MADE Magazine Spring 2019 May 2019 - Page 21

WELLMADE MADEXXX play the character that you think would add to the story. And I felt that way about Ambitions. I felt that way about Amara in particular. You know, how driven she is, how flawed she is, her insecurities in terms of her relationship with her mar- riage and what she’s trying to build and hold on to. And also at the same time, the distraction of getting ahead and winning and how that can in the long and short term undermine the very thing that we say is most important to us. MADE Can you expand on your thoughts around competition? ESSENCE We’ve been set up (we, as people of color in particular) have been set up to view each other as adversaries instead of assets. And I think that that plays out in the business world for sure and it also plays out romantically. And I understand because statistically we are at a deficit in terms of eligible black men that we’re vying for, you know what I mean? So I get that we kind of feel like: “Well I have to do what I have to do to “secure the bag.” But I think they can apply metaphorically to men as well (laughs). I think that we lose ourselves. We lose who we truly are. We lose ourselves in terms of our highest calling and our higher selves when we allow [ambition] to be the thing that drives us instead of real companionship, real partnership, conducting ourselves with integrity maintaining a sense of peace, not feeling desperate or at a loss. And I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching from lofty pillar on high. It is not easy to stay grounded. It’s not easy to stay secure. It’s not easy to trust in the greater vision for your life. And the fact that when it’s time and when it’s meant for you any old thing won’t do (at least not for me) but it’s not easy to trust in that and to sit in the sowing time as opposed to the harvest. And so this story is really about ambi- tious people are very dedicated to getting what they want and they’re determined to get what they want. And that permeates in our society and it permeates in this sto- ry. So I think that when the audience sees Ambitions they’re going to really be able to attach themselves to one if not several of these characters because they’re going to see a little bit of themselves in what matters, what they’re passionate about and what they’re willing to do. And obviously because we’re a soapy drama it’s a heightened reality of these characters and their worlds. But I think everyone can have a sense of connection to it in terms of how we’ve compromised at times in our lives to attain a goal. MADE So, in a world full of ambitious people how do you stay grounded or balanced? ESSENCE Yeah it’s definitely both. And it’s also the wisdom of being older. It’s like: “I’m not a kid anymore.” I have the asset of being able to look back on my life and see God’s hand throughout it and know that I don’t have to panic #mademaven 21