The GAME is changing
I guess I can call myself an industry O.G. (sounds funny but true). I think it’s fair to say I’ve been in the game (acting/filmmaking) long enough to say I have Hollywood STREET credits. Twenty years ago, I was one of the few actors of color fortunate to be on a hit television series (Disney’s “The Famous Jett Jackson”). The show’s creator is the talented Fracaswell Hyman, who happens to be African-American.
However, prior to landing my first series as an actor, I:
- studied my craft diligently
- went on numerous auditions
- did my homework
- networked with fellow thespians
- perform lots and lots of plays (mostly for free)
- took classes, and attended workshops
I viewed “rejection” as just part of “the process” – in other words, “I paid my dues” by putting in the hard work.
Are There More Opportunities Now Than Before?
The point I’m driving at here is that, currently, there appears to be more diversity in front of the camera as well as behind the camera today due to more OPPORTUNITIES. Now, does that mean the shows are better? In my opinion, not necessarily…
But what it does mean is that there is more wiggle room for diverse cultures to have a VOICE in telling their own stories and to see more of their images portrayed in a more positive light than ever before. Movies like MUDBOUND, GET OUT, BLACK PANTHER and many others are a testament to OPPORTUNITIES (and of course, good scripts).
I applaud all of our film and TV trailblazers such as Oscar Micheaux, Stanley Kramer, Gordon Parks, Norman Lear and many others who when given an OPPORTUNITY, allowed their VOICES to REFLECT society and help bring more OPPORTUNITIES to our multicultural industry.
When there’s disruption in the Hollywood “status quo”, changes begin to happen!
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