Episode 217 - Erica Gimpel

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Erica Gimpel is an actor, singer-songwriter, producer and screenwriter. Known internationally for her performance as “Coco Hernandez” in the groundbreaking hit series FAME, Erica has gone on to star in numerous primetime and cable shows including: CHICAGO MED, SHUT EYE, TRUE BLOOD, CRIMINAL MINDS, GREY’S ANATOMY, NIKITA, RIZZOLI & ISLES, HOUSE, ER, PROFILER, and VERONICA MARS. Most recently Erica played "Trish" on the CBS drama GOD FRIENDED ME for two seasons.

Film credits include: TUESDAY MORNING RIDEwith Ruby Dee, Wayne Wang’s SMOKE opposite Forest Whitaker, Abel Ferrara’s cult classic THE KING OF NEW YORK with Christopher Walken, Hal Hartely’s NO SUCH THINGwith Helen Mirren, FREAKY FRIDAY opposite Jaime Lee Curtis, ROMEO AND JULIET IN HARLEM, with Harry Lennix and Aunjanue Ellis. Next, Erica will be seen in SYLVIE'S LOVE with Tessa Thompson on Amazon Prime’s special Christmas release.

Off-Broadway and Regional credits include: originating the roles of “Mayme” in Lynn Nottages’saward-winning INTIMATE APPAREL, “Glory Bee” in Sam Shepard’s STATES OF SHOCKopposite John Malkovich, and “Nelly” in Jose Rivera’s EACH DAY DIES WITH SLEEP. Erica received the Los Angeles Stage Raw Award for Best Solo-Performance, for her dynamic portrayal of multiple characters in the one-woman play SISTER by Michael Phillip Edwards.

Having earned gold and platinum records for her work on FAME. Erica began producing her own music as a singer-songwriter. The title track from her debut album SPREAD YOUR WINGS AND FLY is featured in the indie film HILL and GULLY, anOfficial Selection at Pan African de Cannes.

As a screenwriter, Erica is currently developing several projects through her company WOMANS PARADISE PRODUCTIONS, dedicated to creatingfemale driven stories that inspire hope, passion and healing. Erica is the recipient of the LA Femme Film Festival’s “INNOVATIVE AWARD”, and is also an active member of the world peace organization, the SGI-USA dedicated to pursuing the values of peace, culture and education.

Over the years Erica has used her talents to highlight different causes near to her heart by creating and producing benefit concerts focusing on women’s issues, homelessness, child abuse and the rise is of racially motivated acts of violence. Knowing first hand the transformative power the performing arts has on young people's lives, Erica teaches and mentors young artists whenever her schedule permits.

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