Bennett Belle Tammi Mac is a radio host, television host and actress. Her career in the entertainment industry began at age 16 and was nurtured by Bennett College. Bennett, she said, allowed her to grow in ways that she believes would not have been possible at a larger university.
Mac is the host of “The Tammi Mac Show” on 102.3 KJLH in Los Angeles, rated No.1 among African Americans in the market. Tammi has interviewed celebrities like Will Smith, Janet Jackson, N.W.A, John Legend and station owner, Stevie Wonder. “I talk to Stevie every day,” she said. “He has supported me tremendously in my career and has shown me a lot of love.”
TV and radio hosting are similar according to Mac, the difference being more time to talk with guests on her Fox Soul TV show, “The Tammi Mac Late Show” which features interviews with independent artists, fashion designers, comedians and celebrities.
Acting, however, is Mac’s true passion. Her 2014-2018 one woman play “Bag Lady” is a story of self-discovery: “It allows women to look at their lives and be accountable for the decisions they’ve made. Once held accountable, we have to find the source of our hardships and forgive ourselves.” The play won three NAACP awards for best writer, best producer and best performer. She recently played Keke Palmer’s aunt Ginny on the Lee Daniels-produced show “Star.” “I loved the experience on ‘Star,’ but ultimately, I want to be a regular on a TV series, preferably my own,” she said.
Success in the entertainment industry requires courage and certainty. Mac attributes those qualities to her experiences. “Women specifically are taught to focus on their past mistakes, but we need to also identify what worked. I reflect on how I accomplished something in one place and apply that method to my present situation.”
Some of her experience and much of her confidence comes from her time at Bennett College. “Bennett was very encouraging because I was never told to not do something; when an opportunity was presented, I was able to explore,” she shared. “The small size of Bennett and its individualized attention helped to give me the work experience I needed. Without Bennett, I don’t think I would have the confidence I have as a woman. There, it’s not unusual to be a woman or to excel, it’s the norm and is expected, so I never thought anything was impossible.”
For current Bennett students, Mac’s advice is simple: “Learn everything because you want to know everything, not because you have to.” Don’t focus on being a woman in the workforce, “When you focus on being a woman, you move forward knowing the criticisms and bring that to the forefront, allowing it to defeat you.” She also suggests that Belles continue to apply to the KJLH internship program. “As far as I am concerned you are ‘in.’ We’ve had a Belle intern go on to work for Entertainment Tonight!”