*Essence held its 24th annual festival in New Orleans Louisiana and we were center stage as African Americans from all across the country gathered for a chance to watch new released projects, participate in workshops and empowerment sessions.

Netflix was one of many networks that joined in showcasing its new releases at the festival.  We were on the red carpet on July 2nd for the unveiling of the Netflix original movie “The Incredible Jessica James.”

The film is about a 24-year-old playwright who lives in Brooklyn and is going through a bad break-up.  The production highlights the difficulties of balancing career and personal life.

EUR  got the chance to catch up with the lead actress Jessica Williams who is also the executive producer, to discuss how she prepared for her first leading role.  Jessica says:

“I had to go to therapy to prepare herself for the role, because (my character) was in every scene and it was very overwhelming.”

Williams says, she wants young women to know that romance is nice but it doesn’t have to necessarily define you, and that you are a whole beautiful person with or without a relationship.

The cast of ‘Orange is the New Black” and Spike Lees “She Gotta Have it” were also in attendance on the red carpet premiere at Essence in NOLA.  Marlon Wayans even dropped in to give his advice on how to deal with a breakup.

“Don’t get into the relationship in the first place,” he expertly said as he hurried into the screening.

Look for “The Incredible Jessica James” to premiere/start streaming via Netflix on July 28.