1. When it comes to storytelling, where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from my own experiences — trying to make sense of situations that have happened in my life or those closest to me. Of course, these all come into play with my imagination. I like to reimagine life’s seemingly mundane experiences as heightened or take my own journey in life and think, “What would happen if this were handled differently?” Most recently, I began keeping an ongoing page of notes in my Note App on my iPhone. I’m reawakening my senses to tune into the world as it truly is, paying attention to people and relationships — being present. This, I feel, will keep my stories grounded in human truths and challenge me to be honest in my writing — even in the most slapstick situations, I believe there should always be a layer of truth and humanity.
2. What is the toughest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Funding. Toughest challenge. Not because there are no resources out there, but because I, like so many, am juggling the art of working full-time in NYC to make a living and then working full-time to create art. #LoveMyRoomie is highly self-funded and I have dedicated supporters who make tax-deductible donations to my production company, YháWright Productions.I have faith this will change in the new year as I redefine my business. I’m confident that I will be led in the direction of more ways I can make my passion financially profitable in 2019.
3. What kind of world do you want to see now that your digital series “love my roomie” is out/in production? (For clarification) We know that there is a message you as a filmmaker are conveying to your audience, what is that message?
It’s important to me that women of color see honest depictions of their lives. We deserve and claim the right to be messy, grapple with mental health, happy, sad, angry, in love, out of love, confused by love — you name it! I want to see a world in which we can have these conversations and with generations behind me and those who have paved the way — to continue the dialogue about humanity. At the end of the day, I do believe that is a great fight that any group of marginalized peoples is rallying together for — our humanity.
4. As a filmmaker, what are some key lessons learned so far?
I’ve learned to ask for help. When I created #LoveMyRoomie in 2016, I had just graduated with my MFA in acting from The Actors Studio Drama School. My network was really shaken up after graduating and I had to do a lot of things myself in order to gain momentum as a filmmaker. Two years since the pilot of the first season — which is more of a sketch show than a full episodic series — and I have finally gotten to the place where I ask for help but more importantly, I know exactly where I need assistance. My team has grown rapidly in the past month and I am very blessed and grateful. In addition to asking for help, I’ve also learned the power of “no.” You have to set real boundaries and see the present as your “dream” which needs cultivating, time, and respect. In the age of content creating, we are blessed that we have so many tools that did not exist only 5 years ago. Because of that, I think that we need to remove the word aspiring from our vocabulary the moment we begin to dedicate ourselves to this craft. Once you pick up your filmmaking tool — or tools — be it a camera, your screenwriting software, etc. You are not aspiring if you do not want to be. Claim and manifest that future you’ve always wanted. Make the necessary sacrifices now. Do the work now. Network and build — now.
What do you know today that you wish you knew when you began your journey as a filmmaker?
To be honest, I’m grateful for everything I did not know. I’m grateful for the networks and people I did not have in my life. The necessity to do it on my own taught me a lot and built an insurmountable amount of grit.
5. What would you say is your unique responsibility as a filmmaker?
I believe I’ve got the responsibility to understand that storytelling is my passion but it is also a vehicle in which I can impact positive change in my community. This isn’t a responsibility that is unique to me because so many others express the same. However, I believe that together, we can truly affect some powerful change in the false and ill-informed narratives surrounding people of color.
How can others reach out to you and/or stay informed about your upcoming projects?
You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter: @mswrightontime