More

There weren't enough roles for her to play. So Madeleine Sami wrote 5 for herself.

She's building her own bridge across the diversity gap.

There weren't enough roles for her to play. So Madeleine Sami wrote 5 for herself.
True
Facebook #SheMeansBusiness

When Madeleine Sami started off in theater, she found herself playing stereotypical roles for people of color.

The New Zealand filmmaker/writer/actress is half Fijian-Indian and half Kiwi with Irish heritage, and she found that there were not a lot of three-dimensional roles available to her.

According to a recent survey in New Zealand, only 38% of television writers are women. And a recent UCLA diversity report in Hollywood shows that minorities are underrepresented 2 to 1 in cable, scripted, and reality TV leads and that for women, it's about the same.


So she made a decision: She'd cast herself in the roles she wants.

She's not just one lead in her TV show, "Super City"; she cast herself in five lead roles.


GIF via NZonscreen on YouTube

"Super City" shows that an actor of color can play multiple roles — roles that even open-minded casting directors might never have considered!

When you're the writer of your own story — literally or figuratively — you can consider anything.

She wrote roles for herself like these:

— Pasha, a ditzy actress and socialite


All images via "Super City" trailer/YouTube.

— Azeem, a patriotic male cab driver

Did Sami do such an incredible and hilarious job in a male role that I'm reconsidering the necessity of casting based on gender? Those thoughts are forming.

— Linda, a middle-aged and uptight aspiring artist

— Jo, a fitness trainer grappling with her sexuality

— Georgie, a homeless mom trying to make it as a parent

And all in one show!

By both making her art and selling it on the entertainment market, Sami and her show are a powerful proving ground for the marketability of diverse voices in entertainment.

It was through social media, Facebook in particular, that Sami realized just how much people were really responding to her show.

GIF via NZonscreen/YouTube.

She says, "Someone set up a 'Super City' quotes page on Facebook. ... I had a look at it the other day ... people remember whole paragraphs of dialogue from the show!"

Because of Facebook, Sami was able to hear from her fans directly. She was able to get confidence directly from the people she was trying to reach. And things must've gone well with TV studios because the show got a second season!

Diverse characters, voices, and perspectives all interact in "Super City." It's a comedy, and if you watch the trailer, you'll see how funny it is but that something else is going on.

By having all the parts played by one person, we can see how alike we all are! It's pretty cool.

Watch the trailer for Sami's show and have a laugh!

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
True

This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

Keep Reading Show less

4-year-old New Zealand boy and police share toys.

Sometimes the adorableness of small children is almost too much to take.

According to the New Zealand Police, a 4-year-old called the country's emergency number to report that he had some toys for them—and that's only the first cute thing to happen in this story.

After calling 111 (the New Zealand equivalent to 911), the preschooler told the "police lady" who answered the call that he had some toys for her. "Come over and see them!" he said to her.

The dispatcher asked where he was, and then the boy's father picked up. He explained that the kids' mother was sick and the boy had made the call while he was attending to the other child. After confirming that there was no emergency—all in a remarkably calm exchange—the call was ended. The whole exchange was so sweet and innocent.

But then it went to another level of wholesome. The dispatcher put out a call to the police units asking if anyone was available to go look at the 4-year-old's toys. And an officer responded in the affirmative as if this were a totally normal occurrence.

Keep Reading Show less