Who better than Issa Rae to cover Glamour’s TV Issue? We can wait. The co-creator of HBO’s hit show, Insecure, sat down with the creator of The Shade Room, Angelica Nwandu, to share some intimate thoughts and experiences. 

Nwandu shares that throughout her weekend with Rae in New Orleans, she learned that Rae isn’t afraid to make a scene — "not on a dance floor, in the writer’s room, on Instagram, or in a room full of white HBO execs who might not understand her vision."

Rae is a Los Angeles native, born to a doctor and a schoolteacher, who lived in Maryland until the 6th grade and then moved back to southern California — View Park to be exact. Rae discovered an interest in theater while in high school, where she was the lead for the school play for four years. While she was interested in acting, Rae noticed the lack of women who looked like her in movies and music videos. 

"For me, it was like, 'If I want to pursue acting, I know that I am going to always have to be the best friend,'" she shared with Glamour. 

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Despite the lack of representation, Rae didn’t give up — she graduated from Stanford University majoring in African and African-American studies and minoring in political science. Rae began writing a web series about her experience at Stanford, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, which became popular in 2011. She wasn’t entirely sure that she had a solid future and she became embarrassed:

"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."

#IAmWhatIMakeUp www.meltingpoutmetallics.com

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Nonetheless, she kept working and hustling. As Insecure came about, Rae ensured that all of the characters on the show were real. She kept Insecure authentic to Los Angeles and to black people. Most of the show takes place in south L.A., a place where Rae plans to move back to, but it’s also a place that’s slowly being gentrified. The gentrification disheartens Rae and it’s something that she won’t allow to seep into her show. 

Rae remains true to herself and what she wants out of her show by keeping herself surrounded by people of color. 

"I could never do this show and have a predominantly white staff," shared the 33-year-old actress. Her authenticity has gained her some pretty amazing fans, like Michelle Obama. As exciting as that was for Rae, she mentions feeling bummed that she’ll "never have the feeling again of the First Family f*cking with us so hard and getting us."

Rae hopes to keep topping her last seasons of Insecure and providing viewers with content that is fresh but remains true. 

"I think, if anything, the fear of failure comes from somebody telling me, 'We’re good on what you have to say,'" she shared with Glamour. Nwandu mentioned that Rae isn’t interested in someone telling her what version of herself is fit for her audience. "I want to control that, I don’t want anybody else to control that," stated Rae. 

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