A Definition and Explanation

The Oreo Experience or: A Total Whitey in a Black Chick’s Body

Oreo – Slang: Black on the outside….white on the inside.

My grandparents have really cool recessive genes for black people. They have this rich, dark skin with bright blue eyes.

I also have an interesting recessive gene for black people: the one that makes me love Renaissance Fairs, Kristen Chenowith and dressage competitions.

This blog is dedicated to that existence.

Almost 13 Reasons Why…(I hope you check out the latest from Black Girl in a Big Dress)

Yup! This is totally (in part) one of those hey-I-did-a-hing-and-maybe-you-can-check-out-my-Indiegogo-please things! But I promise you it’s a good one!
Here’s what’s so great about Black Girl in a Big Dress, Season Two!
Proven Entity
We released Season One last fall to great success! 

Since then, we have grown our facebook group to almost 50K members, racked up more than 2 million views, and were nominated for a Webby Award. It’s been an amazing ride and I’m so proud of the work! 
 
When you join Team BGBD, you join a focused, successful group of professionals committed to continuing to make the great work that they are accustomed to making.

Black Girl in a Big Dress is also beginning her festival run next month at The International Black Film Festival in Nashville, and the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival in Atlanta! 

 
It’s Funny!
If you haven’t seen an episode yet, please check them out!
Our Perks are Great Way to Promo Your Projects
The BGBD community is large, growing every day, active, and they love finding new creators to get behind. By joining Team BGBD, you not only get the initial Social Media Shoutout, but we make it a point to support our fam with regular interactions that will help you grow your audience! Let’s help each other!!
It’s Not Just About Us
 
A portion of everything raised through this Indiegogo will be given to DonorsChoose.org, a great tool that allows the public to support teachers by helping them purchase needed items for their classrooms.
Life at home was challenging for me as a kid, and school was my safe haven. It was thanks to some amazing teachers that I found my creative voice–and the strength to pursue it–and I’m excited about being able to honour that in this way.
Great Community – Making Webseries Great Again
One of the things that I love most about the BGBD community is that it’s so big and has created room for everyone.
Like a lot of us, I’ve been pretty disillusioned with the state of affairs since November 2016 and I’ve definitely pushed some people away because of how different our political views are. It’s just too much sometimes.
Flash forward to November 2017 when I learned that a lot of people who voted for Trump also really like Jane Austen-style stories. Because of their support, I’ve been able to have conversations I never thought I’d have with people I would have assumed I had absolutely nothing in common with. It’s been a real growing experience for me and I’m so proud of BGBD for being able to appeal to so many people.
I figure if people on opposite sides of the ever-widening aisle can bond over crumpets and corsets, then there is some hope for us. I’m excited to connect with more and more people and I’m so excited that art can make that happen.
Diversity That’s Truly Diverse
There’s this really interesting thing that’s happening in the industry right now. On one hand, yes, I’m definitely hearing from more executives who are actively and specifically looking for writers of color to come on to their shows. On the other hand, when I turn up for these meetings, they often says things like “So, we’re doing an urban re-make of XYZ.” Or “We’re looking for the next Lena Waithe.” or “Tell us about growing up in the inner city.
While urban remakes are totally fine and Lena is an amazing talent and powerhouse, the black experience is just as wide and diverse as everyone else’s. That’s why I love this comment that someone left on BGBD’s youtube page:
I love that BGBD expresses more of the amazing variety of experiences that we all have to share!!
Woman-Led, Woman-Centric (and more about being truly diverse)
 
