You know when a black woman starts with "Listen" and ends with a period she has a strong point to make. Haha (Thanx Kev on Stage for that recent post on this. www.instagram.com/p/CDwUidDHh-f/) This has been a day of high highs and low lows. Basically, I'm 2020, as Kendrick Sampson put it recently in a widely shared IG post among my peers (https://www.instagram.com/p/CDuPaiuBIxf/). Par for the course, you know. But I am feeling like I can do anything right now. That I have all the time in the world. My growth mentality and my LIT AF life philosophy and practice of Buddhism has me believing that the impossible in most certainly possible.
Let's take it back. Yesterday, two of my friends confessed via instagram posts that they had to let the tears flow. 2020 has been a bitch and it's not letting up. Two friends of my husband are in the depths of depression and out of no where gave 30 days notice to their landlord. They're leaving CA to go live with a relative that they already know is going to be problematic. Both of them freelance in TV production. There's no work. Another friend text me that she is climbing out of rough few days. When I asked if it was work of life related and that I was there to talk, her response was, "I'll just say it is challenging being a newly wed during a pandemic." I am just now realizing that even if she wanted to talk, it would be difficult... cuz obvi, they're stuck in the same place together. Maaannn.
Children are going back to school and the whole school goes into quarantine.
Teachers are having to change their wills.
45's man is making cuts to the post office and vote-by-mail is being threatened. Voter suppression, anyone?
45 might need a mandate to leave the White House.
And I can't exclude myself from this. On the way to the grocery store this afternoon, I was all kinds of gasp, cry, sniffle, repeat underneath my mask about the deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep pain that my people have faced in this county since we first stepped foot here. Heart palpitations today. Too much suffering. We need reparations. Tell your congress rep to support H.R. 40 - it's literally just a commission to study and develop reparation proposals! (Learn more here)
But I digress. Not really. All this is relevant!
Here's the silver lining: I just got off of an encouragement call with the national arts department of SGI - my buddhist organization - and my faith is restored. I am determining that I will be part of a new renaissance! I am determining that in the next 10 years of my life that the words that I write, that the roles that I play, that the worlds that I help build through my art will be part of a renaissance that transforms society. And that that work will sustain and enrich my life in these specific ways: (1) I will make at least 4x as much money as I did in 2019, in each consecutive year from the first, and (2) my company will be synonymous with value-creation in my field by creating plentiful opportunities and being a platform for voices that deserve to be amplified.
I am so excited! Because now I have a specific goal, with a specific time frame and with a solid and sustainable mission. Now all I have to do is unite with my spiritual mentor with courageous action!
Wayne Shorter, the Jazz saxophonist and composer, at 87 years young says, "My life is in a state of zero gravity." In other words, he's still moving forward. He's defying anything attempting to keep him locked in stagnation. Here, here!
I am choosing to look at this time of 2020 as a profound opportunity to cultivate resilience, wisdom, deep compassion, and tenacious courage to Never. Stop. Moving. Forward. And to buttress this phenomenal tower of ambition, I always go back to something Ava Duvernay once said, "If your dream is only about you, it's not big enough."
What if we think of 2020 like a windup toy? Every month, every challenge, every action is just the winding key being rotated - potential energy being stored up, and once the key is released, that energy is changed into motion! Let's GOOOOO!
Lastly, KAMALA HARRIS!!!
enisha b. jane
In my own words.
We had the best time pretending that it was a cold, snowy day in 80-degree weather in Los Angeles for this incredibly sweet commercial spot for Citi Card.
The story goes: a young woman is inspired to reveal exciting news to her husband in the most endearing way. So, she uses her Citi Card to pick up all of the necessities, meanwhile racking up points. Click below to play the final product on ispot.tv.
Our director Cole was so easy to work with, so inspiring. I was blown away watching our DP, Autumn, create. The entire team was a dream!
My fellow actors Idil, Alejandro, Cynthia and most of all my TV husband, Tristen, really gave so much of themselves to create a positive, fun, and beautiful energy. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to help me bring this story to life. This one is special for me. This is the first time I've played the one and only hero in a commercial. It meant so much to be able to bring such a relatable moment in the life of this everyday woman to the screen. I was grateful to have been chosen to represent her.
Here's how I booked it. This was one of those super quick turnarounds. My agent called me the night before to see if I would be available for the audition midday the following day, less than 24 hours. I used all of my tools: imagination, empathy, love, play, discovery and left feeling pretty good about what I'd done. At 9pm that night, I got another call from my agent saying my callback would be the next morning. I went in, did my best to create chemistry with my scene partner, changed my hair as requested by the director, changed it back as redirected by him, and left again feeling good about a solid callback audition. I got about 10 minutes away before getting a call from casting to come back! There was a mistake (or something) and they needed to see me again. Great news! I went back did the whole thing again with another would-be tv husband and booked the job! Tuesday was the audition. Wednesday was the callback. Wednesday night I was put on "avail". On Thursday I got the call that I booked the job. By Thursday afternoon I was in for a wardrobe fitting. Friday was the first day of filming. We shot over the weekend and pictured wrap on Sunday!! It was a great week!
