Arts & Entertainment, Writing

Finding Your Voice & Inspiration

Issa Rae

Lesson time 12:19 min

Your unique voice is essential for storytelling. Issa teaches you how to create what you want to see by getting inspiration from your favorite shows and bringing underrepresented stories to a larger audience.

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

Topics include: Pulling Inspiration From 90's Representation · Study Your Favorite Shows · Create What You Want to See


[PHONE RINGING] - Look where I'm at. No, that's not my house. Look. I'm doing MasterClass. It's me. I'm a master. Yeah. Look. They even have my scripts here. Look. DIRECTOR: OK. You ready? - Yeah. Yep, I'm-- uh-huh. DIRECTOR: OK, great. That makes us ready, everybody. Picture's up. Thank you. Quiet on the set. And let's roll camera. [MUSIC PLAYING] - So much of embracing your voice is embracing every single part of you. I think we have a tendency to always want to put the good parts of ourselves on a pedestal and kind of brush away the ugly parts of ourselves. But the ugly parts are kind of the best parts of a story because everybody has them. And there's nothing more satisfying to watch something and be like, whoa, I thought I was the only one. I thought I was the only one that did that or that thought that way. And maybe it's not so ugly after all. And granted, there are things that are just generally ugly and wrong. And you should not tell those stories or do them. And maybe you should hide those. But you never know. They could still make for compelling stories for the villains in your story or the antagonists. But yeah. I think it's-- it's so important to create a full picture and to create the most authentic story you can is to show the good with the bad. That's the best thing you can do. When it comes to my voice, I think I've been able to hone it because I've tapped into what makes me unique and what makes my experiences unique. I knew from a young age that I had the privilege and the blessing to be able to be raised in LA in the US and to also go live in my father's home country of Senegal. And in Senegal, you know, I was able to be looked at as an American and feel how different it was to be kind of an outsider there and then having to go to Maryland and being considered African. And that really shaped my kind of being. I always felt like I was kind of between two worlds in that way until I started to just kind of forge my own identity and declare who I was. And that happened naturally growing up. But after a while, I was just like, oh, this is who I am. And I'm discovering myself like so many of us. So much of what you have to say is unique. And the more you embrace how unique that is, the more specific your voice will be, the more yours your voice will be. So I think it's really, really important to kind of hone in to what you have to say. When I was in Potomac, it was very white. And my only access to Black people was what I saw on television. And thank goodness I had that. Because as a child, when you're-- you're kind of developing your sense of self, it is important to be able to see people who look like you, to-- to not feel like an oddball and which I did in many cases, feeling like the only Black person in class or feeling like the only person who had my type of hair or was my skin tone. And I can't imagine not growing up with those images. '90s television was so representative of the--...

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.

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