Another experience I’m having in good ol’ H-Town (No one calls Hollywood “Good Ol’ H-Town” do they? Well, they should!) is that yes, people want more and more stories about women, but similar to the race issue, there’s a feeling that the type of stories they’re looking for are rather particular.
I get a lot of requests for my female characters to be hyper dysfunctional, totally crass, etc. A lot of “Wouldn’t it be great if she was a sex addict–totally not one of those girls who’s trying to get married.” or “She should be totally just one of the guys, like we shouldn’t even know that she’s a woman per se.
Again, all that is super fine and I definitely like some shows with ladies like this in them. But I love being a little romantic, uncynical, and more playful than promiscuous. I love that the Black Girl in her Big Dress is truly feminist: She’s being herself, supporting her friends, and giving other women the space to be who they are–even if they’re not exactly like her.
Our team is also female-led, which is amazing to see. Myself, the directors, this season’s Editor, many of our sound mixers, some of our camera crew, hair and makeup, and the consultants working with me to get the clothes and period particulars correct are all women. And we’re a super diverse bunch of women who come from all backgrounds, races, sexualities, marital and kid statuses, and I LOVE having them all in the family.
Werk and Work
One of my big goals with my projects is to never do the Copy/Credit/Meals form of payment again. I want to honour the work, passion, and expertise that everyone is bringing to the table with money. I want my people to get paid.
Having worked on the studio side of things for 16 years, I’ve seen how hard it can be to hire someone if they exhibit the excitement to do the job, but don’t have gigs on their resume to show that they can. This goes double and triple for trying to hire people from underrepresented groups. I’ve definitely sat across from candidates who I KNOW can do the job, but they don’t have the on-paper cred that I can use to justify them to my bosses.
By paying my crew fairly, I hope to be able to give up-and-comers the opportunity to work more, and not have to turn down projects they’re passionate about in favour of less fulfilling work that at least comes with cash.
Did I Mention It’s Funny?
So much love and passion has gone into Black Girl in a Big Dress and based on the community feedback, I think it shows! We’d love love love for you to join the family. If you have a moment, please click the link below and see what works for you.
Other Ways to Help
If contributing isn’t for you just now, that’s totally ok!! Here are some other ways you can help us reach our goals:
Share this email with 1 or 2 people who share these values/hopes/dreams
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Thank you!
Thank you thank you thank you for reading and considering Black Girl in a Big Dress!! Please let me know if you have any questions!

#FBF – Black Girl in a Big Dress

#FBF to a year ago when we wrapped production on the first season of Black Girl in a Big Dress. It’s been an amazing ride! Thanks to everyone who’s watched, shared, liked, commented and pointed out that correct, those are in fact, not bourbon cremes. Here’s to getting the right biscuits in Season Two!

If you haven’t seen the show, check out all 8 episodes of Season One below!!

 

For more Black Girl in a Big Dress:
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And Insta on Instagram!

 

 

7 Awesome Things About Slavery (Reprise)

This post originally appeared here.

It has been updated below.

Also, seriously, how do you pronounce it? Is it “ruh-prize” or “ruh-preeze”?

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Every now and again a public official will casually say that America was the best when slavery was happening. They usually say it has something to do with family values and God and MAGA.

 

This week it happened again and people are all butt hurt because Alabama Senate candidate and alleged serial sexual predator Roy Moore basically said that slavery was A-OK when asked what his idea of a perfect America was.

Here’s how that totally reasonable exchange went down:

At a campaign event in September, a journalist asked Moore when was the last time America was “Great.”

Moore said: “I think it was great at the time when families were united. Even though we had slavery, they cared for one another. … Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”

And just like always, after said public official reminds us that slavery was totes nbd, there’s a huge snowflake backlash and everyone starts talking about how “terrible” it was that families were stolen from their homes, ripped apart, horrifically abused so that farmers in America could grow crops without having to do all that “work,” and used to set up a system of economics in this country that relies on people doing very difficult labour for none to low wages.

And I’m always so surprised that people would say things like this.

Because there are so many benefits to slavery that people always overlook. Here are 7 of ’em!

1. Fitness plans. According to some stats I hastily Googled, almost half of all black people are obese. This article says that in 42 states, more than a third of the black people there are obese. And in 15 states, that number goes up to 40%. I imagine that means that those black people are so fat that…they probably have a number of health problems and are uncomfortable in tiny seats or skinny jeans.

But back in slave days, blacks were super fit!! You can’t have a high body fat percentage when you’re doing hard labor all day. Not only did they get some cardio in when they were running from dogs and bullets, but they also got some fantastic strength training by carrying around full bushels of crops.

And they didn’t have to pay for it! Today a Crossfit membership that offers this kind of HIT training is not cheap! But back in the day, slaves got all that exercise for freezies! #jelly

Not fat.

2. Zero Percent Unemployment. It’s not new that The Great Recession was hard on everyone. But statistics show that it was super hard on blacks and that the African American population has been slower to recover than other groups.

That’s so not how it was when slavery was en vogue. You’d be hard pressed to find a black person out of work then. And sure, they didn’t get paid and they had to work ridiculous hours and they were beaten to death if they voiced an opinion or tried to find their husband who had been sold to a different family, but you know how good an internship looks on a resume!

3. Travel Benefits. Trying to work overseas can be a nightmare! There’s Visas and sponsors to worry about. You have to figure out how to get your paychecks converted into the right currency for whatever bank you’re using. You can’t lose your passport.

