Had the wonderful opportunity to interview Cassandra Cooper Founder and CEO of Matriarch Multimedia and the new Co-Head of Original Content at Punch TV Network which airs in 26 million homes.
Cassandra is dubbed the Oprah, Shonda Ryhmes and Ava Duvernay no one knows about YET…
Cassandra has done some amazing things in her career, which includes working with artists like Jay Z, Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey.
1. When did you realize that you wanted to be in the Entertainment industry?
Maurice Starr, was my neighbor when I was a kid. He discovered New Edition. One of my first gigs was answering NE fan mail with Ronnie’s cousin Teresa Devoe. Watching some young neighborhood kids make it to TV and going on tour, I thought I want to do that. So I tried the girl group route , but I had terrible stage fright. Spint a mini master at Berkeley School of music hoping to develop my skills musically, because I was for the most part a lyricist. I Wrote a few songs for others and had some regional hits, while trying to promote the local artist I met Tyrone Williams (Cold Chillin Records) and Sylvia Robinson (Sugar Hill Records). These two were my mentors. They signed single deals for the two groups I was working with and in the meantime I was given the tasks of working with the labels rooster setting in store appearances, concerts etc. Neither of my groups ever got released but my marketing and promotions career was born.
2. What are a few of the projects that really inspired your soul to create?
A show that began on PIC TV called “Front Seat Chronicles”. I had an opportunity to write a few installments a piece on HIV called “If I tell you” starring Patrice Fisher and another called “156” on bullying. Both came from a deeply personal space For me, and to see it come to life was so personal gratifying.
3. What is a typical day like for you in your business?
As of late I am shooting multiple episodes of the “Hollywood Punch Report” so daily I’m juggling a production crew, serving as head writer and producing new segments for the show. Some days I’m in studio and others I am on location. Right now as we are on deadline, there doesn’t seem to be enough time in a day. My average days runs 12 hours or more and I sell for a few and repeat all over again. I invested in a portable dog carrier so I could bring my dog Robin to the studio otherwise I’d never see her.
4. Who would you say inspires you in your field?
Having a platform and using the medium to speak specifically to people who look like me. Women and people of color are a diverse group and we are unfairly represented. It’s time for more of us to control our own narrative, the good, the bad and the inspirational.
5. What are some of the most difficult challenges that shaped your career?
I always start with one thing in mind and necessity changed my trajectory. I came to LA to write, when the opportunities weren’t there I started producing indie movies, and that evolved into creating a distribution platform to help aggregate the content and recoup my money. Having to let my passions fall to the wayside in the interest of economics has been my biggest challenge. Until now. My new post at Punch TV is allowing me to create and I am being stretched the furthest I have been in years creatively.
6. How long have you been with PUNCH TV
I have been involved with the company since around 2012, first as a producer, then a shareholder and now I am officially a part of the production team. It’s scary and exciting at the same time. We have a unique opportunity to make history and share some great content in that process.
7. What are some of the projects you’re working on now?
Currently, I am producing the “Hollywood Punch Report”, which is a lifestyle show about all things Hollywood. Must see destinations, food, fun and of course stars. We have a morning show in development as well as a scripted nightly soap opera. I’m really looking forward to putting “I get her” a great writing team and giving our viewers some must see TV, that they will be talking about the day after. On the film side, my team and I are producing the “Lost Shepherd” aka Suge, which is the authorize biopic of Death Row Records founder and enforcer Suge Marion Knight.
8. Which celeb did you enjoy working with the most?
That’s a tough one. For me I was around a lot of great people early on in their careers. Probably Mariah Carey, she just so naturally talented. An amazing singer, songwriter and she has endured the test of time, it’s been twenty years and countless hits.
9. What do you want the world to know about Cassandra Cooper?
I’m just a kid from Boston, who had a dream and everyday I wake up and wonder who’s life is this? My real life has far exceeded my dreams. And the rest is still yet to be written.
10. What can we expect to see in the near future from you?
More of the same, I plan to keep creating and making opportunities for others to also have a platform that might not traditionally have one.
11. Any last words you want to share?
If you think you can, you can. Get out of your head and take action, the worst thing that can happen is you succeed.