[Boston Underground Film Festival] Interviews: Actress Rhaechyl Walker Talks About Her Film My Name is Myeisha

My Name is Myeisha plays at BUFF on March 21st

My Name is Myeisha, a feature film co-written and directed by Gus Krieger, is set to appear at the Boston Underground Film Festival.

On the evening of December 28th, 1998, nineteen year old Myeisha Jackson heads out for a fun night in LA with her cousin Roni and friend Kai. Their grand plans are immediately deflated when their car gets a flat tire. Pulled over into a gas station, the trio take turns dealing with the logistics of getting the car back on the road.

While waiting for AAA to arrive, Myeisha decides to chill alone in the car and falls asleep, music blasting, doors locked. When Kai and Roni come back to the vehicle, they do what they can to rouse her and when that fails, phone 911 for help. Nearby police get dispatched to check out the scene; what follows is horrific history.

In the fleeting moments before the unthinkable occurs, Myeisha awakes with a start inside her inner dreamscape. The ensuing metaphysical trip through her mind reveals a life brimming with promise on the cusp of adulthood – her secrets, goals, flaws, strengths, loves, and talents – and is fueled and expressed by her love of hip hop, dance, and spoken word as she comes to terms with what’s happened to her.

What sounds like a sobering and solemn premise is rendered with unexpected playfulness and incredible warmth. This young black life is defined by more than her death and is shown to matter not through eulogy but celebration. With tour-de-force performances by leads Rhaechyl Walker and John Merchant, My Name is Myeisha is fearless independent filmmaking at its absolute finest. Required viewing.

Written by Rickerby Hinds & Gus Krieger, it stars Rhaechyl Walker, John Merchant, Dominique Toney, Dee Dee Stephens, Yvette Cason, and Gregg Daniel.

We had the opportunity to briefly chat with Rhaechyl Walker about the film.

TMS: First off, can you provide us with a little bit of background information. Did you always want to be involved in filmmaking? What type of training or schooling did you have?

RW: I always wanted to be an actor. When I was about 13 yrs old, I was cast in my first leading role as Megra, in a school production called Hercules. I graduated with a B.A in Theater from UC Riverside.

RW: Filmmaking didn’t enter my life till a few years after I graduated college.

TMS: Did you have a lot of support when you decided to get into filmmaking?

RW: Yes, for the most part, my family has always been supportive in anything that I’ve wanted to do.

TMS: How were you ultimately cast?

RW: I worked with writer Rickerby Hinds on two different projects in my college years. Knowing my work, he calls me and says I have a script I think you’d be perfect for. I don’t know if your still acting, but I’d like you to come in and do a reading of Dreamscape. That was July 2011, when I first met John. We had our first performance in December 2011, and we’ve performed nationally and internationally till 2016 together.

TMS: Are there any people or films that you’re looking forward to seeing while attending BUFF?

RW: Unfortunately I can not stay for the entirety of the festival, but I sure hope to catch at least two films; Pin Cushion, directed by Deborah Haywood; Let the Corpses Tan, directed by Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani.

TMS: Can you tell us anything about the other projects that you are working on or planning on working on? Or, anything else that you would like to plug?

RW: I give updates on my projects through social media Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @rhaechyl.

I would like to say thank you for everyone who continues to support us. Who holds this story in their minds and in their hearts. For caring enough to start a dialogue about it.

I am grateful for those days when we are able to admit when we are at fault, and hold ourselves accountable. When we fight for what is right and justified. When we are able to work together without stereotyping, or committing acts of prejudice, racism, and discrimination against one another.