In July 2020, KJ Smith, an actress and producer, was excited to get back to Atlanta. Ms. Smith plays Andrea Barnes, one of the lead characters on Tyler Perry’s BET comedy-drama, “Sistas,” which had pushed back shooting because of the pandemic. The cast and crew were filming new episodes, and Ms. Smith had decided to vlog her experience returning to a television set in the midst of Covid.
While waiting for a flight filled with her co-workers to take off from Los Angeles to Atlanta, Ms. Smith figured she’d start her vlog by asking some of her castmates to introduce themselves to the camera.
“I turn on my camera, and the first person I see — and maybe because that’s the person who I wanted to see — was mister tall, dark and handsome, Skyh Black,” Ms. Smith, 38, said.
She asked Mr. Black to tell the camera about himself, and he explained that he was joining the cast as Jacobi, a recurring character, who would appear in 17 episodes.
“I was shocked by the sound of his voice, I wasn’t mentally prepared for it to be so deep,” Ms. Smith said. “It just made a really incredible first impression, because he wasn’t putting on airs and I could tell.”
Mr. Black was also intrigued by his first meeting with Ms. Smith, but because of Covid precautions that the cast and crew were taking, they didn’t spend much time together. They both returned to Los Angeles, and in November 2020 Mr. Black booked a leading role on “All the Queen’s Men,” another BET series. When Ms. Smith saw the news in January 2021, she messaged Mr. Black on Instagram to congratulate him. They exchanged numbers, and talked on the phone for five hours over the next two days, covering everything from their careers to their fathers, both of whom had died.
“We talked about so much,” Mr. Black, 35, said. “The conversation was effortless.”
They met up a few days later at Zuma Beach, in Malibu, Calif., where they had a picnic. Mr. Black was trying to impress Ms. Smith, and brought her flowers. Ms. Smith, however, showed up in sneakers and her hair in two pigtails, thinking it was just a casual meet up to talk about acting.
“If I would have known it was a date, I definitely would have dressed differently,” she said, with a laugh. “He really knocked me off my feet right away with the effort and the intention, because I had frankly never been treated that way.”
On their second date, they had food delivered to Ms. Smith’s house in Los Angeles, where Mr. Black worked up the courage to ask her to sign a “general, all encompassing” nondisclosure agreement. She agreed, and Mr. Black also signed hers. After signing them, they felt they could be completely open with each other.
“It sounds transactional, but it was the safest thing we ever did,” Mr. Black said. “That was the beginning of where we are now. I’ll never forget that.”
When they returned to Atlanta to film in February 2021, they tried to keep their relationship a secret — there was a no fraternization policy on set. In spring 2021, they told Tyler Perry, who is a writer, director and executive producer on “Sistas,” and an executive producer on “All the Queen’s Men,” about their relationship, and by summer 2021 started to be more open about dating.
“I think the two of them were made for each other,” said Mr. Perry through his publicist.
For Mr. Black’s birthday in February 2021, Ms. Smith surprised him with an alto saxophone — the same type that his grandfather had bought for him when he was young, which he had pawned to move to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
“I met the love of my life, so I want to do everything with him,” Ms. Smith said. “Even if I’ve gone swimming a million times, I want to go swimming with him.”
On Christmas Day 2021, Mr. Black proposed in front of both of their families in Miami, where they were staying in a rented home. Ms. Smith was wearing a different ring on her engagement finger, and was so excited she flung it onto a nearby table.
“People still roast me to this day because of it,” she said.
A few months later the couple moved in together in Los Angeles, where they currently live.
“She’s just so easy to love,” Mr. Black said about Ms. Smith. “Her communication and her want to grow is what I love the most about her.”
The couple were married Sept. 3 at the Malibu Dream Resort, a venue near the beach where they had their first date. Aventer Gray, a friend of the bride and a co-pastor at Relentless Church in Greenville, S.C., officiated in front of about 150 guests.
“He’s inspiring, encouraging and the most talented man I’ve ever met,” said Ms. Smith, who plans to take her husband’s last name. “He’s single-handedly changed my life.”