A Night of Awkward Moments W/ Issa Rae

  

As a young adult, I’ve come to realize that not everyone “gets me.”  They know me, but they don’t GET ME.  So I was muy elated when I met my savior in the form of a web series.  Awkward Black Girl has made millions of viewers laugh with its “gut busting” comedy (if you were a fan you’d get the pun), quirky cast members and odd but quite relaistic and relatable story lines.  Since their debut episode in February 2011, which peaked over a million views to now, ABG averages over half a milion views per episode.  And now that Pharrell’s I Am Other YouTube channel has picked up the series, creator and mastermind to ABG, Issa Rae, is getting even more national attention.  I went uptown to the AMC Magic Johnson Harlem movie theater last week to attend the #ABGScreening for Season 2, Ep. 3 where the romance between between J and White Jay is moving along…awkwardly.  I don’t want to spoil the moment because I want you to check out the episode yourself.

I know a lot of people went home with the boo boo face because they ultimately couldn’t get in. Outside, the line was literally wrapped around the movie theater and inside was just as crazy with people crowding the staircases from the lobby leading to the top floor where the viewing took place.  Thank goodness I got my way in, can’t tell you how though. The screening was to take place at 7pm, but you know how colored functions go…they work on that OTHER time zone…#CPtime.  The tweets got more and more irate on the Awkward Black Girl’s Twitter timeline under the hashtag #ABGscreening, that she had to make an announcement. 

She knew that room was turning from a crowd of awkward black girls to a room of angry black girls. Once I heard screams and saw Madison Shockley III, who plays “Fred” in the series walking into the theater, that calmed down the anxiety and amped up the excitement.  I was hoping the whole cast was going to be in attendance.  Alas, “Fred” was the only supporting cast member there, but Issa Rae brought Pharrell along to welcone the audience and introduce the episode without first apologizing for the “nigga shit”  of the long waiting in line and technical diffulties.  Hey, she said it, not me. *in my best CeeCee voice* “You know she keeps it REAL girl!!” But Skateboard P really said a lot of positive things about Issa Rae and her vision and it was really dope and inspiring to listen to a big name artist talk about how he wanted to reach out to Issa becuase she is making her print in the world in a positive way. Don’t get me wrong “J’s” character is ratchet, but not Evelyn ratchet.

 

After a hilarious 14:30 minutes for episode 3 and a roaring round of applause for the star of the show, she took a few questions from the crowd.  Here’s what she said:

about filming in NYC…

“The short answer is no. I’m in LA.”

about taking ABG to the silver screen and allowing networks to change the show…

“That’s kinda something that’s really important to me. Just as far as creative control is concerned…If we get a TV opportunity and they want to change certain aspects of the show that is not aligned of what it originally was, then I’m not pressed to go on television. But I would love to do an Awkward Black Girl movie.”

about going from small producation to working with Pharrell and I Am Other…

“I mean, it feels good. I’m not gonna say ‘I hate it, this sucks’ (laughs) New York really loves ABG and I thank you guys for supporting. There are so many awkward people out here!”

reactions from the non-Black Hollywood crowd…

“I don’t  really have any negative encounters with non-Black anybody. I wish I had a beef story to tell you, but nope.”

about being a N.E.R.D fan before teaming with Pharrell…

“Duh!!”

any other features Issa’s working on…

“Yeah, I’m working on a lot of other web shows. I love the space of the Web because you have so much creative freedom. Ratchet Piece Theater for thos e who don’t know, is a blog where I highlight my favorite ignorant music. I like to write, so look out for that.”

her dream director for a possible ABG-The Movie...

“I don’t know yet, I’d have to think about that one. Sorry for the anti-climatic end to the Q&A.”

You don’t have to apologize, just finally get some nookie from White Jay this season! And maybe a new job??? #StayTuned

I even got to speak to Issa in person by accident when we both ended up eating at the same restaurant post-screening. She even showed my alma mater FAMU some love when I told her we had some friends in common out in LA. Rattlers are striking everywhere! #AintGodGood

Another day in Brooklyn…Harlem, USA.

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