Courage & Longevity
Most actors I know who pay attention to award season find it to be a time of great inspiration and deep reflection about their own careers. This one was no different for me. And without opining too much on who won, who didn't win, and who should have received a much deserved nomination, I must say I was moved to happy tears alongside my community of Asian friends and actors as history was made! Here though, I'd simply like to share more on what I believe it takes to keep an elusive dream alive: Courage & Longevity.
C O U R A G E
I've been thinking a lot about how to transform my ability to see hypothetical outcomes in the negative far more clearly than being able to see them as successes. Maybe it's a defense mechanism to guard against heartbreak and disappointment. Some might even call it being a realist. But if it can all fail (your greatest dream, your highest goal, your most desired outcome) shouldn't the possibility exist that it can all come to fruition and be exactly as you desire it to be, if not better? I'm working on answering YES to this question more and more. But it takes courage, something I've had to redefine recently.
Beyond faithless optimism, to me courage is:
L O N G E V I T Y
This job ain't for the weak! It's also not for those who are seeking nano speed success. I firmly believe our greatest success isn't even sustainable if we haven't had the time to build a sturdy foundation and develop some character along the way. Michelle Yeoh said in her speech "Don't let anyone say you're past your prime". I literally crossed my legs--all sassy like--and proclaimed to the group of friends who'd gathered to watch the Oscars last Sunday, "Exactly, 'cause I need time."
It's been said many times over: This is long ball. A marathon. A process. I will never forget something Glynn Truman said at a panel years ago. I am paraphrasing here, but it was something to the effect of "Keep honing your craft, and eventually your talent will make a way for you." I believe this with my whole life. In fact, the proof of my absolute trust in this truth is that I am still here!
"Don't let anyone say you're past your prime."
enisha b jane
In my own words.
P.S. And now for the opining: ANGELA BASSET DESERVES HER FLOWERS TOO!
Below are the thoughts I shared last month on IG after the nominations were announced for Best Actress and Best Director:
My episode of NCIS: Hawai'i originally aired on February 6th, 2023 on the season 2 episode entitled Misplaced Targets. You can watch episode 13 on Hulu and the Paramount + app. Check out some behind the scenes shots and a few screen grabs of me becoming Tracy Meadows. (Spoilers Below)
If you're and actor, you want to book a guest star on NCIS Hawai'i! A work trip with five star treatment in paradise... not too shabby. I flew in on a Friday and started work on Monday which meant a mini vacation for the weekend. Needless to say I relished in the atmosphere and even got to catch up with an old acting peer of mine from Atlanta who happened to be in town for a different show and staying in the same hotel. We talked shop for hours. It was a sweet reunion.
I was happy to work with wonderful people and pretty stoked that I booked my first "bad guy". Who wouldn't love to be bad for a couple days and suffer none of the consequences. Muahaha. Cheers to more to come!
Highlights from the 2022 COAWFF where CLING screens as an official selection. Director, Mel Mah participates in Q&A. Giuseppe Russo and Enisha Brewster attend the Awards Gala in North Hollywood. Enisha Brewster wins Best Actress for the short film CLING.
CLING: That's a Wrap!
We have officially wrapped on principle photography for CLING: A short Film by Enisha Brewster. YES!!
Last weekend, we braved the LA heat, got in lots of steps, and managed to wrap two days of shooting on schedule! It was a lot of work, but because of our generous donors, we were able to hire the most INCREDIBLE crew of talented, passionate, and professional people to get the job done!!
And now on to the most important part of the filmmaking: post-production! In Phase 2 of our fundraising campaign, we have a goal to raise an additional $4,424 to reach our funding goal of $8K.
The funds we raise from this point onward will be used for the following:
- Minor VFX
- Sound Mixing
- Original Scoring
- Color Grading
- Poster Design
- Festival Submissions
What is CLING about?
CLING is a short film about a young woman named Jade who finds herself heartbroken, directionless, and on a spontaneous journey on foot, passing the varying facades of LA after listening to a disturbing message on her boyfriend’s phone. Anger turns to frustration as beautiful neighborhoods trigger painful memories of their past. Frustration gives way to confusion and dismay as the grittiness of LA’s streets intensifies Jade’s growing realization of her role in this dysfunctional relationship. At the crucial moment, which direction will Jade decide to take: the route that takes her farther away, or one that sends her back?
Why this film? Why now?
CLING is a visual appeal to anyone who has ever felt trapped in a relationship to always take one step and then another toward their peace, to never forget who they are, and to take responsibility for their happiness no matter what. It is meant to be a metaphor of the intense inner struggle that one wages as they contend with one new reality after another. And, it is an ode to the power of a mother’s love, which knows no depths and defies all distances.
So, if you think this inspired and moving film speaks to you and you would like to help us bring it to life, please consider donating any amount by visiting our crowdfunding campaign: https://gofund.me/de12fe47
enisha b jane
in her own words
I'm coming in hot!
Who just got new headshots, did an acting master class intensive weekend and is in pre-production for her first short film? This girl.
That's it that's the post.
But for the sake of more details, shout out to David Muller Photography and Margie Haber Acting Studio.
AND do check out our crowdfunding progress for CLING. We are just 3 short weeks away from principal photography and on our way toward our second funding benchmark of 5K! Pew Pew Pew!!!
Exciting things happening. And such a lesson on creating your own momentum.
enisha b jane
In my own words.
Wind me Up!
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.
Unpacking these tears
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.
Airing Alert: S.W.A.T.
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!
Booking: Grey’s Anatomy
** 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.
enisha b jane
In my own words.