Innovation Issue MADE Magazine - Page 45

MADEXXX MADE: What prompted you to create the “Sh*t White Girls Say … to Black Girls” video? Was it an isolated racially insensitive comment? Franchesca: It came on the heels of my high school alumni Christmas party--I went to a predominantly white school. I can’t say that there was an isolated incident that prompted the video as much as a general frustration with the oblivi- ous ignorance that a lot of have to deal with. The vid- eo came naturally because I had been hearing those comments for a long time. MADE: I can’t really think of another personality to compare your career to which is amazing. You’re like the poster child for multi-passionate creatives who are really good at many things and don’t want to have to lean on one very specific skill set. How’d you become comfortable with embracing all of your talents? Franchesca: Thanks! I’ve just learned to really funnel my energy into what I love to do. I take the time to remind myself that I can do it and I really work for it. Fortunately, all of the things I do complement each other well. MADE: I think that part of your appeal as an online persona and ultimate success is your ability to come across as approach- able and genuinely kind despite some of your heavy-handed (justifiably) rhetoric. You’ve once said that you get your high emotional intelligence from your dad and that he’s basically “basically Drake.” What are some of the most important things you’ve learned from him on how you treat people? Franchesca: Yeah, my dad is literally the kindest human being I’ve ever known in my life. Being raised by him and seeing how far his kindness has carried him through life made me want to be the same way. I know that the best version of myself can only be achieved if I treat others the way I would like to be. MADE: You said it only took six years and 4 incredibly fast hours to reach stardom. What did you mean by that? Franchesca: I was referring to my consistent grind of working my day job, going on acting auditions and getting no roles, writing scripts for my videos, sourcing costumes and backdrops, shooting and then editing, all with little to no pay off besides the occasional in- vite to events. Back when I started, Youtube mone- tization wasn’t the way it is now so I wasn’t getting paid for the content I was producing initially. I just needed to get it out. I also knew that was a great platform to showcase my acting skills and possibly lead to work in that space. I did that for years and it all seemed to pay off about four hours aft er I uploaded the “Sh*t White Girls Say video. That’s when the views started coming and I knew I had something. CHECK OUT Francesca’s book, “Well, That Escalated Quickly:Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist” and follow her digital activism @chescaleigh. Photos by Erin Patrice O’Brien INNOVATION ISSUE 45