Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Rashaan Patterson.
Hi Lauren Rashaan, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Lauren Patterson (AKA Lauren Rashaan), and I’m truly a Southern Bell, born and raised in Charlotte, NC. Childhood was somewhat unique, being raised by an on-fire-for-God evangelical single mother. One day after the pastor preached against magic and witchcraft, my mother concluded our Disney movies were of the devil and destroyed them all, but she left every one of her black cinemas intact. At that time, my greatest ambition as an 8-year old was relocating from the east side of Charlotte to the ritzy southeast side. It hadn’t dawned on me that I could leave the city altogether until I watched “Jason’s Lyric,” one of the few movies we had left. That movie not only inspired me to leave North Carolina, but it motivated me to begin journaling my life. I expressed my vivid imagination through poetry, short stories, children’s books, magazine articles, along with ideas for movies and television scripts. Writing quickly blossomed into a hobby for me, especially since we didn’t have cable TV, and the only analog channels we could pick up were public broadcast and Christian networks. I began writing what I longed to see and hear and somehow fell in love with writing. It allowed me to live vicariously through my newly imaged characters and to visit places I had never been. I currently reside in Houston, where I worked as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines – a role that ironically has allowed me to travel for free to places I used to only dream of and write about. I created a documentary series and TV pilots for two real estate shows in one of my latest ventures. One features four competitive real estate divas in the Atlanta market. The other shadows three African-American males who earned millions through their wheeling and dealing as real estate brokers.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
One of the biggest struggles was deciding to take a leave from the only job I had known my entire adulthood. For nearly ten years, I’ve flown the friendly skies as a flight attendant. But a few years ago, when one of the plane’s engines died mid-flight thousands of miles in the air, the plane began violently shaking and rattling loudly. At that point, my purpose in life began screaming from within me. I knew I couldn’t go out like that. After all, my airline gig was a means to an end – free travel and accommodations, opportunity to see the world and make valuable connections for launching my real career. But up until that point, I was pursuing my real aspirations sort of half-heartedly, as if I had plenty of time to accomplish them. Well, that dooms-day-like shake-up in the air was my wake-up call and all the jolting I needed to shift into gear pursuing my dreams of writing and producing for television and film. Although the aircraft landed safely after diverting to my hometown, Charlotte, of all places, I knew I had to hit the ground running toward my real ambitions. I realized there was no time to waste. I felt if I didn’t use my God-given talents right then to pursue the vision He had given me, I never would. As frightening as that mid-air crisis was, it made me see that I had gotten extremely comfortable, floating through life talking about my goals but taking no real steps toward achieving them. Through this experience, God reassured me of His ability to protect me from harm in ways I hadn’t imagined. Which ultimately helps me to navigate as an independent creative in this film industry.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
As a freelance scriptwriter and producer, I develop content for film, TV and animations. One of the most fulfilling facets of my company is its non-profit arm’s, My P.E. Day, an inner-city festival that uplifts homeless women and children by providing free, wholesome entertainment, motivational speakers and hair and spa services. Recently, I released a children’s book called, “Why is Everything Closed? A Coronavirus Tale.” This uplifting story about an African-American family during quarantine was inspired by my niece and nephew. We have collaborated with 5FIFTHS production company to bring the book to life as an animation. I believe it’s pivotal for children to see positive images of themselves in storybooks and for us to control our narrative, or someone else will. After watching weeks of depressing and hopeless news about blacks on television, my 7-year-old nephew, Donovan, asked, “Is it better to not be black?” That ignited this author’s determination to produce a great family adventure not only celebrating their identity, but their creativity and resilience during this unprecedented national lockdown. I’m currently working on the book’s sequel called My Single Auntie.
Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
The most significant risk for me was going after my dreams full throttle. I took a huge leap in relocating from Charlotte to Atlanta to L.A. and then Houston and not having any idea of what the future would hold and no Plan B to fall back on. My vision mandated I accept a paradigm shift from the dependent employee, waiting on a paycheck, to an income-generating employer driven by achievements to succeed. As I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone, God has opened one door after another, connecting me with people and opportunities that I only imagined.
- $14.99 Paperback
- $7.99 Kindle book
- Email: info@MyPublicEgo.com
- Website: www.MyPEproductions.com
- Instagram: @iWriteAnimations
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Why-Is-Everything-Closed-A-Coronavirus-Tale
- Twitter: @MyPublicEgo
Cedric Jenkins Photographer @b_i_d_s Illustrations by Anirban Ghosh