“Recently I started reading a book by Leslie Odom Jr. and he had a whole section where he was talking about mentors. And I was like, I need some of that. I don’t really have mentors. I do a handful of things and I think I do them pretty well, but they’re all self-taught. There are things that I want to see and the only way that I get to see them is if I make them happen myself. I learned to draw and color my own artwork. I also learned to write because there are roles that I want to play and I felt that no one was going to give them to me. I learned to sing because I wanted to do musicals.
So everything that I’ve learned to do I taught myself and it’s all raw. I don’t know the right way to do anything. It’ll be nice to have someone, at least for one of those things that I do, help me channel it. It’s all raw, it’s all untamed energy and it’ll be nice to have someone to help me focus all that. There are tons of people who have inspired me and that I respect and that have made me better by example, but there’s never been anyone who took a special interest in me.
I remember watching a recent awards show and it was great seeing all those colorful faces. Donald Glover is doing some great stuff right now. Mindy Kaling and Issa Rae are, too. There are so many wonderful people of color out there looking like they’re having the time of their lives and that’s where I want to be right now. I am like one degree of separation of black excellence and the frustrating part is not knowing how to reach out and make that connection. I just don’t know how to make that leap over the fence.”