We’ve all had those moments where we reflect on where we are and where we want to go. Too broke for Toronto and LA, and discouraged by the lack of roles for black women in Edmonton’s film industry, Angela Palmer took it upon herself to create her own opportunities. After a role in the series Truckstop Bloodsuckers, creator Lindsey McNeill encouraged Palmer to follow through with her own idea for a TV series. With no prior experience in writing, producing or directing, Palmer set out to create what is now, Dookie Squad, a web series based on her own experiences as a janitor.
What was your inspiration to create Dookie Squad?
[Mainly] the female African American filmmakers in the Youtube community making their own web shows, despite the issues they faced getting into mainstream television because of their skin color. I myself have felt the “drought” in Edmonton for acting roles because there were none for “my type” . I was told things like “Edmonton film is for the ‘cowboys’ and ‘indians'” and “Toronto is more ‘urban’, move there if you want to get work”. It was during an episode of Awkward Black Girl that, suddenly a light bulb went off and I thought, “I could do that too!” I could be a film actress and be black without having to worry about the mainstream making it difficult. So I created my won story, wrote my own script, co-directed, produced and starred in my own web show, Dookie Squad.
Were you surprised at the reception the show received south of the border at the LA Web Fest?
Yes! I was very insecure. I was sitting in the middle of a packed room, surrounded by other talented filmmakers, and just I sat there with my hand over my face stiff as a board. As soon as my show started and I heard the laughter I allowed myself to enjoy the experience. What shocked me more was when it ended. Some people stood up and clapped! Then I heard my name being shouted out and [it was] a gift. That was an experience I will never forget; I hadn’t felt so blessed in a long time.
How important is it for you to create your own work in the media?
Creating Dookie Squad was one of the best decisions I have ever made. As a women of color and as a human being, I have never been so fulfilled. It’s made me really believe in myself. After all, I am not a victim, and because of DS, I am aware that I now have the ability to create something that represents everyone from every colour.