A Behind the Scenes Look At My Process

Originally posted at Medium

I recently got an email asking about my latest appearance on Madam Secretary and I thought I’d draw a cartoon about the whole thing.

Here was the email:

Wow!! I saw your episode last night and I’m blown away! So I had a question that you partially answered with a tweet. Do you speak Russian? At all? I saw that you had to learn 4 pages but did you have any background in the language. Also, your accent was amazing!!! Did you ever study the accent or did you just learn it when you got the audition?

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Conception: Origins of a Nerd of Color

The gun fired and we were off to the races. I was one of the first to dive in the water without a moment’s hesitation; it was as if Denzel trained me himself. It was the early-mid 80s so “Eye of the Tiger” was quite possibly in rotation on the radio as I stroked ahead of the pack, feeling fresh and new, keeping my eyes on the arrows directing our path.

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Why You Should Love Jem and the Holograms

Do you know what’s truly outrageous? I’m 33 years old, have no kids, and still watch cartoons. There’s one in particular that I just started watching again, and after not seeing it for 16 years I was reminded of both the hilarity (shoulder pads!) and the groundbreaking diversity of cartoons  in the 80s. If you didn’t guess it by the post’s title, I’m referring to Jem and the Holograms, an animated series created by Hasbro, Marvel Productions, and animation studio Sunbow Productions.

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As a young girl growing up in the 80s, there were plenty of cartoons I could watch to justify my love for cuddly teddy bears and rainbow colored horses. There was also She-Ra, He-Man’s empowered twin sister. She represented two dreams of every little girl: being a princess and kicking bad guys’ butts. However, looking back at the variety of cartoons geared toward young girls, there wasn’t much cultural diversity, and there weren’t many realistic female characters that young NOCs like me could look to as role models.

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