Issa Rae took a toast with her own Viarae Prosecco to commemorate gracing the Women’s Summit stage during AFROTECH Conference 2023.
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The multifaceted actress, writer, producer, and entrepreneur has accomplished a great deal as she continues to live in the limelight. Her award-winning HBO series “Insecure” concluded after five seasons, and she has since turned her attention toward other areas that give her joy, which include her comedy series “Rap Sh!t,” the launch of her own sparkling white wine, and several coffee shops (Hilltop Kitchen + Coffee).
For Rae, she is living her purpose and pursuing her true passion.
“It really does come down to ‘why are you doing this? Why are you needed to do this?’ That’s the question I have to answer myself,” she expressed in conversation with Simone White, AFROTECH’s senior vice president of talent infusion. “What else would you rather be doing if you weren’t doing this? And that’s what keeps me here. I always think about the old job that I had. I definitely don’t want be doing that. I’m in a much better place.”
She added, “But, it does come down to funding, and you need capital to continue to do what you’re doing. It always comes down to just the community around me and asking people for favors and being like, ‘I promise you, if you like help me in this situation and I can help you to like, what can I do for you?’ It’s almost like a bartering system of services, and that’s got me through in so many ways. This is such a passion of mine. I just can’t see myself doing anything else.”
Despite all Rae has accomplished over her a decade-long reign in entertainment, she still feels she is in a constant state of proving herself and is nowhere near the finish line.
One of the goals she has set for herself is to one day own her intellectual property. Rae understands there is a give and take when securing deals with major television networks and streaming giants such as Netflix.
“So being part of an overall deal, that’s something that I’m blessed to be part of… The only downside is you don’t own the things that you make,” Rae said on stage. “And so part of my turning for is figuring that out and making sure that I own my sh-t, but that takes capital. That takes a boost. But that is for sure the next era of my journey, is how I own my sh-t.”
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During her conversation, Rae also set aside moments for self-reflection and confesses her desire to achieve a certain level of career satisfaction before making her exit.
“I don’t have a desire to work forever. I wanna do things that I want to do forever,” she explained. “But the work part of this is hard, and anxiety and the windows that you feel like you have. So, I definitely wanna reach a point where I feel satisfied because there is a thing of constantly moving and adjusting what success means. And I just want to be at a place where I’m satisfied.”