The Pilot Podcast - TV Reviews and Interviews!

Diallo Riddle (Interview)

Episode Summary

Join us as we interview South Side and Sherman’s Showcase creator, Diallo Riddle, on The Pilot Podcast. Come for the inside look into comedy and music and stay for the inspiring advice for up and coming creatives.

Episode Notes

Enjoy this special interview with Diallo Riddle! And be sure to follow him on Instagram @diallo

Additional Reading:
Learn more about Wacoinda here:
Find Diallo’s piece in Backstage that he mentions here:

Transcript available on our website

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Episode Transcription

BJ 0:09
Welcome to The Pilot Podcast! This week, we're joined by a special guest, the creator of Sherman's Showcase and South Side, Diallo Riddle. We're so honored to have you joining us today.

Diallo 0:20
Thank you for having me. I'm looking forward to this. This is exciting already.

Mitu 0:23
So would you like to introduce yourself to our listeners?

Diallo 0:26
I'm Diallo Riddle. A writer, actor, every now and then director. And I helped create two shows that are currently on the air. One's called South Side on Comedy Central and the other one is Sherman's Showcase on IFC.

Mitu 0:38
We actually reviewed south side on our show and loved it.

Diallo 0:43
Thank you so much. Shows done well, man. You know, it's grown every week for the first five week it's been on the air, and we couldn't be happier with the way that it's been treated by Comedy Central. You know, like, I feel like they got behind it really early. We pitched in 2016, I want to say, and, you know, then we shot a real for it. And then we shot, you know, pilot in 2017. And then we shot the series in 2018. And it's just now airing. So it's a long road to go to get from the point that you pitch a show to the point that it actually airs and anybody can see it. But the reception has been through the roof, you know, people people are really liking it. The city of Chicago has embraced us, like a son and we're really happy about it.

Mitu 1:28
And how did you and Bashir Salahuddin connect?

Diallo 1:32
You know, we met in college. We were both in a all afro-centric gospel choir called Kuumba. And there ias no audition, you just had to come to practice and you could be a member. And so at some point, we decided we were going to form an offshoot where you actually did have to audition. And we called it Brothers. We were going to be like Shai, we're going to be like Silk, we were going to be like all the other groups of the 90's who were singing acapella songs. And out of that group was forged our friendship. I figured out pretty quickly, I was like, "Oh, this dude thinks a lot of the stuff that I think is funny." So we stayed in touch, and I moved out to California, not really knowing what to do after college. And you know, that happens to a lot of people. I had my quarter life crisis. And me and him decided we were going to have to start writing together. And so you know, YouTube was brand new. And so we started writing for, you know, YouTube videos, and one of them took off. And after that, we got our first gig in TV with David Alan Grier on a show called Chocolate News. Which, you know, we were the baby writers on Chocolate News. That was 2008, Obama had just won. We learned a lot from not getting a lot of jokes on the air on that show. But out of that we got on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and that show hadn't debuted yet. We were the fourth and fifth writers he hired. It was literally just seven people on the show when we got there and then they hired The Roots. So we were there for all the early stuff, Slow Jam the News, History of Rap. And that's sort of where we got the chance to really let people know those guys are funny. They're not, you know, flash in the pants.

Mitu 2:59
How did it feel to write Slow Jam the News? Did you know it was going to be for the president?

Diallo 3:05
Well, here's the thing. We did the first Slow Jam the News on the very first episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Very first time we did it was just Jimmy and The Roots. And then for like, maybe a year was anytime Brian Williams came on the show, he was Slow Jam the News. By the time we got to Obama, we've done maybe like seven or eight of them. We were always ambitious. We always have a love of music. It kind of comes through on our show, Sherman's Showcase. Originally, every single Slow Jam the News was like an original piece of music that we wrote with Questlove. After while just the grind of doing a daily show required that we had to sort of settle on a default song, and then just change the lyrics to reflect what had happened in the news that day. So by the time we got to Obama, we done it for almost four years. But it was very special doing it with Obama, because like, the guy's got amazing comedic timing, like, you know, I forget his Larry Wilmore is like, he could have been a comedian. And thank God, he wasn't good. We black communities got enough of those but I should know. No, he was just an amazing person, didn't have to coach him on the humor of it at all. And he just came through it. He nailed it the very first time. He's just a great, solid human being that I got to hang out with for an afternoon. It's one of my favorite memories.

