It was early on during Los Angeles's shelter-in-place order when Sherry Cola, a stand-up comic who plays the groundbreaking Chinese-American lesbian character Alice on Freeform's Good Trouble, spoke with us for Inside With the Advocate about her routine for staying in place. Like many, Cola had watched Netflix's addictive documentary series Tiger King. But unlike the masses who engaged in social commentary around it, while watching the series she realized she had a painting of Big Cat Rescue's Carole Baskin hanging on the wall of her apartment.
While discussing Tiger King, Cola turned her camera to the painting and proclaimed, "It's Carole Baskin [replete with a crown of flowers and hugging a lion]!"
Comic and actress Cola's star really began to rise when she joined the cast of the spin-off of the beloved series The Fosters, which follows Callie and Mariana Adams-Foster (Maia Mitchell and Cierra Ramirez) to a communal living space in downtown Los Angeles where they begin their post-college lives. Cola plays Alice, the people pleaser who runs the space called the Coterie, whose denizens are multifaceted and diverse in terms of their careers, passions, race, sexuality, and gender identity.
"In the Coterie, we've just become a family. I feel truly grateful that we love each other in real life. We're checking in during this quarantine," Cola says of her cast.
During the conversation, Cola weighed in on her character's storyline in season 2 where Alice's partner Joey (Daisy Eagan) came out as nonbinary, a plot that offered visibility to an underrepresented part of the community.
"I love that Good Trouble deals with identity in every aspect. We don't [often] see the layers of LGBTQ community within a couple. It was really beautiful to show that," Cola said. "Alice is very much trying to discover herself, and her partner, who she really cares about is now going through something as well. And to see how she deals with it in a real way — Alice can have moments of non-PC-ness. Truly, Alice is figuring it out. She's so new to the queer community."
Cola went on to regale with tales of her Good Trouble audition, the world of stand-up, and just how that Carole Baskin painting ended up in her living room. She also shared about what she's most proud of as a member of the LGBTQ community when Pride is really year-round.
"I'm really proud of my community. That means my peers, my Asians, my queers. Everyone is sticking together even though we're apart, checking in through Zoom, which is the official sponsor for this quarantine by the way," Cola says sotto voce.
"People are really sticking together even though we are supposed to social distance. We are emotionally nondistancing, which is a beautiful thing," Cola says.
Check out other episodes of Inside With The Advocate, which features an array of virtual stories with LGBTQ artists, trailblazers, and allies including Rosie O'Donnell, Emily Hampshire, Harvey Guillén, Ross Mathews, Kalen Allen, Fortune Feimster, Bruce Richman, Tonatiuh, the Indigo Girls, Josh Thomas, and Mary Lambert.