I almost didn't write this post. Then I decided to. I'm still not sure exactly why, but maybe it's because a part of me believes that speaking truth still counts for something in the majestically calculated world we live in.
I auditioned for the role of Shuri in Black Panther last August. Getting that was a beautiful manifestation of God and the universe answering my misdirected prayers. You see, two months prior I wrote a monologue for my acting class because I couldn't find anything that resonated deeply enough in me. Now, I never read the Black panther comics but google searches confirmed that he did have a younger sister. And I kid you not I wrote my monologue as T'challa's younger sister Shuri and performed it for my acting class. I know how bizarre this sounds so you can confirm with my class, but yes I wrote and performed a monologue for a character that 2 months later I would audition for 3 times...
I was taught early on by my teacher Mohammed that auditions themselves are wins so I was ridiculously stoked and blessed to even be in that room the first time. I started getting nervous when I got my first callback and just about (forgive my french) shit my pants when I went in a 3rd time to meet and audition for Coogler and one of the EP's. I mean I knew this was big, but it wasn't until I heard them listening to the audition tapes of actresses around the world that the scale really dawned on me
So all this is happening, and I've made some impression because casting (who I absolutely loved by the way) has emailed my reps asking for my availability for the next 6 months, So I'm convinced this role is mine. Obviously I didn't book it, and as passing as that sentence may seem it absolutely crushed me. I mean, I frikkin wrote a monologue for her before ever getting called in. How amazing is that story?!! Plus if you know me, you know that it is my absolute dream to be a superhero. So it's safe to say I took a mental sucker punch when I got the news
Omono why are you talking about this now?
Because the teaser for Black Panther just came out and I am absolutely in love with Letitia Wright. I mean, I've seen 3 frames of the girl (and consequently stalked her) as Shuri and she's completely won me over. And even though seeing this 1st trailer brought back waves of melancholia, I am simultaneously obsessively proud of her. Because as a fellow actress, as a fellow black woman, I can't help but root for her and what she as Shuri will do for my demographic. I mean, that's my Wonder Woman.
Two things I learned: One, it is not my time. There is a bigger plan lurking unbeknownst to me. I don't know what it encompasses or what journey it'll take me on, but I've allowed myself to open up as a vessel for God's plan whatever that may be. Two, this industry is one crazy rollercoaster! I decided a few years ago to wholeheartedly pursue this crazy craft. Had my TV debut on NCIS soon after. Wrangled my way into a Sundance festival film a year later and booked a national commercial months after that. Like, I don't even know where I'm going to end up! I might end up moving to Mars I have no clue. But somehow I've found comfort in this unknown.
So like my girl Lupita said, Hold on tightly, but let the F go lightly. Because Hollywood my dears, is the worst. Flirt. Ever.
oh and go watch Black Panther when it comes out!