Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: House of Payne’s Denise Burse chats up the 2011 NAACP Image Awards and Season 7, Watch Video of “Shout Out” Episode

Photo by Lia Chang

Photo by Lia Chang



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Since 2006, Denise Burse has been serving up sass and displaying an outrageous flair for fashion as Claretha Jenkins, Ella Payne’s best friend on Tyler Perry’s award-winning TV show House of Payne, which began airing new episodes on March 30th.

Fresh from the Atlanta set of House of Payne, the award-winning actress was a vision in a cream colored tuxedo when we attended a concert performance by Marva Hicks in Pat Holley’s Me and Caesar Lee at the Triad Theatre in New York earlier this month.

(l-r) Lia Chang, Peter Jay Fernandez, Denise Burse and Marva Hicks after the concert presentation of Pat Holley's Me and Caesar Lee at The Triad Theatre in New York on April 3, 2011.

(l-r) Lia Chang, Peter Jay Fernandez, Denise Burse and Marva Hicks after the concert presentation of Pat Holley's Me and Caesar Lee at The Triad Theatre in New York on April 3, 2011.

Burse hinted at big developments in Season 7 for Claretha and talked about the festivities of the 2011 NAACP Image Awards in L.A.

“It’s been really hair raising,” said Burse. “I can’t give too much away until they start the new season. She’s in a very interesting storyline. I can only urge you to tune in because many eyebrows will be raised.”

Click here to watch “Payneful Visit,” the episode where Claretha reveals she has leukemia.

About Claretha, Burse shared, “She’s funny, she’s sassy, very sensitive. She is a woman who likes being in love, and has been hurt many times as a result. She has a great big heart. She loves her friends deeply and loyally. She has a sense of flair. I wear outrageous gear and change my hair to fit my outfit. From head to toe. She is always dolled up.”

In March, Tyler Perry and House of Payne won a host of awards at the 2011 NAACP Image Awards, including the 2011 NAACP Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. The Image Awards, first presented in 1967, were launched by the NAACP to celebrate “outstanding achievements by people of color in film, television, music and literature, as well as individuals or groups who promote social justice.”

It was a first for Ms. Burse at the NAACP Images Awards which were held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, to share the glory with her castmates and good friend Samuel L. Jackson, with whom she walked the red carpet. Click here for photo coverage.

“I stayed at my friend LaTayna Richardson Jackson’s and Samuel L. Jackson’s house. I walked the red carpet with Sam, said Burse. “We were going to the same event. He was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor for “Mother and Child” (Sony Pictures Classics). He won. We walked the red carpet together and were photographed-which was a delight. It was a delight to be there with him. We’ve been friends for many, many years. He has always has been very supportive and encouraging. I was just glad to be able to celebrate him as well.”

“House of Payne was nominated again this year for several NAACP Awards, and we won again this year for Outstanding Comedy in a Series,” said Burse. I didn’t know the show won until the day of the actual event. We had a strong sense that we might win. It was nice because a lot of the cast was nominated and my castmembers were there. It was great to be able to rally and support and enjoy each other.”

After the awards ceremony, Burse headed off to Tyler Perry’s First Annual “Rise Above” Celebration held at Boulevard3 in Hollywood. “The party was really fun because I got to see Mary J. Blige, who was named Outstanding Female Artist, perform,” said Burse. “She was off the charts!”

Watch Ms. Burse as Claretha in “Shout Out,” the new episode of House of Payne.


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Related articles:
Video: Denise Burse as Claretha Jenkins in House of Payne Episode “Payneful Visit”
Wikipedia List of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne Episodes

Other Articles by this Author:
Denise Burse & Peter Jay Fernandez Featured in INTAR Reading of Andrew Dolan’s The Many Mistresses of Martin Luther King
Multimedia: The 52nd Street Project Benefit Photos: Michael Cerveris, James Monroe Inglehart, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Matthew Morrison, Greg Naughton and Kelli O’Hara
Michael Cerveris, Matthew Morrison & Kelli O’Hara sing for 52nd Street Project’s Benefit
Eisa Davis Tells Story of Activist Angela Davis in Angela’s Mixtape
Multimedia: Zooman and The Sign Opening Night Party
Denise Burse, Rocky Carroll, Anthony Chisholm, John Earl Jelks and James A. Williams in Radio Golf by August Wilson at The Pearlstone Theater in Baltimore
Slideshow – On October 16, 2005, The Virginia Theatre was renamed the August Wilson Theatre
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography


Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden. Lia currently plays Nurse Lia on “One Life to Live”. She has appeared in Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and “New York Undercover”.

Selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are now in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.

Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Broadwayworld.com, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, thelmagazine.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2011 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com.

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