July 11, 2018 at 11:52 am EDT | by Mariah Cooper
Janet Mock becomes first trans woman of color to direct and write a TV episode

Janet Mock (Photo via Instagram)

Janet Mock has made history as the first transgender woman of color to write and direct an episode of TV with the recent “Pose” episode “Love is the Message.”

Mock posted a throwback photo from the episode’s filming in honor of the episode airing on Sunday.

“This was taken under the amber light of the #posefx ballroom on my first shoot as a Director. Don’t let the smile fool you: I was nervous af about doing something I had never done before, a job that seemed to be reserved for white men, a position in the industry that rarely invited women and/or people of color to sit in the director’s chair,” Mock writes.

She also praised Ryan Murphy for supporting her when she was unsure about embarking on a job she didn’t have experience in. Mock also shared that she also supported herself through her own self doubt.

“I doubted whether I had the skills and experience to be a director. But I was pushed by @mrrpmurphy who told me I could (‘you’re naturally bossy…like me’) and used his Half Initiative to make it happen. But still I had to talk myself through self-doubt (like so many ‘firsts’ have done before me) by saying, ‘You wrote this script. You know these characters. You helped shape them, make them, move them. You got this, and your whole life as a black trans girl with all your experiences have prepared you for so many unknowns — from being the first in your family to go to college, to get a masters, to work as a journalist, to leave the safety of telling others stories to actually tell your own story, to write two memoirs that centered #girlslikeus, to be the first trans woman of color to be hired in a writer’s room…and yes, the first to write and direct an episode of television. You can do this, will do this and are deserving,'” Mock continued.

This was taken under the amber light of the #posefx ballroom on my first shoot as a Director. Don’t let the smile fool you: I was nervous af about doing something I had never done before, a job that seemed to be reserved for white men, a position in the industry that rarely invited women and/or people of color to sit in the director’s chair. I doubted whether I had the skills and experience to be a director. But I was pushed by @mrrpmurphy who told me I could (“you’re naturally bossy…like me”) and used his Half Initiative to make it happen. But still I had to talk myself through self-doubt (like so many “firsts” have done before me) by saying, “You wrote this script. You know these characters. You helped shape them, make them, move them. You got this, and your whole life as a black trans girl with all your experiences have prepared you for so many unknowns — from being the first in your family to go to college, to get a masters, to work as a journalist, to leave the safety of telling others stories to actually tell your own story, to write two memoirs that centered #girlslikeus, to be the first trans woman of color to be hired in a writer’s room…and yes, the first to write and direct an episode of television. You can do this, will do this and are deserving.” I couldn’t do it alone — no director can. I thank my mentors @mrrpmurphy & @gwynethhorderpayton for pushing, nurturing and supporting me, my DP @simondennis_dop for making it all seem so easy, my first AD Deanna Leslie Kelly, my production designer @jame03, HMU @wigorama @barryleemoe @sherrilaurence, @eriberryk and @tanasepopa for being architects, my editor Shelly Westerman, the marvelous @alexisvmw, my ❤ @svcanals and the entire crew and the cast especially @theebillyporter, @katemara, @indyamoore, @mjrodriguez7, @evanpeters, and our guest star @johnnysibilly who gave all of themselves to episode 6. LOVE IS THE MESSAGE — and there was no way to write, prep and shoot this script without that LOVE. I hope you enjoy “Love Is the Message” tonight on @fxnetworks. @poseonfx airs at 9PM.

A post shared by Janet Mock (@janetmock) on

Murphy praised Mock’s work on the episode tweeting, “I’m more proud of tonight’s ep of POSE co-written with the extraordinary Janet Mock than almost anything I’ve ever done. Janet directed this episode with class & heart. Again she breaks down walls & barriers & makes history as the first trans woman of color to direct an ep of TV.”

Mock also received special shout-outs from the “Pose” cast and Janelle Monáe.

 

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