Arts & Culture

UK Alumna Angel Laketa Moore-Tanksley to Appear on ABC’s ‘black-ish’

UK alumna Angel Laketa Tanksley-Moore (far left, front row) is part of this year's series of Gap holiday ads.

Watch the full Gap ad featuring Janelle Monáe that UK alumna Angel Laketa Moore-Tanskley can be seen in this holiday season above.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2017) What does a series of new holiday ads for Gap featuring Janelle Monáe and two episodes of ABC’s award-winning TV show “black-ish” have in common? They all include performances by University of Kentucky alumna Angel Laketa Moore-Tanksley. Her episode of "black-ish" may air as early as 9 p.m. tonight (Tuesday), Dec. 5, on ABC.

Moore-Tanksley will play a character name Erica on the ABC hit. She will also appear in another episode later this season.

Moore-Tanksley, who sent an audition tape for the role because she had a job working for Disney Digital the same day, was excited for the opportunity to work on “black-ish.” “I love the show and the role fit my personality and sense of humor," said the actress. “The filming process was great. I have worked with two different directors so far and they were so nice and warm. Since the show is in its fourth season everything moves very smoothly on set.”

While Moore-Tanksley will reprise her role later in the season, you don’t have to wait to see her on ABC. The actress, singer and dancer is also a host, and produces her own YouTube channel, “That Chick Angel,” where she does daily Vlogs, talks about lifestyle and shares podcasts.

The busy talent started the channel while working on another more personal production — her first child. “I started my channel when I was pregnant with my first son Marcus. My friend Bresha Webb encouraged me to speak on my experience as a pregnant woman.”

Moore-Tanksley, who plans to bring back sketches to her channel in the coming months, as well as add Q&As, enjoys developing the content for her own channel. “I like that I can create whatever I want to in this space. As an actress, I am bound to the vision of so many other people involved, which is great because it's a collaboration. However, with YouTube I am able to use my creativity in a very unfiltered way, which is a lot of freedom.”

The channel also gives Moore-Tanksley a chance to share her personal life with her fans. “My channel is based around my life. so my family is a huge part of my channel. The people who watch my channel on a regular basis are very invested in what I do with my family. They are very encouraging and sometimes offer really great advice.”

In addition to keeping Moore-Tanksley in touch with followers, “That Chick Angel” has opened other doors for her as well, earning her gigs like an interview with the cast of “A Bad Moms Christmas” as well as invitations to speak at conferences.

“Unlike many YouTubers I am a trained entertainer. So, while I don't have the numbers of a big channel, I have the skill set to compensate. When people hire me, they know I will knock it out the park with my charisma, humor and professionalism,” Moore-Tanksley said. “Whenever I get a chance to work with a new company, I make sure that the level of talent and personality that I bring to the job will have them dying to have me work with them again.”

Moore-Tanksley also is a working stand-up comedian, who has performed at all the major clubs in Los Angeles — Comedy Union, Comedy Store, The Improv and The Laugh Factory. She regularly performs at Flappers in Burbank, California.

For Moore-Tanksley, who appeared on the Guignol Theatre stage many times during her studies at UK, comedy speaks to that part of her as an artist. “Stand up is the closest thing to theater that I get to do currently. I get to interact with audience and receive the immediate gratification of hearing them like a performance. I also have the opportunity to improvise on stage, which has become my secret weapon for every job I book.”

Moore-Tanksley earned her bachelor’s degree in theatre from UK in 2002, and more recently was part of the first class of graduates from UK’s arts administration online master’s degree program in 2015. And true to her multi-tasking success, the actress, singer, dancer, host, comedian, wife and mother of three, including twins, finished her graduate studies with a 4.0 GPA.

The UK alumna, who graduated from Lexington’s School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA) and Lafayette High School, was recruited to attend UK by Buzz Burnam and credits the current chair of UK Department of Theatre and Dance, Nancy Jones, for helping her get started in acting.  

“Nancy Jones will forever be my favorite mentor and a great friend to me,” Moore-Tanksley said. “She took me under her wing as a freshman and hired me in my first professional gig in New York. I am eternally grateful to her.”

photo of Angel Laketa Moore-Tanksley on set of "black-ish"
Angel Laketa Moore-Tanksley prepping for filming on the set of "black-ish."

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue