This anecdote from Kenya Barris should remind you to remember the little people

Sheryl Lee Ralph has taken a career leap recently, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role as Barbara Arnold on the hit ABC sitcom. And in a recent conversation recording for Essence Round Table She spoke to Jackeé Harry, her colleague and the only other black woman to win an Emmy for Supporting Actress, about the importance of being nice to everyone on the way up. Because the production assistant you’re abusing on set today could very well turn out to be one Black Creator Kenya Barris.

The discussion that can be seen on beings‘s website, began with Ralph explaining the importance of having a good mentor. She said Tony Award-winner Virginia Capers gave her the lecture on how to be kind to the people who work for her. As Ralph said:

“She said, ‘Be as kind as you can, while you can, to as many people as you can, because same ass’ — and she said it — ‘you’re kicking today, you might have to kiss tomorrow … That just got to me well done because how many times in the next five to ten years did the young person who brought me coffee turn out to be a producer?”

Harry then replied that she had to learn that lesson the hard way as the breakout star of NBC’s hit 227she chose to be rude to a PA who later went on to create some successful TV shows of her own:

“You know who I used to bring my scripts to 227 to my door and deliver them? Kenya Barris. I wasn’t nice to him. Look, look at me now. I don’t lie and he reminded me of that. He said, ‘Do you remember?’ And wait – ego – I don’t remember.”

While Jackeé won her Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination 227 and an NAACP Image Award for her role sister sisterHer career has slowed down of late, with her most consistent appearance as a series regular on the soap opera days of our lives and the accompanying miniseries Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem. This anecdote from Kenya Barris should remind you to remember the little people

Lindsay Lowe

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