Here are a few BTS and screen grabs from our precious spot:
enisha b jane
e as in elephant.
in my own words.
I’m going to share this “live-writing” stream-of-consciousness post as it is happening.
Here is my attempt to unpack a big ol’ cry that still has my eyes feeling that tired, slightly cool sensation that lingers, like a reminder.
K. For context, I was just watching an episode of Queer Eye where a girl of about 11 years old nominated her dad for the show. The little girl ice skates and is damn good! Her dad is working on showing up for her so Johnathan brings him to the ice skating rink to watch her practice and get tips from none other than Olympic figure skating icon, Michelle Kwan! And it’s an unbelievable, magical moment for the girl, for her dad, for Johnathan and... daggonit... who gets swept up in the emotions? Me.
But my joyful laughing/crying, happy-for-this-lovely-young-lady, morphs ever so smoothly into tears of grief, tears of pain for my own missed opportunities during childhood.
Ugh. Is this because my birthday is coming up in about a month? Again?! Good lord. And the waterworks turn into a full on wail as I go through the moments I felt so alive and connected to gymnastics and dreamed of being an Olympian... All of which was all but shattered by my own father’s words: “It’s too late, you’ll never go to the olympics. Do you know how early those girls start training?” I think on how many times I’ve played that conversation over in my head. I acknowledge that this tape runs through my head even today, and often, and has become a fully realized inner voice applicable to so many of my goals and dreams now.
I cry for my 6 or 7 year old self. I weep for the adult who wrestles with the fear that I’m always too late. That I’ll never achieve it. That I’m not good enough. That I’ll never EVER catch up.
I mourn for the little me that had time, a supple body, a limitless reservoir of possibilities. I wish I could go back in time. Give her everything she needed. Say all the right words, shower her with encouragement and resources, and mentors.
But I can’t go back in time. I have to make it work now. I literally cannot change what’s already happened. And it breaks my heart. It makes me angry. It hurts. And the shittiest part about it is, that’s just the way it is. TIME KEEPS A-ticking. All I can do is move forward now, and I can’t seem to find any solace in that anywhere. Ugh.
I wish I didn’t remember. I wish I didn’t feel it. I wish it didn’t matter. But it does. Ugh.
I forgive him. I forgive both my parents for everything. They were babies themselves just trying to figure it out. They won’t even remember, and probably hardly realize. It’s my burden to bear now. I’m a whole entire adult... and have been for a while now.
E as in elephant
In my own words.
The season 2 finale of S.W.A.T. will be an explosive one!
I have been been catching up on the show this season and feel super late to the party! The storylines and action are high-octane! Shemar Moore is at the top of his game in my humble opinion.
Tune in on May 16th, 10/9c on CBS and catch me as the field reporter, Abby.
Episode 23 “Kangaroo” touches on extremism and the lengths some will go to in order to make a statement.
I’m super happy to have been cast and to get to do what I love! Here’s hoping there’s much more to come, and soon!
** Updated 4-8-2019**
Episode entitled, "The Whole Package" aired Thursday 4/4 on ABC.
This week I shot an episode of the landmark television show Grey’s Anatomy. With last night’s episode, Grey’s becomes the longest running medical drama in television history.
Luckily for me, I was filming my last day of an upcoming episode on the same day Grey’s achieved this astounding benchmark and had the chance to celebrate with cast, crew and producers. It was truly an honor!
My episode, entitled “The Whole Package” will air in early April on ABC. I’ll be sure to post details as they become available. Stay tuned!
enisha b jane
In my own words.
If you are an arts patron, if you are a theatre lover, if you are a person living in this society and find yourself in LA between now and February 10th... you've got to see this show!
And not just because I am in it. Seriously. I am the least of a reason. I am on stage as a Supernumerary; simply put, as a representation of another segment of the society in a different place and time.
See it because the cast is brilliant. See it because the direction is alive. See it because the set is spectacular. See it because it is provocative. These are not overstatements. I am in awe every night by the magic of this production, the execution by the players and the #message it carries for all of us.
An Inspector Calls runs January 22 - February 10th @ The Wallis
At the end of last year I got the news that I #booked a co-star on CW’s new show All American.
Great B-Day gift!
I’ve been following the show’s first season and love everything about it! From the talented cast, headlined by veteran Taye Diggs, to the cinematography, to the music and clever hip-hop episode titles, the show is emersive in LA culture. It feels like the contemporary follow-up to Boyz n the Hood, the John Singleton classic that sits comfortably on my top 10 movies list. Yet, the show also gives you the sleek lens of teen culture in Beverly Hills. It’s a balance I can relate to, the title characters both battling the struggle of Double-Consciousness at different ages. It’s rich.
