Boston University 2012
School of Theatre
B.F.A Theatre Major/ African-American studies
Every year for Spring break my school arranges a trip to LA for graduating seniors in the School of Theatre. This trip gives the University a chance to market our BU in LA Film and Television program, and gives student who’ve never encountered LA a chance too.
Annually, Nina Tassler, an alumnus of Boston University’s School of Theatre, graciously hosts a reception for students to network through our connection to Boston University.
Now to be completely honest, at first I was hesitant to make the trip. Being from San Diego, I thought I knew enough about LA to rule it out as a possible destination after graduation. What changed my mind was the chance to get to ask industry people about their take on Diversity and to better understand the industry.
When I found out the theme for Nina Tassler’s reception was “Diversity,” my jaw dropped. I looked around the room and made eye contact with the other two minorities in the room, who looked just as shocked as I was. I thought to myself, “could diversity have found me?” I mean, here I was fully prepared to pull speakers aside to get the real story of about Diversity in Hollywood, and instead the invitation to discuss Diversity had been already laid out for me! I was definitely intrigued, but skeptical as well. I mean how could a reception’s theme be Diversity? What type of Diversity were we talking about?
When I arrived at Nina’s home the first person I met was Tiffany N. Smith-Anoa’i, who I soon learned was the Vice President of Diversity & Communications. She began to explain to me CBS’ mission to diversify, and I knew that this was the reason I needed to be on this trip. I was impressed that a major network would make it their propagative to diversify.
Not only did Nina’s event give me hope for the future of television, but it also brought a whole new perspective to my idea of Diversity. Diversity doesn’t just pertain to ethnicity, but a diversity of ideas as well. I met incredible professionals from all areas of the industry, who spoke about how they think creatively within their fields.
As a city LA surprised me, and as a network CBS’ mission to diversify inspired me.
I believe it is imperative that all audiences to see their stories being told.
I will always remember my first time at the theatre as a little giddy seventh grader. I saw a one-woman show called Peter and Wendy, at La Jolla Playhouse. For two hours I watched this beautiful African-American actress transform before my eyes.
It was in that moment I realized that little girls that looked like me did belong on stage, and that I too could command a stage. From that moment on I have been following my bliss, training rigorously as an actress, so that one day some little girl who looks like me will know that she can do it too.
We live in a mosaic nation comprised of individuals from distinct backgrounds. The time has come for our stages and screens to both recognize and reflect this.
As young artist entering into the industry and person of color, I’m humbled and thankful to see the team at CBS actively working towards creating a more colorful network.
Here’s to new opportunities and exciting openings!