But slaves got to work overseas and had someone else take care of all the particulars! All slaves had to do was mind their own business in Africa. Then, suddenly, they got a surprise trip to a whole new world with lodging already taken care of!

Sure it’s crowded, but think of the travel points!

 

4. Easier Investment Portfolios. Have you looked at a paycheck recently? They’re so confusing! There’s the gross pay and allowances and all kinds of taxes. And don’t get me started on how complicated it can be to have a 401K! You have to figure out who your dependents are and how much of what stock you want to invest in. And if your company does matching funds, what’s the tipping point when you start taking out too much…it just goes on and on and on…

But slaves didn’t have to worry about all that. No pay meant no financial headache! No one likes doing their taxes and slaves got away with never having to.

6. Lots of Time Outdoors. How tiring is it, being cooped up in an office all day! Fluorescent lights and distant windows and office chairs that never seem to be adjusted quite right. It feels so good to just get away at the weekend. Go outside, take a hike or even just a walk around the neighborhood. Camping is a huge industry–people love it! And those lucky lucky slaves got to be outside all the time!! And they didn’t even have to wear sunscreen!

7. Low-Sugar Diet. We’ve already talked about the obesity rates among blacks, but diabetes is sky-high, too. Diabetes rates are twice as high among African-Americans than it is in whites. And they’re more likely to have to have limbs amputated. No. Thank. You.

It’s hard to over do it on the sugar when you’re eating scraps of meat and bread, or not being allowed to eat at all, so slaves totally had it good when it came to controlling carbs! It’s soooooo hard to say no to dessert. But slaves never got the chance to say yes! How easy would it be to be healthy without all that nasty temptation everywhere!

8. Gated Community Living. Today, neighborhoods where lots of black live are all scary like Compton or Oakland or The South. But as slaves, blacks got to live in super secure, fenced-in areas that would be totes out of their price range today. Jealous!

I mean, no, they didn’t live in the big house, but they got to live behind the gate. Which is more than I’m doing, tell you that!

 

What’s your favourite thing about forced free labour? Let us know in the comments!

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For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!
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Please also check out The Oreo Experience’s new webseries, BLACK GIRL IN A BIG DRESS. Join awkward African American Anglophile Adrienne as she navigates 21st century dating with 19th century ideals. All 8 episodes of Season One streaming now!

EXCLUSIVE: Other Shows HBO Considered Before Deciding On Confederate

Managed to get my hands on this internal memo circulated at HBO. Some pretty interesting titles here. I’m still rooting for Rosa Parks and Rec!! (Full text below)

 

 

Hey HBO,

Here are some other ideas we’re kicking around. Looking forward to your thoughts!!

 

GROUNDHOG MLK DAY – In the spirit of the acclaimed and beloved GROUNDHOG DAY, this series will re-live the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King over and over and over and over again. Each week, the audience will get the opportunity to see the assassination from many angles they never knew they wanted to see before.

 

JAMES CROWE – Superhero anti-heroes are all the rage these days, right? (read: Deadpool, Batman-those are the two that come to mind, anyway, so we’re gonna call that a trend). So why not create a Civil Rights-era anti-hero for us to hate, study, and learn from?? James Crowe is just a regular dude who just hates black people. That’s his whole deal. This series will follow his journey from regular citizen to political machinist slash lynch mob organizer. Every episode, he’ll come up with a new way to fuck over people who are darker-skinned than him. But also, he’s really charming in that Bradley Cooper/Littlefinger sort of way.

 

BOYCOTT BOYBAND – People also love musicals right now, right? We keep seeing all these Hamilton posts, so we figure that’s like a whole thing now. BOYCOTT BOYBAND combines the heartbreak of segregation with the joy of four-part harmony. Yes, people are getting fire-hosed, but also yes, they’re singing about it and cutting an album. We’re thinking of partnering with Harry Styles on this one. Each week, audiences will get to see visceral images of people being violently arrested while the sweet, dulcet tones of our favorite Motown quartet delivers a soundtrack that is sure to please!!

 

ROSA PARKS AND REC – A mockumentary-style (this is still a cool thing to do right?) series that shows us the quirky side of everyone’s favorite Civil Rights Era icon. From the back of the bus to in front of the camera, she’s a Pam Beasley for a new generation!! (Possible to get Jenna Fischer to play titular role?)

