Rising Through the Ranks: Anngelica-Marie Eshesimua
June 30, 2020
Anngelica-Marie Eshesimua knows the importance of hard work and determination; it's what helped her land her current job as writer's assistant on the Netflix show Family Reunion. She's fulfilled her first goal of working inside a room after years of chasing opportunity.
A single mother raised Eshesimua in Miami. Her mom was a lawyer who, she says, faced many prejudices during her career. One summer, when Eshesimua was eight, her mom decided to take courses at New York Film Academy in New York. She was hoping to ultimately make a film about the injustices she faced, but what it eventually led to was inspiring her daughter to go into filmmaking.
As she grew up, Eshesimua indulged in the arts, acting in musicals and plays in high school. As she grew closer to college applications, she knew in her heart that she wanted to go into a creative direction but found herself unsure if it was a smart move.
"I had a talk with my mom who reaffirmed that I have a passion and gift for film and telling stories," Eshesimua said.
"The root of my wanting to pursue a creative career is to be able to get the skills and tools to tell our story and what happened to us while uplifting other stories, too."
She ended up applying and being accepted into the University of Southern California. In 2015, she graduated high school and made the trek across the country.
Although Eshesimua decided to head in a creative direction, she wanted to learn the industry's business side, too. It led her into USC's Business Cinematic Arts program, where she learned skills in both the business and cinema professions.
While at USC, she joined the cinematic fraternity Delta Kappa Alpha, which she said was the genesis of where she learned how to produce films. Here, she started working with other filmmakers, who she still collaborates with to this day. In fact, in 2017 she and a few friends she met through her program cofounded a production company called Downbeat Entertainment, focusing on creating content that amplifies marginalized voices in front of and behind the camera. Their films have been making waves with one even getting into Sundance Ignite Short Film Challenge in 2018. Their most recent film, which Eshesimua wrote, produced, directed and acted in, won a pitching competition at the European Film Awards qualifying festival.
When she wasn't busy creating art and taking 18 credits per semester, Eshesimua was getting her feet wet by interning. She was a development intern at Sonar Entertainment, a production and administrative department intern at Sony and eventually interned on the CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful.
In her junior year, Eshesimua ended up minoring in comedy writing.
"I gained confidence in my skills by speaking to my professors and affirming I was on the right path, but the real turning point was when I got to the Emmys® comedy internship's finalist round," Eshesimua said.
She graduated college in 2019 and, through a mentor, landed her first role in entertainment as a writer's production assistant on Netflix's Trinkets. As a writer's PA, Eshesimua's job was to stock the kitchen, fulfill food requests, and make lunch runs for the writers. Through the job, she began to learn the inner workings of a writers room as she was often able to sit inside the room when they were breaking the story.
After the show ended, the script coordinator landed on Netflix's Family Reunion. She brought Eshesimua with her as a writer's assistant, where she's been working since.
Her job as a writer's assistant is to take notes in the room and track continuity and changes.
"I also help proof scripts and help our script coordinator keep the pipeline flowing and everything moving fast," Eshesimua said.
"Our room was moving at lightning speed with scripts."
But for the 23-year-old, who hopes to eventually be a screenwriter and actor, being in a writers room has been a dream come true; even when everything quickly shifted online because of COVID-19.
"We had a virtual writers room for a little over a month as we finished scripts," Eshesimua said.
"But now we're on pause until we can go back into production again."
While waiting for the green light to begin work again, Eshesimua has been proactive with her writing; finishing up and polishing two original scripts, and reaching out to industry contacts about finding representation.
"My hope for the future is to tell stories like what happened to my mom with the Florida bar association,” Eshesimua said.
"And to be a champion of any story I can."
Written by: Allison NorlianAllison Norlian is a three-time, Emmy-nominated journalist who has worked as a television reporter and anchor in markets around the country. She has covered a variety of stories from the riots in Charlottesville, Virginia to President Trump’s travel ban in the fourth circuit court of appeals. Allison has also won AP awards for her work and a Catalyst For Change award from the Arc of Virginia for her reporting on the disabled community. Allison just moved to Los Angeles with her screen writer husband and two cats and is excited for all LA has to offer!