a lot of things that we do, whether they feel right or wrong, it’s already in you and it’s already there. These things don’t have to be necessarily taught. I always try to move in love. I always try to be open to change, especially since I’ve worked in TV before. The one thing that it has taught me is that there will be change and you need to be ready to move when that change happens. So, it’s constantly just resetting that button to love, what feels natural, and most importantly loving myself. I mean we feel gracious with everyone else but we always kind of forget ourselves. Just because I’ve gone through obstacles doesn’t mean that I don’t love myself, you know. I have a lot of love for me and I think that’s important – that we remember to give ourselves the same love and grace that we give other people.
Mya: I loved all of the episodes, especially the one with YoYo, but what is one thing you took away from each of your guests?
Tara: With YoYo, she was very transparent about the things that she’s gone through. A lot of times we think people have arrived when we see them on TV or in the industry. They don’t understand that it’s just as important that you go and find a job and sometimes, there’s a lot of space between one job to the next. But because they’re in the public eye you think people have arrived and they’re not struggling, so for her to open up and share that, to be so vulnerable to share her journey was important. With Marcus, it was he believes what he believes, and he stood on what he believed when talking about Black love and loving his wife in a time where, it’s just not the conversation that people want to have. They want to talk about options and other things, but he’s saying, I don’t care what everyone’s talking about. What I need for my house and what I need for my family to function is to show that I care about this woman and her day-to-day. I think it’s really important for us to hear that. And lastly, with Jamila, I call her a local Super Woman or Wonder Woman, because Jamila just has the ability to make people feel so special and she took everything that she did wrong and even though she had to pay the price for it, she turned that around and showed us how you can change your life when you are focused and all that can be accomplished when you do. Those are all of the things that I took away and I hope other people will to.
Soul Food, Impact Network’s first lifestyle show, will premiere on Saturday, September 3, 2022. Impact Network is the fastest growing 100% founded and operated African American network available in over 80 million homes. Special Guests for season one includeHip-hop legend Yo-Yo; community activist Jamila T. Davis, and Love & Hip Hop star and artist Marcus Black. “SOUL FOOD with Tara Wallace” is Created and Executive Produced by Royal Jackson & Steven Marcano (SMH Group).