Arts & Entertainment, Writing

Empowering Yourself & Those Around You

Issa Rae

Lesson time 07:24 min

Issa shares personal stories of times when she’s had to trust her gut, feel confident in her voice, and help other creatives gain opportunities in the entertainment industry.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Trust Your Gut · Speak Up & Speak Out


[MUSIC PLAYING] - One of my passions in this industry is being able to open the door for other people, and open the door for other creators. Because I recognize how hard it is to break in, how intentional it is in some cases to shut us out, how limited our opportunities are when we do get in. And so I do try to make it a mission to change that by providing those opportunities, by exclaiming within the opportunities that I have my desire to work with other creators of color, and that's, you know, in front of the scenes and behind the scenes. And I just think that that-- that allows us to have more of a body of work that's representative of us, that's representative of the diversity of us. And we just-- we don't have that. So it's exciting to be able to see yourself, and see experiences outside of you represented via these images. It's-- it's so important and it's fulfilling. And you know, I think that there's obviously value in seeing yourself, but I also love learning about cultures that I wouldn't otherwise have access to. Why would you not want that? I think if you're a person of color trying to break into the industry, the best thing you can do is align yourself with other people of color who are trying to do the same thing. That was central to my journey, of feeling like we're kind of in this together. We want the same thing. Let's work together to break in, and maximize our talents. I feel like that's the way to ensure longevity in this industry is by reaching and helping the next one, you know, and then they'll open doors for other people. So for me, that's-- that's the most important legacy I can leave behind, whether or not I'm here. I think the more that you second guess yourself, the more that you doubt your ability to do something, the less chance you'll do it. And I never want to live in that space. Because I will easily convince myself not to. So I would encourage you to go with your gut on occasion. I think your gut for the most part, does not fail you. And if you're feeling like you have the urge to do something, as long as it's not harming yourself or anybody else, do it. I can think of one time when I was trying to find a director for "Insecure," and the network was really excited about one particular person. And I never really thought that person was right. But that person was, you know, a bigger name, and I was a fan of that person. But I just didn't think that they were right for the show. And they were just insistent, like, try him out. Try him out. And the more and more we worked together, the more my gut was telling me, like this is not right. And it really is keeping me up at night. But everybody's telling me this person is right, and maybe I'm just wrong. And so finally, after having a conversation with a couple of women that I respected, I got the courage to be like, this just is not the person, the right person to direct the job. And they were like, well, you got a call. And so I called. They didn't ...

About the Instructor

The Emmy-nominated star and creator of the award-winning HBO series Insecure is here to show you how it’s done. Issa Rae uses her signature do-it-yourself ethos, humor, and voice to offer writers and creators of all types the motivation and tools they’ll need on their journey. Issa shares how she has navigated Hollywood while Black and inspires you to reach your creative dreams and never take no for an answer.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Issa Rae

Emmy-nominated writer, actor, and producer Issa Rae teaches you how to bring your creative vision to life.

Explore the Class
Sign Up