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A New Web Series Documents the Struggles of Adulting for Young Black People
Kayra, Malique, and Paulette are three twenty-somethings pointing the camera at the challenges of adulting and documenting it in its rawest form.
You know the struggle: eating cereal for the third night in a row because the refrigerator isn’t going to fill itself, or wearing that semi-clean shirt because you forgot to throw your clothes in the dryer the night before.
Adulting is hard. They’re putting the struggle on film.
In the Adultin’ web series, three budding filmmakers draw us into the mundane tasks, the complicated relationships, and the financial stresses wrapped up in adulthood experiences. Through a mix of entertaining dialogue and quirky dream sequences, the short scripted scenes are relatable AF.
But the raw, unscripted interviews about the truths of adulting make the show feel even more real. About paying bills, one interviewee calls them the “cock-block of your life”. On learning how to cook chicken, one interviewee didn’t know he was needed to “lube the pan”. The series covers more complicated topics too, like parental relationships and the effect they have on us as adults.
While making that particular episode, Paulette recalled a lot of people dropped out when they heard what the topic was about. And on set, they had to coax people into sharing about their relationships with their parents. However, the trio received a lot of positive feedback on the “Pot Called the Kettle” for its honest look at the emotional trauma that parents sometimes cause to their children. Many of the interviewees talked about healing family wounds through therapy – something the creators of Adultin’ take seriously.
They’re changing the face of media one show at a time.
In light of COVID-19, the team spent the month of May promoting mental health awareness, an important part of healthy adulting. Throughout the month, they hosted Instagram Live discussions about the positive benefits of clean living spaces, yoga, and wellness education. On June 2, they commemorated the anniversary of Adultin’s launch and celebrated all week long with watch parties, raffles, and a teaser for a new episode release.
They’re just getting started though, and they have big plans ahead. While the topics for Season 2 are still under wraps, Malique teased the possibility of more discussions about relationships, including workplace and romantic ones. They’ve also built out their team with a Writers’ Room dedicated to taking the scripted content to the next level.
The trio recently formed their own production company, taking on the media entertainment industry by staking their claim behind the camera. “There aren’t a lot of black production companies,” Paulette said. “And 90% of the people on set are white. Black people make dope ass content, and their shit gets stolen all the time.”
With their production company, they’ll continue to produce Adultin’ as well as other personal passion projects. Each of them will drive future productions forward in their areas of expertise. Malique will oversee all things editing, Paulette will direct the episodes, and Kayra will focus on production.
Film is a collaborative effort.
The three ladies make a really good team. Each of their previous experiences brought something different to the table and contributed to the success of their first web series. Malique worked on the set of Nappily Ever After where she met Kayra, who was interning at Jezebel at the time. Paulette worked as an associate producer for HBO’s Torn Apart: Separated at the Border with Ellen Goosenberg Kent.
In January 2020, the web series’ reach spread to the southwest when Adultin’ premiered at the Denton Black Film Festival. It was an experience that they’ll never forget, Malique said. And it lit a fire in each of them to keep working hard. Between their full-time jobs in media and producing their own show, these ladies are definitely hustling.
To balance it all, they encourage each other to take care of their wellbeing. When one person needs a break, they’re honest with each other and supportive. “Film is a collaborative effort,” Paulette said. “And it’s best when you have a team you can lean on and be accountable to.”