Catch up with Claudia Jordan as she launches a variety of products and produces a new talk show!
We recently sat down with former Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Claudia Jordan to discuss her life after the show. Jordan was excited to talk about her time on TV One’s The Next: 15, where she became close friends with Karamo Brown. Jordan talked about her line of lip gloss and her new handbag collection, and announced that she is also in the process of launching a liquor line. The talk show Jordan created for The Next: 15 is called The Comment and Jordan discusses how different it was from reality and all of the hard work she and Brown put in to make it happen. She also discusses the TV sitcom she is in the process of executive producing, called My Better Half, that will star herself, Nicole Murphy, Miguel Nuñez, Luenell, and Ginuwine. Claudia Jordan criticizes the nature of reality TV and how far from actual reality it can be, stating how happy she is to have rebranded herself and moved forward with business ventures she can be proud of.
I know you’re back in LA. How’s that going for you?
Claudia Jordan: It’s great this time around, but honestly at first I struggled with it. I felt like I left LA for a reason. I was over it. I came to New York and I got the job in Atlanta . So, I felt like I was failing. It’s like kind of moving out of your parents house and then going back. But, I have this psychic. She’s amazing. She told me that I was going to I was going to leave the radio show, she told me to leave way before I left. She was like, “Quit. Leave. That’s not for you. You’re never going to get further along than where you are right now. It’s not for you, it’s not a good fit.” I told her I don’t feel like it’s a good fit either, but I want to finish my contract. She said, “Leave early. You’re gonna regret it if you don’t.” And then she said, “Housewives of Atlanta, they’re going to ask you back in some capacity.” And they did ask me back in some capacity. They asked me back as a friend. She goes, ” I don’t think you should go back.” She said “There’s something for you in LA. Relationship-wise and work-wise.” She said a reality show, she said a panel talk show. She als o said a guy, and what she said about the guy… Everything she said is true. Just everything. I typed everything that she told me and I was just looking at it the other day and everything that she said is on. She said this time around in LA it’s going to be different. It’s different. I’m not going back to – I’m not being a party girl, I’m taking it more seriously and I’m going back more in a different place. Things have been, you know, kind of falling into place. The businesses, I started a lip-gloss line. The Claudia Jordan Collection of seven matte colors. We have seven great colors and they all have kind of shady little names kind of inspired from housewives. Like “Revenge” and “African Prince” and “Eggplant” and “Shady” and “Booked”. It’s cute names. And then I have a purse line, and that’s at claudiajordan.com, that’s fine Italian leather, it’s made in Italy. You know, my mom’s from Italy so I kind of wanted to do something to kind of pay homage. I’m also working with this company to do an alcohol.
So are these things already into play?
Jordan: The bags and the lip-gloss, stuff’s already selling. The alcohol, we’re finishing it up. We’re talking to one of the biggest distributors of alcohol in the country, so exciting. You have to kind of set that groundwork up, you can’t just say, “I have a line”. You have to have the distributors in place that are going to sell it. So yeah things have been going well. And then now I got tapped to EP another project, a scripted show, not reality and its called “My Better Half”. A black sitcom, myself, Miguel Núñez, who plays my husband, Nicole Murphy, we haven’t seen her act, she’s my good friend, Luenell is going to be my mom. Ginuwine is going to be in it, he plays my ex-boyfriend.
When should we be expecting this?
Jordan: We’re shooting the pilot next month and then we’re going to start shopping it. So, who knows, it could be “TV One”, it could be “BET”. But there’s already interest in it. Because you haven’t seen these people together on something. And I’m interested to see like how we all kind of gel together. It’s going to be a fun cast. So, things are moving. I feel like people criticize reality TV a lot, and sometimes rightfully so. But you have to use it for what it is. Get your name out there, get trending, get relevant and then parlay that into something else or then you just wasted your time turning up or being ratchet on a reality show or whatever. Because you take a lot of abuse and hits when you do reality shows.
Right because there is a difference between the reality show and your reality. What do you feel like the difference is in that?
