Haitian-born writer Mike Gauyo, also known as "Black Boy Writes," is breaking barriers in the television arena. His love of writing began as a hobby at a young age. It wasn't until he went to college to become a doctor that he knew the medical field wasn't for him. Taking time to perfect his craft in writing, opportunities arrived, giving the trailblazer a chance to work as a production assistant on the film The Equalizer and reality TV's American Idol.
Moving to Los Angeles, California was an exciting jump in Mike's career. After taking on a part-time job working at a local gym, within 6 months, he crossed paths with filmmaker Issa Rae.
Rae put together a creative mixer back in 2015 for creatives to attend. The requirements for entry was for candidates to submit a sample of their writing. Gauyo's work was chosen and from there, his fairy tale dream would come true. "I met Issa for all of two minutes, but I made her laugh within those two minutes. I said, 'She's going to remember me,'" the tickled writer mentioned.
The two were able to stay in contact as they continued to cross paths. Issa gave Gauyo his first writing opportunity on a scripted podcast she created, called Fruit, where he wrote for two seasons. This allowed him to build a network with other writers.
"Meeting Issa Rae was a story of perseverance, following up, being persistent and all of the characteristics and attributes you need to be a successful writer."
Without knowing what was in store down the road, Issa reached back out to Mike offering him a position as staff writer on HBO's Insecure for Season 4. Unfortunately, he was unable to accept the position due to timing. As devastating as it may sound, Gauyo was offered another position. He landed his first staff writer job for Season 1 of Netflix's hottest television drama, Ginny and Georgia. Gauyo expressed, "The show resonated with the demographic of teens to senior citizens. It was at an equal level. Talking about the biracial Black experience and the biracial Asian experience, and even speaking about single parents and raising their children."
Mike took a lot of pride in making it known that many of the writers and executives of the show were first-timers. "A lot of times the industry doesn't take a chance on you because you're new and because they don't want to take the risk. I think that Ginny and Georgia is proof that more networks, more executives need to take the risk because it was a room full of people doing this for the first time," he happily mentioned.
Continuing to pave the way for people of color in the industry, Gauyo launched a partnership with Culture Creative where he birthed his mentorship program that focuses on providing support and resources to preWGA Black writers. The program is aptly titled the Black Boy Writes/Black Girl Writes Mentorship Initiative. "I felt as though there were a lot of preWGA writers who weren't being seen, who had the talent but didn't have the access. I've spent years building a roll of industry contacts and people I've built genuine relationships with who I can pick up and call."
"If I can do that for another writer who possesses the talent and just doesn't have the access to the contacts they need, I will help them."
Currently, Gauyo is in the writers' room of Netflix's Ginny and Georgia, as the show was renewed for another season after the first season was watched by 52 million subscribers. Additionally, his opportunity with Issa came back full circle as Rae offered him a position as staff writer for the fifth and final season of Insecure. Mike happily accepted.
The writer urges anyone who has a dream to push for it and never give up. Timing is everything.
Featured image via Mike Gauyo/Instagram
The OWN Network returns with its highly anticipated Will Packer-produced relationship series, Put A Ring On It for Season 2. Life and relationship master coach, Dr. Nicole LaBeach will follow three couples as they navigate their way to the altar. Along their journey, love and trust between each partner, will be tested as they witness their significant others date complete strangers.
Temptation and consequences are at stake, as they push their relationships to the limit and see if there is a love connection they've been missing all along. The question is, will they decide to call it quits, or is it time to officially put a ring on it?
Meet Eric and Jessica
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Entrepreneur Jessica and former NFL player Eric have been at odds in their relationship from the very beginning. The former pro-baller might have spent his fair share of time playing the field and as a result, the two are not always on the same page about matters of the heart. Though the couple have been dating for four years, an "I do" might still be out of reach.
Meet LaRhonda and Eric
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Comedian Eric and industry professional LaRhonda have their heart matters on lock, but their money matters? Not so much. For this couple who have been dating for three years, what's keeping them from going down the aisle is a difference in tax brackets. Eric longs to feel more financially established before putting a ring on it.
Meet Alexa and Darion
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14 years is a long time to be dealing with someone without the security of where the relationship is headed. This is probably one of the reasons why this couple have been on and off for over a decade. Though the relationship is now progressing for the former basketball player and Field Mob member (by way of moving in together), it still seems they are not completely on the same page about what forever looks like.
Meet Dr. Nicole LaBeach
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While the words "I do" are on pause for the couples, Dr. LaBeach uses her 20+ years of coaching experience to be an anchor using her professional tools to keep the couples connected. "If you can effectively communicate, so many things shift for a relationship. Nonverbal communication gives access to words so that the other person can understand," Dr. LaBeach shares.
When asked how important is it to have life coaching and therapy throughout a relationship, Dr. LaBeach responds, "If I could have it my way, it would be a requirement for every relationship on a quarterly basis, to connect with a coach or therapist to make sure that things that are going to strengthen a relationship are being activated, and the things that deteriorate a relationship can be excused and given a quick exit."
As the hit Will Packer Productions show kicks off their new season, Dr. LaBeach joyfully makes it known that she is not so much rooting for the couples when doing her job, but rooting for their relationships. She explains the outcome is more meaningful and cherishable when having that mindset.
Put A Ring On It Season 2 will air this Friday, June 25 at 10/9c p.m. on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Check out the first episode of the season before it premieres by clicking here.
Featured image courtesy of OWN