Photo by Debra Lopez
Making plays, short films, webseries is totally important to becoming a working artist, but they are not enough. Without building a strategic following that translates into butts in seats or subscriber views usually. Besides having artistic integrity, a project must also have a group of people who will pay to watch it...otherwise, why would i hand you a million dollars of my money to produce your project?
Check out Isaa Rae's strategy, huge social media engagement and following first. Kickstarter are amazing ways to raise money and create following...your results are published all over the world. (I speak from real life experience about the power of Kickstarters) That didn't happen by accident. She didn't just go in with her hopes, wishes and dreams hoping someone would "LIKE" her work enough to give her millions of dollars to make more of it...
In our industry, "good" is relative to marketable...if u don't like that, continue working for free...at least you get to do what you want....
P.S. interesting thing about acting or writing, if you don't get stable first, you spend most of your life waiting for you life to begin. stabilize and then run after your dreams so that once they come true, ur ready as opposed to broken from struggling...
Awkward Black Girl Rae's web series Awkward Black Girl premiered on YouTube in 2011. The show follows the life of J (played by Rae) as she interacts with co-workers and love interests who place her in uncomfortable situations. The story is told through a first-person narrative as J usually reveals how she feels about her circumstances through voice-over or dream sequence.
The series eventually went viral through word of mouth, blog posts, and social media, resulting in mainstream media coverage and attention. In an effort to fund the rest of the fi In an effort to fund the rest of the first season, Rae and producer Tracy Oliver decided to raise money for the series through Kickstarter. On August 11, 2011 they were awarded $56,269 from 1,960 donations and released the rest of season one on Rae's YouTube channel.
Rae eventually partnered with Pharrell and premiered season two of the series on his YouTube channel, iamOTHER. Rae also began releasing other content on her original channel, predominantly created by and starring people of color.
In 2013, Awkward Black Girl won a Shorty award for Best Web Show. Rae created Awkward Black Girl because she felt the Hollywood stereotypes of African-American women were limiting and she could not relate to them:
I've always had an issue with the [assumption] that people of color, and black people especially, aren't relatable. I know we are.
By using YouTube as her forum, Rae was able to have autonomy of her work because she writes, films, produces, and edits most of her work. Rae's other shows--Ratchet Piece Theater, The "F" Word, Roomieloverfriends, and The Choir, among others—also focus on African-American experiences that are often not portrayed in the mainstream media.[
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April Yvette Thompson