Producing “She’s The Boss”

I’ve been super busy lately because I have been in the throws of producing  an original web series for a client. I’ve reached a milestone (the series debuted!), so I figured I would weigh in with some thoughts and an update.

Have I produced a web series before? No. Since high school, I’ve made small video projects over the years but nothing with a budget, an idea, and a team of people to work with to make it happen.  After a longtime client asked me to help oversee his production studio, this web series landed on my desk and I did my best to make it work.

I like challenges.

Enter She’s The Boss

The overall concept of the series She’s The Boss was semi-packaged by the time I stepped on the scene: it would be a series profiling NYC’s Black businesswomen and industry leaders. 20 women, 20 episodes,  5-7 minutes each and sponsored by General Mills. There were some big challenges though: we did not have any guests confirmed, the creative aspects of the series hadn’t been finalized, the client had just bought the show and it needed to go up ASAP. It would be a hustle to get this project up and going. We could do this, right?

Right.

The series debuted last week, and it’s been an exciting few weeks to say the least. We’re still booking guests, but the guest list and shoots have been awesome. We shoot almost every week and every shoot day is different, with its own set of challenges and personalities. The other day I was on set tearing up a bit by just how inspiring and awesome our guest for Episode 3 was. I did a walk through on location with the guest for Episode 5 today and she had the best energy. It’s an exciting time to be working on projects like this.

Episode 1: Ericka Dotson, Indique Hair

This was our first shoot–ever–and Ericka Dotson was great. She has awesome energy and her team is very well put together and fun to work with. I was nervous about the shoot but it went well. It’s not 100% perfect, so you know my inner perfectionist is uncomfortable, but overall I am happy. I look forward to our other episodes building on top of this one. Check out Episode 2 over here, featuring my soror Michelle James.

Being A Boss Lady

She’s The Boss is an aptly named series for my first project in this role as I get comfortable with being “the boss” of a team of folks.  I’ve worked for myself for the last 3 years, so it’s been a while since I worked with a team, let alone worked in a leadership capacity. I’m still growing, learning how to lead, getting my stride together, etc, so being on set with these phenomenal ladies has been a a great “learning on the job” experience. These interviews keep me grounded and reinforce to me what it means to a woman and a leader. It’s okay to be confident, it’s okay to be “aggressive,” it’s okay to be a perfectionist, and it’s okay to delegate.

I can’t wait to finish shooting this series! For now, you can catch a new episode every Thursday on MadameNoire.com/ShesTheBoss.

About That Backside of the Desert…

Dry and boring.

It’s been a while since my last entry, and so much has happened.

Just when I thought turning 30 was going to be boring and borderline pathetic it turned out to be the best thing to happen to me. It’s as if 30 was a literal turning point in my life. After 12 months of being in the backside of the desert, I found myself in a place where….I was meant to be. I can’t really do the story justice. But, let’s just say there have been times in my life where I was absolutely positively sure this was where God meant and wanted me to be, and for the last year or so I hadn’t been feeling like I was in that Perfect Place. The ultimate frustration is when you know you’re not in the right place, but you don’t know how to get where you should be. So you wander around, hoping one day it will all make sense. Welp. I wandered long enough and now? Life is grand. Full. Overflowing.

A brief rundown of awesome things and lessons I’ve learned in the past few months:

  • Didn’t have a birthday party, but truly saw how great my friends really are.
  • I have more clients than I can handle. Which means more money than I can really handle.
  • Closer relationship with God. This is super big. I look back and I am thankful for the foundation and legacy of faith  my mother set for me as a child.
  • Re-prioritized people and things in my life. Demoted those that were taking up too much energy and time and returning very little value. Feeling much better about the things and people I spend my time on.
  • Moved the needle on putting God first in my life. I’m not 100% there, but I am much closer than I was before.
  • Simplified my life. Keep it simple, stupid.
  • Timing is everything. There really are no coincidences, especially the ones that seem to be bizarrely popping up in my life.
  • I am looking forward to taking another trip to Haiti this year! Going in September. I’ll be writing about fundraising for the trip shortly, and some other cool news.

I have a few other exciting things I’ve been working on in terms of career, but I will save that for another day. I’m learning that I am not my occupation, and while there are some cool things going on, they’re not necessarily definitive of who I am.

I’m overjoyed!

Recharging in LA

I’m turning 30 in a few weeks (more like 10 days), and I decided to pick up my bags and come to LA for a few weeks. I needed a life recharge, desperately.

