1) Why did you decide to get into this industry?
When I was growing up, movies and television surrounded me. My mom and aunts would recite movie quotes to each other and I always loved storytelling. I was fascinated with the end credits and what each title meant. In college, I knew I wanted to work in the industry but I wasn’t sure in what capacity. After working my first corporate job as a project manager and working on a few small sets, production fell in my lap and became the natural fit.
2) What’s a defining moment in your life?
I’ve had a few but the most recent was when I decided to move to LA, I was 30 which some say is old for a “follow your dreams” move (Ha!). I left my family, a great job/income, and everything I know and loved in Atlanta and booked a one-way ticket to give being a producer and content creator a shot.
3) What is your biggest concern with the future?
The status quo. Change has definitely been happening for the better, but more is needed. I want to see more diverse stories and storytellers emerge and achieve recognition in this industry. Changes are not only important for on set, but also in writer’s rooms, award red carpets and at the executive studio decision-making level so that we have a more accurate reflection of the diversity we see in the world. I believe storytelling should be collaborative across all walks of life and can come from anywhere. Everyone has a story.
4) What is a successful moment in your career so far?
Working on a show like Giants (@giantstheseries) has been one successful moment in my career. I signed on to help the creator, James with production a couple of months after I moved to LA. Fast forward a few years and millions of views later, the show became a multi-award-winning series including making me a Daytime Emmy nominated producer and director. It also encouraged me to create and produce my own series, Unapologetically Black (@unapologeticseries) where 98% of my crew were people of color.
5) What advice do you have for other women in the industry?
Trust in yourself. Most of my hardest moments have been because I didn’t believe in myself enough. Mistakes are how you learn and celebrating the little wins can keep you going.
6) What, if anything, do you collect?
Right now, I just collect memories! I don’t collect anything physical. I’m trying to scale back and live a more minimal life.
7) What are you working on next? In addition, if people want to find out more about you, where can they find you on social media?
I’m @karajose on Instagram and @karaxjose on Twitter. You can check out my new series, Unapologetically Black (@unapologeticseries) at unapologeticseries.com. Giants is streaming on YouTube.com/IssaRae. I just signed on to produce a feature shooting Q1 of 2020 and I’m continuing to develop scripted, unscripted and digital projects under my production company co-owned with my business partner, Silhouette Productions.