Tell us about your series King Ester.
Issa Rae Presents 'King Ester' is a digital series about a transwoman in New Orleans trying to get out of the city as Hurricane Katrina heads to town. It's a beautifully constructed piece of work that I celebrate alongside some incredible creatives. We shot the production in seven days with no intention of anything other than sharing a critical and nuanced story about survival, dreams, and the power of family - both the good and the bad.
I would've never imagined that we would have been selected and won so many festivals, or distributed on the Issa Rae Presents Youtube channel, or having been shortlisted for the Daytime Emmys. It's hard to imagine the small production, would've brought us this far. It's crazy.
How does it feel to have garnered such support and acknowledgment for your work?
Affirming. The support, more than the acknowledgment. There an underlining message in all of my work. When I have people talk to me or DM me or message me and discuss what they got - it is so beautiful. To see that my work is affecting and deeply felt is why I create.
Tell us about other projects you are working on or creating.
I recently released a series BRIC TV's 'Sauce.' I'm really excited about how I explored that storyline and work that was created. I've recently finished a feature film script entitled, "The Inevitable Sadness Of All Thangs Gud." It is my most complete work. I can't wait to start putting the screenplay out there, with the hopes of shooting the feature.
I'm also working on a digital platform for content creators - and writer's more especially.
Who is your mentor? Why are they your mentor?
Unfortunately, I don't have a mentor in the industry. Sometimes, that's just the way things go. I did have the incredible blessing of working on "Insecure" this season as the shadow director under Kerry Washington. She was the first person in the industry to really ask me, "What do you need? What don't you know? How can I be of service?" I felt seen.
What advice do you have for someone who desires to create content and tell their stories?
Find your voice, and remain humble. I think humility is the key to a long and respectable career. People aren't just buying ideas. They are hiring YOU!
What has been the most challenging aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The belief that I'm worthy of love and belonging. This industry is hard. Early on in my career, it was all about me gaining acceptance. The more I've grown into adulthood, my consciousness has been heightened to understand that I've always belonged. And the challenge was believing that and walking tall in it.