BJ 4:14
And looking at your current project, South Side and Sherman's Showcase, how do you balance the creative process of show all about things going on today versus something filled with nostalgia?

Diallo 4:25
It's funny, because I think that, you know, I'll speak for both Bashir and I both of us like a lot of different types of humor. So, you know, on the one hand well like something like Coming to America, which is basically grounded. And it's got all types of black people from all strata. The thing I liked, you know, growing up as a kid watching Coming to America is like you saw rich people... rich black people and poor black people. You saw smart black people and you know, Sam Jackson robbing a McDowell's. You know, there were so many different types of black people there. And that was my experience growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, where I lived in all black existence. I always joke there were only three non-black kids in my high school. There was Josh, there was Tran Lee, and there was Jorge and they were like the international students to us, even though they were all from Atlanta too. You know, it's just one of those things where like, everybody was black. And so I knew that there was diversity within the black community, that the black experience wasn't a monolith. And that's what I always liked about Coming to America. With South Side, we started off at the, you know, the Rent-T-Own store. But you'll see as the season goes along, you'll find out more and more about other parts of Chicago. You'll find out more and more about other parts of black Chicago. You know, we have a whole episode that sort of takes place in Hyde Park. And that's very different than the episode that we have that takes place in Englewood, where my character is supposedly from. No spoilers. So, you know, there's going to be a lot that you'll learn about the city through the show. But it all comes back to that desire to show many different types of black people. And what I was going to say about Sherman's is that, you know, a couple of really astute reviewers, I give them credit, they realized that even though it comes wrapped up looking like Soul Train, and solid gold, that show is really all about today, too. It's just, it's a little more subversive. Like it's just... it looks like the past, but we're really thinking commentary on the present and everything that we've ever wanted to do. I love the fact that we have a whole episode coming up this season takes place in the future. You know, like, it really takes place one week in the future. So we didn't have to change a whole lot. That was smart from a creative and a production point of view. We really like the fact that that show allows us to dip into music heavily. You know, I still DJ out here in LA, usually about once a week. I'm actually doing my first music festival.

Mitu 6:35
Wow, which one?

Diallo 6:37
KAABOO Del Mar in San Diego. It's a really exciting time to be in music, I think. And so whether we're doing stuff that sounds like Prince or stuff that sounds like James Brown, or stuff that sounds like Migos, or stuff that sounds like Lil Uzi Vert, like it doesn't really matter. Like, if we hear it and we think something funny about it in terms of music, or pop culture, we can just drop that into Sherman's Showcase and have a good time with it. And the last thing I'll say in this very long winded answer to your question is the fact that yes, as much as we like Coming to America, we also like Pee Wee's Big Adventure. We like the airplane movies. And we like tuff that's like really broad comedy like The Simpsons. It's like silly stuff for people who are smart enough to get where the joke is. And I think that you know, too long you know, black creators have not been allowed to work in absurdism like that. So the fact that we get to do a show where we have a Willem Dafoe reference right next to a Bell Biv DeVoe reference, that means a lot to us. Because that's not the stuff that Hollywood usually... I wouldn't allow black people to get silly on their own terms. Like, they'll put us in a lot of cartoonish stuff that like, has us all hanging our heads low. But I feel like you know, these shows are literally run by Bashir and I and we wanted a show where we could, you know, do all the sort of wild, silly stuff that we like, on our own terms. And I think that's really come through. The response to both shows has been incredible. And I feel like we've sort of let, you know, a lot of different types of black people know, hey, we got you. We got the jokes. You can tune into these shows and just laugh and feel comfortable, you know, in your own skin and know that two black people are at the helm of these ships.

BJ 8:06
And focusing on Sherman's Showcase, Mitu and I both really want to know, how did you connect with John Legend?

Mitu 8:12
Or Lord EGOT.

