With a cute scrunchied afro, radiant ebony skin, and neon patterned attire that would even make Madonna blush, Lark Voorhies was hard to miss casted as lovable party girl "Lisa" on Saved by the Bell. Growing up in Pasadena, California, the 36-year-old was destined to become the next Hollywood starlet. And what better way to turn your silent, sweet shyness into a talent and acting career that boasts a resume of arguably one of the best teen shows - playing Lisa, the infatuation of Screech - portrayed by an actor (Dustin Diamond) who also exposed alleged anonymous sex and partying scandals behind "The Bell" (not to mention a raunchy sex tape that involved the use of feces)? But, there's more to Lark than her exquisite beauty and comic teen sidekick "Screech." She can also thank Saved by the Bell for guiding her to lead gigs in daytime dramas, like Bold & The Beautiful and Days of Our Lives, then films like How High and The Next Hit. Lark took the time out of her busy schedule to jot down almost poetic responses to my go-there questions - like if she would ever do a sex scene, where she believes the gossip about a false drug problem was born, and whether that Saved by the Bell offscreen teen drama was real. Lark Voorhies is back and better than ever! Check it out!
V.B. As a child, you took lessons for various types of dance genres (jazz, ballet, dance, hip hop) and singing lessons. You were also 2, when you started acting. What was your first gig like? Do you remember (or can a relative, etc. recall) when you first wanted to start performing? How did you know, and how did you go about pursuing it?
L.V. Yes, I indulged in both ballet and gymnastics. These days, it's the bar, work, karate, and yoga. They're all fun!
V.B. You/your mother chose to delay your acting career until about the age of 11, because of your shyness. Was this shyness, because of your age or any other insecurities you'd like to share with aspiring youth actors? Do you have any special tips on how to battle stage fright?
L.V. Oh - just simple, shy butterflies. My advice to aspiring talent is to seize the moment. Decide to fly!
V.B. You're most famous for your role as "Lisa" on "Saved by the Bell." Would you say you grew up with your character, in a way that you could relate to her? How were you and Lisa alike (well, at least, as teenagers)?
L.V. I say my alignment with Lisa would be our insatiability, tangibility, and ambition. Our motto would probably be something like "Caption the debut. Seek and staminate the horizon."
V.B. Dustin Diamond spilled a ton of controversial behind-the-scenes mysteries about Saved by the Bell in his tell-all book. Can you confirm if any of those stories are true?
L.V. That's an interesting angle, to which I will answer "No."
V.B. You've been featured in principle roles in many soap operas, including Days of Our Lives and Bold and the Beautiful. What was it like portraying single mom Wendy Reardon on Days of Our Lives?
L.V. It was a beautiful thing - (especially) to work with Dedre Hall.
V.B. You played intern fashion designer Jasmine Malone on B&B, until they wanted you to star in sex scenes - because of your religious beliefs. Would you ever consider doing a sex scene today? What's your take on the sexualization in the media now vs. 20/30 years ago?
L.V. The forbidden (like this sexualization) has always been - and still is - the maximus to our own ascension and discovery. I feel this ascension and discovery should introduce the right place and right time (for sex scenes and sexualization). (Basically, sex should be used appropriately, but ALL the time. I agree :).)
V.B. You made guest appearances on "Family Matters" and "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," mostly playing love interests of the main characters. Being a black woman, how do you view the depictions of certain racial stereotypes or characters in conventional African American family sitcoms?
L.V. I feel they (the sitcoms/characters) are a necessary right of passage into mainstream celebration and proper and/or appropriate, societal, incorporations/introductions.
V.B. You have been a background performer in music videos, alongside Boys II Men, Montell Jordan, and Dru Hill. How do you feel about the illustration of the woman's body in the media - or, say, music videos?
L.V. Throughout history, women have certainly satisfied the muse for many of, our musical heroes. I have not been at disadvantage to be included amongst this rare society - music, or otherwise.
V.B. You were a main character in "How High," a film released in 2001. There seems to be alot of drug and relationship issues involved in that plot. How comfortable were you in that character/storyline?
L.V. Well, I'm not uncomfortable to express the accurate. Certainly, if I have contributed to making safety and awareness a vogue, then I have done my job as a spokesperson. And I'm proud.
V.B. In 1994, you were in a music group initially called the X-Girls or Geneva - with Stacee and Yashi Brown (the daughters of oldest Jackson family member Rebe Jackson). Where were you, when you heard the news about Michael?
L.V. This is true, yes. I'll never forget the pressing news. The inflood of insight and all of the questions - it was all a complexity of overwhelm. I still wish the family an incredible future.
V.B. Your most recent film project - at one point - was a movie version of the book "The Black Man's Guide to Understanding Black Women." Do you see any differences between heterosexual relationships in different races? How's your love life, at the moment?
L.V. I see it all as the common thread of amore. The Greeks themselves have provided multiple avenues of Agapacle explore. Indeed, its modern-day filter does inspire the elite sing of divine.
V.B. In 2006, you filed a lawsuit against National Enquirer for alleging you had a drug problem. Where do you think those rumours derived from?
L.V. Only desperate sources seeking improper vein.
V.B. What's coming up for you now? I heard you were going to debut your new album this year!
L.V. I had the debut film: "The Next Hit" (in 2008). And I am, indeed, introducing my vocal talent!