I’ll be on-screen during a community wide initiative to clean up the local park, expressing concern for my young daughter. I had a great time on set with the entire production team. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season as a fan.
m.A.A.d. City Airs Wednesday, January 23rd on CW.
Alright. So I attended the Grand Opening party for LN2 Pizza Shoppe last weekend in LA. First things first: The pizza is amazing (try the Shrooms pizza)! The ambiance is hot! the Nitrogen homemade ice cream is bomb! The cocktail menu is fire (your Melrosita will literally come to your table on fire)! And you have to try the brussel sprouts... cray. Not kidding I'm going back this week.
But, your girl was not red-carpet ready and should have just passed by and got straight to enjoying the festivities. Here's what happened. I was a last minute plus 1 (yay for knowing people). So, I closet shopped, did my own hair and make-up, and forgot to take a look at my nails before walking out the door. What turned out to be a great look in person - raking in lots of compliments - simply DID NOT photograph well.
There were a few lessons learned here:
1. Everything that looks good in person, may not look good on camera - including make-up.
2. I need a stylist.
3. If the nails aren't done, skip the carpet.
4. Jackets like this don't photograph well.
5. When in doubt, skip the carpet. Did I say that already?
I was happy that Getty Images decided to leave mine out of the bunch published for the night. But I was happy that my girl, Tysha Williams, dug up these taken by Bob Delgadillo so that I can see what I was really giving.
I'll get 'em next time. Ain't no thing.
enisha b jane
In my own words.
Back in December, I received a call from my acting teacher who had been given the responsibility to cast a promo for the California Innocence Project. I quickly agreed after hearing that this promo was to serve as yet another way to get the attention of Governor Jerry Brown to consider adding any of the California 12, or CA12, to his Christmas Clemency list before exiting office. The producers, Alastair Ramsden of 21st Street Creative, and director, Keith Boak of Freedom Films, decided to highlight the story of Kiera Newsome to represent the CA12 toward this goal.
And here was where I came in. What you see above is the full final product. I walked for a fraction of a moment in what I imagined to be the everyday reality of Kiera Newsome and it was grueling, painful, and took me to places emotionally that were difficult to bear. What this one-day shoot required of me (and what the resulting aftermath taught me) was the true power and possibility of this art form in a way I had never known before. Finding the place in my body, mind, and heart to hold up this space for Kiera became a duty, an offering of the slightest I could give, in honor of the many years, months, days, hours, minutes that she has counted being behind bars and knowing that she is innocent.
Above is the video that resulted in the efforts of the cast, crew and production team.
I posted, reposted, tweeted, retweeted, emailed the governor and prayed that the efforts of those in the California Innocence Project would result in some victory for Kiera or any of the wrongfully accused of the CA12.
Christmas day brought great news for Kiera Newsome. Read the article below.
Clemency Granted in Murder Case - San Diego Union-Tribune Article
For more info on the CA12 and the work of the California Innocence Project please visit their site.
You know that IG post from Will Smith where he's in his trailer talking about the 99% of people who are not willing to put in the work to make their dreams a reality? I re-watched that video and got super pumped about my life and career. Here is a 1% I am proud to be part of.
In the video he repeats what is obviously one of his life mantras: You must have self-discipline. In the last month I have proven to myself that I will never be defeated.
I am determined to never be defeated by:
The illusion of time (starting too late, passing time)
My life, my happiness, my hope are all choices. I have chosen to be victorious. I have chosen to activate all that I am in control of toward the fulfillment of my deepest wishes. I have activated the mystic law of the universe to rush to my aid in this mission. It's that clear. It's that definite. I am that sure.
Maybe all of this sounds too esoteric or just plain weird. The truth is, it doesn't matter how it comes off. What I have come to understand is that we truly are the masters of our destiny. We can transform our thinking, our reactions, our family and community dynamics, the trajectory of our lives, simply by being aware of the choices we make in every moment.
I have chosen to never give up on my career because I know that I have something of value to share.
I have chosen to keep fighting for my dream because the fight awakens my most powerful self.
I have chosen to be in a constant state of improvement in order to always be ready for the next step.
I have chosen to create happiness in my personal life in order to reflect joy in the world.
I have chosen to see the goodness of others in spite of all of the negativity we are inundated with.
I have chosen to regard all challenges and difficulties as an opportunity.
Therefore, I will never be defeated.
So on to the latest good news:
I booked and shot a co-star role on the new CW show All American
I signed with a new Theatrical Talent Agent
I failed to book, but was in high consideration for, a lead role in an international feature film
I have been called back for a large co-star role on a network show.
I have been called back for a lead in a pilot presentation
I re-qualified for that good-old union health insurance based on last year.
These are the benefits, be they small or large, that reaffirm my determination and fill my cup with gratitude. :)
enisha b jane
In my own words.
enisha b jane
In my own words.