One-Time Stockbroker Ebony J. Lewis Broke Out From Finance To Write A Web Soap
Bronx, NY-native Ebony Jasmin Lewis left a lucrative career path in finance to write, direct and star in the Web series she created, “Truth Unspoken.” She says of her former profession, her heart was never really in it.
“I actually stumbled into finance,” says the Pace University graduate. “I decided to apply for an internship at Citigroup in the Margins and Derivatives Operations. I didn’t think I was going to get it, but I did.” Two years later, Lewis says, she was hired as a stockbroker.
“They paid me to study and take the Series 7 [exam that would qualify me to trade stocks],” she explains, “but it was not for me. I decided to change careers before I was in too deep.” Interested in addressing the lack of diversity in film, she began assisting on movie projects and took a stab at writing and shooting her own script.
We asked Lewis how she went from fledgling writer/director to helming a cast that includes America’s Next Top Model alum Keenyah Hill, Tobias Truvillion (Blue Bloods, One Life to Live, Brooklyn’s Finest) and Liris Crosse (The Best Man, Baby Boy) — and securing a distribution deal with Maverick Entertainment Group. Come Tuesday June 11, “Truth Unspoken” is coming to a Wal-Mart, Blockbuster, REDBOX, On Demand, and Pay Per View near you.
MadameNoire: What inspired you to write and direct “Truth Unspoken?”
Ebony Jasmin Lewis: I really feel like there were not enough films out there that show real life cultural diversity. I also wanted to write a film that would have people on the edge of their seats wanting more. I wanted to show that I can really write a great script. But when I did start writing the script, I had absolutely no idea that it would be received so well.
MN: You left a lucrative career path in finance to pursue your passion to write and direct. What was the hardest thing about making that transition?
EL: The hardest thing was learning how to budget myself. Although I changed careers, my bills did not change… I am so happy Black Enterprise magazine is sponsoring my launch party because I learned a lot about my finances by reading that magazine as well. The other hardest thing for me was losing some friends and family who didn’t believe in my dream.