Jordan: The difference is in my real life I would never have any arguments. But in reality TV, I argue with someone every week. It’s like I’m not really in my comfort zone when I’m arguing with people. I either know how to not react or react on one hundred. A lot of times with reality, they won’t show what tipped you off. They’ll show you reacting if they have in your mind that they’re going to cast you as that chick. So, you see me complaining, being mad, being shady about something, but you don’t see how I tried 10 times prior to make it work and then it didn’t work so now… Everyone gets to a breaking point, and I have friends for 25 years, I’ve never had an argument with. But then I go on a reality TV show and first scene we’re fighting, we’re arguing. So that’s the biggest difference from my real life. They don’t really show a lot of my tender moments on reality TV. The reunion though, I have a major breakdown. I do. But it’s some real stuff. You see lip quivering, ugly cry… Just really… Opening up about something that was painful…
How did that feel?
Jordan: It felt good and bad. I felt like, ‘Is this a waste of my truth? Doing it for a reality show?’ You know what the fans are going to do, they’re going to twist it and dissect it and say you’re maybe acting or whatever. But it felt good to kind of get some of that stuff – I felt like I made a statement about something that needed to be addressed, about how women are portrayed and how we’re judged a lot of times. A deeper thing. Deeper and bigger than me.
That may really hit home for some people.
Jordan: The way I was crying, there is no way I’m that good of an actress. I can act, but I can’t act like that. I was just regular, like right now. It was very, very real. I was frustrated. With that show I talk about being sexually abused and stuff like that. And when you have someone who wants to kind of use that against you on the show and then it becomes like a storyline, that’s very painful because I was having a transparent, real moment with her in the context of a two-hour conversation. When it gets edited down, it looks like I just sat down and I just blurted it out to a stranger. And people criticize me for that like, “How could you open up to someone you don’t even know like that? You’re crazy!” No, it was after we got there from something. And I thought that when people open up about things, whether you like them or not, as a human you should just be a little compassionate toward each other. That’s why people are walking past people getting raped in stairways and taking pictures instead of helping. It’s horrible As a society, I feel like we’ve lost our compassion for one another. We don’t look at people like people anymore. We look at them like we can put them on our YouTube page or our Instagram or our snap and we don’t want to help anymore.
Do you feel like we can get that back? If so, how?
Jordan: I think everything is like a cycle. I feel like we’ve all probably been here before as a society, where we didn’t care, and then we started caring again, and then we don’t. You know it’s kind of up and down. I hope we do. I feel like we’ve hit the bottom, and there’s nowhere else to go but up. I feel like people are just so casual about sex, about violence, and we can’t continue at this pace. I don’t think we can. I don’t think it’s possible. I’m an old-fashioned. I want to get back to that. When I hear some of the music now and I’m like, ‘Damn, they just cut to the chase! Where’s the wining and dining?’ Before, in our music, things would be kind of almost written in a language that was suggestive. Now it’s like the first line of the song.
Tell us more about the show. How is it was working with this cast? How is it different from any other reality show you’ve done?
Jordan: I think every reality show I’ve done there’ve been a lot of very strong personalities. And you know if people have a strong personality, they’re going to turn it up even more because everyone’s fighting to be that person that’s talked about on the show. I’m fighting to not be that person that’s talked about on the show. I just want to get this talk show done and be seen in a light where it’s like I’m actually working. I’m doing stuff, I have things going on, I care. I don’t want to include these other people on the show that don’t even want to help, some of them.
On reality, it’s almost like if you’re not drama-filled, then you’re fading into the background.
Jordan: It’s ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’. When I try to rise above it, it’s like, ‘Oh, she’s weak’. But then when you fire back, you’re petty and you’re a bully. So it was tough. I didn’t know Karamo, but its funny because he ends up being the person I ended up being the closest with. You know why? Because he had an amazing work ethic and the least ego of everybody there. And he’s a worker! Since he’s been off reality TV, he’s done other stuff. I can’t say the same for the rest of the cast. And it’s amazing the one’s that don’t have the biggest egos. Not saying that work should define you, because I don’t think it should as a human being, but humble yourself just a little bit, you know what I mean? I’m going to tell you something… Some of these reality folks will have you fooled with their wardrobes and their style and their this and their that. And you’re thinking they’re really doing it big, but they’re borrowing clothes like the next one. And they’re pretending to be rich when they’re not. And they’re lying on websites when anybody can go on Celebrity Net Worth and type in a crazy number that doesn’t really make sense when the numbers don’t add up. Or you can be the one that’s really out there hitting the pavement and auditioning.
