Creatives of color, from actors to producers to directors, writers, and musicians, participate in coaching sessions on the new interactive show “Inside the Black Box.” Airing on Crackle, a streaming platform, the 10-part series features Emmy Award-winning actor, director Joe Morton and producer, acting coach Tracey Moore as co-hosts.
Taking a new approach for an interview show, the interactive “Inside the Black Box” brings some of the best talent in the business to tell their stories while helping those hoping to break into the business.
Each 60-minute episode has Morton and Moore in no holds barred, revealing conversations with guests and leading performance workshops and discussions about the role race plays in the entertainment industry.
“I wanted to give these students an opportunity to hear from my colleagues,” said Morton, who can currently be seen in the Fox series “People Like Us.” “It gives them an opportunity to be helped in their craft by me, Tracey or whoever is our guest. Plus, it is wonderful entertainment.”
“Inside the Black Box” serves as a master class delivered on a new platform. The unscripted show includes topics like going up for roles, being pigeon-holed as a character type, developing a budget and how projects are launched for production – referred to as getting the “green light.”
Moore has been a producer and acting coach for more than 30 years and said he knows of about 10 colleagues who count as Black acting coaches, each of whom knows one another. Because of social media, it’s easy to find a Black coach, Moore said. Besides asking other actors, their names can be secured from the Screen Actors Guild which has listings of acting coaches and classes.
“It’s all about doing your due diligence, reading their resume, making sure they are relevant and they are current,” said Moore on how to evaluate a prospective coach. “Also, make sure they’re who they say they are. You have a lot of people who will deceive you.”
“The experiences and the stories of these actors who are guests on the show do inspire. They empower and motivate,” Moore added.
Morton noted Broadway re-opened last Fall with seven plays by Black playwrights among the lineup. It appeared diversity had finally been taken seriously. But then Morton heard how difficult it was to get financial backing for “The Harder They Fall,” the Black western movie starring Regina King, Idris Elba, LaKeith Stanfield and Jonathan Majors. Securing the funding represented a major obstacle. It’s these kinds of challenges in the industry that “Inside the Black Box” hopes to address.
“Ten years ago, that western never could have never been made,” Morton said. “Whereas today, it did get made. It was getting the largest stars that could be found to say ‘yes.'”
Giving outsiders an industry insider’s view of film and stage productions is also what Moore sees as tempting about “Inside the Black Box.”
“We expose the problems that most people don’t know if they are not connected to the industry,” she said. “This show is solution-driven.”
“Inside the Black Box” is now streaming on Crackle, a free Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) service at https://www.crackle.com See the trailer for “Inside the Black Box” at https://youtu.be/5qAmVfMDCoo
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