As a youngster growing up, Angell Conwell began embracing the ways of the stage and screen as a member of the Millie Lewis modeling and talent studio.
It was a highlight in my childhood, Conwell said, recalling a particular drama/comedy/ commercial competition the group attended in Atlanta.
I excelled in those areas, she said. I remember vividly, deciding at that time, that I wanted to actively pursue acting.
Those instincts were lasting ones, and today, the Orangeburg-born and Columbia-raised performer is co-starring in a new sitcom that premiered recently before a national audience.
Conwell has the female lead in Family Time. The comedy is produced by Bounce TV, the nations first-ever over-the-air broadcast television network for African-Americans. The show airs at 9 p.m. Monday locally on WIS TV 10.3 and Time Warner Cable channel 122.
Family Time is based on the life and times of the Stallworths, a working family that hits it big with a scratch lottery ticket. Conwell co-stars with Omar Gooding as Lisa and Anthony Stallworth, who have two teenage children, played by Jayla Calhoun and Bentley Kyle Evans Jr.
I thoroughly enjoy (playing) Lisa because shes written with many fun layers, Conwell said. She holds it down. Im sure many women can relate to Lisa as she handles her business but still manages to take care of home. And she does it with lots of love, laughs and flavor.
The actress said there are many similarities between her and her on-screen character.
She loves her family, shes protective yet loving, Conwell said. She doesnt take herself too seriously. All of those qualities remind me of myself.
But as an only child, Conwell said its been fun interacting with her two TV siblings.
Family Time was created by Bentley Kyle Evans, whose past works include the Jamie Foxx Show and Martin. Conwell said the show marks a major step in her career.
I entered this business at a young age, and Im now nearing 30, she said. Ive played many supporting roles, done lots of recurring and guest star spots but this marks my first lead in a sitcom. Family Time is without a doubt, one of the most exciting projects Ive had the pleasure of being involved with.
Conwell previously played lawyer Leslie Michaelson on The Young and the Restless. She had supporting roles in the comedy Soul Plane as well the Lionsgates comedy The Wash, in which she played a mouthy cashier.
Her Family Time role reunites her with Gooding, whose feature film debut came in Bill Cosbys Ghost Dad and has had several guest roles on the small screen including CSI: Miami and Touched By An Angel.
Its absolutely beautiful working with Omar, she said. Hes a great talent, one of the few thats very skilled in both drama and comedy.
Conwells family moved to Columbia when she was 2. She attended Seven Oaks Elementary School and Irmo Junior High School before moving to Los Angeles, where she was homeschooled. But many of her relatives are still in Columbia and her Granny lives in Orangeburg, giving her good reasons to make regular trips home.
It never feels like a real holiday unless Im around my family.
Family Time, which premiered June 18, is Bounce TVs first original series. The network features a programming mix of theatrical motion pictures, sporting events, documentaries, specials, inspirational faith-based programs, off-network series and original programming.