 

CIVIL WRONGS – It’s a procedural where every week, an African American person or family will try to use the court system of the United States to protect themselves and win their civil rights. But here’s the kicker: Every week, they will lose!! The good news is that this will be deeply painful to watch and the better news is that we’ll probably get several Emmys for it. Thinking of Peter Dinklage for the lead.

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Which one of these are you most interested in tuning in to? If you let us know which one and why in the form of a slave narrative, you might be eligible for a walk-on role in Season 4!!

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Here were some other fantastic ideas for programming. What was your favorite?

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We’re just a few weeks away from launching BLACK GIRL IN A BIG DRESS!! Please join us at any of the following:

Carl Knows Casting: A Short Play By The Oreo Experience

They say “write what you know,” so I transcribed this interaction that happened like 6 days ago.

 

Characters:

The Oreo Experience – You know me. I love Renaissance Fairs. I’m not the best in social situations. I make a real effort to attend Edwardian Era dance classes.

Carl – An educated professional.

Harriet – A coworker who I know reads this blog. Hi “Harriet!” Feel free to correct any inaccuracies you see below.

 

 

INT. THE OREO EXPERIENCE’S OFFICE – AFTERNOON

THE OREO EXPERIENCE, CARL, and HARRIET enter TOE’s office, finishing a conversation. 

HARRIET
Have you thought about acting?

THE OREO EXPERIENCE
Haha! Sometimes. I mean, I perform every now and then.

CARL
You could be in that movie where the girls all go to Vegas!

THE OREO EXPERIENCE
You mean Rough Night with Kate McKinnon! I would love that! Love her!

CARL
No, no. The other one. With the black girls.

THE OREO EXPERIENCE
Girls Trip?

CARL
Yeah! That one! You can be in that one!

THE OREO EXPERIENCE
Why can’t I be in Rough Night?

CARL
(incredulously. it’s important that the actor deliver this line with the amount of “duh” that was in the original)
Because they’re all white. You should be in the other one.

THE OREO EXPERIENCE
I would so be besties with Kate McKinnon.

CARL
You can’t hang out with Kate McKinnon.

THE OREO EXPERIENCE
I can definitely hang out with Kate McKinnon. I mean, I had a dream where she and I made out for like 17 minutes, so I think I’m good on the Kate McKinnon front.

CARL
You’ll just fit in better with the black girls.

THE OREO EXPERIENCE

CARL
What?

THE OREO EXPERIENCE
You know that I made a whole web series about how I dress up in Victorian gear and speak in an English accent whenever possible. Just gonna go out on a limb here and say that Rough Night might be the film for me.

The Oreo Experience then plays the following pieces for Carl.

The Oreo Experience closes her browser window and turns back to Carl.

CARL
Huh. Well, maybe after you finish working on that, they’ll let you be in Girls Trip.

FIN

 

 

Discussion Questions:

  • Considering both of these films are both completed and already distributed, should I be in Rough Night or Girl’s Trip?
  • How are TOE’s steadfastness and commitment to composure first made clear in the play? In what ways, during the course of the play, is she the victim of her own habits? Are these features eventually responsible for her happiness or sorrow?
  • What is the playwright suggesting about capitalism?
  • Discuss Winston as an heroic icon. What qualities help him define his own role?
  • Do you think Harriet should have had more lines?
  • What does the cherry orchard signify?
  • Have you started following Black Girl in a Big Dress on Facebook, Insta, or Twitter? Why or why not?

 

 

 

 

Matthew Gets Dreadlocks: A short play by The Oreo Experience

Matthew Gets Dreadlocks: A short play by The Oreo Experience
Based on true events

 

INT. PERFECTLY NORMAL CONFERENCE ROOM IN A PROFESSIONAL SPACE – DAY
The Oreo Experience finishes some emails on her laptop while other people file in.

THIS ONE GUY:
Did y’all see that Matthew got dreadlocks?

THIS ONE GIRL:
I did!! It’s crazy!

THIS OTHER GUY:
I can’t believe he just did that. I mean, it looks cool, I guess. But, it’s so different.

THIS OTHER GIRL:
How do dreadlocks even work?

A quiet beat.

All heads turn, nearly in unison, toward The Oreo Experience as she looks up from her laptop.

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
Are we waiting for Margot to join, or are we just getting started–
(then, off their looks)
–What?

THIS ONE GUY:
Like how do they work?

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
How does what work?

THIS ONE GUY:
Dreadlocks.

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
I don’t know. So, is Margot–

THIS OTHER GUY:
I mean, it’s fake hair, right? Like Matthew had to get extensions, right?

