ASPiRE (@tvASPiRE) announced that for the first time ever, NBA legend, business pioneer, philanthropist and ASPiRE’s chairman and CEO Earvin “Magic” Johnson will be featured in a new original show on the network: “Magic in the Making.” The special presentation will launch with an illuminating and intimate conversation between the charismatic NBA legend and the brilliant ballerina Misty Copeland – American Ballet Theatre’s (ABT) first African-American female principal dancer. “Magic in the Making” will premiere Monday, March 28 at 9 p.m. EDT exclusively on ASPiRE.
“It is with great pleasure that we present this special presentation of ‘Magic in the Making,’ a show that allows me to sit down and have candid, honest and heartfelt conversations with prominent, successful, extraordinary African-Americans,” said Johnson. “It is an honor to launch this series with the incredible Misty Copeland, who has achieved the highest recognition in her craft and continues to make an impact on our society. Misty is a phenomenal individual who is committed to using her gift and her platform to change the face of classical ballet, but also to insure that more aspiring African-American ballerinas will follow in her footsteps. I am excited to share with our viewers her story of extraordinary success that will inspire and entertain.”
Johnson, with his charming and genuine manner, sits down with the acclaimed ballerina who began her ballet studies at the age of 13. Copeland, who by her own account is “an unlikely ballerina,” shares her impressive and determined rise beginning at the Boys and Girls Club in her hometown of San Pedro, California, where she was first introduced to ballet, to dancing atop a grand piano on the stage of Prince’s 2010 “Welcome to America” tour, to performing with impeccable brilliance coveted classical and contemporary ballet roles on stages throughout the world. Copeland banters affectionately with Johnson about how she defies all odds and the stigma of how a “brown girl” could ever succeed in ballet. In the up close and personal interview between the two athletes, they discuss her commitment to give back, her fight for diversity in ballet, her commitment to inspire other young African-American ballerinas, and her future aspirations to serve as an agent of change. The 30-minute interview special, narrated by M.C. Lyte, was shot in the Baryshnikov Arts Center in the Jerome Robbins Theater in New York.
“It is with high regard that we present this endearing and candid conversation with the incredible Earvin Johnson and the phenomenal Misty Copeland,” said Melissa Ingram, vice president business affairs and channel operations, ASPiRE. “This is the first time that these athletic geniuses have graced the stage together to talk intimately about their talent, fame and aspirations. Earvin has an innate ability to relate to people and make them feel comfortable sharing their innermost feelings and reflections. Our viewers can expect to see both Misty and Earvin as they’ve never seen them. We hope that their conversation will inspire others, particularly the next generation of future game changers and history makers to go after and attain their dreams. Misty did it. Earvin did it and they can too.”
Copeland studied at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive on full scholarship and was declared ABT’s National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000. She joined ABT’s Studio Company in September 2000, joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001, and in August 2007 became the company’s second African-American female soloist– and the first in two decades. In August 2015, Copeland was promoted to principal dancer, making her the first African-American woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history. She also made her Broadway debut in the role of “Ivy Smith/Miss Turnstiles” with the critically acclaimed show, On The Town.
In 2014, President Obama appointed Copeland to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. In 2015, she traveled to Rwanda with MindLeaps to help launch its girls program and to establish The Misty Copeland Scholarship. Copeland is the author of the New York Times Bestselling memoir, Life in Motion, co-written with award-winning journalist and author Charisse Jones, published March 2014.
“Magic in the Making” is produced for ASPiRE by Black Robin Media. Earvin “Magic” Johnson is executive producer. Lynne Robinson is co-executive producer. Victoria Mahoney is director. MC Lyte is narrator. Future episodes of “Magic in the Making” will be announced at a later date.
Follow the series and talent from the show at:
- Misty Copeland on Twitter @mistyonpointe on Instagram @mistyonpointe on Facebook facebook.com/MistyCopeland
- Earvin “Magic” Johnson on Twitter @MagicJohnson on Instagram @MagicJohnson on Facebook at facebook.com/MagicJohnson
- MCLyte on Twitter @mclyte, on Instagram @mclyte on Facebook at facebook.com/MCLyte
ASPiRE is the television entertainment network that presents authentic portrayals of Black and urban culture through stories of Heritage, Heart and Humor. ASPiRE offers a diverse programming mix of movies, series and specials featuring music, comedy, drama, faith/inspiration, theater/performing arts, lifestyle and news/information. The network was launched on June 27, 2012 by Magic Johnson Enterprises, which acts as a catalyst for driving unparalleled business results for its partners and fosters community/economic empowerment by making available high-quality entertainment, products and services that answer the demands of ethnically diverse urban communities. ASPiRE is available in 24 of the top 25 African-American markets including New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, D.C.. For more information, visit www.aspire.tv, facebook.com/aspireTV and on Twitter @tvASPiRE.
About Magic Johnson Enterprises
Magic Johnson Enterprises acts as a catalyst for driving unparalleled business results for its partners and fosters community/economic empowerment by making available high-quality entertainment, products and services that answer the demands of ethnically diverse urban communities. For more information, visit http://magicjohnson.com/enterprises