Actors from black-ish, grown-ish and mixed-ish share wisdom and laughter at SCAD aTVfest.
SCAD aTVfest brought together an amazing panel of guests to talk about the “-ish” universe of shows on ABC and Freeform.
EP Courtney Lily represented both black-ish and mixed-ish. Laurence Fishburne and Anthony Anderson, both actors and EPs on black-ish, were on hand as well. Actors Tika Sumpter and Mark Paul Gosselaar spoke about mixed-ish. Finally, Francia Rasia and Trevor Jacksons shared experiences as actors on the series grown-ish.
— black-ish (@blackishabc) December 4, 2020
Much like the shows they represent, these guests brought both laughter and words of wisdom about the work they do on television. Enjoy these highlights from the “-ish” Happens: A Conversation with the Stars of the “-ish” Universe panel moderated by Marcus Jones of Entertainment Weekly as part the virtual SCAD aTVfest 2021.
Marcus asked the panel about the conversations they might taken home with them from work. Anthony Anderson reminded that many of the stories in Black-ish actually came from his own experiences at home. Mark Paul Gosselaar who plays Rainbow’s father Paul on the 1980s-themed set of mixed-ish shared the following thoughts.
We’ve had lots of open conversation because of the scripts. Courtney, we’ve had lots of conversations with you standing outside of our trailers. It is the beauty of our show that it opens up these conversations for us to have.
One of the things that excited me about being a part of the “-ish” universe was the way that we can have these conversations that are pretty heavy at times, but it’s through the lens of comedy. It’s almost like an elixir. You don’t realize that you are taking your medicine and you can just enjoy the fun of the universe, but yet you’re also being taught a lesson and starting conversations.
— grown-ish (@grownish) February 13, 2021
EPs, actors and ‘beautiful older black men’
The moderator initiated a conversation about Laurence and Anthony working as both EPs and actors on black-ish and the universe that has become “-ish”.
Trevor Jackson of grown-ish had heartfelt things to say about role models Laurence and Anthony. A healthy dose of laughter was also added to the mix when Laurence responded to Trevor’s words.
Anthony and Laurence have been people I have watched my whole life, kind of, you know. So, it definitely was an honor to be a part of something that they created and for them to just support us – support us in what we are doing. It makes you kind of feel that you are re affirmed in your job and that people that you’ve looked up to are seeing it in you. It definitely makes you want to work harder and do a great job. So, yeah, I definitely joined more than just the set. I joined a community. They are also older black men, so its a good circle to be in for sure for me.
You hear that, Anthony? You’re an older black man!
[lots of laughter]
It’s a feather in my cap coming from where I come from, Pops! Trevor says that now. One day he’s going to be an older black man. He’s going to understand how it feels when the new young jack says it to him.
Trevor, for future reference, what you want to add is one word, “Anthony, you’re a BEAUTIFUL older black man.”
Moderator Marcus also asked Mark Paul to chime in as well to compare Mixed-ish with other shows he has been a part of.
Well, I too, am thankful to be working with beautiful older black men. I look forward to my raise next year considering that I’m here. [laughter] This has been an amazing experience. It really is. We talked about this collaboration and it definitely feels like a collaboration between the crew and the cast.
Years ago in the 90s, I got to work with Dick Wolf. And I remember something that he said that stuck with me through most of my career. “If you have a problem, don’t yell down, come and yell up.”
When we have a problem on set, don’t take it out on the craft services guy or the wardrobe person or someone who has no control over what’s going on with the words that are coming out of your month. Go talk to Courtney. Go talk to Anthony or Laurence.
And the thing is, working on this show, bringing it back to the question, is that the door is open. That is an anomaly. I’ve worked on a lot of other shows and this is not something that is standard, but it is appreciated. I think it shows on the product. The product feels very fluid and to be given the opportunity to be in this environment, I relish in it.
So Many Shows had the opportunity later to pose a question to Tika and Paul about who most enjoys the nostalgia of the 80s-themed mixed-ish set. Hear their responses in the clip below.
The “-ish” Happens panel closed out with some words of wisdom to SCAD students. Thank you to SCAD aTVfest for bringing this fabulous group of actors together to talk about their work.
SCAD, short for The Savannah College of Art and Design, has a global presence with approximately 15,000 students studying across more than 40 different majors. You can learn more about “The University for Creative Careers” at SCAD’s website.
You can also check out our coverage of The Unicorn cast panel here.