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!
Q: Where did the title CLING come from?
A: In addition to the definition of the word “cling” aptly representing the cause and cure for Jade’s dilemma, writer, Enisha Brewster, lived on Kling St in Los Angeles during the relationship that most inspired the short film.
Q: Why is there so little dialogue?
A: It was important to the filmmakers to emphasize the emotional journey of Jade and highlight the dialogue between Jade and her mother, Darlene, as the turning point in the film.
Q: How long did it take to make the film?
A: Six months: preproduction began April of 2021, filming took place in June, and the film was completed in October.
Q: How many days of filming were there?
Q: Why does Jade throw Jason’s phone in the trash?
A: Jade is angry and beyond her capacity to communicate rationally. Instead of responding to his messages about her taking his phone, she tosses it.
Q: Does the dialogue between Jade and Darlene happen in present day?
A: Though intentionally ambiguous at the start, this conversation is one of several flashbacks Jade recalls during her single-day journey.
Q: Why does Jade say “Yeah, it’s me” on the phone to her mom?
A: Darlene has likely been trying to reach Jade all day. She responds this way as a confirmation and answer to Darlene’s admonishment earlier in the film.
Q: In how many different locations did filming take place?
A: Eight, many of which were visited twice in a single day of shooting to capture the passing of time.
Q: How did ‘Lady in Green’ inspire the story?
A: The Ntozake Shange character has a famous poem that begins: “somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff”. The metaphoric poem inspired both the name of the lead character and parts of the plot.
Q: Did CLING have an all-female crew?
A: Nearly. All key filmmaker roles were held by women: writer, director, cinematographer, assistant camera, and producers.
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ABOUT THE FILM...
With its limited dialogue, CLING is a visual and emotional appeal to anyone trapped in an unhealthy situation to take one step and then another toward peace, to never forget who they are, and to take responsibility for their happiness no matter what.
Shot in a variety of East Los Angeles neighborhoods, the moving pictures of CLING are meant to serve as a metaphor of the inner struggle one wages as she contends with one unsustainable reality after another. And, it is an ode to the power of a mother’s love which knows no depths and defies all distances.
CLING is inspired by the real-life events of writer and lead actress, Enisha Brewster, detangling from bad relationships and surviving the harsh realities of life far from home. Enisha also drew inspiration from “lady in green,” a character from Ntozoke Shange’s Choreopoem, For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf. For Enisha, making CLING has served as a catharsis and an acknowledgement of a reclaimed self.
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What a weekend at the City of Angels Women's Film Festival. Our short film CLING screened on Saturday in a block of truly great films 🎥. Shout out to Mel Mah our director and Giuseppe Russo our concept artist/storyboard artist & Executive Producer!
We were nominated for Best Short Short and took home the trophy 🏆 for Best Actress! Such an honor 🙌🏾. THANK YOU Lisa, Amanda, and all of the organizers and sponsors for creating space to celebrate women filmmakers and women's stories in film! Fantastic festival!
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.
Check out the highlights from the CLING Q&A at the California Women's Film Festival.
During the Q&A at the 2022 California Women's Film Festival, actress and writer, Enisha Brewster alongside producer Taryn Kelly, discuss the inspiration and making of CLING the short film directed by Mel Mah.
Hot Like Fire!
Shot by Korbin Bielski, we braved the searing temperatures of the Salton Sea Beach and served up hotter than hot looks of the New (AW)/(Leg Cuff’s) Stunt Harness collection for www.AxtionWear.com. Wow!
Photos are copyright AxionWear 2022. All rights reserved.
Watch the trailer for my passion project CLING!
Releasing late 2022
enisha b jane
In my own words.