Issa Rae: When I Was Making YouTube Videos, My Friends Were Being Doctors, Lawyers & Diplomates
The world figured out who Issa Rae was when she kicked down the doors of HBO Studios with her hit series Insecure. The highly popular show has been a catalyst in Rae’s career, as she has received novice credits for her writing and directing her YouTube videos years prior. As the show has received a boost of appreciation from some of Hollywood’s most notable stars, nothing has topped the joy Issa Rae received when Michele Obama spoke with her about the show so candidly.
Rae, the co-creator of the HBO hit series, says she had no idea the former First Lady watched the millennial targeted comedy/drama. In a recent interview, she discusses what it was like when Mrs. Obama exclaimed about the series and also reveals how she felt discouraged in her career while she was making content for her YouTube channel.
Rae received a degree from Stanford University, where she majored in African and African American studies with a minor in political science. She recalls being scared she wouldn’t match up to her friends who graduated alongside her from Stanford. She says,
“The embarrassment came from making a YouTube series while all of my friends were being doctors, lawyers, diplomats, all of those different things. Those postcollege questions—did I have to go to college to do this? Did I have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to make YouTube videos?—that was embarrassing for me.”
“There was no blueprint to do this. There was no one I could ok to to be like, ‘Oh, so-and-so made some videos and then had a television show, and then did movies.’ You kind of just do it.”
Ordained for her fate, Rae went on to become a notable and respected woman in the entertainment industry.
As she readies a new series for HBO about the trials and tribulations of an openly black bi-sexual man, she is still reeling in about the feedback she received from Michelle Obama about Insecure. It was in 2017 when Obama and Rae met. Upon their meeting, Rae says,
“She had just finished watching the finale, and she was like, ‘That fakeout—how could you do that? I thought you and Lawrence were going to live happily ever after!’”
Stunned by this encounter, Rae questioned if Obama was as vested as she seemed. She continue
“She was like, ‘Yes. Sasha and Malia put me on to it,’ ” Rae says. “It was like talking to my auntie. It bums me out that I will never have that feeling again of the First Family f*cking with us so hard and getting us.”
She also mentioned the current First Lady, Melania Trump, stating,
“If Melania [Trump] said that to me, I would be like, ‘Well, I guess it’s canceled. We’re not making this show. It’s not ours anymore.’ ”