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
I don’t know Matthew and I don’t know anything about his hair.

THIS ONE GUY:
You saw the tall guy with dreadlocks today, right? That’s fake hair, yeah?

THIS OTHER GUY:
It has to be. His hair was not that long, was it?

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
Are you asking me?

THIS OTHER GIRL:
Yeah, how does it work?

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
Look, I’m writing this down to make fun of this later, and I’m not even sure if it’s “dreds” or “dreads.” So maybe you should just google it?

THIS ONE GUY:
It’s not that serious, but like… how does it work?

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
I don’t have dreds…dreads…whatever. So I really don’t know.

The Oreo experience takes this opportunity to re-open her laptop and get back to work since this is how it’s gonna be.

THIS ONE GIRL:
Can you wash it?

THIS OTHER GUY:
I read that you can’t wash it.

THIS OTHER GIRL:
He doesn’t smell, so he must wash it, or something, right?

THIS ONE GIRL:
Like, how long does that take? Can you do it in a couple hours?

THE ONE GUY:
How long does it last?

THIS OTHER GUY:
How do you get it to grow in that shape?

THIS OTHER GIRL:
Is it soft? Like what does it feel like?

The Oreo Experience looks up, expecting to see people looking at other people. Nope. They’re still looking at her.

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
If you really want to know, maybe you should just ask Matthew…directly?

THIS ONE GIRL:
Well no, I mean, I’m not going to be all weird or rude about it!

 

FIN

 

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If you can answer any of these people’s questions about dreadlocks, please send me your responses and I will make sure they get delivered appropriately.

Fly Too Close To The Sun…

Regular readers know that one of the key tenets of The Oreo Lifestyle™ is to blend in as much as possible and as quickly as possible. The sooner you can get people to stop noticing you’re not white, the sooner they’ll stop posting weird, passive aggressive messages about you getting out of your own car in front of your own house on NextDoor.

 

 

Oreos are very good at this. But every once in a while, it goes all pear-shaped.

Like for example: That time last week when you found a nearly dead baby hummingbird in your driveway and spent your nightly-youtubing-British-sketch-comedy hours on frantically getting this little bird to the right rescue.

 

 

We all know how this goes. One minute, you’re discussing fledging behaviour, humane traps for predators, and the best ways to clean your yard fountains to prevent the spread of conjunctivitis, and the next minute, one of your rescuers says:

“Yes, I’m employed by the organization, but for money, I also hunt for recyclables in the park. I’m like a blonde Mexican!”

Whoops! It’s a classic situation–assimilating so well that your conversation partner believes that you will be happy to trade in stereotypes about another race. It just means you’re too good at being you.

But what’s an Oreo to do?

Call them out and you risk being labelled a paid Black Lives Matter protestor. Laugh along and you risk them assuming that you also voted to #MAGA.

It seems like a lose-lose situation. And it is. But follow one of these three simple steps and you’ll get out of there unscathed.

Exotic allergies are your friend

Start coughing or sneezing or scratching yourself furiously and blame it on something very specific like westerly winds, or yellow #7, or laughter. This is a great tactic since sudden onsets of specific sensitivities are super Anglo-tastic and no one can tell if what you’re saying is true. All they want is for you to calm down so we can all get on with the evening.

Exotic languages are your friend

Start signing or speaking Japanese or interpretive dancing and explain that with your very interesting upbringing, spoken English wasn’t your first language and you’ve been lip-reading slash translating as best you can this whole time and you didn’t understand that last bit, but you’re very tired, so maybe it’s best that y’all just call it a day.

Exotic women are your friends

Try this sentence: “Did you really just say that you’re like A Blonde Mexican? Oh! Are you talking about how much you look like Rita Hayworth in The Lady From Shanghai? I totally agree!”

 

Doesn’t matter if she looks like Ms. Hayworth or not, just pay her the compliment and let her be happy about it. Hopefully, she’ll be so excited that she’ll forget about the racism and you can begin your exit. (Yes, Hayworth was Spanish, not Mexican, but trust me, this woman you’re talking to won’t know the difference).

Get out of the conversation unscathed and you can be happy in the knowledge that you saved a little bird’s life and kept that nice lady from feeling embarrassed.

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What are your favorite tips for making it out of an awkward moment? Let us know in the comments! 

And for more helpful How-Tos, be sure to check out:

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For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

And be sure to check out the Oreo Experience-produced webseries: Black Girl in a Big Dress
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!