Written by: Alexys B Scott
Maura Chanz is a Production Assistant for Akil Productions. Chanz is originally from Chicago but moved to Los Angelos at thirteen to pursue her acting career, leaving her parents in Chicago. Her passion for the entertainment industry began as a young child after a stent of acting in the theatre at just five years old. After learning more about acting through camps at UCLA, by the time she was thirteen she made her way to the small screen for commercials.
Maura now works with the hit CW series Black Lightning. The series is doing well, however, I wanted to know if Washington felt the Black Panther affected Black Lightning's success. Although the Black Panther's success is unprecedented Washington believes they both set the tone for the future. With Black Lightning holding the top spot on the CW she knows that this kind of success proves the worth of movies and series just like it. It also allows the networks to see the support of the black community.
With all the hype of black superheroes, Washington feels that it builds a sense of community, self-esteem, and changes the perception of how we a usually portrayed. Instead of seeing slaves we are now able to see something positive and empowering. Media is the most influential medium in the world, therefore, affecting the thoughts of the next generation.
"People know they can’t fly but it reminds them that they can do anything!" -Maura Chanz
The world is constantly changing and we see it every day, there is a new movement, a new sense of unity and sometimes separation. There is also a social and cultural movement happening in the black community that celebrates togetherness. I wondered if working on the sets of such amazing shows made Washington feel like a revolutionary. Akil Productions fuels itself on the motto "Doing Black on Purpose." Chanz believes that working with Akil Productions allows her to do revolutionary work by bringing black positive images to the screen. Black Lightning alone celebrates the black family as well as black queers. Chanz finds that it is rare to see an entire black family or black educators and that is what they strive to do at Akil Productions, changing what you see.
Interesting enough Chanz loves her work with Akil Productions. She built herself over the years to be in a position such as this. It is no accident that she works with Mara Brock Akil, who has given us classics like Girlfriends, The Game, and Sparkle. Washington is inspired by Akil's consistent desire to provide black entertainment, bring forth new talent, and her strong vision to push forward.
When asked what she would say to encourage the next generation it was simple: keep going! When things don't look like what you expected don't quit.
Want to hear more from Maura Chanz? You can find her on all social media platforms with the handle, @MauraChanz. She does her best to be uplifting and inspiring. Also stay on the lookout for speaking engagements and other events featuring Maura.