Diallo 8:13
Lord EGOT, he won't stop talking about it. No that's actually based on a joke that I heard a Chrissy say about him one time. You know, my wife backing up a little bit, I met a girl out here. I was DJing and she was one of the dancers in the midnight show. So at midnight to like step up to the streets, they'd bring out all these dancers and I was friends with all of them. And I was actually friends with her for like two years. And then one time, like I looked up, she was single, I was single. I was like, this will just be a fun date. Look up, it's been almost 11 years and we have three kids. But the long story short of that is that I moved to New York to get on the... it wasn't called The Tonight Show yet, it was just Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. We were doing the long distance thing. We got married, she moved out there. She started dancing for the New York Knicks. She was one of the Knicks City Dancers. Through there, we made friends with another girl. And that girl was friends with Chrissy. Just by the way that our wives are friends, like me and john were just always around each other. And like, you know, obviously had a huge amount of respect for what he was doing. And you know, he saw a dude who was drivin' and we became friends. And some point I was like, you know, one day we're going to work on something together. And then just when we came up with this idea, which was born out of some ideas that we had had at Fallon. You know, I was just like John, this idea that has music and it's got comedy to things that I know you love. Do you want to be a part of it? I'll never forget, he like was like, yes, the answer is yes. Like that was really the whole pitch. And you know, he's been on this ride ever since. You know, he's been a great friend and a confidant. I feel like I need to start singing the theme to Golden Girls. But he's been you know, really pretty much there since the beginning and his business partner guy, named Mike Jackson, is just a dope producer. So with John we had the creative, with Mike we had the production, we got with Get Lifted Films Co. and then all of a sudden we looked up and we we got a series order. And so that show... we actually shot that show earlier this year, so the turnaround time on Sherman's has been way shorter than the turnaround time on South Side. But then they both came out within a week of each other this summer. And so we had to promote two shows at once. I feel like I've been talking uninterrupted since June. But that was our path to this point.

BJ 10:21
And you touch on something we noticed is that Sherman's Showcase is not only funny but the songs are good.

Diallo 10:26
Dude the songs are fun, right?

BJ 10:28
Yeah, with your DJ experience, did that add in the process of adding the musical elements to the show?

Diallo 10:35
I think every DJ quietly wants to produce his own songs. One of the very first parties I ever went to in Miami when I was just starting out as a DJ, I'll never forget Daft Punk 2002. Their career wasn't like... it wasn't hard to get a ticket to go see Daft Punk spin records. You know what I'm saying like, people weren't on the laptops yet. It was still records. And honestly not that great a DJs but people went because they liked the music. And it taught me even then I was like, oh, so their DJ is who are masterful with the plates, but you are like pushing up to see them because like you don't know any of their original songs. I've wanted to do original songs for a very long time. Dave Chappelle said that every comedian wants to be a musician, every musician wants to be a comedian. It's so true. Questlove is one of the biggest comedy nerds that you'll ever meet, he's one of the biggest names you'll ever meet. Shout out to Quest. You know, I think that it's always been something I wanted to do. So again, I put on my DJ hat at the point that we knew that we wanted to do some original songs. What we would do is we would come up with the idea for the song and the lyrics for the song in the writer's room. At that point I would turn to some of the people who make music for a living that I really respect. One of those people is Phonte Coleman, you know him as a Phonte from Little Brother. You know, Little Brother by the way, coming out with a big reunion album, so shout out to Phonte, shout out to Big Pooh and 9th Wonder. You know, like we work with them on some songs and then on some other songs we went out to like some of my more electronic/neo-disco friends. The Knocks, our group, they've done a lot of great songs over the years and I work them on some of the disco song. There's like a song in there, in episode 3, it's supposed to be like a Stevie Nicks song. I feel like they came back with something that sounds more like Jellybean Benitez, when he's working with Madonna, but it's a great song called Priestly (Gossamer Tunic). It's the song where Vic Mensa as Charade is like playing the keyboards, but then he like steals all the spotlight from the lead singer. And I think that that's one of the things that I'm most proud of this show. This shows not afraid to go deep, deep on music nerdom because I always know when Quest has watched an episode, you'll text me. And he's like, yo, is the reason why Vic Mensa is playing keyboards on that girl's song because Prince played keyboards on Stevie Nicks'. And I was like, yeah, name of the song was Stand Back. And it was like a breakout moment for Prince. So we aren't afraid to like do jokes for 95% of the people who don't, you know, don't know everything about music history. But for that last 5% of our jokes, we kind of go out of our way to be like, yo, this is a joke that you know, my DJ friends will like, that Quest will like that. You know, like quietly Jimmy Fallon's like a huge you know, music nerd you know. Like I always make jokes that they have appeal if you don't get the reference but if you do get the reference then you're like a true diehard convert to our evil comedy cult. You know, like, I just want to make sure that like, we always put something out there for people who are like, yo, did that really? Did I really see that see that? You know, we put a joke on almost every frame of the episodes. If you pause it, there's almost always something going on.

