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Dear Artists, Jenifer Lewis Has A Few Words Of Advice For You...

by Tambay A. Obenson
September 21, 2013 1:06 PM
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Jenifer Lewis

I was hoping someone in the theater recorded and uploaded this to the web, so that it could be shared; and thankfully, someone did just that! 

I thought it was a perfect post for the weekend - something that the many artists (actors, writers, directors, etc) who read this blog would appreciate watching and hearing. 

We all need a swift kick in the ass from time to time to shake us up, and get us moving, and this just might do it for you today, or maybe tomorrow, or next week, next month, year, etc...

Ms Jenifer Lewis preaching during the Q&A that followed the Urbanworld Film Festival opening night screening of Baggage Claim, when she was asked what advice she would give to aspiring actors, who are working to get into the business. It's actually one of those broad, general questions that I don't particularly like; but Ms Lewis, in a moment of severity (I'm used to seeing her be comedic) handles it:

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  • Donna Bailey-Taylor | September 26, 2013 9:10 AMReply

    I needed to hear that -- I'm not in the entertainment businesses, but that doesn't matter. Great message no matter what your goals in life, "The elevator to success is broken, take the stairs". Love it!!!!

  • Nez | September 23, 2013 11:29 AMReply

    Love you for keeping it so real, young folks need to hear it . Love the natural hair you are truly rocking it!!

  • Nichola | September 23, 2013 10:06 AMReply

    She's brilliant!

  • Scripttease | September 23, 2013 8:33 AMReply

    Damn I needed that this morning, while I struggle with trying to have a Recommend or Considered script to bring into the New Year. Trying to hold on to some scenes I love, but can do without. This screenwriting is kicking my ass, but I'm in it to win it. Thanks Ms. Lewis.

  • Rel | September 22, 2013 9:16 PMReply

    Loving her w/ the natural look

  • PENWAH | September 22, 2013 1:51 PMReply


  • Donella | September 22, 2013 11:50 AMReply

    The elevator line is classic. I'm inspired!

  • Tracey Michelle | September 22, 2013 9:21 AMReply

    Especially the last sentence! Words to live by Diva! Words to live by! LOL

  • Tracey Michelle | September 22, 2013 9:18 AMReply

    I love her for keeping it real and unfiltered! That's exactly how it needed to be said!

  • Darkan | September 21, 2013 10:54 PMReply

    Mrs. Bullock with some words of wisdom!!! Better recognize!!! Rocking the natural and looking good too!!!

  • Iris | September 21, 2013 10:10 PMReply

    I started to love Jenifer since her speech. It is really great. She told us that we can have anything we want. We are the leaders of our own lives. It is true that we always meet difficulties in our daily life, but we should never lose our faith. In my humble opinion, we should know what we really want to do exactly. Keep going on everybody, you are sure to fulfill your dreams one day, sooner or later.

  • Ashley | September 21, 2013 9:56 PMReply

    Oh my goodness! I was the one who asked the question at the screening. I'm so happy someone captured her response. I wish you had captured the part where she said "I'm about to lay you out honey!" Love her!

  • LL2 | September 21, 2013 8:35 PMReply

    I LOVE Jenifer Lewis! She blessed us all with her incredible wisdom.

  • Monique | September 21, 2013 8:22 PMReply

    Right. On. Time.

  • Nike | September 21, 2013 6:24 PMReply

    I need this woman in my life, right this minute!!

  • Man-Over-Bored | September 21, 2013 2:27 PMReply

    Great Speech! Truly Inspiring! Hopefully, it'll inspire artists to produce more lasting and substantial works than disposable, bronze fluff pieces like "Baggage Claim."

  • Miles Ellison | September 22, 2013 1:41 AM

    Hopefully, it will inspire audiences to start patronizing something other than disposable, bronze fluff pieces like "Baggage Claim."

  • Joei | September 21, 2013 2:07 PMReply

    I met Ms. Lewis at UCLA a few years ago...She is the genuine article. Thank you for posting this clip. I wonder if Urban World has uploaded the whole Q & A to You Tube...

  • Avril | September 21, 2013 2:00 PMReply

    "The elevator is broken. Take the stairs." - PREACH!!

  • Mimiluv | September 21, 2013 1:58 PMReply

    That was awesome! Love her.

  • Syrich | September 21, 2013 1:53 PMReply

    Love love love J. Lewis. I will never forget her line in Girlfriends, "If that ain't the big and loud calling the big and loud, big and loud." Her deliverance of that line was priceless. She should have received an Emmy for her portrayal as Toni Childs' mother. She is definitely one of those great actresses who hasn't and doesn't get the recognition she deserves. It is great to see she doesn't let that bull... hold her back. I think this little clip did more to make me want to see this movie (not really) than any of the trailers. Unfortunately this is not my type of movie.

  • jayglynn | September 21, 2013 2:23 PM

    @^^^ I recently watched that episode of Girlfriends, and after she said that line I laughed so hard, then I paused the show, because it was one of those lines you wanted to sink in before the rest of the dialogue ensued. I agree, with your conclusion, it was delivered brilliantly.

  • Laura | September 21, 2013 1:31 PMReply

    Preach sista preach

  • w Keith | September 21, 2013 5:16 PM

    only J Lewis can deliver a line like that... like that. Brilliant. now I know why she so tough that out house made her like that. she don't take no s***

  • LF | September 21, 2013 1:22 PMReply


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