TV fans looking for something new to stream can check out UrbanflixTV, a streaming service that specializes in diverse entertainment. One of the platform’s original series is the musical dramedy Howard High, focusing on the staff and students of an underperforming high school who rally to save the institution from being shut down.
At the heart of the series is Chrissy Stokes, who stars as Nicki Ross. Her role in Howard High is even more notable because it’s the first time she’s been a regular on a TV series so far! I had the chance to talk with her about making that leap to leading lady and what it is about this series that she loves.
Plus, we look back at her role on TNT’s critically acclaimed crime drama Southland. Get to know Chrissy Stokes here and then watch her in new episodes of Howard High here.
Brittany Frederick: How did you originally get involved with Howard High? Was it just a regular audition? And what was it about the show or Nicki that first had you interested?
Chrissy Stokes: My dad is the director of Howard High, [and] we have this thing where I read his scripts. I don’t usually ask to audition for roles, but I really fell in love with the character of Nicki, so I was like Dad, can I audition? And he’s like, yeah, sure. So then I actually went to the audition that he was holding in his offices and ended up getting the role.
I connected with the fact that she was a young teenage girl trying to find herself, and that she was vulnerable. She wasn’t afraid to show her emotions. I really liked that about her.
BF: The success of high school-themed shows lies in the audience embracing the cast and believing in their chemistry. So what was it like for you to work with your Howard High co-stars?
CS: I absolutely love them. We started the process before just getting on set – we had to go to the studio together, record songs together, and then we had to go to rehearsal and rehearse together. We already were like a family when we got on set, and we still are a family now. We still talk to each other every day.
BF: Do you have favorite episodes or scenes that you’d recommend to people who haven’t checked the show out yet? What stands out from your point of view?
CS: My favorite episode personally is the third episode, but you can’t skip to the third episode, because you’ve got to watch one and two to understand episode three. The entire episode is a rollercoaster ride, but I also like it because it’s still positive. Rght now there’s a lot of negativity going on, so it just gives the family something really positive to watch, and the music…I just love everything about the show.
BF: Where did your original interest in acting come from? Was it growing up in a showbiz family or did it start with something else?
CS: I think it’s because I grew up on the set, I grew up in the studio, so I feel like I was just born to do it. I do think that has a big impact on me wanting to do it now.
BF: One of your very early roles was in the Southland episode “Identity” playing the character Nicole. That’s obviously a very different series from Howard High and it was such a great show. What do you remember from that role?
CS: I absolutely loved it. Working with Regina King was such a privilege; she was so talented. I liked being a bad girl – I like playing characters – so I loved it.
BF: And outside of the show you’re working on another project as well.
CS: During this quarantine, my best friend and I started a YouTube channel to put out content, just us doing makeup and fun challenges. It’s called Chrissy and Miya. That’s also been a fun thing that I’ve been doing, kind of keeping me sane during these times.
Howard High is now streaming exclusively on UrbanflixTV. Sign up now for a 7-day free trial.