Mitu 13:22
Speaking of creating for larger and smaller audiences with both South Side and Sherman's Showcase, they feel like they're created for black audiences and then other folks can catch the joke. Is that what you were thinking?

Diallo 13:38
Is that intentional?

Mitu 13:39
For example, the joke about Frederick Douglass checking toys or the including Shad Moss and Shemar Moore, and then the Faith Evans line and South Side. I could go on, I had like a little bullet pointed list.

Diallo 13:54
No, I love it.

Mitu 13:55
These very specifically black references, like I don't think my white friends know who Shemar Moore is.

Diallo 14:00
Let's be honest, millennial white kids often don't know what Soul Train is like I think that we don't want anybody to think that you have to know what Soul Train is to watch Sherman's Showcase. Let me cite where each one of the three things that you just... you've got a Frederick Douglass, astute fans a Soul Train will know that there was a in-studio Frederick Douglass commercial that they did one time where Frederick Douglass was hawking Afro Sheen and it's the most ludicrous thing. If you just YouTube Soul Train Frederick Douglass, it's like a comedy clinic in bad acting. It's so funny. And we were like, we have to do something like this on our show. So on our show, we just have a running thing where Frederick Douglass shows up and he tries to hawk a product, that was based on Soul Train. There was another one, oh the Shad Moss. By the way, I feel like Shad Moss, we're not trying to pile on him given the Bow Wow challenge or anything like that. I just find it to be one of my funny references, like so glad John was willing to read all this stuff 'cause he knows all these people. So you know, I'm not trying to get him in trouble with anybody. And yeah, the Faith Evans thing, look, I think that we're always going to make things that make Bashir and I laugh. In our writer's rooms, I should say our writer's rooms are... I think we had one white guy in each room but our writer's rooms are all black, you know, I mean. So you have a table full of black, we're all sitting around, we're all laughing at the stuff. So I think our first goal is to make ourselves laugh. And by the way, there are times when we will make ourselves laugh, we're like, oof, but do we really want to say that in front of the whole world? Like, you know, like, maybe that's not the best move. But then we're like, you know what, you can't even do too much self censoring like that. Like at the end of the day, someone's going to take a joke and misappropriate it or using like, in some, you know, messed up racist gif. I mean, like, you almost have no control over what people do once you put it out there. Obviously, there's some things that we might not make fun of, because we're just like, we can only see that ending badly. But in general if the room full of people are laughing, we do it, you know. Especially on South Side, if it's true to the character. There are things the characters say on South Side that I would almost never want to hear in real life. But if it's true to the character, you have to be true to the character. And so that's why, you know, like, I really use the N word, but there are characters who use it on South Side. There's a character who disparages Civil Rights icon. And we actually had a big debate about that one in the room because we were like, but man isn't this just going to get misappropriated by somebody. I was actually happy to see how our audience that knows that, you know, essentially two black guys are at the head of this ship, they didn't react the way that I fear that they might. I think the people understand now that these shows are, like you said, they're by black people for black people. And we went out of our way to make sure that our room again has that diversity of gender and that diversity of class and background but that essentially most of us are still all just black. So again, if we feel like we're making the the family table as we call it, laugh then we just go with it. And we try not to second guess it too much.

Mitu 16:47
Yeah, I thought that actually was a fantastic scene with the hose and the little puppy that got out from the gentrifier's car.