I’m both excited and nervous about 30. I hear you get more confident in your 30s, and I’m looking to gain that. But, I still feel like an underdeveloped adult. Perhaps this won’t change until I have a child. And perhaps I won’t have a child until I change. Life seems like a big Catch-22 sometimes.

I’ve been picking fights with friends lately. I’m growing. Most of the fights have to do with how I’m growing. I’m hoping they stay patient with me.

I’ve quit dating for a year. 12 whole months. Yup. No dating until May 17, 2012. And I’m about to turn 30.  Am I crazy? I might be. But I’ve got some things I’ve got to get right with myself and with God. So for now, dating is off the table. More on that later. Or maybe, in another location and later.

Although I hated chopping my hair off 2 years ago, it was one of the best things I did for my hair. It’s much healthier now, and much like how I remembered it in high school. Don’t be afraid to look ugly, temporarily. Beauty comes eventually. Hopefully.

I miss my parents. I don’t really talk or think about them on a daily basis, as I’ve managed to make a life as far away from them as possible. But. I miss them. I have 4-hour telephone conversations with my mom and sometimes wish I could record them so I can play them back years from now and remember her words of wisdom. I’m staying with my dad in LA and within the first hour of seeing him, he’d given me sage advice about a lot of things I’ve been battling internally for quite some time. I know my parents aren’t perfect. Far from it. But the areas in which they’re top shelf, they run it. And I love them for it. As I grow older, I realize more and more just how amazing they are. Sometimes I think they feel the same way about me.

I am still jobless. But client work is a bit overwhelming. In a good way.

This changed my love/sex/dating/Jesus life. The whole series. If you ever had hangups or questions with purity, the church and celibacy, or ever wanted to know how to manage your modern love life while maintaining your faith, then this series is great: The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating. I have many thoughts and things to say on it, but right now is not the place or time. Stay tuned.

Back to recharging.

It’s Holy Week: My Journey Back to Church

A year ago this month, I decided I was going to attempt to take my faith in God seriously. I grew up in a Christian home with parents who were very much like biblical scholars but often times poor in application when it came to their marriage. Their divorce and inability to get along hardened my heart when it came to the Christian community. As a teenager, I felt that my parents were hypocrites, holding their bibles close to the chest and being pious towards others, meanwhile back at the crib I had to call the police on them (several times) due to their domestic violence disputes. It never added up to me.

I’mma keep it real. Christians got on my last nerve with their duplicitous behavior. I had no problems with Christ. I had every problem with Christians.

Eventually I let these problems wear on my relationship with God. Because Christians got on my nerves, I would only go to church whenever I felt like it (read: maybe twice a month if I were lucky) until I rarely ever went. Pissed off at either duplicitous Christians or seemingly fake Christians, I resolved that I would go to church and just not talk to anybody. Yes, I thought this was a good idea. Later I realized not only was this not how God designed the Church, but this was counteractive to my spiritual growth (you can’t grow in a vacuum); furthermore, this made me no better than the hypocritical Christians I had beef with.

Oh.

So, I took my skepticism to church despite my beef. I told God that I was going to be obedient and do church, but I wasn’t gonna like it. Luckily I found a place were there was no pretense. No cliques. Nobody pretending to be something for somebody else. Just regular people you see on the street every day. Normal but not normal (right? because we are not of this world).

It blew my mind. So much so that I joined said church, got baptized, got involved as a leader, made friends and now? I love Christians. I don’t know why many of them like to pretend they don’t have some very jacked up lives. But, they do. We do. I do. And that’s okay. While we are called to lead perfect lives, we should know that we will never be perfect. But a lot of Chrstians will have you think they’re perfect.

What I really needed was a commuity of Christians who weren’t just going to church just to go, but who were actively denying themselves for God. Who were actively applying God in their lives, and not just giving people lip service. I’m trying not to judge Christians for this. It’s a balance, as I have to be sure I don’t fall into the trap of arrogance or maintain a judgemental mentality. So, I’m trying to check that as well. But, let’s be real. If Christians really did what the Bible asks us to do, we would have much better PR in this world.

Anyway. It’s Holy Week. Easter is on Sunday. I am going to be sharing a few more things about my journey to church and spiritual growth on the blog this week. Tomorrow it’ll be about sex and dating, and why I thought it would be a good idea to lead a bible study group about said topics.