The Interview: Issa Rae





If you haven't already heard of the sweeping web phenomena of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl webseries, then let's help you get up to speed as to what this show is all about. Here we go:  

J is a girl who decided to cut her hair which ultimately led to her breakup with her ex.  She works at a job that she hates and can't stand her co-worker Nina who makes a conscious effort to make her life miserable.  However, J stays because her other co-worker Fred is absolutely georgeous and she is completely smitten by him.  However, she's not quite sure if Fred likes her or if he's just being a gentleman towards her.  Fred invites J to his birthday party and this is the moment where she believes he may just feel the same way.

At the party, Fred is ambushed by Nina and he can barely breathe with her hands and kisses all over him.  At this point, J feels this is a lost cause and decides that she should give up.  She runs into another guy ---also named J, who is just as awkward and nerdy as she is.  The two are instantly attracted to one another, although J still feels for Fred whom she's not quite certain is all that interested in Nina. What is an awkward girl to do?!?

This series created by Issa Rae (who also plays the role of J.) is getting several hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube and other social networking sites.  The power of social networking has allowed this series to become popular and NCIndieSeen sat down with Issa Rae to discuss this exciting new web series!

NCIndieSeen: I'm here with Issa who is the creator of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl that is doing phenomenally well on YouTube and the website awkwardblackgirl.com.  Issa thank you for taking the time to talk to NCIndieSeen today.

Issa: Thank you so much for having me it's my pleasure.

NCIndieSeen: Great.  Tell us first of all what the Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is all about?

Issa: The show pretty much follows J who is a self-proclaimed awkward black girl.  She navigates through life through her horrible job and deals with some general awkward situations.  She's very insecure about her social interactions with people.  She tends to overanalyze every situation that she's in.  The situation she runs into everyday are situations that everyone has been through at least once of awkaward moments that she experiences.

NCIndieSeen: How did you come up with the resources to shoot, edit, and produce the webseries?

Issa: I was independently producing my own content, since I owned the camera and I owned the editing software.  Just to make a living I was doing editing work for music videos and videography work. That's how I would make ends meet part time so I always had my own resources and pretty much funded it with no budget.  I would take people out to lunch of they participated, but for the most part no budget at all.

NCIndieSeen: What tools did you utlize to garner attention to the webisodes?

Issa: I pretty much used social media.  I didn't get the chance to promote the series, I started editing it and I only put it up at the last minute.  I didn't have a plan or anything.  I promoted the series back in October when I cut my hair and I had no idea when I wanted to launch it.  A fan of my other series Fly Guys The F Word, she saw the promo and she kept asking "when will Awkward Black Girl come out?" and I couldn't give her an answer, and finally she asked me one more time and I said "Oh it's coming Feb 3rd" and I realized I had to live up to that date--so I put it out and people just started spreading the word. And word of mouth was just huge with social media.

NCIndieSeen: It's doing really well, have you recieved any attention from networks about the series?

Issa: I have, I've been taking a couple of meetings ad just different websites have reached out to me and I've gained representation because of the series.  It's opened so many doors and so many opportunites, I'm just blessed because of the people spreading the word about it. 

NCIndieSeen: I absolutely loved watching the first 7 episodes, when will we see more?

Issa: The plan was we were gonna stop, but because we reaised all of out funds and beyond, we almost doubled our kickstarter goal and now we're able to bring 5 more episodes.  The schedule has always been the first Thursday of every month.  But Sept 8th is the next episode.

NCIndieSeen: Can you give us any dirt about what's going to happen with J and her love triangle?

Issa: Well I'm gonna say with the next episode, alot of women are gonna be upset with J...that's all I can say.

NCIndieSeen: (laughs)  Well thanks for taking the time to talk with NCIndieSeen about the series and good luck to you and keep up the good work, and we look forward to seeing the next 5 episodes.

Issa:  Thanks for supporting.  I appreciate it.




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