Diallo 16:54
People were like, oh hell no, the dog's name is Blackie. But them being like real sort of like Chicago white liberals. Like they were like, look, there's the name of the dog when we got him. We didn't want to change him because he has his own identity. You know, like I think and by the way, I think both of those actors are really good. But we were talking the other day like, one of my favorite things is like when the girl says that Zenobia, love the name. Like just like little things like that, you know, just they really made me happy. Because I'll tell you honestly, I was watching something recently. I won't say what it is, for obvious reasons. I felt like they gave their white characters the short shrift that I hate to see given to black characters. There's a certain type of writing white characters on a black show that I don't like completely over at this point, because I've seen it done 8 million times. And I'm like, no white person is that stupid, like come on. You know, if you run across that person then it's just that person. But I feel like we try to give a little bit of humanity and nuance to even our white characters, which they're not many of. But I try to treat everybody like a human being because that's just funny. And last thing I'll say to that point is that, you know, I grew up loving Seinfeld. I wasn't Jewish and in Manhattan, but like the marble rye is a classic example. There are a lot of inside, you know, jokes on that show. I may not know what a marble rye is but I got the joke. And similarly, like, I always say that on our show, the marble rye is the brand new Jordan's that came out. You know what I'm saying. Like, so, the more specific you get into the culture, the more universal I think you make the appeal because people don't have to have their hand held if it's funny. They know, oh, everybody wants that show. You know what I'm saying? Like, oh, everybody wants that, you know, loaf of marble rye. So I think that if anything, we're trying to go in the best tradition to some of the stuff that made us laugh growing up.

Mitu 18:27
And you touched on this earlier with Chicago considering South Side almost like its son.

Diallo 18:33
Favorite kid or something like that hometown kid.

Mitu 18:36
Their own personal, Rudy. How intentional were you with having people in front of and behind the camera being connected to the city? Including Lil Rel felt like such a shout out to Chicago.

Diallo 18:48
And that's the most famous person we put on. You know, we had Lil Rel, we had LisaRaye McCoy, we had Kel Mitchell. But in general, like we, with the exception of Rel, we had them play themselves. We had Kel and LisaRaye play famous people essentially. Because the one thing we wanted to do on that show that's 100% intentional is we wanted to make sure that the people on the show are people from the south side, are people from Chicago. Like we went out of our way to like do so much local casting. I don't... I'm not sure we flew out one person from LA for the entire first season. That's just intentional. I think that when you see a show that purports to be about the south side, it's so important that you feel like oh, that person might be a real person lives on south side, not just like, oh, that's dude from you know, Queen Sugar and that's the guy from that Netflix show and that's the girl from that HBO show. Like we went out of our way to cast people who are generally unknown so that you actually felt like you watching life on the south side of Chicago. It's sort of the opposite where Sherman's, like you know, we shot Sherman's in Glendale, California. Like, it was literally just like, yo Rel, you in town? Eh, come out to Glendale, we're gonna shoot something with you today. South Side, complete opposite. It's like, this dude lives on the south side. He's raised on the south side. One thing that's really funny to me is the idea that like when you ask somebody who doesn't work in this business, who's the funniest person, you know, they're not going to typically say like, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle, like, they're gonna be like, oh, my aunt, man. She's hilarious. She'd be having table cracking up. And on our show, we wanted to get all those aunts in front of the camera if that makes sense. We want to get all the funny people who quite honestly, like there's some people on South Side, they've never acted before. But then we got the performances that we needed. And along the way, we got an authenticity that you don't often get anywhere, much less on TV.

Mitu 20:25
I love that. And will we get a South Side set in Atlanta? Or how close are we to a Brothers in Atlanta?

Diallo 20:32
Brothers in Atlanta is always such a sad subject. It's almost like I'm having a great day, your brothers in Atlanta, just told me my dog died. You know, I mean, like, and it's very unclear if my dog died, like if I'm talking about my friend or an animal. Brothers in Atlanta is... here's the good news. South Side probably wouldn't exist without Brothers in Atlanta. Sometimes you don't know what God or the universe or whatever you believe in, you don't know what you need, as much as it does. And I will say this, if Brothers in Atlanta had gone forward, we would have South Side or Sherman's Showcase, you know, I'm saying. It was kind of meant to be that it would go that way. But all that having been said, the brain trust is still here. I still love my hometown. And I do dream of spinning off at least one or two characters from South Side one day and doing a show called Southwest because I grew up in southwest Atlanta. So the spin off could be Southwest. I don't want to call it Zone 4 I don't know, why didn't we start using the police term for our neighborhood? I think that's so wack.