I feel like those people don’t get noticed.
Jordan: I get so frustrated when people on social media will act like all I’ve done is housewives and that I’m broke. I have been working since 1994 when I first got in 17 Magazine. I have an IMBD page that has a lot of credits on it. Is it where I want to be? No. But the audacity of someone who did one reality show to look down their nose at someone… Reality is the least of my credits. It’s popular right now, but it’s frustrating sometimes. And that’s why The Next 15, I was excited about coming on the show and being able to show that. My businesses weren’t all up and running at the time, but the talk show – there was so much hard work that we did that didn’t get captured. Karamo and I would be driving up to that studio, writing scripts and emailing each other at three or four o’clock in the morning, not getting sleep, writing out the cue cards, securing studio space, doing run-throughs, securing guests – just everything. There’s so many elements that go into it. It’s not just showing up to the studio and just getting on camera. When the cameras dropped while we were filming… And there’s a lot of stuff we cut out of the pilot that you didn’t get to see. So it was a lot of work. But it gave me confidence after doing that. I saw what we came up with and I thought, ‘I actually can do this as an EP’. And that felt good. So that’s my happy ending on the show.
Tell us more about the talk show. How’s that going?
Jordan: We have some interest, we have a few people looking at it right now, and we have a network exec that reached out and said that she really likes it. So we have a meeting about it coming up in the next two weeks.
With the talk show, what is it most similar to?
Jordan: If you watch Headline News, HLN, they do a whole show on trending topics. So basically our show is talking about what the people are talking about. Really whatever is getting a lot of buzz on social media. Everyone today is talking about Donald Trump. So we would highlight a tweet that has a position on him and then we would discuss. It’s called “The Comment”. We’re commenting on what y’all are commenting on. Karamo came up with that and he did all the graphics. I did all the editing with the special effects and cute little things and extra elements. I want it to be kind of fun and move really quickly. Example, we do talk about Donald Trump, we flash a picture of his hair flowing back. Cute little charts, funny kind of cartoony little things. So we add kind of dings and bells and whistles to kind of keep it going. We had Eric Benét as a guest on the show. We had him on because Halle Berry is going through another divorce, we wanted to get his comment as a celebrity. So we give celebrities a chance to kind of ‘clapback’ on things that were said of them. And then we have a segment ‘Comment Clapback’, sometimes we have a viewer that they may get some flack on their page and you kind of struggle with the decision of ‘Do I respond? Or do I ignore?’ So we kind of give advice on certain things like what you should say. It’s all funny, a little shady, it’s fun and it’s fast moving and it’s not a mean spirited show, but it is fun. It’s going to happen. And not everybody makes it, and it’s sad because I really had the best intentions, but I really wasn’t going to babysit grown folks. If you want to work, then you’re welcome to be on the panel. If you don’t want to work, then you’re welcome to step aside and let the people who really want to work work.
How many are on the panel?
Jordan: It was about to be one, but I love Karamo. They all don’t make it. They all don’t make it… But you see why some folks like NeNe Leaks, like Cynthia Bailey, like Kandi Burruss have been able to parlay reality into other opportunities, while some folks just did a reality show and didn’t do anything else.
So you’ve done TV/radio personality what advice can you give to younger girls that are also upcoming in that field?
Jordan: I would say be careful with your image because once it’s ruined it’s really hard to get it back. Think before you post. Because you may delete it, and then someone else screen captures it, and you might be on this Instagram model thing one day and later on you may turn your life around and you want to do something conservative and it’s held against you . Stand your ground when it comes to these men. A lot of times all that glitters is not gold, and if it doesn’t feel good then there is a reason. God has blessed women with intuition, and a lot of times we’ll ignore it, but that’s what saved us from a lot of bad situations if we would’ve just paid attention. And think bigger. Think beyond a like on Instagram, think beyond being retweeted, think about money, think about that. Be classy. Class is coming back. Not in reality though, it’s hard in reality. But the big money, the Angela Basset’s, the Halle Berry’s, the Idris Elba’s, they’re all classy people. The ratchets are on the lower end. They’re famous, they have a lot of fame, but not as much money. I want the money.
Jasmine Clarke contributed reporting.
Photo credits: Bravo TV