is a force to be reckoned with. The actress and playwright is the genius behind the Tony-nominated play, Eclipsed
. She's spent the last year juggling the sho, and her starring role on the hit series, The Walking Dead
. Gurira is the living embodiment of Black Girl Magic
The actress was recently honored at the Lilly Awards, a ceremony that specifically recognizes women in American theater. She used it as a platform to open up and inspire the next crop of female creatives. Grab a pen and jot down Gurira's secrets to success
1. Have a vision.
"The first thing, young female artist: Have a vision. Identify your outreach. The lack that is unjustifiable in what narratives are yet to be told. Embrace that burden on your heart to get that story to be told. That burden is a blessing. Then get to work. No excuses. No one in the world can do what you can do. Tell the story the way you only can tell it, so don’t deprive the world of your uniqueness."
2. Go where the love is.
"This is a big one: Go where you are loved. How many times did I have to learn that? And how often do I meet young other writers who speak about how this avenue and this artistic director and this agent didn’t see something through, didn’t respond the way they hoped and desired. Don’t let disappointment stop you."
Photo: Danai Gurira Instagram
3. Finish what you started.
"Get it done. All the way. Embrace the right collaborators and get. It. Done. It’s not for you, it’s for all those other young female writers who will be less than inspired by your product. It’s for all the women you will employ. It’s for those whose light will shine as a result of the excellency you pursued when you put those words on the page. And it’s for the legacy you assisted built that annihilates the concept that women’s concepts are weak, rare or unprofitable."
Gurira followed her own advice and is currently reaping the rewards. Eclipsed earned six Tony nominations
including Best Play, Best Actress in a Leading Role for Lupita Nyong'o and Best Direction for Liesl Tommy. It's the first Broadway play
to have its full cast and creative team be black and female