“I was honored to do the live Oscars coverage for BBC World News. When I first received the phone call about joining as a special commentator, I questioned for a moment if I was the best person for this opportunity. Whether I was or not, the fact is that it was being presented to me. So, I graciously accepted. This was a reinforcement to myself of what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” says American movie producer and casting director Angela Marie Hutchinson.
Read on to find out more about this entertainment luminary.
As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpower to be?
Multi-projecting. I take multitasking to a whole ‘nother level. As a mompreneur with three young children, I constantly implement strategic ways to balance my personal life and career. I remember when I signed on to cast a film for a notable Nigerian director and a week later he called me to meet the next day. I said, “I can’t meet tomorrow but in two days I can.” He said, “Are you sure? I’d really like to meet tomorrow.” I hesitated to explain but went ahead and informed him that I was in the hospital and had just given birth last night. He was shocked I was even speaking with him, nonetheless still trying to meet a few days later and still cast the movie. He was excited about the baby, but I knew he’d be worried if I could still do my job. He offered to bring on another casting director if I needed him to. “Nope! I’m on board and will meet with you in two days.” My newborn came with me to the meeting and even the casting sessions. We made it work. I was grateful to him for allowing me to stay involved and supporting me being a working mother. The film cast turned out amazing. I cast Lynn Whitfield, Billy Dee Williams and other celebs. #MomMagic
What key skills or qualities make you unique as an African American female leader?
Creativity and execution. It’s almost annoyingly easy for me to come up with great ideas and just as easy to execute them. If someone is looking to develop their skills, I would focus less on starting a business or project and more on how to sustain the venture. It’s ridiculously easy to come up with an idea, and even to start it. But to complete it successfully — through all the years of obstacles, pain and rejection, that is an entirely different playing field. In terms of qualities, I value authenticity.
What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t fear rejection because that’s oftentimes God’s redirection.
Why is it important for women of color to lead or work in leadership roles?
It’s important that leadership roles are reflective of our society, population or audience that’s being served. Diversity when organically implemented is a powerful tool to maximize innovation.
If you could thank any Black woman history maker for her contributions to society, who would it be and why?
My grandmother, Bernice Raspberry. She owned her own restaurant. I think she passed on her entrepreneurial spirit to me. But I’m not sure why she didn’t leave me the cooking skills…
Why is it important for the seasoned and experienced Black women to reach back and help younger women of color?
Many of my mentors have had a similar journey as I am going through now. So they can offer advice about future situations that I am currently facing but they already experienced. I have found several black women helpful in my career, especially when it comes to securing funding or securing lucrative, paid opportunities. They trust you and are rooting for you to thrive. There are also several men and women of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds that have been and will continue to be apart of my success journey.
How do you feel about the hashtag #CollaborationOverCompetition? What qualities or values do you deem indispensable in your business partners/collaborators?
Collaboration is the best thing ever. Allows you to maximize your time, money and resources. I am all about mutually beneficial collaborations. I think healthy competition is a good thing and helps folks like me excel beyond our perceived potential. Candidness and positivity is something I truly value — the friends that can say, “No, that dress doesn’t look good on you because xyz but this dress looks amazing on you because of xyz.” I might still wear that dress that they don’t like on me, but I value strong-minded individuals who are upbeat and positive, God-fearing women.
What are your thoughts on taking risks?
Risks are 100 percent necessary for reward.
What are three success habits you implement into your daily routine to maintain your success, sanity and peace of mind?
Prayer, power walks at the lake and spa massages keep me rejuvenated to sustain the rollercoaster business of Hollywood.
As a successful woman in business, what is your greatest or proudest achievement?
My children are my greatest achievement and I am grateful to my husband of 15 years. I learned a lot about career tenacity through my experience of childbirth, which I talk about in my TEDx Talk, “Create Your Own Yes, When You Keep Hearing No.”
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
My mother. She’s immensely devoted her time and energy to ensure that I live my best life in every single way. She protects me from negativity by preparing my mind with prayer and offers incredible take-action ideas on how to solve a problem or achieve a breakthrough whether personal or professional.
If you could have any person in the world become your mentor, who would you choose and why?
I have the greatest mentors, friends and family already surrounding me, thank God! So I would probably want a younger mentor, someone in their teens or early 20s. I say this because when I was a teenager, the little girl who I used to babysit is now a top executive at Facebook. So tables turn. The younger generation is thriving. I enjoy developing a mentorship with the students that I teach as a professor of social media at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.