Five years seemed like a sufficient measure of time, but little did I know that it would take at least two and half years just to get comfortable living here and to learn how the Hollywood game really works. Honestly, those first two years were difficult and by the end of 2004 I was really contemplating going back home permanently. Now, three years later, my soul doesn't have to look back and wonder how I got over, I know exactly. So while I'm looking back let me reflect on those moments that inspired me to push my way through.
- Three months before relocating, I was featured on the 2002 Essence Awards in a tribute to one of the show's honorees. So what if it was only 10 seconds! Seeing my reflection flash across the big screen at Universal Amphitheater watered the mustard seed of faith I had in myself and my desire to live and work in Hollywood. I had prayed for a sign and I got it! Big time!
- Several months after clapping for money like a trained seal in studio audiences, I got hired on my first major Hollywood television show as a PA. Two days a week, 5am until around 10pm, I worked on the Sunset Gower lot on former UPN sitcom, The Parkers. My job was to get breakfast for the cast and crew before craft services began. My shift ended at 10 am but I asked to stay longer to learn more about producing sitcoms. To date that has been one of my best Hollywood working experiences.
- 2003. Working backstage at the Academy Awards. Striking up conversations with the celebrities was a no-no. But when Halle Berry stood right next to me all professionalism oozed right out. After graciously listening to my ramblings she gave me a hug and I, a grown woman, scurried away like a scared little girl. I was so embarrassed, but hey it happens to the best of us! That moment is special to me because it demonstrates what amazing things can happen if you're willing to make a leap of faith. Merely a year before--like everyone else--I tearfully witnessed her fulfill Dorothy Dandridge's dream while sitting alone in my apartment in Durham, NC. Who would have thought?
- 2004 earned my first film credit as Associate Producer of the documentary, My Nappy ROOTS. Short film version won Best Documentary at the 2004 Hollywood Black Film Festival. Long Version won the 2007 Festival Choice Award at the Pan African Film Festival. Learn more about the film by clicking here.
- And thanks to working on the film, I made my first trip to the Big Apple for a screening at the Director's Guild in 2005. Unfortunately, all I saw of New York City was a few blocks of Time Square, Toussaud's Wax Museum, and radio station Kiss 98.7's production studio as a guest on the midday radio show, Girlfriends. Just being in New York, though briefly, was a dream come true. And to be there not as a PA but as a producer. Yeah, that felt good. Real good. Pics
And now at long last I think I've found my niche, finally carved out a place for myself here. Entertainment writing, blogging, producing podcasts...everything is going digital these days and I want to be in the forefront of the effort. So I'm feeling no ways tired these days. Think I'll stay a little longer, run on and see what the end will be. Five years is too soon to fade to black and roll credits on this journey.