Mitu 21:25
I did middle school and high school in Georgia. And I just remember, people used to have party promotion teams or cliques. And they would be based on zones. So it'd be like, that's a Zone 6 party zone, Zone 4.

Diallo 21:38
Brother, you stay outside of the line, you Zone 6. Ah man, we had a great storyline. 'Cause HBO killed us. we'd actually already finished the first season so I think about all the storylines that people will never get to see. We had a great storyline. And you've heard it here first exclusive because we might use this on South Side if we can figure out a way because I gotta do the research. I need to make sure Chicago has the party promotion teams as well. But we had a storyline where the number one party promoter in Atlanta, basically he died and his funeral was like the most well promoted funeral in the history. Like it was basically like Freaknik meets like a music festival, because when he died, like the whole city had to come out. Like the mayor needed to put an appearance because he was the biggest party promoter in Atlanta. And that's the sort of absurdity that I think you can do on a character driven show like a South Side, or hopefully one day on a spin off. Because man that episode was so funny. Every now and then, like we write a script and I'm like, damn, I can't wait to shoot this. You know, I get really amped about that. I won't even say the jokes of that script, because honestly, just thinking about it right now. Like if we can season two on South Side, I might have to figure out a way to do that one because that was a good episode.

Mitu 22:46
That would be fabulous. I think I still know some of the more famous promoters.

BJ 22:51
A lot of your humor also feels like a surreal version of reality. And we see discussions of police brutality, profiling, economic disparity, predatory loan schemes, and even more all and just the pilot.

Diallo 23:04
We have a whole episode you haven't seen yet which is about Bitcoin and the relationship of cryptocurrency in the hood. Because as much as it's like used a punch line for a lot of different people, I think we kind of lean pro-crypto in the sense that like, you know, there's no reason why especially in places, you know, several African countries, where like, nobody had a bank account until Bitcoin came along. So we have a whole episode that deals with that, obviously, in a funny way. But you know, in a way that I hope people will think about. There are a couple of black guys that have started something called the Wacoinda project. And they actually came in put in a cameo on that episode, because I think those dudes are on a different plane. They're really thinking ahead.

Mitu 23:41
Wacoinda, I like that will include that in the show notes.

BJ 23:44
So we were just wondering, how do you find humor in all of these pretty serious situations where you can bring them to people's consciousness, but also allow us to enjoy watching a show about it?

Diallo 23:55
How do we do? Because we're black. I mean, like, if you can find humor, then you're gonna be dead. They always have a thing called gallows humor, which is supposed to be like, you know, really dark humor, but I feel like a lot of us, we come to life with gallows humor. Gallows humor come very easy to black people when you think about the African-American experience. So I don't think it's hard to see it all. Like I think if anything, we just call it out maybe a little bit more, you know.

BJ 24:19
And on a lighter note, we see scenes about trying to sell ED pills and popcorn and even exploring sci-fi novels, can you give us hints about some of the next hustlers we're going to see?

Diallo 24:29
There's definitely a hustle coming up in terms of Harold's Chicken. And if you've ever been to Chicago, you know, Harold's is an institution and so is the mild sauce that you can get on the Harold's chicken wings. I don't want to give away too much but that's one of my favorite episodes. That's episode nine. I think actually the name of the episode is called The Mild Sauce. You know, it's funny because obviously Simon and K have their hustles going on. But you haven't found out that much about the character I play. You really find out about my character in episode nine when you find out what his master plan is. And his master plan, without giving away too much, is he wants to become a alderman. You know, he sees notably not a prosecutor but a public defender as a stepping stone into politics. And Chicago politics is an area that's rich in history and in tales of corruption. And I think one thing that we want to do is we want to sort of point out that whether it's Officer Goodnight and his side hustle being that he dreams of one day becoming like a full fledged detective with the force. Obviously Officer Turner's side hustle is real estate. Everybody on the show has a side hustle regardless of what their economic state is. Shaw's side hustle might actually be the one that dips into the cryptocurrency so there's a lot of... everybody on the show has some side hustles coming up this season.

