‘Insecure’ creator Issa Rae on the worst advice she never took: “Do it the traditional way”

HBO/Anne Marie Fox(NEW YORK) — Insecure creator and star Issa Rae has forged her own path in Hollywood.

Forgoing the conventional route often taken by actors dictated by casting directors, agents and producers, Rae created her own show: a web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, which became massively popular and in 2013 won the Shorty Award for Best Web Show.

It caught the attention of writer/producer/comedian Larry Wilmore and together the two created HBO’s Insecure. Now about to enter its third season, Insecure has garnered critical acclaim, named one of the American Film Institute’s top 10 television programs of the year in 2017 and earning Rae two Golden Globe Award nominations.

So when it came to sharing the worst advice she never took it’s not surprising that for Rae it was, “to do it the traditional way.”

Rae tells ABC News’ Chief Business, Technology and Economics correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis, that she was told, “No one’s checking for Internet shows. No one’s checking for web series. So just write a traditional spec script, send it to someone, send it to an agent, and you’ll break in the industry that way.”

Had she listened and tried do it the “traditional way,” Rae tells Jarvis, she believes that she “wouldn’t be where I am now.”

She adds, “Your individuality is such a currency, because it makes you rich. It makes you, you.”

Since the first episode of her web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl aired in 2011, Rae has helped to pave the way for other web creators, opening a new door to entry in Hollywood. Today her online content has amassed over 23 million views and over 350,000 YouTube subscribers.

You can hear more from Issa Rae on episode 41 of ABC Radio’s No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis podcast.

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