BJ 25:37
And speaking of side hustles, what advice would you give creatives working on trying to make it whatever that may mean?

Diallo 25:43
Well, first thing I wrote a whole article in Backstage, the actor's newsletter about two years ago that I still stand by. Anybody can google Diallo Riddle backstage and they'll get my full, you know, manifesto on what I think you should be doing, whether you're trying to be an actor or not. I think it's actually helpful for any type of creative but the short version of the answer in that article is just that, don't wait for anybody to come down from on high to give it to you just start doing it now. Everybody has a movie studio in their phone essentially. You can shoot it, you can edit it. Get with some other people who you think are funny or dramatic or whatever you were trying to do. And just start shooting it now. You don't have to even wait till you get into a film school. Just start shooting and start editing. I saw another video from Morgan Cooper today. I don't know if you guys know him. But he did that Bel-Air thing that was like shot super seriously. He's got a new one out called "U Shoot Videos?" And it's so good. And this is a guy who like is making a name for himself just from the stuff he's shooting. I'm not saying everything has to come out as polished as what he's doing but I think it is crucial to remember that whether it's me and Bashir, whether it's Issa Rae, whether it's Robin Thede, Lena Waithe. We've all known each other forever, we were all shooting things just by like putting stuff on credits cards or like borrowing from friends, or you know, my friends got a camera, let's shoot something. Shoot it today, edit it today, post it tomorrow. I think that's always a little bit better than just writing a script, even if you write a full feature script, shoot the best five minutes of that script, you know, I mean. Get up enough resources to shoot the five minutes of that script that you can shoot to fully realize your vision and you'll get good just for practicing it. This is just like a sport, you just got to practice it and you'll get better. And you'll look back at your earliest scripts, and they'll be things that you like, they'll be things that are embarrassingly amateur, but you'll you'll get better at it. And then at some point, someone's going to see it. Like I've seen stuff online and I've emailed people or texted them and be like, hey, yeah, I saw that thing. You know, I think that's way better than hitting me up as people sometimes do in my DM's and be like, yo, can you read a script? Like I think we're past that point. I think, you know, I'll watch a video but I have too many of my own scripts to read. The time when I get to sit and read a stranger's script is done, you know. So you gotta just get out there and do it with the people that you know, and I guarantee if you do it with 10 other people. Law of averages, somebody is going to get a big break. And you just have to kind of depend on them to be a decent person. We've tried to bring along every single person that who we worked with when we were you know, 22 and had nothing going on, you know what I'm saying. So hopefully you're aligned with some good people who will look out for you the way that we've tended to look out. Some of these people on Sherman's and South Side, Bashir and I've been trying to work with since 2006. Nefetari Spencer is a dancer on Sherman's Showcase and she also plays Keishia on South Side, the one with the two boys. One good at sports and the other one good at science. She's been hiding in plain sight Hollywood for so long, but I feel like now people are seeing what she's capable of. And we're always going to put her on, we're always going to put our people on. It's a lot of work. But if you love it, and you're getting good at it, it'll pay off.

BJ 28:36
We want to thank you again and we'd love for you to tell our listeners where they can find you.

Diallo 28:40
When I'm not on The Pilot Podcast, I will say that you can find me on Instagram @diallo It's really simple. It's six letters, that's the great thing of having a name like Diallo, you get the name that you want. So I'm @diallo. And from there you can find not just other stuff that I'm doing but other stuff that my collaborators, everybody from Tiffany Haddish to Lil Rel to John Legend, Bresha Webb, Marlon Wayans, everything. I tried to support my friends and let me be the hub of the universe for you.

Mitu 29:10
Ooh, I like that. Please follow Diallo and find the hub.

Diallo 29:14
Sound self-aggrandizing. Now I take it all back.

Mitu 29:16
Speaking of the hub, where can people find everything they need for The Pilot Podcast?

BJ 29:20
People can head to our website at and they can subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher Radio and Spotify. And be sure to leave us a rating and review, it helps others discover us.

Mitu 29:31
You can follow us on Twitter and on Instagram @thepilotpod You can like us on Facebook @thepilotpodcast You can send thoughts, feelings, suggestions, questions to Thanks for listening.

BJ 29:45

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